Survival Code - "Broken Strings"
Broken Strings was such a big track that we wanted the video to be larger than life. The core of the song’s meaning is making the most of your life and not wasting it so the concept of the video reflected that. Originally it was a story about a man who becomes a villain only to be thwarted by a superhero but the band thought our anti-hero should have his day so it starts off like originally planned and then takes an unexpected turn…
The influences behind the video were Japanese anime and the movie Kick-Ass. The start has a real makeshift element to it which wasn’t as easy as it sounds. The costume had to match the tongue-in-cheek style while remaining functional with free flowing fabrics. Costume designer Hannah Alton really delivered on the specifics and understood their practical applications for the shoot.
Casting is always an important element and I had a good idea of what I wanted the actors to look like: a skinny disgruntled accountant and a well-built hero looking man. Comedian Martin Hulf was chosen as our anti-hero with ex-army turned actor Paul Smith as our hero, real and they both nailed it.
For the story it was important that you didn’t see the ending coming. We started with a man with a vendetta, he trains, gets better and then becomes a villain, only it doesn’t stop there; he confronts his nemesis and gets beaten to a pulp, but we’re still not done; he unlocks hidden power and beats the crap out of the hero. The video is full of surprises, a series of events that kept on escalating.
The day’s shooting was lots of fun. We shot nearly all footage inside a warehouse which was a perfect location for the insanity to occur. The biggest challenge was the super speed elements. It had to be shot in a very specific way with little room for error using a tripod, well timed actions and a leaf blower. For the band’s performance I said “Be natural” and boy were they. Their energy was incredible, making every one of their shots exhilarating. In order to keep up with the band we had to ensure the shots were unique and dynamic. For the more set pieces lead singer Gary acted as an invisible coach egging the anti-hero on giving us 100%.
For the grading there are two main colour schemes; a cold blue for the harsh reality and a warm musky orange for the band, separating the two worlds that exist in the same location. When things get more supernatural there is a slight change in colour, subtle yet noticeable if you’re paying attention. The yellows, reds and blues were boosted slightly to illustrate that the world has changed once more.