Directorial collective Syndrome just completed a gritty, high-end, live-action video for the new single, 3 A.M. off of superstar rapper Eminem’s long-awaited new album, Relapse via Interscope Records. The video features scenes of a confused and anxious Eminem emerging from rehab in a drug-induced blackout. The frenetic action, blended with blood-soaked flashbacks, create a schizophrenic journey to the artist’s realization of his killing spree the night before.
Known predominantly for their effects heavy visuals, Syndrome used this opportunity to showcase another side of themselves by focusing on the live-action narrative. They layered their graphic aesthetic to add depth and interest to complement the rugged storyline.
Syndrome shot overnight on the two-day shoot, working through cold, rainy weather in rugged, outdoor conditions. They used two RED cameras for the operation, as it was optimal for the format and the amount of footage necessary. Once Syndrome locked the cut, they subjected the footage to a traditional telecine for coloring. In contrast to the sometimes onerous process of cutting film, nearly everything was done on desktop applications.
The video is just one part of a completely integrated multimedia campaign, conceived and created by LA-based creative agency Omelet, that will include two spots (created by Syndrome), a robust interactive experiential website, print ads, OOH, and viral components. The spots are set to air in both theaters and television.
Syndrome collaborated creatively with Interscope, Eminem’s management and Omelet to make the overall campaign more cohesive. Their experience in innumerable platforms – from directing live action commercials and music videos to 3D effects, graphics, titles, and web design – was invaluable in integrating the various elements, and helped establish them as a new wave of directors who can act as a one-stop shop overseeing a multiplatform campaign.
Their insight of the basic elements of directing allowed them to focus on the creative, selecting the art direction that set the creative tone for the campaign, and incorporating, among other features, a security officer and night-vision footage that tie into the web component. On Omelet’s end, the agency shot the sets and props for the website on Syndrome’s set. Consumers can visit www.therelapse.com now and explore the Popsomp Hills Rehabilitation Center.
“With the scope of this project and all the variables involved, it was very important that communication was very clear in pre-production between all parties,” noted Syndrome Director James Larese. “We had multiple conversations with Em’s team and Omelet to make sure we were all on the same page to tie this together creatively as much as possible. Syndrome at its core is a collaboration, so to include and interface with everyone involved made for a very natural, organic creative process.”
“This industry is changing so fast that you really have to be willing to try new ideas to engage the consumer,” stated Syndrome EP Monica Blackburn. “But it’s only made our job more creative. The fans get a better product. Working with all the creative minds at Omelet and Interscope – with the genius of Eminem – resulted in an explosion of great ideas that wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago.”
About Robot Films
Robot Films is a Los Angeles-based creative lab producing music videos, feature and short film, web content, TV and commercials. Lead by veteran Founder/Director Chris Robinson and Executive Producer Rosanne Cunningham, Robot offers a wide range of services, boundless energy, and vast experience.
LA-based design and directing collective Syndrome are united by a deep-seated, shared love for art and innovation where creativity is the core of their existence. As their life’s work and passion, Micah Hancock, James Larese, and Mars Sandoval’s primary focus and theme is merging science with soul; manipulating technology for the sake of creative growth and artistic expression. Each member brings their own individual experiences to the table, offering diverse yet complimentary skills. They gravitate towards unique elements that ultimately come together to form a startlingly original final piece.
Client: Interscope Records
Song Title: 3 A.M.
Executive Creative Director: Shervin Samari
Associate Creative Director: Sarah Cathcart
Senior Interactive Art Director: Alex Voltz
Copywriter: Ryan Stoner
Interactive Designer: Mat Aihara
Director of Production: Peta Martin
Interactive Producer: Chad Bauer
Video Producer: Johnny Stewart
Executive Producer: Steven Amato, Ryan Fey
Prod Company: Robot Films
EP: Rosanne Cunningham
Producer: Clark Jackson
DP: Brandon Cox
Editor: David Blackburn
Director’s Rep: Robin Frank Management
Video Commissioner: Randy Sosin
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