As digital technology advances, the lines between reality and virtual reality become increasingly obscured. And while this trend has spawned some disturbing results, the team at Auckland-based production company Mr Señor has twisted it into something creative by developing an entire music video using footage from Grand Theft Auto V.
Muckmouth art director Leighton James Dyer says that the idea came about when he visited Los Angeles last year to see his friend Bradley Hanan Carter, who fronts the Echo Park-based band No.
"We were in LA ... on the same day the game was released. While having a look at the game, we realised that Echo Park features in it, and this got me thinking. I then told Bradley that we could build a version of him in the game and use it in a music video," says Dyer.
Dyer says that the idea resonated with the musician, who then gave him the go-ahead to bring it to life.
"After flying back to Auckland, I started working on the project. It took five months in total, and I had to collaborate with my brother in England and director Johnny Agnew throughout the whole process. All the explosions and mayhem in the video were carefully orchestrated within the game," says Dyer.
"We used special recording devices to capture high-definition footage of the game, and along the way, we realised cool things like the fact that the character's mouth responded when we spoke into the gaming microphone. So, this caused us to sing all the way through the recording of the video."
By the end of the production process, Dyer says that Carter was delighted with video and allowed for the art director to distribute it through Machinima. And this seems to have been a smart move, in the sense that it has increased the band's exposure.
With over 260,000 views on YouTube (at the time of writing), the video produced by the Auckland-based team has proved far more popular than any other versions of the song available online.
Director, concept, producer: Leighton Dyer
Director, editor, in-game cinematographer: Johnny Agnew (www.mrsenor.co.nz)
Real-life cinematographer: Sam Gezari (www.samgezari.com)
In-game assistants: Joshua Newman and Dion Schmidt