Since I collaborated with Toni Poni on the music video for Fangoria’s Geometría polisentimental, I’ve practically worked with him in all the projects I’ve undertaken afterwards. Sometimes, people ask me what does Toni Poni do, exactly… Well, in all these projects he’s done a bit of everything: 3D composition, art, costume designing, production tasks and many other things. During a Terranova inauguration at the O premises, Txuso talked to me about a friend of his who was looking for someone he could ask some questions about Cinema 4D for something he wanted to do. So Toni Poni and I spent the whole time talking about the mysteries of 4D films. As usual, I had no idea of any of the things Toni Poni wanted to do. Some time later, for the Geometría polisentimental music video, I needed someone to help me cut and do some 3D stuff, and Emi suggested Toni Poni. I contacted him, explained what I wanted to do, and he said it seemed quite easy. I realised working with him would be perfect because, although we don’t really have a clue, he’s not afraid of touching stuff and always finds everything easy enough. And we’ve been together ever since, until this Lágrimas de cocodrilo music video, for which I told him to make a mummy with toilet paper, and he did it! Well, when I shoot the remake of The Mummy I hope Toni will make a perfect one, but, meanwhile, this one is good enough!!
This is an extract from the costume report that Toni made of the band. The report usually goes way beyond. It’s like sending a detective to spy them. There’s usually a psychological profile, and we see whether there’s any troublesome member of the band that might cause any hassle.
LÁGRIMAS DE COCODRILO
BY TONI PONI
Invoking Osiris, as everyone knows, is no easy task. When Papa Topo asked us to embark in this Egyptosophical adventure we thought it would be like sailing a boat down the Nile. But not all Gods were in our favour. We didn’t have the resources to digitally recreate Elizabeth Taylor. Fiona, chief of Production, didn’t allow us to build a pyramid with a thousand slaves because the budget was tight. That would have been the best thing to do! Still, it was clear that we needed a truly and unmistakable Egyptian element…
A Pharaoh’s sarcophagus would give the chic touch, Ptolemaic dynasty style, that people love so much. The path to the acquisition of the sarcophagus was full of traps and perils, like the inside of a pyramid, and in the end we didn’t manage to steal the one enclosed within the funerary chamber. But it didn’t matter all that much because Elo Salichs built a cardboard one and David Méndez Alonso decorated it like the Pharaoh’s court painters used to do.
The sarcophagus was a good idea, but we couldn’t just shoot three minutes of Adrià dancing with a sarcophagus. The possibility was tempting, and it sounded very experimental, but not too viable. Adapting the story of the song to the contemporary world was a great challenge when it came to storytelling. So we had Jane doing a selfie, something between the purest cinéma vérité and the hottest news, all done up.
For the professor’s temple-house, David thought the best would be a little palace or an empty flat. So we went for the second option directly and started looking for an empty flat. Finding such a trashy and able one in two minutes to place Osiris’ temple seemed impossible, but somehow Fiona was like, “you need an empty flat? Of course, follow me!”
The building, which was being refurbished, required some photograph-taking in order to evaluate its possibilities. “How Egyptable does this living room seem to you?” David’s vanity became clear by his wanting to appear on every snap we took when we were building the set. The owner of those flats was around and when he saw the sarcophagus and the wall paintings that David Méndez Alonso had made he asked him: “Can I take a picture?” David said yes, and posed beside the sarcophagus. The poor man said, “Oh, you want to be on it as well…” Something a bit embarrassing, but nothing too serious. The building worked and David had new photographs he could frame.
The day of the shooting started as expected: despite my infinite warnings and petitions for everyone to be punctual, Sonia’s 15-20 minutes late were insurmountable. I don’t blame her, we all have our limitations.
Mar Ordoñez was our snazzy Director of Photography. She appeared with a giant spotlight in a snazzy taxi. Everything seemed snazzy on that day! There was no lift, I should add. She brought all sorts of fantasy toys: prisms and crystals. With them, she added magical colour reflections to the image in many different ways.
The bow tie… Oh, no, there’s a bow tie missing for all the members of the band to be dressed the same! But the shops, at this time, haven’t even opened… I’m not sure how, but Marc, who came to help as assistant photographer (or something like that: put that fabric here, move this, change that…) ended up solving the bow-tie drama.
The mummy, without having done any tests before, was a real toilet-paper challenge. Although it’s a pity that on the video
If we decide to carry out these projects in such an impulsive manner, without a second thought, is because we can shoot them in 16mm and try anything we want. Mar Ordoñez, our Director of Photography, filled everything with coloured lights and brought crystals and lenses with which we were able to play for a long while.
On the first image we can see David Méndez Alonso painting the Ptolemaic temple, and on the second we see it already finished with our beloved sarcophagus that could hold up to three people!
Always paying close attention to details, we carried out an in depth research in order to build these atrezzo pieces. The idea was mixing the Ancient Egypt topics that any student of Egyptology might decorate his folder with, with the more mundane tastes of Papa Topo. That’s why you can see Chenoa, Lola Flores and Amaia Montero alongside the always-attractive Yul Brynner from The Ten Commandments.