The song, called “Time (Hearts Full of Love),” is “typical super-catchy, addictive Erasure ear worm,” says the award-winning director, a fan of the British duo since childhood.
“It was all extremely surreal to me,” added Barberis, who also created visuals for Erasure’s “Neon” tour of the U.K. this month, with projections on a 10-metre wall of sheets.
“Initially, the music video was just going to be piggybacked onto the tour-visuals shoot, but that was so laborious and time-consuming that we literally ran out of time and had to shoot the music video later,” he explained.
“We all loved how the projections worked so we devised a plan entailing us driving around the city at night and projecting footage of the band on various buildings and surfaces.”
Since its YouTube debut on Oct. 16, the “Time (Hearts Full of Love)” video has been viewed close to 50,000 times.
To create the video, Barberis encouraged Erasure’s Andy Bell (singer) and Vince Clarke (keyboardist) to send him phone videos of themselves performing the song with a white wall behind them.
“I asked for specific angles and distances as well, then took that footage and ultra-keyed it to death and converted it into fun holographic looks (think R2D2 and Princess Leia),” Barberis explained.
“Initially, the video wasn’t going to have the band in it,” he added, “but there is one thing that is of utmost importance to the fans of the band – that they are in their videos.… I was even very firm in that I wanted Vince in the video, as it’s pretty much the most legendary pop duo in history.”
Barberis was “quite anxious” about not having a lot of control over how the two would look in submitted videos, “but it worked out due to all the distorting holographic effects used,” he noted.
“Since Andy was in London and Vince lives in New York City, it would have been impossible to get everyone together to shoot, especially as they were about to start rehearsals for their tour and there were travel restrictions due to the pandemic.”
— Stephano Barberis (@HelloStephano) October 16, 2021
In Vancouver, scenes for the video were filmed on “a long stretch of completely dead roads” near Clark Drive.
“The next day (shoot night), we drove around in a very large van full of equipment with follow and lead vehicles, shooting out the open side of it with an industrial-sized projector,” Barberis elaborated. “In order to be stealthy and non-disruptive, we also used a battery-powered generator. It was silent but the projector was such an energy pig that it drained it so quickly.
“We also shot stationary projections onto a very old school in Strathcona, trees, puddles and derelict buildings around Main and Terminal, underground parkades by the port, brick walls, and even my art director Rio’s naked back,” Barberis continued. “We would have shot a lot more surfaces had the projector not drained the generator that quick. We finished pretty close to dawn, though, so our production was going to turn into a pumpkin pretty soon.”
Barberis said fans of the band, handlers of Erasure’s Mute Records label and the two band members “all love the video, so I’m ecstatic.
“The tour visuals and music video were sort of my love-letter to fans and to the band,” he added. “I’ve been receiving so many private messages and comments on social media that it has almost made it difficult to work this week because I can’t ignore messages! I’m so blown away from the response – many messages daily from all over the world, and they are all so sweet and kind. There are even people somehow finding my email address and contacting me there to thank me.”
Next year, Erasure’s “Neon” tour of North America includes a Feb. 22 concert at Seattle’s Moore Theatre, but no Vancouver date is scheduled. Details are posted to erasureinfo.com.