July 07, 2011

Stop Motion + Music

This is sort of a recent interest. It was also my brother's first college project and I loved how a couple of thousand pictures played super fast became a movie. I mean, I knew that this is how animated movies are made, but it was fun seeing it happen. 
Stop motion is probably the most primitive form of animation. No need for a video camera to make the video. It definitely seems a lot more painstaking, but it's the uniqueness of the outcome that keeps stop motion animation as in-style as some of the hi-fi graphics used presently in the media industry.

Right from the movies- Corpse Bride, Coraline, Wallace and Gromit, etc etc. to the numerous short films and now increasingly popular in the advertising industry, stop motion animation is all over the place.

Many music artists have used stop motion in their music videos. More specifically- pixilation- where humans are used as part of the animation as apposed to just drawings and clay figures. In India- the recent MTS MBlaze data card ad uses this type of stop motion. 

Stop motion animation that doesn't use pixilation- And The World Spins Madly On- The Weepies
"I watched the stars from my window sill. The whole world is moving and I am standing still"

Strawberry Swing- Coldplay
Love the effects of this one. The chalk drawings are pretty stunning, perspective-wise (all were actually hand drawn on the road). The whole pavement idea reminds me of Chasing Pavements by Adele, although I'm not sure if that music video uses stop motion animation. The theme is quite nonsensical with the gigantic squirrel villain and the battle on Earth and in space. Lead singer, Chris Martin plays the superhero in the video. The actual making of the video must have been a lot of fun. Read interviews taken of the crew here and here.
"People moving all the time inside a perfectly straight line. Don’t you wanna just curve away? When it’s such, it’s such a perfect day. It’s such a perfect day"

Lost Things- A Fine Frenzy
Love the use of lots and lots of objects in this one. It creates a sort of fantasy story line which is quite absurd like the lyrics. The song is also called 'Sleepwalking', which adds a lot of sense to the lyrics and the video. Random disconnected thoughts and objects. Love this woman's hair! :)
"Summer was once where the widest winter breathes. I know its somewhere"

Her Morning Elegance- Oren Lavie
This is probably the most well known when it comes to stop motion animation used in music videos. Even though there were many like it before its time, it was nominated for a Grammy for best short video in 2001. It took 3225 shots overall for the 3 1/2 minute video. The lyrics narrate the daily activities of a woman including the daydreams. The video uses very delicate props, I assume to associate with the elegance of the woman- pillows and socks. Or maybe it's another dream/sleepy theme which uses props of her surrounding bedroom. Read here for more information about the video. Watch the making-of video here.
"Her morning elegance she wears. The sound of water makes her dream. Awoken by a cloud of steam. She pours a daydream in a cup. A spoon of sugar sweetens up"

Little Bribes- Death Cab for Cutie
This was made by a fan, Ross Ching. It took almost a year for the artist to see his video and announce it as the official music video for the song. This is a slightly different take on stop motion. Spells out the lyrics as apposed to creating a story. Bags of creativity in this one too. Read his blog entry about the video.
"Those foolish dreams you know they plague me still"

Every Teardrop is a Waterfall- Coldplay
Yes, my favourite band has a lot of cool music videos. I wonder how many litres of paint was used for this one. But I love the contrast of the old dilapidated building and the vibrant paint hues. It takes graffiti to a whole new level. The pictures are both images and words and use 4 different backgrounds for the video. The upbeat pulse of the video is in close ties to the rhythm of the lyrics. A good song to be stuck in our head.
"Until the Monday morning feels another life, I turn the music up" "I'd rather be a comma, than a full stop." "Cathedrals in my heart"

I am sure there are many more. These were just my favourites. Wikipedia has a list of some older ones here.

As far as music videos go, the dancing and acrobatic skill doesn't catch my eye as much as the creative genius of these ones. :)

Next level in stop motion- Stop motion music. Check this and this out.