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.
Clemens has provided production photos and a clip from their rehearsal. The rehearsal clip in particular deserves a watch and re-watch. Check it all out here.