Surround Video Introduces Rihanna at the AMAs
Surround, led by directing team Brad and Brian Palmer, created the 90-second-long video that honored Rihanna, the recipient of the first-ever Icon Award, for Sunday night's American Music Awards.
"The video needed to capture the scale of an artist like Rihanna, so this was about designing a lot of information to fit a single frame," said Brad. "She's the best-selling digital artist of all time; she has a tremendous presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; her YouTube channel is widely watched. To process all of this, we recreated certain imagery – forming a visual timeline of her career – and collaged the elements."
"Working at the convergence of graphic design, live action, and animation, we're always playing with how a certain moment is defined through motion," Brian added. "This piece could be called graphic design and it could be called animation … by operating in both the physical world and further manipulating footage digitally, we blur the boundaries." Brad said he was "excited to put Surround's techniques in front of such a large audience."
Brad and Brian have a longstanding relationship with Rihanna, which abated any anxiety during the AMAs. "We've become part of her team, so we think more about what we can bring to the table instead of being nervous," Brian said. "She's a very grounded individual – she's not interested in the pedestal and maybe that's why she's there."