Earlier this year Jamie xx released the music video for his song "Gosh." It was directed by French filmmaker Romain Gavras and it featured a main character, 17-year-old Hassan Kone who's albino, some albino Chinese kids, and 400 blonde-haired teenagers marching, running, and doing synchronized dancing in the suburb of Tianducheng in Zhejiang Province, China.
Tianducheng is known for having a replica Eiffel Tower (and Champs Élysées) and being an imitation Paris, as it was built to attract wealthy Chinese tourists. For various reasons it failed as a tourist attraction and is now a bit rundown and has a dwindling population. Being a Paris native Gavras thought it would be an intriguing setting for the music video, which was created without any CGI or 3D FX.
“Most of the time I felt like I was on acid, basically,” Gavras told Dazed about the town. “You walk out on the street and you’re in fake Paris and you have Chinese kids saying hello. The whole thing is very fucking meta, very weird, and very confusing.”
In a recently released making of video directed by Kim Chapiron the vast planning behind the video is revealed. With a cast of 400 extras at times it seems like they're filming an old-school Hollywood epic. Except the extras like to hang out in karaoke bars when they're not filming.
The 400 teenagers (which they recruited from a Shaolin school) all had to have their hair dyed and go through hours of training to ensure they all marched and danced in unison. While the near-deserted suburb looks not like a real place where people live, but a giant movie set.
Check out the making-of below.