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Creative

Partying Robots Break Free in the Latest Chemical Brothers Music Video

Outsider's Dom&Nic launch Free Yourself in collaboration with The Mill

Partying Robots Break Free in the Latest Chemical Brothers Music Video

‘Free Yourself’ is the new music video from The Chemical Brothers. Eight months in the making, in collaboration with production company Outsider and content creation studio The Mill, the video uses cutting edge VFX and motion capture technology to tell a near-future story of factory robots freeing themselves.

The video was directed by Dom&Nic, the creative duo who have worked with The Chemical Brothers over a period of twenty two years and have worked on videos including Hey Boy Hey Girl, Block Rockin’ Beats, Setting Sun and the award winning video Wide Open from the band’s #1 2015 album Born In The Echoes.

Of working on Free Yourself the duo said: "Why would artificial intelligence behave any different to humans discovering music and dance for the first time? We’ve all seen humans dancing brilliantly like robots, we’ve also seen robots dancing brilliantly like robots but you’ve never seen robots dancing badly like humans. That’s new...

"The chemical brothers music allows people to get out of their box at a gig or listening to the record – it’s a moment of frenzied abandonment to the music. We wanted to capture that feeling in the idea of an oppressed robot workforce suddenly abandoning themselves to music and fun. It’s robots having fun, robots being silly and robots raving!

"It’s a black comedy and an observation or conversation about the possible future relationship between robots, artificial intelligence and humans. Maybe we don’t have anything to be scared of, why do we think the worst about AI and humanity?

"We imagined a near future where robots had become a sentient underclass and we felt sorry for them and wanted to imagine them finding a way to free themselves, have fun and dance.

"Tom and Ed are the best people to make music videos for, their music always inspires great visual ideas and stories and as artists they are incredibly supportive of the creative vision. We just couldn’t have made a film like this without the total commitment and dedication from the VFX team at The Mill, they took it on purely for creative endeavour. It’s our second such collaboration with them on a Chemical Brother’s music video and in both cases they have had to break new ground in the world visual effects.

"The project took seven months from first idea to finished film. It’s tonally completely different to Wide Open but again explores a theme of dance and a non-typical version of the human form and we hope people will find it a worthy follow up.

"During the production on this film a cartoon was published in the New Yorker. It showed a couple of robots in a laboratory doing some moves and the quote from the scientist in the picture was 'it appears they don’t want to take over, they just want to Dance!' we knew we were on the right tracks when we saw this."

Jonathan 'Wes' Westley of The Mill, says: "We are thrilled to be involved in another Dom&Nic and The Chemical Brothers collaboration. Following on from the success of ‘Wide Open’ in 2016, ‘Free Yourself’ presented us with the challenge of designing and animating hundreds of robots, continuing the theme that runs through many of The Chemical Brother’s videos – dance.

"This is the kind of VFX work that encouraged many of The Mill’s artists to get into the industry and, by continuing to push the boundaries of creative excellence, we hope to inspire the next generation of artists. It’s a project that enabled and required us to experiment with new motion capture technology, using our expertise to capture dance moves on set, in the studio, and in-house at The Mill.

"To be entrusted with bringing Dom&Nic’s vision to life is a real privilege. It’s been a huge team effort over a eight month period and I’m proud that ‘Free Yourself’ has manifested into a standout piece of work that showcases what The Mill does best –high-end, photo-real visual effects work."

‘Free Yourself’ is the latest track from legendary duo The Chemical Brothers, a song which already proved to be a highlight of the bands spectacular new live set at festivals across Europe this Summer.

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Production Company

Production Company: Outsider

Director: DOM&NIC

DOP: Alex Barber

Producer: John Madsen

Production Assistants: Tom Benkins

Concept: Matthew Campbell, Carlos Nieto, Sunil Pant, Ross Urien

Production Manager: Steve Elgar

Offline

Edit Company: Final Cut

Editor: Ed Cheesman

Post Production / VFX

Post Production Company: The Mill

Colourist: David ‘Luddy’ Ludlam

VFX Supervisor: Suraj ‘Sid’ Harrington-Odedra & Fergal Hendrick Lead Rigging/Animation: Matthew Kavanagh

Producer: Imogen Pai

Creative Directors: Jorge Montiel & Wes

Rigging: Peter Agg, Mario Ercolano, Andreas Graichen, Phuong ‘Karo’ Nguyen

Lighting: Amaan Akram, Max Auer, Carlo Carfora, Vaclav Cizkovsky, Kate Gabriel

Modelling: Will Burdett, Alwin Durez, Oliver Hallas, Pavel Mamichev, Anish Mohan, Bethan Williams

FX: Oleks Panaskevych, Dan Yargici

Modelling Lead: Ashley Tilley

Lighting Lead: Clement Granjon

Tracking Artist: Senthil Murgan Balasundaram, Sendil Kumar J

Film Scanning: Efficacy 4D (Duncan Lees, Jandira Guasque)

Animation: Nicola Gilbert, Kieran Jordan, Kevin O’Sullivan, Maria Robertson, Jimmy Thomas

Shoot Supervisor: Fergal Hendrick, Matthew Kavanagh, Pavel Mamichev Suraj ‘Sid’ Harrington-Odedra

Compositor: Declan Andrews, Pete Hodsman, Sole Martin, Jack Pond, Alfie Vaughan, Rakesh Venugopalan

Executive Producer: Alex Fitzgerald

Sound

sound designer: Anthony Moore, Jon Clarke & Josh Campbell @ Factory

Category: Music video , Short films

Genre: Music performance , Visual VFX , choreography