Director Michael Mizrachi talks us through creating the delightfully imaginative and uplifting video for Barak Feldman’s latest single
Inside the VFX of director Michael Mizrachi’s new music video
When director michael mizrachi first listened to Barak Feldman’s latest single One Day Love he felt an amazing sense of optimism, “the childlike production and arrangements gave me hope, i felt like anything was possible.” mizrachi is a 22-year-old director from tel Aviv, israel who has been experimenting with film since the age of six and found the song making a strong connection with this inner child.
“the emotions started driving my imagination,” he explains. “Visuals of a tiny astronaut started to form. i saw that kid travelling through surreal landscapes and dangerous environments, taking himself on a mission to make people feel happy. i wanted the video to serve that same purpose and created a piece that will function as encouragement for the day, a video that will charge your spirit with hope.”
the video’s science fiction aesthetic evolved naturally from these themes, presenting viewers with a lighthearted ode to films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Interstellar. “i wanted to reach everybody’s inner child. i felt that by creating worlds with a realistic aesthetic even a 50 year old would be able to relate,” adds mizrachi.
to bring his vision to life mizrachi set about writing a screenplay and working with israeli concept artists, yali Keren and tal Rachmin, to produce tons of concept art that depicted the surreal world of the video. mizrachi continues, “we then designed styleframes that would convey the visual ideas and guidelines to martin nabelek, a 24-year-old genius from Prague, who tackled every CGI aspect of the music video. martin and i worked purely via skype and Facebook messenger.”
the project’s relatively low budget meant that the team had to work in a number of interesting ways. this included a five-day drive around israel, in which the team and young actor imri Aginsky shot in the most surreal and outer space-looking locations they could find. “while we were editing and sharpening the final cut, martin was working to accomplish the CGI shots and we made lots of decisions around that,” explains mizrachi.
By far the longest part of the process was the compositing led by VFX artist saar oz – he and mizrachi took an unpopular approach. “we decided to let every shot evolve on its own by experimenting with the compositing, this way ideas emerged naturally, and we could focus most of our efforts on the details.
“the possibility that people would come back and watch the video more than once inspired us to work hard on
You have to be open to change and able to embrace problems solving them to the best of your ability
Michael Mizrachi, director
minute elements that would not necessarily be noticeable at first glance.”
mizrachi highlights Corona Renderer as the most helpful tool the team utilised on the project, as he explains, “it allowed me to look at the final frames and animation very quickly. Because martin and i live in different countries i wasn’t able to oversee the process in person, but with Corona he was able to send me great looking renders. we also had a 32-bit EXR, which allowed us to do anything in post, and it was really easy to match colours and compose the CGI alongside the real shots.”
the only obstacle was that, at the time, Corona did not support the rendering of smoke effects, meaning the team had to reach towards Houdini and Phoenix FD to solve the problem. mizrachi also faced challenges when it came to realising his original vision, “A big challenge in directing and producing Cg-based films on such a low budget is that you can’t always control the results. you have to be open to change and able to embrace problems, solving them to the best of your ability. Fortunately, this process can produce much more creative imagery.”
Despite the challenges mizrachi has crafted a mesmerising representation of the song’s themes, one that he wholeheartedly believes in. “it’s a call for everybody’s inner child,” he says. “it’s that little whisper that says ‘with hard work you can achieve anything’. sometimes we face daily challenges that seem impossible, this piece was created with the purpose of reminding you what you are capable of, it asks you to aim higher with your fantasies, to estimate yourself more and achieve your dreams.”
The realistic feel of the visuals was intended to counteract the childish and dreamlike qualities of the music
CGI was avoided by Mizrachi and his team wherever it was possible to do something practically
Barak Feldman enlisted the help of frequent collaborator Yoni Bloch to compose the music for One Day Love with Daniella Boss performing vocals and playing numerous instruments
Mizrachi got his taste for filmmaking when he directed his first short Moving in high school
An example of the concept art developed by Yali Keren and Tal Rachmin that helped Mizrachi realise his vision for the music video
One of the styleframes that allowed Mizrachi to communicate his vision to Prague-based VFX artist Martin Nabelek