Disiz - Les Moyens du Bord

The Deka Brothers served as cinematographers for this music video, directed by Tony T. Datis, for French rapper Disiz.

Dir. of Photography: Deka Brothers
Cam. Op. / Steadycam: Julien Deka
1st AC: Alex Grossfeld
2nd AC: Carl Ballou
Aerial Cinematography: Cassidy Bisher & Kris Bargen
DIT / Colorist: Rob Frenette

new ICP music video: Hate Her To Death

ICP just released their latest music video directed by the Deka Brothers,
as announced on their website:

“Hate Her To Death” was directed by the ultra fresh Deka Brothers and shot on location right here in Detroit, Murderous at the infamous Cooley High School! Enjoy the flavor, Ninjas!

Check out the Official YouTube Video, and make sure you click HD!

UPDATE: now on the Deka Brothers' Vimeo account:

Protoclip 2012: Make It Bun Dem "Coup de Cœur du Jury"

Make It Bun Dem, directed by Tony T. Datis for dubstep artist Skrillex just won the "Coup de Coeur du Jury" (Special Jury Prize) at the prestigious Parisian music video festival Protoclip 2012 (8th edition).

The video shared the prize with Get Free (directed by SoMe).


The Deka Brothers served as directors of photography on this video. It's already had 13 million views on YouTube within 2 months of its release.

Chris Benoit @ festival Protoclip 2012 (Paris, France)

The latest music video directed by the Deka Brothers - Chris Benoit - has been selected for the 8th edition of the famous Parisian music video festival: Protoclip.

You can vote online for the video, by clicking JE VOTE POUR LUI  - next to the picture thumbnail (at the bottom of the list):


You'll be prompted to enter your e-mail address, and you'll then receive an e-mail - just to check that you're not a robot - click on the link from the e-mail, and voilà!

You just supported Michigan/French art :)

 Chris Benoit - ICP  directed by the Deka Brothers - produced by Deep Blue Pictures & MIME

Chris Benoit - ICP

directed by the Deka Brothers - produced by Deep Blue Pictures & MIME

A second video involving the Deka Brothers, also at the festival:

On a side note, Tony T. Datis' latest music video for dubstep artist Skrillex, Make It Bun Dem, has also been selected.

The Deka Brothers served as directors of photography on that video, and helped the overall production process.

 Make It Bun Dem - Skrillex directed by Tony T. Datis - produced by DNA & Ink Productions  principal photography produced by MIME

Make It Bun Dem - Skrillex
directed by Tony T. Datis - produced by DNA & Ink Productions

principal photography produced by MIME

Big Props to MIME:

Out of the 1500 submissions, only 50 music videos were officially selected for the 2012 Protoclip festival.

The 2 music videos above were both co-produced by Made in Michigan Entertainment  (Michael Manasseri) with different production partners in Michigan during summer 2012, and pretty much share the same crew and same equipment (mimestudios.com).

On ICP's website:

With their own unique style, ICP announced the Protoclip selection on their website. They also announced that the Deka Brothers are up to direct another music video for them.


Gojira: The Flesh Alive

Gojira, the French metal bands that opens Metallica concerts when they tour in the US, just release their new DVD/BluRay package:

Gojira - The Flesh Alive

More than 2.5 hours or video content, in which we find the 80 minutes of Live at Bordeaux 2009.

The video was directed by the Deka Brothers and edited by Ben Deka.

produced by Mael Mainguy (Les Films du Balibari)
produced by Ben Deka (Les Films de la Lymphe)
location manager: Benoist Daneville

camera operators: Jérémy Marnotte, Benjamin Groussin, PH Debiès, Tony T. Datis, Ben Deka & Julien Deka

edit & color correction: Ben Deka

Disclaimer: the Deka Brothers did not edit this trailer. The trailer contains clips that have not been shot by the Deka Brothers. The Live at Bordeaux video represents only 80 minutes out of a more than 2.5 hours of content DVD package.

