What was the initial reaction to your treatment of making a rocket and launching your baby in it for Kodaline’s music video Say Something?
I pitched the idea to management expecting them to laugh about it and say ‘yeah right, no thanks.’ When they jumped at the idea I realised I had made a huge mistake, as I now had to deliver. Thankfully, an incredible baby and the team across Ireland, the UK and India made it all possible.
Obviously making a video starring your own 10-month old baby has its own certain challenges – or was it all a breeze? What did you bribe her with?
The general building stuff was a breeze as she just went at it and loved all the new things we were throwing at her. The opening and cockpit scenes were more of a challenge. We also filmed the spacewalk scene a couple of times as we kept getting things wrong. She was a joy to work with though. Very professional, very intense. The cookie was helpful. We also used to amp her up before takes.
To what extent did the scenario evolve in the edit – were you ever worried that you didn’t have enough of the right footage?
Yeah, we were lucky in that sense that we were living on set. I was editing as we went and making sure we were covered. Things like the toy rocket at the start, that was a drawing in the original but it was too tricky to film, or her wheeling the rocket out. We were going to have my dog drag it out but that was just mayhem so we adapted with the rolling toys. The post stuff was also a bit trial and error. Getting the angles right with the miniature was fun/hell. Again, having the ability to adjust things, as we sent then to Mirriad (Post), was super helpful.
How was it editing the post and animation from afar?
It was probably the trickiest aspect. We had a vision for how space should look and Kitty Moss (my wife and mega illustrator) was feeding the Mirriad team different elements as we went. It had to be a nice balance between deep space and childlike so it was tricky doing that remotely with the time constraints, but everyone played a blinder.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Bob Corish (bobcorish.com), a friendly giant with white hair, built the ship and cockpit. Himself and Kitty (kittymoss.com) designed all the bells and whistles off basic instructions from me. Definitely worth checking their work out. It was a very ambitious idea to pull off in a couple of weeks while stuck at home but they were amazing collaborators. We all swamped beers and watched the Elon Musk rocket sail overhead on the day of wrap which was also fun.
Website: Stevie Russell
Director – Stevie Russell
Baby – Willow Russell
Art Department – Kitty Moss + Robert Corish
VFX & CGI Creation: Rajasekhar P, Managing Director India – Mirriad