How we shot 70 music videos in 3 hours
London, UK
World
Chess Gala
The invisible drama of a chess match
If there is one sport that instantly evokes a sense of dignity, it's undoubtedly chess. Two players silently sitting at a table for several hours straight is not exactly the most visually arresting performance (at least for a non-chess person) — and it's probably this seeming lack of action, the drama that remains invisible to the outsiders, that makes a chess match special.
An interactive space for the opening party
The 2018 edition of the World Chess Championship took place in London, and the night before the tournament Victoria & Albert Museum hosted a very fine black-tie opening party. The organizers invited us to create an interactive space where the guests could act silly — yet in style — and dance in front of a camera, and get a shareable video (that looks suspiciously like a professional music video) some hours later.
A personal music video for every guest
We wanted the guests to go through something new and special; something that hadn't happened to them before, no matter how exciting their lives are. We wanted them to feel like they're on set – on set of a movie – and not as a bystander, but as the lead. The guests would stand in front of the wall covered with chess-themed videos, they'd be surrounded by a film crew, and the director would instruct them what to do – so that they feel comfortable and act naturally. (Which is admittedly hard when there's a crowd watching right next to you.) The resulting videos portrayed them as though in a different reality, largely created by the abstract, illusionary background.
Why did it look the way it looked
For the design of the space we borrowed a lot of ideas from the visual language of chess (not surprisingly), and threw in plenty of Esher-inspired optical illusions to follow the Surreal Ball theme of the evening. The vastly acclaimed identity of the championship developed by Shuka Design (our fellow countrymen) served as a separate inspiration.
How it looked in real life
Credits
Director & Executive Producer Denis Astakhov
Director's Assistant Dmitry Pavlov
Art Director & Motion Designer Anton Novosad

Filming Crew
Executive Producer Steve Bliss
1st Unit DOP Evgeny Arkhipov
2nd Unit DOP John Fisher
1st AC Gary Long
2nd AC James Tylyard
Playbacker Finn Sheriton
Editors Tim Beeston, Anton Arkhipov
Gaffer Matt Howey Nunn

Technical Production Bespoke Events

Case Study Video
Camera OPs Seth Finegold, Poppy Rogers
Editing Anton Arkhipov
Score waveme.pro
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