Where volcanoes pop cornWhere volcanoes pop corn

Israeli video master goes ‘Up&Up’ with Coldplay

Jerusalem-born Vania Heymann puts compositing to good effect with the British band’s latest single

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Interactive video master Vania Heymann is at it again, this time with a video for Coldplay’s new single, “Up&Up.”

It’s a Lilliputian take on a surreal world, where eagles fly underwater, the planets bop about on a city sidewalk and volcanoes pop corn.

The Coldplay musicians, including lead singer Chris Martin, are cast as giants, whether they’re playing bass in the clouds, lolling on the edge of the beach, or romping on a patchwork quilt of fields, as seen from high up in the sky.

For Coldplay, it’s the third single from their seventh studio album, “A Head Full of Dreams,” to be fully launched as they start touring this month through September.

Vania Heymann, the son of French immigrants to Israel, discovered his video muse at Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy (Photo credit: Yael Friedlander/CC BY-SA 3.0)
Vania Heymann, the son of French immigrants to Israel, discovered his video muse at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy. (Yael Friedlander/CC BY-SA 3.0)

For Jerusalem-born Heymann and Gal Muggia, the codirectors, it’s another notch in their growing roster of inventive videos. Heymann’s last production was for CeeLo Green’s single “Robin Williams,” which used the Google search bar to unfold the lyrics of the song.

Before that, he played with Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” which allowed viewers to surf through 16 television channels, all featuring characters lip-syncing the famed lyrics of the song.

Like all of Heymann’s works, the Coldplay piece demands the viewer’s undivided attention, and there’s often the need to hit “Pause” and scroll back to be sure you saw what you think you saw.

He depicts a piece of his native Israel at 1:42 in “Up&Up,” with a shot of what appears to be the separation wall that divides Israel from the Palestinian territories. In Heymann’s version, the sea rolls in on one side of the wall, with the beachgoers, sand and lifeguard station on the other side.

Heymann studied at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, where he first studied drawing but soon encountered the world of video.

He told The Times of Israel that he discovered that video compositing and special effects are very much like drawing and demand a similar eye-hand connection.

“It’s always about the idea or concept first,” he said.

And for Coldplay fans? It’s a video they’ll want to keep on watching.

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