After the likes of Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and David Fincher, the stigma that once came with the idea of music video directors moving into the feature world has now disappeared, and it’s seen as an effective training ground for directors, even if most of those who move into the cinematic world are closer to the Michael Bays and Dominic Senas of the world. Amidst a very ambitious Cannes slate (also including the now Jack White-aided Kinks musical “Schoolboys in Disgrace“), British production company Warp Films have announced that they’re going to help a group of the most talented directors in the field to make their big-screen debut.
ScreenDaily report that Shynola, the collective of visual artists who’ve been behind some of the most striking clips of the last decade including work for UNKLE, Radiohead, Blur, The Rapture and Beck, will make their feature debut with Warp for an adaptation of “The Red Men,” a sci-fi novel from Matthew Di Abaitua. The trio, made up of Chris Harding, Richard Kenworthy and Jason Groves (they were a foursome until the sad death of original member Gideon Baws in 2008), actually bought the rights to the novel, which was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke prize, back in 2007, but it’s taken this long to get the thing moving — Di Abaitua’s blog reveals that they delivered a script to him last year.
The plot is set in the near future and involves Nelson, a former radical journalist who now works for Monad, one of the world’s biggest corporations. He’s put in charge of Redtown, a virtual city inhabited by the Red Men of the title, copies of real people, used in order to simulate various disasters and diseases. But Nelson comes to suspect that there are more malevolent motives behind the scheme.
It sounds like ambitious, thoughtful sci-fi of the kind that’s rarely made these days. And as you’ll see from the clips below, we’re expecting Shynola to come up with some unique visuals for the project, which seems to have the shortened title of “Redmen“. The trio aren’t total strangers to cinema, either, having worked on some visual aspects of Garth Jennings‘ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” as well as creating the top-notch title sequence for Edgar Wright‘s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” It’s one of a host of projects being developed by Warp Films, so there’s no guarantee that it’ll get going any time soon, but we certainly hope it does.
The Rapture – “House of Jealous Lovers”
Coldplay – “Strawberry Swing”
Radiohead – “Pyramid Song”