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MTV's best new artist, Tokio Hotel selects South African director

European Pop Rock sensation, Tokio Hotel, winner of Best New Artist at the American MTV Video Music Awards, selected South African director, Craig Wessels of Wicked Pixels to create the music video for their latest hit, ‘Automatic', a track off their soon to be released album, Humanoid.
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The music video premiered on MTV on Friday 4th September amongst much hype and anticipation from their millions of fans.

MTV reports on the new video: “Where do you go when you're one of the biggest rock acts on the planet, you've already jumped out of a helicopter, you roll deep in a Monster Truck, and your lead singer has a wax statue of himself? If you're Tokio Hotel, and you're too big for this world, then you reach for other worlds, and you go beyond the human race like (the band) do in their brand-new video, "Automatic," directed by Craig Wessels.

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Tokio Hotel's new "Automatic" video, off of their upcoming Humanoid album, is a big-league beast of a video. It's a legendary tale of astronomic proportions, with aesthetic references to The Matrix, Fritz Lang, Mad Max, Transformers, and Iron Giant. "Automatic" is the most moving robot story since Wall-E.

And this video was not cheap. (The band) flew to the remote deserts of South Africa - where they had no cell phone service, to shoot it. Tom broke a limited-edition guitar along the way. Was it worth it? Obviously. The bar has been raised.”

Just four days after release, the video was ranked as Youtube's “Top Viewed” video in over 10 countries, with over a million views. Being a large production for a famous band, Wicked believes this exposure is great for the South African industry as a whole.

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It was due to their international award winning work on TV commercials that Wicked Pixels was approached. Wicked Pixels has two directors in Finweek's 2009 Adreview ‘Top 10 Directors', based on the international awards circuit rankings, with Craig Wessels at no. 6. Craig's treatment and storyline was selected, and although the band management would have preferred to shoot in the USA, Wicked Pixels pushed for an all-South African production, including editing and post-production.

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Shooting took place at three remote locations in SA. In an interview in TeenVogue, Tokio Hotel's lead singer, Bill Kaulitz says of the video: "Shooting the 'Automatic' video three days in the desert was quite an adventure! It was in the middle of nowhere in Africa - no cell phone reception, no Internet, not even paved roads. But in return we got a location that was just unreal. I've never had such a good feeling after leaving a set. I knew it was right from the beginning. When I first read the video script (treatment) I knew this was exactly how I wanted to visualise our song 'Automatic'."

The video has an epic scale, including sweeping helicopter shots of classic muscle cars driving through beautiful desert landscapes. Wicked Pixels were also responsible for the animated robot scenes and originated the idea of incorporating Tokio Hotel's logo into the design of the robot's faces. It was this type of attention to detail that the band was looking for. The team of animation and VFX artists at Wicked Pixels came to the fore and, under extreme time constraints, delivered the beautiful, emotionally charged robotic sequences that are wowing audiences across Europe and the USA.

To view the video, click here.


Wicked Pixels' press office

Wicked Pixels
Wicked Pixels established their reputation as the most internationally awarded animation studio in South Africa.
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