"Original of the Species" [04:39]

Links to Video

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Video Information

The video for “Original of the Species” is largely an animated video, with some live footage at the end. The video was conceived and directed by Catherine Owens, and grew out of a video piece being developed for the Vertigo tour, a rotating, digital rendered female head with flowers growing out of her mouth. Upon seeing the footage, Bono asked some questions of Catherine: “He said to me he wanted to be in a video with her, he wanted to be in her world and have her reflect his world … and could I make that happen?” The video uses a different mix from the album, one recorded with Jacknife Lee in Holland in the summer of 2005.

The band footage was filmed in two locations. The motion capture of the band was done in late September 2005 in Chicago, working with a motion capture group XYZ/RGB from Ottawa, as well as House of Moves and Blur Studio from LA. It was here the bands heads were scanned, and Bono’s singing performance was captured using motion capture. The live performance footage was filmed backstage by Mark Pellington at Madison Square Garden while the band were performing there during the Vertigo tour in October. The entire video was put together over seven weeks as Owen explains, “‘Our team at Spontaneous and my editor Olivier Wicki in New York have been quite extraordinary, as was our DP Tom Krueger. The team has worked tirelessly over the past seven weeks…. It’s not easy having an Irish woman as the go between for four Irish men, especially when none of the four likes the word ‘No’! ‘”

The video debuted on November 24, 2005, both on u2.com and on VH1. The debut on VH1 was shown every hour on the hour throughout the entire day.

The video opens with an animated barbed wire, turning and twisting, and eventually making an outline of a baby, and then the baby and mother. We then see an animated female head that is seen throughout the video. We see flowers growing out of the mouth of the head in one scene, and later see the head being drawn on with dotted lines and words such as “stay true,” “let go,” “always free,” and “love”. We also see a later scene where there are colourful butterflies coming out of the mouth of the head. Mixed with these shots are the motion capture images of the band, and performance footage of the band singing the song.

Video Shooting Locations

Quick Start - Leaflet

Additional Screen Captures

Video Credits

  • Director: Catherine Owens
  • Editor: Olivier Wicki, Blue Rock
  • Film Treatments: Mark Pellington
  • DP: Tom Krueger