Ong Ong, the penultimate track on Blur’s critically acclaimed new album The Magic Whip, has been given the Trunk Animation treatment by directors Layla Atkinson and Pete Mellor.
Blur’s Creative Director Tony Hung’s concept of a classic arcade game video required the animatic to be pinned down as quickly as possible.
Working with Hung, Trunk’s directors delivered it in just a couple of days, while the video was completed just seven days later, notching up only one killer all-nighter for the animation team.
Influenced by the classic games such as Mario Bros, Donkey Kong and Pac - Man, the video features the cute Mr OK, a bouncing ball which can be seen on the Ong Ong cover art, on a quest to be reunited with his girlfriend.
"The song is full of fun and is very catchy which lent itself perfectly to Tony’s arcade game theme," said Atkinson. "As a big fan of the look from those early video games it was great to research them and to recreate classic 8-bit games such as Pong and Astro Pinball”
"The colourful palette used and playful nature of the video perfectly mirrors the fun and pop feel of the song."
“Tony's inspiration basically came from wanting a visual language that was really happy, colourful and fun, and that led him to this classic computer game world,” explained Pete Mellor.
“We animated straight ahead in a traditional way, and then considered two options for the 8-bit/16-bit look,” he continued. “One was to pixelate each layer individually and the other was to add an adjustment layer over the top of the whole animation. Each one had its pros and cons but we eventually settled on adding the adjustment layer.”
“It's an effect that is native to After Effect - which I like - and no-one on the team had used it before - which I like even more - so we fiddled with the settings, and there you have it. Nothing too complicated, as we didn't have a lot of time to experiment!”
Keeping to the traditional game narrative, each level features a ‘Boss’ that our hero has to defeat.
The riotous live-action sequence at the end of the video identifies each Boss, characterised in digital form by Peepshow Collective’s Spencer Wilson.
Sussie Juhlin-Wallén was responsible for the costume design for the live action sequences where Damon Albarn (Mr. Cream), Graham Coxon (Mr. Brown), Alex James (Mr. Red) and Dave Rowntree (Mr. Black) enter and leave the ‘game zone’.