I do like Steampunk, which is the flip-side of the zombie/vampire coin ... where they are the trendiest manifestations of the horror genre at the moment, steampunk is the genre du jour within science fiction.

I enjoy its mix of nostalgia, romance and hard science.  I love the airships.  Thanks to the pioneering work Michael Moorcock did with his Oswald Bastable book, The Warlord of the Air (1971), steampunk's signature has become the airship and I'm all the more grateful for it - for if there were ever a vehicle that encapsulates nostalgia, romance and hard science ... the airship is it!

Cinematically, I don't believe Hayao Miyazaki's depiction of this has been bettered.  His 1986 film Laputa: Castle in the Sky (aka Laputa the Flying Island aka simply Castle in the Sky) features jaw-dropping flying sequences which, at the time, sparked my imagination like few films ever had.  Miyazaki's imagination simply did not obey the laws of physics and this was all, it's possibly worth mentioning, before the rise of CGI.

You get a flavour of this in the original Japanese trailer for the film - but there's no substitute for watching the full thing, which is freely available now.

I also particularly like the way Philip Reeve explores the aerial possibilities of airships in his Mortal Engines books, set in the far-flung future where our scientific achievements are pored over by their archeologists.

All of which is by way of introducing this pop video by a reasonably obscured performer, Ben Lovett.  First, we have the video itself, a gorgeous, moody, ethereal depiction of many Steampunk tropes.  Unlike Miyazaki, this is heavily dependant on computers to achieve its effects, but they are no less beautiful for all that.

Now, to get an idea just how much work went in to creating this, essentially, ephemeral piece of commercial art, the makers have provided, firstly a making of ...

... followed by a dissection of the actual effects shots which show just what a labour of love this was, as the animators clearly did far more work and created far more detail than was strictly necessary.

And, if you are wise enough to want some old-school Miyazaki in your life - feel free to click this, buy the disc and Amazon will pay me a few much-needed, gratefully-received sheckles:

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