'We Are Your Friends' Animations Take EDM To The Next Level
The new movie We Are Your Friends has pretty much everything that our generation, according to Hollywood, loves. A plot revolving around a struggling musician? Check. Super-hot characters who end up having sex with each other? Check. A major scene involving an EDM festival, complete with appearances by famous DJs? Check and check. But even if the narrative devices aren't too original, a few things really stuck out to me in this movie. The first was Nev Schulman's cameo (which was about half a second long, but that's more than enough time to swoon). The other two were animated sequences — one of a PCP-induced trip, and one of a visual explanation about how to work a crowd using the math behind EDM. The animations in We Are Your Friends take the viewer out of teenybopper world and into something sensory, doing justice to the music which is actually the soul of the movie.
In the first sequence, aspiring DJ Cole (played by Zac Efron) is at a glamorous LA party in an art gallery and ends up tripping on PCP. The artwork on the walls begins to melt before his eyes, and the entire scene is suddenly a melange of colors and shapes and movement as Cole experiences the effect of the drugs. It's visceral and primal, making us feel the physical and mental experience of a trip as opposed to just telling us about it. Not to mention, Cole's hangover the next morning feels pretty real, too.
The other sequence is almost like an infographic, using text and imagery to explain how BPM (beats per minute) contributes to the art of playing an EDM set that will get people on their feet. We're shown "found footage" of other genres and how they differ in BPM, and then it's explained how a good EDM DJ strategically manipulates his track to get it in sync with the audience's heartbeats at the magic number of 128 beats per minute. It's a simple concept but the visuals make it engaging, especially as we watch Cole successfully use the described technique to create a rager out of a boring pool party.
Critics seem to be in agreement that the animated sequences make for some of the movie's coolest parts. Katie Walsh of the Chicago Tribune said of director Max Joseph's combination of graphics and music, "It's a compelling visual and aural experience, and when the soundtrack is going off, almost anything can be forgiven." We Are Your Friends' animation works with the music to create some really awesome moments, and it'll reminds viewers why we started listening to EDM in the first place — it's all about the sensory experiences that take things to the next level.
Images: Warner Bros; Giphy( 3)