new book-trailer directed by the Deka Brothers

The Boy Who Killed Caterpillars
a book by Joshua Kornreich

book-trailer directed by the Deka Brothers

produced by Adam Cushman (Film 14)
produced by Michael Manasseri
produced by Kimberley Kates

director of photography: Geoff George
camera operators: the Deka Brothers & Geoff George
1st AC: Lance Mokma
boom operator: Jared Carlson

set builder: Joey Ostrander
set dresser: Geneva Brunetti
costume consultant: Liz Moore
caterpillar trainer: Clarice Deka

edit: the Deka Brothers
colorist: Rob Frenette

sound design & mix: Franck Hueso (MIX'EM ALL studio)
music consultant: Clarice Deka
music: Beethoven

thanks: Catherine Pechlivanidis, Anne F. Harris, David Couturier, Oakland University (Cinema Production Studies - professor Andrea Eis)

no caterpillar were harmed during the shooting of this book-trailer


MTV MVA 2012 "Best Visual Effects" winners!

The Deka Brothers just won a MTV Music Video Award for Best Visual Effects, for their work on First of the year (Equinox), the Skrilex video directed by their friend Tony T. Datis, who they share the prize with (the director indeed did some of the VFX himself).

MTV's website:

check out the MTV MVA 2012 wikipedia page:

UPDATE (Nov. 11, 2012): the picture of the Moonman statue

MTV VMA 2012 - Best Visual Effects - Winner
Deka Bros & Tony T. Datis

Skrillex - Make It Bun Dem

Tony T. Datis' new music video for Skrillex (featuring Damian Marley) came out on YouTube on Thursday September 6th 2012.

The Deka Brothers served as Directors of Photography on this video.

camera operators: Patrick Elliot, Julien Deka
1st AC: Dereck Street
2nd AC: Carl Ballou
DIT: Rob Frenette
camera utility: Jen Whalen

gaffer: Chris Miller
key grip: Josh Ficken
best boy: Jeff "Spoon" Urbanowicz

produced by Arezki Ahcene & DNA

principal photography produced in Michigan by Michael Manasseri
(Made In Michigan Entertainment)

nominated @ MTV Music Video Awards 2012


Skrillex's First of the Year (Equinox) , directed by Tony "Truand" Datis.

The video keeps garnering attention. The music video is nominated in several categories for the MTV Music Video Awards 2012, and the Deka Brothers are proud to be nominated in the Best Visual Effects category.


When director Tony T. Datis was asked to direct a music video for world renowned music artist, Skrillex, he called the Deka Brothers to ensure the post-production pipeline: conformation, Visual FXs and color grading.
Since then, the video has been an international hit.

The Deka Brothers talk to FXguide.com:

fxg: How were the atmospherics, smoke and dust effects and ‘forces’ achieved?

Deka Brothers: As far as the atmospherics go, the crew used practical smoke on set so it was a matter of enhancing the shots rather than creating a whole smoke environment. Practical smoke is really tricky to keep consistent through an entire shoot, especially on a limited budget. It was really about keeping the best take for the edit and make everything look consistent for post-FX.

Our approach was to bring subtle moving smoke textures to the shots without getting into something too hard to achieve – since we had a limited amount of time. It was a 2D compositing approach, all done in After Effect CS5. We basically used stock footage from the Action Essential Pack of VideoCopilot, that we blended on top of the original plates using different fusion modes and transparency. We picked the smoke samples regarding the specificity of each shot (perspective, frame). It was a pretty straight forward workflow, and actually the trickiest part was to match the crazy one-frame-cut from the director, so it feels like the smoke elements were always there and had been edited with the original image, when they were in reality put in after the fact.

We also added some dust on impacts, when the man hits the wall for example, and once again we used 2D stock footage. In this case, it was a 3D comp though: they locked off the shot, as a multi pass. The talent was hitting the wall, then the FX crew did some smoke explosions on the other side of the wall. At the end, we discussed with the director and decided it would look better with a little dolly move. So we de-composed this part of the set into several layers and put them into a 3D comp, and added a lot of dust element to give more impact. The momentum when the Pedo is in his dream world was also locked off shots, and we created a dolly in in post, using camera projection techniques.

