South African Bryan Little directed the music video for U2’s This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now, which premiered on Paper Magazine yesterday.
The music video features Cape Town-based, China-born street artist DALeast, who’s made his name internationally by creating animals that feel like they’re in motion and are about to leave the walls they’re painted on – something that actually happens in This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now.
“His animals have this three-dimensional character; they’re born to be made into 3D animations,” says Bryan, who met DALeast through his friendship with another street artist, Faith 47. “I’ve always wanted to bring his creatures to life in film, so that was my first thought when he contacted me to direct a music video about his work, especially as I’d just seen this guy running in Hout Bay with a huge pack of dogs without leashes.”
Bryan got the call confirming the job on his birthday in August and was on a plane to New York two days later with DALeast and Fly on the Wall producer Filipa Domingues.
Ironically, Bryan isn’t a big fan of music videos: he usually directs commercials. “I don’t normally like directing music videos, because you’re limited to the song itself, so you can’t add dialogue or location sound or a soundscape, so that always freaks me out,” he admits.
This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now was particularly stressful in this regard, because Bryan only heard the song an hour before he started shooting. “Thankfully, the song has that typical U2 scale and emotion, so it works really well with the visuals.”
Bryan wasn’t allowed to keep a copy of the song though. “I had to write down how long each section was and what the mood was; we only got the song to cut to three days before our delivery date.”
To animate DALeast’s artwork, Bryan roped in Iwan Zwarts, a fellow South African who’s now based in New York as a visual effects supervisor on spots like Playstation’s Greatness Awaits or Axe’s multi-award-winning Susan Glenn. Iwan put together an amazing post-production team from around the world, including Tom Bussell, Charlotte Arnold, Danny Morris, Alexandre Allain, Sauce Vilas, Jimmy Gass, Mikey Rossiter and Manuel Riedl. “They made it look better than I ever imagined,” says Bryan. “The level of detail was insane.”
Bryan hasn’t met Bono and the band yet, but was told they loved it. “I like to picture Bono taking his sunglasses off to watch It; that was my goal,” says Bryan.
See more of Bryan’s work at http://www.flyonthewall.co.za/bryanlittle/.
See more of DALeast’s work at http://www.daleast.com/.