Music video: Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

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Hiro Murai uses thermographic camera to create dark Earl Sweatshirt music video

Music: Japanese director Hiro Murai used a thermal imaging camera and heat lamps to shoot the murky visuals in this music video for rapper Earl Sweatshirt's new single Grief.

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

Thermal imaging cameras record infrared radiation rather than visible light so that cold surfaces appear dark and warm objects appear light.

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

Los Angeles-based Murai used the technology to create a video in which American rapper Earl Sweatshirt and his entourage appear as spectral figures smoking and playing video games in a dark, claustrophobic world.

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

"The video is about cabin fever and the feeling of detaching from the environment and people around you," Murai told Dezeen.

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

Usually thermographic images have a colour map applied to them, which creates extremely vivid visuals full of reds, greens and blues.

However, Murai chose to keep his footage grayscale to create an atmosphere to match Earl Sweatshirt's sombre tone.

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

"I wanted the whole video to feel like you're wading through black oil," Murai explained. "The song has a thick, mucky production, so a lot of the specifics of the video derived from that."

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

The ghostly white glow of the human characters in the video is contrasted with a snake, which appears almost pitch black because of its cold blood.

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

Murai also introduced intense bursts of white light via hot objects such as a burning pan.

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

One of the most striking shots in the video features a girl with intensely bright glowing eyes as she emerges from a swimming pool. Murai achieved this by using cold water to reduce the actress' body temperature.

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

"The only surface of her body that's still emitting lots of heat are her eyes," he explained. "We calibrated our exposure to accentuate that look. When the water trickles into her eye it picks up the heat before rolling down her cheek."

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

Most of the static objects on Murai's sets emitted very little infrared radiation, so he used heat lamps to light the scenes.

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

"Everything was exposed by heat rather than light," Murai said. "So when we needed to see something that doesn't naturally emit heat, we used heat lamps to get exposure. In a lot of ways we had to disregard what we were seeing on set."

Music video for Grief by Earl Sweatshirt directed by Hiro Murai

Grief is the lead single taken from Earl Sweatshirt's new album I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside.