Coldplay made their anticipated video return this month and unveil the ground-breaking new video to blissful summer lament, ‘Strawberry Swing’, exclusively on Babelgum. The Shynola-directed video sees Chris Martin play an animated superhero in a larger-than-life world drawn entirely in chalk.
Fans had the opportunity to see the video for the first time ever on Babelgum and on the iPhone application (featuring this video plus Coldplay’s video back catalogue, a news feed and game), on July 20th.
‘Strawberry Swing’ will be released on Parlophone as a digital download on September 14th. The video, commercially available from August 3rd, will also be given a theatrical premiere in front of 'Brüno' and 'The Proposal' at ODEON cinemas across the UK from July 22nd.
Jason Groves from Shynola gave Babelgum an insightful interview as he talks us through the video...
Where did the name Shynola come from?
Shynola are a group of friends who met at Art College, then somehow fell into the music video world. The name comes from an expression that we encountered in the Steve Martin film ‘The Jerk’: "you don't know shit from Shinola," (Shinola being a widely used brown shoe polish in pre war USA). In our youthful naivety, we imagined that we were Shinola, and everyone else was shit. Now, of course, we know that Michel Gondry is Shinola and that we're shit.
How did you come up with the concept for the video?
The concept evolved from a quite different idea. In our first revision, we pitched an idea based on stories nested within stories. We gradually whittled away all the other bits and were left with the little fairytale in the middle.
Talk us through how you created the video.
We shot it in sunny LA. It was great to get away from London and be in the sunshine for a while. The drawing was incredibly laborious. By the end, the tips of my fingers were all numb and I had worn a weird dent into one finger. They still feel a little odd now, weeks later. However, our discomfort was nothing compared to the uncomfortable poses we made Chris Martin hold for long tortuous minutes. He has pretty good core body strength - imagine having to stay straight as an arrow, balanced on a small skateboard at your waist... It was all pretty nerve-wracking. Shynola has always been 4 people, but late last year our friend and colleague Gideon died suddenly after contracting a virus. So now we are 3 and not so sure of ourselves anymore. On top of that, we hadn't made a music video in 4 years. So here we were, rusty, plunging into a technically difficult shoot, one man down, and it's for the biggest band on the planet! Luckily, we had a great producer, and the label seemed more confident than us that everything would be great. And, as it happened, it was.
Is the princess based upon anyone in particular?
The princess is inspired by characters from Winsor McCay's Little Nemo. Originally I designed the girl to look 6yrs old - about Nemo's age, but it was pointed out to me that it might seem a bit strange for Chris Martin to be kissing a child. So she grew up a little.
Why the evil squirrel?
We've placed bad squirrels in several of our previous music videos. I wish I knew what was behind it. Maybe one of us has a terrible squirrel incident buried in our subconscious.
Have you interesting stories from the shoot to relay to fans?
Chris Martin didn't seem to pay attention to our little instructional films showing him his movements for the next shot. Nervous glances would pass between us as he blithely said "yep, yep, got it." He didn't want to rehearse either. Absurdly though, he was perfect first time, every time. He has a great memory for movement and good body control. The lengthy handstand he did for one of the shots was unrehearsed and unscripted. We hadn't dared to think that kind of shot was possible (especially in the beginning of the pitching process when we were considering Jack Black for the acting part). On the day we did our wardrobe fitting, Chris nervously came out of the dressing room wearing the superhero costume and told us that he was out of his comfort zone and couldn't really judge how he looked. He looked at us for reassurance and all I can remember thinking was: "Oh my god, we've dressed him like a clown." Luckily, it looked great on camera, and he made the costume look amazing.
Click here to watch the video for Coldplay's new single 'Strawberry Swing'... you can discuss the single release and review the video at the Coldplay forum here onwards. Please also rate this video in our new here as well! [thanks iPsy & svenky]
Here are some stills from the video...