Remember the Matrix Ping Pong meme of 2003? The kuroko stagehands of kabuki/bunraku Japanese theater helped two seemingly normal dudes defy physics and bend time for epic ping-pong-ery (and internet delight). Matrix Food Fight and many other clips found online originated on the TV show Kasou Taishou. I highly recommend checking out the highlight reel.
When working with such an eye-catching technique, how do you amp things up to the next level? I was impressed by the attention to detail in these UKTV idents directed by Clemens Habicht (who played with black costume in-camera fun on the lively Friendly Fires ‘Skeleton Boy’ music video). The steadicam takes you in much closer to the action than the usually distant stage-framing. The real physics in reverse (e.g., flying table settings, a purse emptying, frisbees returning home) mixes eerily with the supernatural stage-hand assisted action. There’s a ton of elements in play, but the choreography makes everything seem very natural as the scene almost melts into itself.
Thank you to Clemens Habicht for providing the rehearsal clips and production photos below.
Client: WATCH UKTV
Title: Watch when things come together.
Production Company: Nexus Productions
Director: Clemens Habicht
Executive Producers: Charlotte Bavasso & Christopher O’Reilly
Producer: Isobel Conroy
Production Manager: Alistair Pratten
Director of Photography: Nick Bennett
Art Director: James Hatt
Agency: Harriman Steel
Creative Director: Julian Harriman
Agency Producer: Beth McQueen