PLASTIC ZOO TALK LIIMA - TEXT LUKE TIERNEY
PLASTIC ZOO ARE LUKE BATHER AND NICHOLAS WOOD. Got that? The Manchester-based duo have pretty crazy ideas that they make into music videos; so far so good. With Pulse keeping an eye on them we're expecting more of the, bizarre, same from this self-depricating "pair of morons" (their words) who we're sure the industry are going to get on with famously. For Liima it's all about the tense start keeping your eyes locked matched only by the unexpected end.
Check out their site for more work, or just have a read of the below to get to know them: http://www.plasticzoo.co.uk
WORD IS CHEAP: The idea fits the music so well, did it come to you straight away?
Luke Bather - Well we listened to the track separately but when we got together to have a chat about it, it turns out we’d both been thinking about tunnels as a location. There are a lot of percussive sounds in the first few seconds of the track that sound to me like they could have been made by something off in a cave in the distance so it all kind of fell into place from there really.
Nick was keen on the idea of including a washing machine somehow, but I think that’s just a phase he’s going through right now. Then we decided the best way to diffuse all that horror and tension would be with a little boy on a trike. Of course.
we bought a big piece of lino flooring that was a similar colour to the ground and dragged me along on that. It was horrifically thin though, so all agony in my face in the video is genuine
WIC: How do you feel directing in a duo helps your process?
Nicholas Wood - It works for us. We both act as enabler and turd filter to each other. It's nice to have someone to run you a deep bath when you think you're onto a good idea. We're like John and Ringo in that sense.
WIC: Luke, how did you feel about cameo'ing in the video? Were you really dragged across the floor?
LB - I felt like I couldn’t reasonably ask anybody to suffer that amount of pain for a fleeting cameo. I already felt bad enough that Craig (Sinclair, our lead actor) spent the whole day in just his underwear.
We were all set to just drag me along on the floor, but when we got there for a recce we realised that the ground was made up entirely of huge chunks of ballast. So we bought a big piece of lino flooring that was a similar colour to the ground and dragged me along on that. It was horrifically thin though, so all agony in my face in the video is genuine.
WIC: You work with animals and children to great affect, would you again?
NW - Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, what will we do when we need another little boy or maybe a donkey for something in the future? We can't not hire a child or animal can we? They both get a pretty bad rap anyway, but they'll wilfully oblige to help once you've piqued their interest. Give Haribo to a dog, throw a stick for the boy, that kind of thing. They were the least challenging things about the video to be honest.
WIC: Where did you get such a freaky prop head from?
LB - A mysterious man in the Czech Republic makes these masks that are incredible. I’m not even kidding. Then we got our friend Isadora Darke to turn the mask into a fully-fledged decapitated head.
WIC: What was the biggest problem you had to overcome on the shoot?
LB - Keeping Craig warm/alive between takes was pretty challenging. He spent about 7 hours in just his underwear on a cold, wet February day in the middle of Oldham. Rob (Jelley, producer) did a great job of hugging him and wrapping him up in foil blankets like a big filthy burrito. He’s still alive so I think we did OK.
NW - Yeah, a big thank you to the makers of foil blankets everywhere. Keeping stuff dry was tough. We had a big fireworks display planned for the end, but the wrong ones got delivered, then they got a bit wet and wouldn't light, so we ended up with a display worthy of a New Year's Eve in Kidderminster.