A Pale Horse Named Death: A Glimpse Behind The Horse #3

This is our third post from director Aaron Beaucher on the making of the new A Pale Horse Named Death video “DMSLT.” An updated gallery follows.

We spent some time over the past week shooting some of our effects layers for the “DMSLT” video. As you will read below, the process is fairly involved but produces an interesting result; when layered with the original footage, it creates a corrosive, melting drip feel to the treated frame. We chose this effect to help visually represent the content of the track. The lyrics have a heavy focus on suicide and we wanted to convey that through a visual aesthetic as opposed to a narrative. As the video progresses, the effect builds and becomes more apparent. So what seems like a performance-based video actually has this visual thread tied in to enhance the performance and message.

The first part of the process is to select the areas in the edit where the effect will take place and select source images that you can import into Photoshop. We then play with the saturation, levels, and channels of the image to get a solid film negative feel from the highlights and mid-tones. From there, we print the images onto transparency film, spray acetone over the ink, and film the process as it dissolves and washes the image away.

In this Behind the Scenes YouTube clip, you can see a quick test shot we did using Sal’s face. Depending on the amount of acetone used along with coverage (spray, drip, pour), the effect can be completely different each time, yielding a very organic result. We’re looking forward to getting some of these shots mixed in and will share some final composites in our next Glimpse Behind the Horse.