Watch the exclusive new video from Moby
Moby has released the music video for his latest single, “Lie Down in Darkness,” featuring an old Russian cosmonaut looking back on his time in outer space, in an exclusive Wired premiere. The music video, directed by Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull (Institute for Eyes) was shot in London last month.
“We really liked the idea of an old astronaut in a modern city contrasted with the astronaut in his youth travelling to space,” he added.
The team worked hard to research the video, drawing inspiration from Yuri Gagarin biography Starman. They were particularly interested in the partners of cosmonauts and astronauts. “They have an interesting dichotomy: On one hand they are really proud that their other half is going into space, but there is also this great fear,” said Seomore. “This idea is explored within the music video. Similarly the astronauts have a great sense of pride but at the same time isolation, because so few people have had the same experience.”
Seomore and Bull went to great pains to find an actor with a strong enough face. “There were loads of actors who looked like dads out of butter adverts,” said Seomore. “Keith [Chanter] walked in and he felt like someone important. The funny thing is that he was actually very posh English. He’d be in the car talking in long monologues saying things like [in a plummy English voice], ‘It’s a funny old game, acting.’”
The team shot the video around London over two days in locations including South Bank and a swimming pool in Walthamstow that opened in 1968 and has all of the original fittings, giving it “a Soviet feel.”
They managed to source a real space helmet, which had to be modified to ensure that it no longer formed a vacuum around the wearer’s head. Without the air supply that would be used in space, it would otherwise have had a suffocating effect on the actor. They also sourced primitive ’60s computers and shot using uncoated lenses to give it a retro feel.
The edit was simple, but the post-production was relatively complicated because the team was keen to replicate the effects of ’60s space footage. “We wanted it to look like the footage from the original space flights where they had primitive video cameras that distorted the image to look like really grainy CCTV,” said Seomore.
Moby took a hands-on role when it came to post-production, offering quite a bit of feedback to the directing duo. “We were pretty harmonious most of the time,” said Seomore, “although he was keen to emphasize the contrast of how the ‘old’ footage was graded versus the ‘modern’ footage, whereas we wanted to keep it a bit ambiguous.”