In September 2020, I was asked by Cold Engines to direct a video for Big Bright Nothing, the final single for their concept album, The Last Resort, a rock opera based on Paul Verhoven’s sci-fi classic, Total Recall.
The song focuses on Quaid as he questions whether his efforts to save Mars, the resistance and Melina were real, or figments of his ego trip at Rekall.
Using the Tachyons+ Dreamweapon, I distorted the real-life landscapes of Mars, the Rekall machine, and scenes with Melina to depict Quaid’s delusions and create a love letter to die-hard fans of the film.
Glitching out panoramic images of the surface of Mars captured by the Perseverance Mars rover was perfect for the somber, slow sections of the song while splicing them with split-second visions of Melina.
I drew from the Rekall salesman’s pitch to create easter eggs for fans of the film. I processed simple, monospaced type with the Dreamweapon to reference the details of Quaid’s ego trip (A-17, "Get the girl", "Wherever you go, there you are") as the song built up to its climax.
In homage to key art from the film, the Dreamweapon made short work of turning simple sketches and PNG files into the iconic Rekall Machine.
"Kiss me, before you wake up"
In an interview for Typeset In The Future, Paul Verhoeven claimed that both the ego trip and the reclaimation of Mars were real and it's up to the audience to decide which they prefer. I decided to hint at the ego trip with a reference to a tv spot for the Rekall Corporation.