[Exclusive] Inside the Lasers and Light Sculptures of Eric Prydz's "Generate"
Get an inside look at the making-of GMUNK's music video for Eric Prydz's thundering new single.
Exclusive images courtesy the artists
Swedish DJ, producer, and all-around dance music powerhouse Eric Prydz is no stranger to cutting-edge technology—not only did he bring one of the largest holograms ever to one of the biggest music festivals in the world, he was even personally 3D-scanned into its display. It should come as no surprise for music fans and futurists alike, that when his hit single "Generate" should hit #1 on Hype Machine, BBC Radio One's Dance Chart, the DMC Buzz Chart, and more, the progressive house star would call for a music video every bit as progressive—and that a leading high-tech designer and director would answer.
Bradley G. Munkowitz, a.k.a. GMUNK, lists credits including graphic design on Tron: Legacy, collaborative direction on projection mapping masterwork, BOX, and lead interface graphic designer on Oblivion. Inspired by the theme of "Generate"—an idea "which in itself was synonymous with one powerful idea: energy"—GMUNK set out to create what he calls "a film that was a surreal journey of generative transformation through light and sound." With the help of his team in San Francisco, and the nifty sculptural LED boxes known as Sugar Cubes (Read: An LED Sculpture Dazzles In Cathedrals' New Music Video), "Generate" buzzed to life. Today, alongside the "Generate" music video, which premieres today, you can watch a behind-the-scenes featurette on its making-of, exclusively on The Creators Project.
"The journey focuses on the interaction between the beat of the music; incredible light set-ups that create a phantasmagoric visual world of illuminated shapes and pixels; and a whiff of humanity represented by a single Woman who experiences it all," GMUNK explains to The Creators Project. "Fisheye shots and tunnels of disembodied glowing light move toward, past, and through the camera creating an undulating tapestry of visual madness as the beat breaks, bringing us to the peak of the song where we reveal the Queen Bee of light: a round, ripe, pulsating light sphere that seems electric and otherworldly in its power."
Beyond the thumping bass and soaring synths of the Prydz single, the particular majesty of "Generate" comes from the fact that these visuals were captured in-camera. Parts were created in a smoke-filled half-dome, "lit so that it seems to glow, white-hot and electric," while others were created with lasers blistering a mirror tube, combined with which a prism lens "ultra distorted image, showing us our Woman’s face and eyes multiplied in a honeycomb of images, the power of light and sounds now at her fingertips," and even silicon balls, water-soaked and used for optical refraction in three dimensions.The tech was then rounded out with the use—or mis-use, in this case—of the Sugar Cubes. Rigged from the ceiling, spray painted jet black, blasted with lasers, and assembled into a towering LED stack, the result appears as a real-life fractal generator—a new way to use the cube, one that Sugar Cubes founder, Alexander Green of Symmetry Labs, calls, "one that I never anticipated when I built the sculpture."
Ultimately, "Generate" is a spectacle of lights, shapes, and sounds, the kind of fusion between new technologies and tried-and-true techniques that takes filmmaking—and music videos themselves—into new dimensions. Check out exclusive images from the music video and making-of below: