Robert Hales orchestrated this video for Stereogum40 grads Tame Impala’s “Lucidity” “500 odd kilometers” outside Melbourne, around a small town called Mildura: Cameras were placed inside weather balloons, launched upwards. If you believe in back-stories, there’s more.
After being let go by the band’s Kevin Parker, the flight ascent was just under 1 hour. The camera swiftly loses site of our band (much to the label’s disdain), flying through the clouds before the edge of the earth comes into shot and it reaches its summit somewhere between 20 and 24km up. At this point things go all woozy, flipping and flopping about, spinning to stare at the sun, before the balloon popped, ripping it’s safety parachute from the box and launching into a freefall to earth.
This descent took 16 minutes, the approximate speed at impact with earth somewhere between 75 and 100 km/hr, all the while the camera continued to roll.
Upon hammering down to earth, in a wonderful stroke of universal happenstance, a curious wedge-tailed eagle wanders into shot to pick at the parachute and form the completely unscripted, perfect ending to our video. Local farmers believe the eagle must have seen the payload coming down and stalked it thinking it was an injured animal.
Behind the scenes: