UFO361 – RYU

MM01 Production, creative director Maria Koch and director Max von Guppenberg had an inspiring concept for an upcoming music video of German rapper UFO361. They asked us to help out with technical solutions for three major scenes and we provided motion control, visual effects and high-speed video.

For the opening scene they wanted UFO361 to slowly ascend from a silver-coated liquid and asked us for a solution.

For a futuristic set they needed two identical robot arms to be synchronised and equipped with ALEXA Mini cameras and dedicated painting systems.

At last we were asked to build a rig which would simulate rain while the rapper performs in front of the camera.

Our motion control department had to create a continuous snake-like dance move with the same length as the music video – a complex task which took several days of testing, reprogramming and fine-tuning. At the same time DoP Jakob Stark wanted us to compose rotational dynamic camera shots. Keeping both ideas in mind, we ended up splitting the move in three parts.

The first two parts covered the song performance and the last part was the highlight of that shooting day. We rigged both cameras with spray guns which we could actuate externally. At the press of a button they continuously sprayed blue colour on UFO361’s clothes while he was spinning on a turntable.

The software we use to control the robot arm is able of playing audio files at the beginning of every move. Each individual part was synchronised with the corresponding part of the song. This gave us flexibility and more importantly the possibility to program the camera moves with the actual song.

Synchronising both robot arms was relatively easy, as each of them was equipped with an external trigger box. After both connect they can send or receive electrical impulses which then trigger motion.

Mastering the opening shot brought loads of challenges to our SFX team. Number one was safety. When UFO361 was submerged in the water the surface had to get sprayed with silver non-toxic paint, before he comes out again. Every part of the process had to be extremely carefully prepared. After trying out multiple rigging options our SFX team came up with a brilliant idea. They filled up a 12m2 sized rubber swimming pool and submerged UFO361 in the middle of it. With a prepared spray-gun they instantly coated the water surface with silver paint and in the next moment cut opened the side of the pool releasing all the water out.

For the rain-scene we built a 10 meter long rig with multiple nozzles which could release controlled amounts of water. Playing with the size of the nozzles brought us to the desired final result.

Inspired by Alexander McQueen’s historical presentation of his 1999 spring collection, “RYU” is a genre bending video which stands out on the German Hip-Hop landscape.

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