BlinkMyBrain | Pepsi Black X Leah Dou

January 23rd 2019

Final Frontier and director BlinkMyBrain collaborated with Vice to create an animated behind-the-scenes mash-up for superstar Leah Dou’s latest music video.

As part of the release of the video for Dou’s "A Swim in the Love that You Give Me”, Vice interviewed the star about the story behind the song, enlisting BlinkMyBrain to charge the storytelling with psychedelic visuals. 

VICE senior creative Ray Fu explains, “The song was very unique and we didn't want to approach this as a typical BTS. We wanted to focus more on the story behind the music and this was a rare opportunity to sit down with the creator to find out their method.”

The video crackles as though shot on vintage film, with luminous animation of pigs, monkey and assorted surreal imagery overlaid.  Fu says, “We felt that animation was the right medium to bring to life Leah's creative process in an abstract way.”

Created in association with Pepsi Black, the original music video, directed by the Mundo Sisters, is a surreal effort befitting the ethereal trip-hop beat and lyrics.  Pepsi launched both the music video and behind-the-scenes film on Weibo at the end of December.

Final Frontier executive producer Chris Colman explains, “Postproduction for a behind-the-scenes film isn't our typical type of project, but the chance to work with Vice for a multi-talented artist like Leah was too good to miss.  Once we received the brief, we immediately knew it was perfect for a rock star director like Ariel.”

BlinkMyBrain is the alias of animator, designer and director, Ariel Costa. The Brazilian has previously created music videos for rock and metal icons like Led Zeppelin, Green Day and Mastodon.  Describing his vision for the project, he explains, “The music was a great inspiration; the original footage already had this surreal vibe and I thought it could be really interesting to represent that graphically.”

Fu adds, “Ariel’s aesthetic really stuck out to us. He has a dynamic style that singles out powerful images that bring energy and expression. We felt that was right for the story aspects and the creative embodiment of what Leah wanted to express with the song.”

Dou has become one of China’s biggest music stars in recent years.  Initially best known as the daughter of icons Faye Wong and Dou Wei, Leah began to gain widespread attention via online releases in 2015, going on to be named QQ New Female Artist Of The Year the following year.  Despite her mainstream success, she stands out from her contemporaries.  Her self-written songs, sung in English, are inspired by her love for ‘90s trip-hop artists like Zero 7 and Massive Attack and flavoured with multiple musical influences from Chinese strings, bossa nova, jazz and folk.  She takes an active creative role in most of her music videos.

Ray Fu adds, “The team at Final Frontier was very professional, their ability was top notch, and they were the glue to all of this, bringing the talent and logistics to make it happen. Ariel immediately got what we wanted to express and over-delivered on all our expectations”, concluding that, “Everyone was extremely pleased with the outcome, from the client, to Leah, to the creative team.  We are proud that we successfully told the story behind the song in a majestic way.”

BTS Credits:

Client: Pepsi Black X Leah Dou

Creative Agency: Virtue

Senior Creative: Ray Fu

Agency Business Lead: Bradley Hopkins

Creative Producer: Damo Yang

DP: Steveo Sheng

Cam B / Fixer: Kargo Chen

Production Company: FINAL FRONTIER

Executive Producer: Chris Colman, Gustavo Karam

Assistant Producer: Stacey Lu

Director: BlinkMyBrain

Sound Production: Cachorro Loco