Northern Lights Rock Out For VH1 Classic

Northern Lights VFX Artist Chris Hengeveld recently handled VFX and post work on a comedic spot for VH1 Classic. Hengeveld partnered with VH1 Creative Director/Writer and long-time collaborator Micah Perta to add energy to the clay-animated spot. “Hair Metal” is a raucous homage to the glory days of the genre.

The spot melds claymation with VFX to hilariously recapture the bygone era of skinny and shirtless men in spandex who can seriously shred! Against a backdrop of pyrotechnics and screaming fans, the claymation band members reach an epic crescendo — one strong enough to wake the heavy metal gods. Suddenly, their billowing hair begins to grow until the entire band becomes entangled and enveloped by a tangled mop of hair.

“This was a really fun project for all of us,” says Perta. “We’re very happy with the final result. Chris did an awesome job. He was able to breathe soul and anima into the spot, and took it to the next level. I have to hand it to him. I look forward to the coming clay projects that we’ll be doing together.”

Perta worked with director/claymation artist Hunter Fine to create the various band mates, which were shot as a sequence of stills. Hengeveld was then brought in to amp up the action in the spot.

“Micah wanted to make it more alive with elements that you’d see at a rock concert such as lights, smoke and fire,” explains Hengeveld. “We spent several hours adding visual effects, but didn’t want to detract from the natural feeling of the spot. In this case, less was more. We had to match the animation at 15 frames-per-second so the VFX elements blended seamlessly. VH1 gave me a lot of creative liberty, which was great, and there was a collaborative rapport among all of those involved.”


Client: VH1
Project Title: VH1 Classic Hair Metal
Ad Agency: VH1 In-House Creative
Creative Director/Copywriter: Micah Perta
Writer: Dan Tucker
Executive Producer: Wendell Wooten
VP, VH1 Classic Promos: Rob Grobengieser
Director/DP/Editor/Claymation Artist: Hunter Fine Where shot: New York, NY
VFX & Postproduction Company: Northern Lights
VFX & Smoke Artist: Chris Hengeveld
Music, Sound Design & Audio Post Company: Eargoo
Audio Mixers/Sound Designers: Paul Goldman, Ryan Billia


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