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Pink-haired fugitive detonates a “love bomb” in Kris Merc’s music video for James

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Music: American director Kris Merc has created an animated tale of a hooded outlaw on a mission for English rock band James’ To My Surprise music video.

James To My Surprise video by Kris Merc_dezeen_sqb

The film starts by following a mysterious hooded figure, as it moves around city walls surrounded by brightly lit advertisements and giant pills rolling down slides.

James To My Surprise video by Kris Merc

As the figure progresses, the animation shows people scrolling through images on tablet devices, individuals fighting, and dogs and cats confronting each other in alleyways.

James To My Surprise video by Kris Merc

The surrounding city occasionally resembles New York, but according to Merc the environment is meant to represent “a metaphorical crossroads” rather than a specific place.



“It’s about the culture of war and violence, and in that regard it can be any place that is struggling with this,” he said. “We’ve been saying it reflects modern society in a hyper-real, borderline dystopic way.”

James To My Surprise video by Kris Merc

The hooded individual is chased by drone cameras floating overhead and policemen in gas masks, while the action is overseen by a sinister-looking politician.

James To My Surprise video by Kris Merc

The main character reaches what appears to be a weapons factory and reveals herself as a girl with bright pink hair. She uncovers a giant missile, which she fills with pink liquid from a test tube.

James To My Surprise video by Kris Merc

“I really wanted to have a powerful female protagonist,” Merc told Dezeen. “I wanted someone who was a bit of a ninja, and there would be a bit of mystery surrounding them, their journey being something you realise as the story unfolded.”

James To My Surprise video by Kris Merc

“We did a lot of character design to explore and understand what makes this character special,” he added. “We explored a lot of form, and it was important not to over-sexualise the character.”

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