World premiere of Michel and Olivier Gondry’s music video for IDLES’ new single Model Village, created in collaboration with WePresent - Blog Post

Michel Gondry and Olivier Gondry bring IDLES’ Joe Talbot’s lyrics about small-town mentality to life through paper collage and CGI

WePresent, WeTransfer’s editorial platform has collaborated with world renowned filmmakers Michel Gondry and Olivier Gondry to produce an animated music video for IDLES’ new single, Model Village. WePresent plays host to the world premiere of the video today, alongside an exclusive BTS video by the filmmakers, and a collection of insightful process images. 

Exclusive BTS content and interview with IDLES' lead singer, Joe Talbot, Michel Gondry and Olivier Gondry on WePresent 

IDLES – “Model Village” (dir. by Michel Gondry and Olivier Gondry, made in collaboration with WePresent) youtube video:

IDLES’ lead singer Joe Talbot says the themes explored in Model Village come from a place of “complete despair” with regards to aspects of our current society. Frontman Joe Talbot elaborates on the song’s meaning: “I hated growing up in a city that was really a town that was really a fishbowl. I left as soon as I could, only to realize the fishbowl didn't exist...just the fish, and they're everywhere.” 

The video was painstakingly pieced together over a period of weeks during lockdown, with Michel holed up in his LA studio, cutting out hand-drawn bits of paper into characters and shapes, arranging them on his desk, and filming them from above on his iPhone before sending everything to Olivier in Paris, where he’d then take the collages and bring them to life through CGI. 

In the video, the Gondry brothers visualize Joe’s lyrics by creating their own model village: an intricate, technicolour, paper cut-out town inhabited by cartoon families resembling pigs. Joe’s witty, socio-political lyrics are adopted and transformed into something resembling a children’s TV show with unsettling undertones.

Michel Gondry told WePresent, “Olivier and I were excited to work on this because we use completely opposite techniques. I work with a primitive system of cutting paper and moving it under the lens frame by frame. Olivier then transforms it by morphing, warping and CGI.” Adding, “Basically, in the first part we try to illustrate the lyrics as close as possible, to create the world, and then in the second half...they go to the moon.”

Liv Siddall, Story Editor at WeTransfer, interviewed Joe, Michel and Olivier about the making of this video. “This is such a dream project. There’s so much happiness and positivity in it. Joe has always dreamed of working with Michel Gondry, and Michel and Olivier have really loved collaborating on something together as brothers. What they’ve made is something beautiful and clever in uncertain times, which reminds us of the importance and power of creativity and collaboration.” 

WePresent was approached by Partisan Records to help create the video. As huge fans of IDLES and both Michel Gondry and Olivier Gondry, the team were excited at the prospect and are now thrilled to show the world the results. 

'MODEL VILLAGE' from the new album 'ULTRA MONO' released on 25 September 2020 on Partisan Records. Listen or purchase here - 

Media Kit -

Film credits

Directors: Michel Gondry and Olivier Gondry 

Producer: Raffi Adlan 

Editor: Jake Schwartz 

Visual Effects Supervisor: Olivier Gondry 

Animators: Michel Gondry, Valerie Pirson 

Colorist: Matt Osborne 

Sound Design: Josh Falcon 

Production Supervisor: Debo (J. DeBartolo) 

Animation Coordinator: Katie Moran 

Additional Music: Tom Frazer 

Production Company: Partizan Executive 

Producer of Music Videos: Mayling Wong 

Director’s Rep: Claire Stubbs 

Commissioner: Theresa Adebiyi for Partisan Records & Liv Siddall for WePresent