“I connected with the music and felt the band had potential to be hugely successful so I was determined to do the project,” said Joyrider Films (Joyrider Films) director Adam Bizanski of his new music video for Wolf Parade’s single, “Modern World.” Not only was the director on the mark about the Montreal group, whose international popularity is spreading like wildfire, the “Modern World” vid is an internet smash, quickly rising to #1on ifilm.com’s Top 100, way ahead of top acts like Beyonce and Red Hot Chili Peppers, who’ve also issued new releases.
Like the track that inspired it, Bizanski’s video is haunting and beautiful. The director used stop motion animation to re-imagine 1968 as a turning point for industry and creativity. In the clip, the Wolf Parade band members are a “factory house band” made obsolete by machines that play music. “I was completely blown away when Adam sent me his work in progress,” said Joyrider Executive Producer Spencer Friend. “He shows an amazing eye for detail in the set and character creation and brought beautiful nuances to his camera work. It’s extremely difficult and unusual to accomplish what Adam has within a micro environment. He’s imbued the video with such believability and soul.”
Bizanski explained that the concept evolved in stages, building the plot around the song, which called to mind an image of workers on an assembly line. Filmed mostly at 24 fps, the clip features puppets and a set built by Bizanski. “It’s a complicated process for stop motion because the sculptures need to be graceful to a degree.” The video took five months to complete, with half the time spent on set and puppet construction, followed by filming and editorial. “Modern World” was shot on Nikon D70s, with help from AfterFX, Premiere & Stop Motion Pro, and “lots of cogs and pistons,” Bizanski mused.
The director had worked with Wolf Parade’s label, Sub Pop, on an award-winning video for The Shins’ “Pink Bullets,” and sent his contacts there a random sketch idea for a video. “They had just signed Wolf Parade, who loved the sketch,” Bizanski recalled. To speed up the process, he initiated work on a video for “Modern World,” from the band’s self-titled album. Bizanski shared his very early work in progress with the band and the label, who in turn commissioned the project.
Bizanski’s association with Joyrider Films stems from Resfest, in which the director had entered his “Pink Bullets” video. “We were in Israel visiting my girlfriend’s family,” Friend recalled. “Having seen Adam’s work, I tracked him down and we hit it off immediately.” Bizanski’s previous projects include music videos for Yoni Bloch (“Naim Bachutz”/NMC Music), and Zegunder (“Neo Ouija”/UK). He is currently at work on a music video for Zero 7; the clip involves a combination of stop motion and live action and is set to break later this month. Describing his stylistic preferences, Bizanski offers the following: “I like theaters, cabarets, circuses, helpless men, beautiful women, odd dancing, dark rooms, power lines, slow motion, textured lighting, extremely saturated colors, extremely unsaturated colors, miniatures, puddles, cinematic camera moves, vast fields, gray mornings, back alleys, clumsy four legged creatures, many small light sources, suits, and bus stops. There are probably a couple more.”
“Modern World” is getting rave reviews, and Bizanski – also interested in helming spot projects – has been favorably compared by some ad execs to Michel Gondry. “That’s appreciated but extreme,” the director said. “For me, it’s about making good music videos and commercials: refined, concise, even resembling poetry at times.” Though he acknowledges that stop motion is a comfortable and effective tool, he relishes his current opportunity to shoot more live action and to combine techniques. “In the end, I think videos and spots must have a permanent look and concept throughout, regardless of the techniques used to create them.”