Dezeen Magazine

Fernando Lazzari's music video for Reid Willis combines natural and "supernatural" imagery

London-based director Fernando Lazzari combined 3D animation with 360 degree images of natural environments to develop a "unique universe" in the music video for Reid Willis' The Slow Knife (+ movie).

The Slow Knife by Reid Willis

Lazzari was keen to create an open narrative with the video, offering no explanation for the images and events in the movie to encourage the viewer to create their own story.

The Slow Knife by Reid Willis

"I like the idea that anyone watching it has their own interpretation," he told Dezeen. "There's not a very definitive story, but there are moods, a number of ideas and various processes and transformations."

"It plays around with having the structure of a traditional story, so hopefully the viewer creates his own thing," he added.

The Slow Knife by Reid Willis

The film begins from the perspective of an unidentified being that appears to be racing through a forest.

The video then cuts to a woman laying on the ground, and then a cloud of smoke appearing in mid air.

The Slow Knife by Reid Willis

The woman awakes, and finds herself stood next to a large spherical object that hovers in the air, with thousands of tiny objects swarming across its surface and orbiting around it.

She then walks back towards the forest, with a confetti-like stream of tiny objects following her and rising up around her feet. These objects begin converge, creating a tornado-like force which knocks her to the ground.

The Slow Knife by Reid Willis

The tornado of objects then shape-shifts into a human-like breakdancing figure, before retracting into a small cluster and disappearing.

Close ups of plants with streams of computer-generated objects flowing over them are slotted in between these scenes, and are intended to present the idea of "natural vs supernatural".

The Slow Knife by Reid Willis

To create these shots, Lazzari and cinematographer Charlie Herranz first captured 360-degree shots of the real environment and actress using an Arri Amira camera with a Zeiss Super Speed lens. He then created 3D renderings of the tiny swarming, streaming objects and the large sphere with animation software Cinema4D.

These elements were combined in 3D software using rotoscoping – a computer animation technique that combines live action footage with other images.

The Slow Knife by Reid Willis

"The track is very electronic, so in a way it's a bit contradictory that it all happens within a natural environment," said Lazzari. "But this relationship ends up creating a unique universe that is enhanced by the editing and the 3D elements."

Lazzari was contacted by electronic musician Reid Willis after he had seen his showreel. This is the second time the pair have collaborated, as Lazzari previously directed the video for his track Placed.

The Slow Knife – out now – is taken from Willis' The Sunken Half EP, which was released in 2013.