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Behind the scenes of Fluid's award-winning music video

A wild montage of colours, typography and graphics, this music video for singer-songwriter Wynter Gordon's song TKO recently won an AICE award (opens in new tab), beating off some impressive entries from the Rolling Stones and Maroon 5. We asked editor Peter Sabatino of Fluid (opens in new tab), an agency offering post-production services including 2D/3D design, VFX and CGI, how they put it together...

Title transitions

Sabatino explains how he began by taking footage of the singer roaming the streets of New York City, then teamed up with fellow editor Zeke O'Donnell to build the titles, working them in as mattes or transitions between scenes.

The director, Adam Donald, gave him full creative freedom. "The only specific references that Adam and I discussed were a few Kayne West music videos and the opening title sequence to the movie Enter the Void," says Sabatino. "Zeke and I were mainly influenced by that title sequence, but wanted to incorporate footage into the titles."

Manipulated footage

O'Donnell created the titles in different fonts and sizes, continues Sabatino. "I then took the footage of Wynter Gordon, along with some textural footage I manipulated, and used the titles as mattes to place the video in and around the text.

"I found stock imagery that contained the specific textures I was looking for, mainly smoke, ink, and simple animations that were high in contract and had defined edges, which allowed the solarizing effect to work well.

"I also used multiple layers with varying speed effects, color effects, and composite modes to enhance the footage further. All of this complimented the frenetic nature of the track and pushed the form beyond simple titles over footage."

Software

O'Donnell used After Effects (opens in new tab) for the text design and solarizing effect. All of the editing, compositing, title editing and compositing were done right in Final Cut Pro (opens in new tab), while colour was done in Magic Bullet Looks (opens in new tab).

"The most challenging aspect of the project was its complete open creative nature," adds Sabatino. "I was given complete freedom to do what I wanted and spent some time exploring and nailing the aesthetic."

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