Video: Night of the Nihilist

Soviet-era propaganda meets indie punk in this music video for Mexican Radio.

Berlin-based synth-punk band Mexican Radio asked me to create their debut music video:

Video directed, shot, animated, edited and coloured by Ray Wassef

As the visual introduction to the band, the trio (Nathaniel, Dyan, and Johannes) needed their audiovisual debut to tick a few boxes:

  • performance video first, concept video second
  • showcase the band stage uniforms (the band also has uniforms for soundcheck and street promo)
  • feature the band’s logo and colour scheme
  • should be shot in the band’s real-life bunker headquarters in North-East Berlin
  • portray (literally or otherwise) the song’s subject: the Russian nihilist movement from the 1860s and the assassination attempt on Tsar Alexander II

Throw into the mix:

  • the band’s visual references (some really low-fi, nasty-looking punk rock videos)
  • my visual references (Russian propaganda and Constructivist poster art)
  • the “Hi! My Name Is” aesthetic question : did the band want “real” punk, or “David LaChapelle X Sonic Youth” punk?

Re-Constructivist Music Video

We had a lot of fun recreating iconic Communist propaganda poster designs from Russia and China (authentic and homage alike). Nathaniel, Dyan and Johannes were absolutely game, and placing real trust in me to pull this off:

VFX Tests

Throughout post production, I kept the band updated with my motion design process. It not only proved a great way to keep the group excited about how their music video was progressing, but it also helped me in developing the final look of the final video: