We’ve seen plenty of bands and musical artists do videogame inspired music videos over the years but the video for Architecture in LA, the new single by Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble, is something different. Created by Glasgow based 3D artist, director and sound designer Danny Grant, the video for the latest song from Woomble draws not from games themselves but games technology – specifically, Unreal Engine.
Grant made the video using Unreal, which he taught himself from scratch at the beginning of the first lockdown in March last year. Armed with some premade assets and Blender, Grant set about building an island environment loosely based on the Hebrides, where Woomble recorded the song.
The music video for Architecture in LA by Roddy Woomble, made with Unreal Engine and Blender.
The result is an otherworldly space where nature, retro technology and mythical stone structures coexist and where a sort of fabric, cross-stitched figure dances along to Woomble’s words. The video begins with some trippy processed clips of Woomble and singer Jill Lorean lip-syncing before opening out into a beautifully lit 3D environment that’s gradually revealed through a series of carefully choreographed camera angles.
Despite developing the video in an entirely digital setting, Grant says the technology allowed him to closely replicate his usual filmmaking process in the real world.
“I set everything up so I could wander round the island in VR and scout for shots, which added an enjoyable element of experimentation. Some of the shots were filmed using the take recorder while I controlled the VR camera, which gives a handheld feel that I really like. Takes were roughly assembled in the Unreal sequencer, then rendered for final editing and post production.”
As well as allowing creators to keep making creative and engrossing music videos during lockdown, Grant says that games technology like the Unreal Engine could be a fantastic option for DIY filmmakers going forward.
“Game engines are an amazing creative tool and a game-changer for DIY directors like myself. I’m used to being very limited by budget, access to location,crew, lack of production design etc. With Unreal I am only limited by my imagination and technical chops, and I can’t wait to continue learning and experimenting.”
“Architecture in LA” is the first single from Roddy Woomble’s upcoming album Lo! Soul, which releases on 21 May 2021.
Learn more about Danny Grant’s work via his Instagram.