Señor Coconut is a unique and long-standing Latin music project by the electronic music prodigy, Atom Heart. His recently released album, “Around the World,” gathered a lot of attention for his Latin remakes of tracks by Prince and Eurythmics. PingMag had the opportunity to witness the shooting of Señor Coconut’s music clip. The studio was bustling with activity in a collaborative effort between Atom and the stylish and exotic performance unit ROMANTICA!
Written by Hajime Oishi
Photos by Gra (Graphic Manipulator)
Translated by Natsumi Yamane
With the kind cooperation of Third-Ear
The music video that was shot on that day was for a cover of “Da Da Da” by a German New Wave band Trio. And incidentally, this had been apparently the first time Atom made a proper music video in Japan.
12:00 Arrive at the Studio
It was noon when we arrived at the studio in Tokyo. Everyone was busily moving around under the instruction of the director Yoshimitsu Umekawa, the editorial director Munechika Sasao and the producer of ROMANTICA, Makiko Hayashi. The members of ROMANTICA were also busy doing their make-up and fitting their costumes!
From left to right, the producer Makiko Hayashi, the editorial director Munechika Sasao and the director Yoshimitsu Umekawa.
And a table filled with an assortment of vibrant props.
The session first started with the shootings of the props. Straws and miniature umbrellas were beautifully arranged in 50s vintage Tiki cups.
12:40 Atom Heart Arrives
The studio took on a shady atmosphere as the illuminated sign of “Ecstasy” was put up, and it was then that Atom Heart, dressed in a brown suit, made his appearance into the studio! He exchanged pleasant greetings with the team and immediately went into a brief meeting. As he checked the storyboards in advance, Atom seemed satisfied, saying “Yes, it’s interesting.” Atom and ROMANTICA, who have previously performed together in Japan, obviously had a trusting relationship.
The mysterious lights of “Ecstasy” neon.
Atom and a team member in a keepsake photo.
In the meantime, the shootings of props proceeded steadily. Yoshimitsu and Munechika, were checking the images in the monitor and regularly made slight adjustments to the positioning and lighting; patiently looking for scenes with the best balance.
A skull-shaped cup and…
… fruit on a pedestal.
14:00 Performers Finally Get Together!
Atom, who was having a chat while watching the music video of “Matsuken Samba,” gets changed into a white suit and as the three ROMANTICA girls in bikinis join him, the studio becomes breathtaking. First, the overhead view of Atom and ROMANTICA lying down. The team shoot several patterns from different angles as they check the well-groomed Atom and glamorous ROMANTICA, posing to the music of “DA DA DA” being played on the stereo in the monitor.
On the spur of the moment, one team member shouts “Cool!”
… and another team member standing right next to them.
15:00 Setting and Shooting
Then comes the shooting of the scenes with just ROMANTICA. After the staffs lies out the rails for the camera dolly, ROMANTICA change costumes, including sexy judo uniforms and gorilla suits…. Filming crew repeatedly dollies along the rails and carefully controls the timing to go with the choreography.
The judo uniforms decorated with bizarre kanji characters “Onnadou”, translated as the moral code of women…
… and the gorilla suit.
17:15 The Shooting Continues
On returning from having a meal, Atom checks the scenes with ROMANTICA and he seems pleased once again. In the studio, filled with theatrical smoke, the team continue filming sexy dances with discotheque-like lightings in the background.
Sexiness in full throttle!
The word “beautiful” echoes all over the studio.
Next on the list is a humorous scene resembling a café, where one of the ROMANTICA girls, dressed as a waitress, leaves a Tiki cup in front of cooly, reserved Adam. Immediately, another waitress leaves one more cup, and then the third one does the same and Atom makes a baffled expression. With this, the team showered Atom with praise for his amazing acting skills, while Atom also was applauding ROMANTICA, saying “Great Service!”
Atom in the shooting…
…and looking cool through the finder.
19:00 Turning Endlessly
Then comes the filming of Atom and ROMANTICA as they spin on a rotating platform. Here, Atom puts his hand in the pocket and poses without any instruction from the director but even he looked a bit embarrassed when the director shouted “Perfect!”
Look closely at Atom’s acting!
Often taking unique poses.
Lastly, the scene with ROMANTICA dressed as sexy devils. There is a slight sign of tiredness in the team’s demeanours, but after a full day of shooting, their communication remains smooth.
A sexy devil…
… seduces everyone in the studio.
20:30 End of the Session!
The shooting ends here but the team still have a long way to go to clear everything up…. And the editing process of the scenes is yet to start…!
Señor Coconut’s new album, “Around the World” including “Da Da Da.”
Later, when we asked Atom to share his feelings on the shooting, he commented that “I was simply surprised by how well everything was organised. The shooting proceeded without a hitch. I can’t wait to see the finished clip!” So what is the finished video for “Da Da Da,” a collaborative work by Señor Coconut and ROMANTICA who share their own view of the world and what it could be like?
Actually, they kindly sent the finished clip to our editorial team!! So take a look at the video below! And of course, many thanks to everyone in the team for their kind cooperation, and keep up the good work!