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Here's How Reuben Wu Created The Alien Landscape Of Xu Xu Fang's New Music Video

Director Reuben Wu used timelapses, remote-controlled aerial cameras, and Processing-driven projections to create his new music video for Xu Xu Fang.
October 8, 2014, 4:15pm

Images courtesy of the artist

Earlier this week, Noisey premiered Xu Xu Fang’s "Friend to the Unknown," the gorgeous new music video from filmmaker, photographer, and Ladytron member, Reuben Wu. The video features the band immersed in a landscape as barren and desolate as it is cosmic and alien. To create it, Wu looked to inspiration he found in both nature and generative code.

It all began with a trip Wu and a friend took to the remote Californian desert. “I wanted the video to touch on themes such as geologic timescales, the experience of vision, and the romantic sublime,” Wu told The Creators Project. The excursion resulted in the photo below, Ruben's "accidental" discovery of what a projector can do in the desert.


“When I heard 'Friend to the Unknown' for the first time, I immediately saw an opportunity to tell a story of sublime moments, vast landscapes and immense forces of nature. In addition, it was important that it echoed the sonic geography of this dark and dreamy song," Wu told Noisey. Inspired by the way lights glanced off the landscape and created new textures, Wu returned to the desert armed with a projector, a generator, and a computer equipped with Processing-generated visuals. He then projected them onto crags, cracks, and fissures, and documented the uncanny results.

Wu then took additional desert footage using a remote-controlled aerial camera, and created topsy-turvy timelapses of the night sky timelapses. Then, complemented by a desert performance from Xu Xu Fang, the result was the strange and surreal alien landscape seen the video.

Check out "Friend from the Unknown" above, and enjoy Wu's stunning behind-the-scenes stills below:

View more of Reuben Wu's mesmerizing work on his website.


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