Placebo 'Jesus' Son' Music Video, Directed by Joe Connor: Edit process, behind the scenes & more

The Shoot, Edit and VFX of Placebo 'Jesus' Son' - Directed by Joe Connor

On the 7th October 2016 Placebo are set to release a 20-year retrospective album, ‘A Place For Us To Dream - 20 Years of Placebo’. Joe Connor was asked to direct the music video for the lead single; ‘Jesus' Son’, with Chief Productions handling the edit and VFX.


Placebo perform 'Jesus' Son' on the Sardinian beach

The music video for 'Jesus' Son' was shot on the uniquely beautiful coast of Sardinia. The final edit features an explosive performance from Placebo, cut with shots of traditional characters Boes and Merdules, finished off with VFX planets appearing in the background of select shots.

The music video was featured on 'Video Of The Day' and also caught the attention of ‘Promo News’ where it was featured along with some insight from Joe Connor himself.

I wanted to make something arresting, energetic and bold for them, something that reintroduced them but in true Placebo style; something that felt otherworldly, special and unseen.
— Joe Connor to Promo News

A portion of the music video was shot on Super 8 film, these shots were used for the introduction as well as being featured throughout the music video in order to add a grainy aesthetic, complimenting the Sardinian landscapes.

Still from the Super 8 footage

You can add this to a long list of estimable Placebo videos, but there’s also something of Anton Corbijn’s work with Depeche Mode in its cool mystery and use of locations.
— Promo News


Chief's Ian McLaughlin handled the edit

The edit for 'Jesus' Son' was handled by Chief's Ian McLaughlin. Starting off with longer slow-motion shots and proceeding to ramp up in intensity in line with the music, the video is cut rhythmically matching the ebb and flow of Placebo's latest single.

It was absolute pleasure to be asked to cut this video, Placebo are a band I’ve been a fan of since being a teenager. My initial brief from Joe was to create a sense of otherworldly atmosphere, but in a non linear way. I could be a little experimental and have fun with the edit, these are always the best briefs in my opinion.

I wanted to craft a musical edit, playing with pace and the emotion that the long sweeping steadicam shots convey. I wanted the video to be uplifting at times and yet quite dark in places. I love the authenticity and feeling that the under-scanned Super 8 gives, like some undiscovered film from by gone days. I think that it works really nicely in contrast to the stunning Alexa footage.
— Ian McLaughlin


Chief's Liam Rustill created the VFX planets for the music video

The final touch in the post production process, executed by Chief's Liam Rustill, was the addition of the VFX planets as a backdrop for many of the shots.

Placebo - Jesus’ Son was a great job to work on, I have a strong interest in space and planets it was great to mix this with the creativity captured within the Jesus’ Son edit.

I tried a few different compositing techniques using Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D. We decided to go for a faint milky appearance on the planets as we felt this added to the atmosphere of the video without drawing too much attention away from the band and the beautiful Sardinian landscape.
— Liam Rustill

To check out the full music video for Placebo's 'Jesus' Son', see below.

For more on Placebo's soon to be released album ‘A Place For Us To Dream - 20 Years of Placebo’ click here.

If you'd like to find out more about how Chief Productions can help with commercial production, music video production, and more, just drop us an email or call us on +44 (0) 161 832 6001.

Joe with Sardinian 'Boes'