The Glitch Mob - Can't Kill Us (Unofficial Music Video)
Client: Self Initiated
See the Full BTS and breakdown HERE
‘Best VFX’ nomination, Berlin Music Video Awards
This is a passion project I have been working on between real projects for over a year now. I wanted to make something that would push my skills as a 3D artist and force me outside of my comfort zone. The Glitch Mob is one of my favorite electronic artists and their music has a very cinematic quality that has always conjured up stories within my mind. I wanted to make something that reflected that cinematic quality and felt like it could be a title sequence to a movie while maintaining the dark, aggressive, and energetic vibe of the song.
The song Can't kill Us was the perfect choice as it seemed to follow a three act story format with a clear beginning middle and climactic ending. Aside from the title of the song and the album cover art (A samurai helmet with smoke coming out of it) there really wasn't much for me to go on visually, so I created my own abstract narrative for this song. Essentially I wanted it to to be a loose story about the unbreakable will of the human spirit and the trials and tribulations that happen over the course of our life. It gives us an abstract glimpse into the subconscious mind during a human lifespan as said human experiences love, loss, triumph, failure, death and rebirth. I created the samurai figure to be a representation of human willpower.
The song follows the cycle of life, death and rebirth. In the first third, the hero is being created and "born." We see macro shots representative of the abstract thought processes a pre-birth infant might have. Inter-cut with those are surreal non-linear flashes of life experiences, love, and complex thought forming in the subconscious mind. This all culminates in a "birth" as shown by the full body samurai revealing shots. The second third of the song is the life of the samurai as he begins his journey to find passion and purpose. In doing so he unlocks the challenges we all face on this path; self doubt, negative criticism, setbacks and failures (as represented by the serpents) which continue to grow and attack the spirit. On a particular journey to seek out something new, our hero unlocks his greatest challenge and is faced with fierce opposition. The samurai and the serpents engage in a metaphorical fight representative of the human spirit attempting to persevere against challenges in the way of a goal.
As we enter the third act, the samurai is struck down by the serpents and begins fall into a pit of self doubt until he is consumed by it. During the climax of the song, the Samurai appears to be overcome by the serpents and disintegrates until all that is left is his helmet, Seemingly beaten down by self doubt and life's opposition. However, at the end it is revealed that the hero figure was only one small aspect of the human spirit, and although it may have been destroyed by its opposition, there are still many more because no matter how much a challenge beats us down, we can always get back up because you can't kill us.
This was a tremendous learning experience for me. It consumed my free time for over a year and forced me to develop my skills with X-particles, Redshift, Z brush, Cinema 4D and Octane. I really enjoyed the process. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.
EDIT* The Glitch Mob saw this and liked it so much that they decided to officially release it on their youtube channel!
Design & Animation: Ian Frederick
Music & Sound Design: The Glitch Mob