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Directed and animated by UK-based animator, cinematographer, and director Karl Poyzer (Floaters), ‘The Mirror’ is a fully-CG music video for Ital Tek’s The Mirror from his album Time Proof. It was released by Amsterdam-based HOUSE OF PANIC (collaboration label of THE PANICS) working with music label PLANET MU.

Stemming from a modest animation test, Poyzer developed an extensive, architecturally-focused sci-fi world that took inspiration from eclectic a range of references such as French neoclassical architect Étienne-Louis Boullée and Japanese manga artist Tsutomu Nihei. From these humble beginnings, the project kept growing over the space of six months. As it began to feel more and more like the basis of a music video, it prompted Poyzer to reach out to UK-based electronic musician Ital Tek from Brighton. When Ital Tek sent over his track ‘The Mirror’, Poyzer immediately knew he had found the perfect fit for his design-led visuals.

Director’s Vision for ‘The Mirror’

It was an interesting thing putting this one together. At first it was just a single shot but I thought it might be nice to explore the world and design language a little further. Over the space of maybe six months I just kept coming back to it when I had time, and ultimately started making something that felt like it could be a music video. I had toyed with maybe making some of my own music – something I occasionally do in my spare time badly – but it was actually someone on Twitter who put me in contact with Ital Tek and his label Planet Mu. I just sent him a DM and he suggested the track, which I agreed
fit excellently.

Tonally, I wanted the viewer to feel like they were discovering something abandoned and unfinished – structures built for a society who would never experience them. I enjoyed moving through the scenes, seeing how they looked under different light, from different angles and through different lenses. Each scene had its own personality and it was my job to find the best way to photograph it, virtually. One of the great things about working in 3D is the freedom with which you can move a camera, lights and iterate. As a cinematographer – my day job – it can be frustrating when you are severely limited by where you can put lights or camera, or how much time you have to do it. I find animation gives me an outlet that is not limited by budget and location in the same way. ‘The Mirror’ was an exercise in putting cameras and lights wherever I wanted, like the ego-maniac I am!

Most of the scenes were rendered in a single pass using Blender, and then edited in DaVinci Resolve, so there was little need for compositing. I have said this on past projects too but these two free softwares alone have made a massive impact on my professional life. Blender in particular has such a rich community of people producing free tutorials and plugins that really makes learning new stuff about as easy as it can be.