The video for Mystery Skulls’ disco-infused track “Magic” is like a Stanley Kubrick film. Or rather, it’s like a Stanley Kubrick film that’s high as a kite, appears to have been inspired by the Game of Thrones opening credits, and is dipped in gold.
And for that, you can thank Double Ninja.
Double Ninja, for those who don’t know, is the wickedly creative French directing duo that made the “Magic” video to life. They were inspired by Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut—“particularly the strange ceremony scene”—and wanted to create something in a similar vein with a little sci-fi thrown (there’s a spaceship). And they wanted to do it in a 3-D world. In gold. This proved to be particularly challenging because gold reflects light, and in three-dimensional space light can bounce all over the place. To figure out how to make all of this work, they called in Hocus Pocus Studio, which specializes in 3-D VFX work.
“The primary challenge was to melt a temple-ship full of gold,” says Remi Devouassoud, the studio’s 3-D supervisor. “In the light of the room size, which was about 10 meters high, with a crowd of characters, we were wondering how we’d be able to make it melt. It was hard to find references, and hard to imagine how we were going to pull it all together. But we successfully found solutions to the problems.”
Find out how Double Ninja and Hocus Pocus made “Magic” in the video premiering above. Then watch the final clip for Mystery Skulls’ track, which features Nile Rogers and Brandy, below.