header photography by Kajetan Adler Jablonsky
We talked to Lucas from NotReal_Virtual, a Prague-based collective and studio, consisting of Lucas Saidl and Sebastian Baalbaki, who are focusing on digital content. Their work is a true firework of digital art and they create artificial fanciful worlds that tell fascinating stories generating deep human emotions and loosening boundaries of realities. In our interview they tell us more about their passion, the new cinematic video by Berlin based artist Josh Christopher aka WEIRDO and why they nevertheless love the offline world.
For people who are not so involved with the topic, can you briefly explain what you do?
Hey C Heads, I’m Lucas from NotReal_Virtual. We are a collective/studio focusing on digital content – meaning Augmented & Virtual Reality, 3D music videos, 3D commercials, VFX and more.
How did you meet and how did you come to start a collective?
At a certain point, I/we realised that big dreams require more people, so it was a no brainer to start building a collective to reach our goals. Me and Sebastian have known each other since we were kids, and I found and met the other colleagues in different places along the way, such as during our past work in Berlin and also the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.
Where does your love for digital content come from?
Cartoons, animated movies or series, computer games, movies etc. All of those mediums have always been fascinating and inspiring for us, so then we started to work on making our own.
How did you come to work with WEIRDO?
It started when our common Prague friend Lubos Rezler was directing WEIRDO’s last music video “Fakin“, and approached us to make a 30 second 3D part for it. That’s how we met WEIRDO and one year later, WEIRDO asked us if we would be up to make another video but this time mainly based on 3D storytelling.
WEIRDO - "TRANSCENDENCE"
The video “TRANSCENDENCE” is truly amazing! A visual firework of 3D art. How long did you work on it?
Thank you! It took 3 months from the moment WEIRDO approached us, but the production itself started later. We have spent a lot of time trying out different things and various ideas. Most of the time was spent on the technicalities and artistically defining & reaching the vision.
The video and song explores a broken relationship where love, betrayal, heartbreak and loss combine in an ethereal way. How did the concept for the story behind come about?
The song is a story, so one part was just about listening to it on repeat, getting into the song and asking WEIRDO about it and the broken relationship that inspired it. When approaching us, he provided an initial draft for the script, with his vision and a lot more ideas on the side. Then we spent over a month exchanging opinions and sending each other artworks and references to synchronise as much as possible.
What role does music play in your work?
Sebastian and I are also musicians, so music has a huge place in our hearts. While working, music becomes our fuel, accompanying us through the day and helping us with the tempo and nature of our job. That’s why we also enjoy making music videos, helping other artists to get their song or music across in a visual way.
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For your work you have to sit in front of the computer a lot. In my job to some extent it is the same. However I enjoy much more being in the „offline world“. How do you feel about that?
Of course the real world is more enjoyable! That’s why we mainly do stuff that wouldn’t be possible or at least would be too hard to do in the real world. That’s a part of what inspired our studio name: “NotReal_Virtual”. Also during work we try to do what we can physically: like sketching in the initial creative process or later on, using a physical camera rig to control the virtual camera, and when needed we record human animation with a motion capture suit. We like to work behind the screen, to provide a better experience to anyone out there, for when they are behind their screen!
What is the one creation of yours that you are most proud of so far?
We are most proud of all our recent work, and unfortunately most of it still hasn’t come out. But we often like to show people the Virtual club we created last year for Danny L Harle’s “Harlecore” album. You can watch here and here.
“Of course the real world is more enjoyable! That’s why we mainly do stuff that wouldn’t be possible or at least would be too hard to do in the real world.”
What fascinates you outside the digital world?
Music, Sports, Food and Culture – those are the things that keep us alive.
Where in Prague can you all be found on a sunny Saturday afternoon?
Skating, Biking, DJing or chilling with friends somewhere in the district of “Letna”. There is always some activity for us to take part in to clear our minds and collect some much needed energy for the next big upcoming project.
Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?
Continuing to help talented artists and meaningful brands to communicate their work alongside of course running our own brand & studio (smiles). We also have a video game and some other fun projects in the making. Hopefully all of our plans will come to fruition soon so that in 10 years, we will be working on newer ideas.
header image: LP Artwork by Liza Nagibina & PKTWIDZ
You can pre-order the LP/Mixtape on various formats here: thewonderfulworldofweirdo.bigcartel.com
screenshot WEIRDO - "TRANSCENDENCE"