It's Friday, I'm in love...
Weekend again!!! Because of, I decided to create an entry about a stop-motion music clip. In this case, a cut-out video made in an old Lotte Reiniger style (a light table with puppets) by Aćim Vasić and Emilee Seymour, for the song Notre Vie Comme Un Western (played by the Parisian band Paris Combo).
Aćim send me the behind scenes pictures that I share with you here, but also the kindness Emily share the following interesting text about the production process of this work (thanks both to contact me!):
On listening to ‘Notre vie comme un Western’, Acim and I both felt that a beautiful, dreamy animation would suit it best. We had a sense of being on a surreal, slow-moving carousel, of things spinning and turning, recurring and revolving, of dancing, and of horses running around zoetropes.
Our concept for the video is something of a Western, based on the visual style of Lotte Reiniger, set in outer space, where constellations come to life and a new lunar system (as opposed to a solar system) is created. After studying old star maps, and taking inspiration from Le Petit Prince, we came up with a narrative where a constellation-horse and a constellation-eagle emerge from an exploding supernova and playfully chase each other throughout the universe, visiting several newly-formed, Western-style planets as they go - one planet begins sprouting cacti, for example - another is a desert where tumbleweed rolls around endlessly. Then with a kick of the horse's hind legs, these planets are sent into orbit around a large moon, which cycles through its phases as the planets spin around it. At the conclusion of the video, the horse and the eagle unite to form the Pegasus constellation and fly triumphantly around the edges of the lunar system.
Before shooting, everything was planned down to the last detail: after sketching and storyboarding, we created an animatic and several test animations, a descriptive shot list, then detailed digital mock-ups of our lunar system and its elements. Our shadow puppets were cut from black cardboard, white paper and tracing paper, and hinged using split pins. We booked an animation space at Partizan (home of stop motion animation master Michel Gondry) and spent a week in the dark, hunched over our light table and our laptops, moving the puppets millimetre by millimetre, frame by frame.
The compositing process took longer. In Photoshop, we inverted the tones, so that the shadows become light. In After Effects, we layered stars over stars to form a universe with depth, and moved the photographed elements around in a way that might have taken years to do in-camera, so that the final animation looks as though it were filmed as one continuous shot - so that we, the viewers, have a sense of flying through the universe too.