A Death Grips promo with a twist
A new music video from Zack Hill, founder of experimental hip-hop group Death Grips, is a dark, unconventional film for Hill's new band.
Undo k from Hot is the side-project group from Death Grips founder Zack Hill, and their new promo, for the track Get a Star, is an intense, pulsating promo.
I've always had a fascination with human contortion.
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The video is a dark, dynamic three-and-a-half minutes and, here, the director reveals more about the video and the process behind making it.
Had you worked with Death Grips before this promo?
AAB: I've known Zach [Hill, founder/drummer] and Death Grips for many years and we've always wanted to collaborate. Zach's side project, Undo K from Hot, provided the perfect sound under the DG brand. DG just reformed and wanted promotional content for their 2023/4 world tour.
Where did the idea for the video come from?
AAB: I've always had a fascination with human contortion and the music provided the canvas for me to explore that.
Above: Director, Arran Anyrin Bowyn.
Who is the contortionist and how did you find him?
AAB: Troy James, who is truly unique. I discovered him through his creature feature film work [James has worked on features including Nightmare Valley and Hellboy].
What was the directorial process like and how much freedom did you give Troy?
AAB: We filmed in Toronto, where Troy is based. I had to allow a window of freedom. A space to create, not improvise. I was there to observe, to listen. It was about inspiration, not science.
A good director is a good listener.
A good director is a good listener. We then intricately choreographed a contortion routine to synchronise with the music.
Above: Contortionist, Troy James.
You worked with Gary Knight on the edit; how did you approach that and how much footage did you have to work with?
AAB: Gary and I collaborated on a Nike campaign some years back and are very familiar with each other’s way of working. Gary’s style was perfectly suited because he really understands how music and rhythm can shape an edit. We had a few hours of footage.
Why did the black and white approach appeal to you?
AAB: For this particular film there are no VFX, it was all done in camera. The tone enhances a definitive affirmation to the shock of the contortion.
What was the most challenging aspect of working on Get a Star?
AAB: The time it took us to find the right contortionist. I was after a balletic 'bone breaker'. We auditioned many contortionists worldwide, and the majority were dancers who are just flexible.
I was after a balletic 'bone breaker' [and] the majority were dancers who are just flexible.
Bone breaking is characterised by rhythmic contortionist movements and very rare to find.
Above: Arran Anyrin Bowyn on the set of Get a Star.
What do you hope people take away from watching this video?
AAB: My last outing on a music video was for TI ft Young Thug, titled Melania; that music video was instantly banned due to its highly controversial subject matter, so I'm actually just hoping people will be able to view this film as it will be tough to find due to its frenetic strobing.
What are you working on next?
AAB: Another unorthodox film project, shooting in the States.