Found Studio Brought the Sun
The request was simple: all Take That asked for was the sun. For their latest single, “Let In The Sun,” they wanted a video that illustrated the central message of the song: to let the sun’s light shine into your life. According to Joe Binks of Found Studio, they were asked to “bring to life this idea of the sun, but bring it to life in an interesting and abstract way.” As soon as Found was awarded the job, they had just 48 hours to prepare and get ready to shoot the iconic band.
Take That came to prominence in the 1990s, paving the way for British Pop, and they’re still going 25 years later, continuing to create music for their fans, whether they’ve been with them since the 90s or found the band off recent hits. For Found it was a wonderful opportunity to work with names they’ve been familiar with for decades. “They’re icons of the British music scene,” says Joe. “We jumped at the chance to work with them.” In many ways, the question about that jump was “How high?” because now Found Studio had to bring the whole sun into the studio to illustrate the story that Take That is telling in their song.
The solution was to simulate a sunrise using a series of lights and a movable screen. During filming, the physical elements were only 40 feet wide, but using their visual effect magic, Found were able to extend the visuals and paint the impression of a horizon. “We wanted to keep it quite abstract,” explains Joe. “Narrative was never something we would default to.” Shirking the narrative, instead we get visual representations of the emotions that Take That is communicating with their music.
After their shoot with the band, Found reconvened to see what else they could bring to the piece. “Part of our thoughts were ‘do we need anything else?’ Instead of visualizing the sun coming to life in real environments, let’s actually give the sun a character,” says Joe, explaining that next conversation. “Let’s give it a force of its own. Let’s try to build on the idea of the sun bursting into the space.” The day after the shoot with the band Found went into a studio with all sorts of paraphernalia: fireworks, Dyson fans, a handful of macro lenses. For one effect they filled fish tanks with both salt and fresh water, creating a barrier between the two that was maintained thanks to the different densities of the solutions. Then they poured evaporated milk through the water, filming it at 200 frames per second. “We essentially made it up as we went along,” says Joe. “We spent a whole day in a studio, it was like a big science experiment.” The results are ethereal images that reflect the sun in feeling and abstract composition. Once they were intercut with the scenes of the band, the video was complete.
By creating abstract visualizations the sun, they were able to shrink it down just small enough to fit on a screen with one of the most consequential bands in English musical history. It's all in a day's work. Or three.