The Art: Star Guitar
The Artist: The Chemical Brothers (video by Michel Gondry)
There was a time when music videos were more than a few dancers doing their thing in front of various backgrounds. Music videos were the birthplace of visionary feature film directors including David Fincher (Fight Club), Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways), and Spike Jonze (Her).
Another genius of the artform, and one who still occasionally cries out for its return, is Michel Gondry. A French director whose work is always lucid and often highly emotional, Gondry’s most famous music videos (and there are a lot of them) take simple concepts and deliver them using state-of-the-art technology and a master’s understanding of the style.
The video for The Chemical Brother’s Star Guitar is a perfect example. Gondry takes an ordinary train ride between Nîmes and Valence and turns the mundane landscape into what’s nothing short of a work of art.
Want to know how it’s done?
As you might expect, the answer is simple, though the process is far from it.
Michel and his brother Twist took the same train ride 10 times in order to get vision of the same location under different lighting. They then took elements found within these frames, and carefully spliced them using CGI.
You can see Michel’s pre-production work in the video below.