The forces: after getting a first pass of work on the atmospherics, we came back on some specific shots that would require “force field power” coming out of the little girl. Once again, we used smoke sample elements. This time we used the luminance information, and turned them into displacement maps. They supported the animations for the distortion of the environment. In this case, the smoke samples were defining the path of distortion effects and blurs: everything underneath those adjustment layers were affected by the distortion. Because it had to be specific depending on the shots, it was just a matter of key framing the animation to have it match the practical shot.

The force was also a matter a wire stunts – which means wire removal (and a trampoline removal). And we had a lot of work cleaning the plates, especially the chest of the man when he flies away for the first time. There was a harness there, and a wire covering partially his left shoulder. The cleaning was all done the traditional way: 2D compositing of fabric textures that we picked up from other shots; a lot of patches, a lot of rotoscoping work, and a lot of hand tracking.

For the fingers of the little girl, we used the Red Giant’s Trapcode Particular plug-in, which is a particle world generator with which you can be really specific in terms of defining the emitter and the evolution of the particles through time. We linked the emitter of the particles to a bunch of 3D lights (10 total; 1 for each finger) and we set Particular to use the position of those light as the emitter point. Then, it was really convenient to track the fingers and to apply those positions to the 3D light in order to have the emitter point of Particular following exactly the extremity of the fingers of the little girl.
With a bit of tweak in the atmospheric and velocity settings, we defined the type of texture and shape we wanted for those particles to create. On top of that, we used some distortion effects integrated using luma matte, to have those “smoky flames” blending more in the whole scene.

fxg: Can you talk about creating or augmenting the creature effects?

Deka Brothers: The Creature was shot practically: black paint on the body of the talent, a bondage latex mask which had the eyes filled with white material for reference. We had to clean the mask a bit as it was covered with some black tape to hide some details on the mask the director didn’t want to be seen. Then, we added a little on the character – enhanced the eyes by creating this kind of gloomy luminescence. Here, we did a bit of roto, added some light burst effects, key framed the setting a bit, and that did the trick: even if it was all composited in 2D, it felt like a 3D light was emanating from the eyes of the character. We asked ourselves if we a had to do more effects on the character, but it was working so well that we ended up leaving it just like that. Also, the director did the FX of the creature rising behind the girl.

fxg: What approach did you take to grading the video?

Deka Brothers: Tony, the director, cut the video in Final Cut, on Pro Res, so the first step was to conform everything to get back on the original R3D files (it was shot on RED-ONE MX). He gave us an XML that we imported in Premiere and re-opened right in After Effects. There, we were able to relink the footage to the original R3D shots. Some speed effects didn’t translate that well, so we spent some time making sure the edit was right in AE (comparing it with a Pro Res render of the Final Cut edit). This actually happened before the VFX.

We were now able to work on a 4K picture but moreover, we were able to access the raw data. We tried not to make it too green (because this is usually how we like our images), but this color was there anyway from the location and the DP’s work. The grading had been a mix of adjusting the raw settings and using Color Finesse as well as all types of other tools in AE.

AE is not a grading software, and it takes a bit of time to work there, but the software is much more powerful in the sense that you can do many more things with it, especially when it comes to power windows (masks). Working with raw allowed us to play with what we called “double exposure”. The video was not shot in HDR obviously. You can adapt your raw settings let’s say for the shadows on one layer and duplicate this layer in the bin which you “develop” for your highlights. Then you combine them together in the comp window. You can do that with any type of footage obviously, but with the R3D files, you can do it at the raw level and obtain a much cleaner result.

The shot that required the most of work was the very dark shot of the man walking into the warehouse. The director wanted his silhouette to be black, but keep the highlights of his glasses. Sylvain Sechet (the DP) did a good job and the intention was already there, but we still had to do some roto work; use fusion blending mode to get it right. We wanted to have this very comic bookish look (almost cartoonish), however find the right balance so it felt natural at the same time – like it could have been shot this way. Looking for the best of both worlds in a way. After a few tweaks, we found the right balance to make it work.