End of the Road Claymation

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Having sworn off plasticine for nearly a decade, I fell of the wagon to make a couple of stop motion videos for End of the Road.

For a while I've been making various bits of work for the festival, which usually includes producing an announcement video for each year's lineup.

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This year I decided to go back to stop motion, creating a few miniature versions of the bands that are playing, some album cover references and just a few complete non sequiturs. 

Have a look:

It's Nice That even wrote a bit about it: http://www.itsnicethat.com/news/end-of-the-road-line-up-2017-claymation-joseph-brett-080217

As a little follow up bit of content I also animated a short interview with Mac DeMarco, who's headlining the festival.

It was the first time I've done lip-synched stop motion, so it was an interesting little challenge. Have a look at how that turned out here:

Bonus creepy mouths:

Ezra Furman - Ordinary Life

Last year I made a music video for Ezra Furman's 'Restless Year'.

It was such a fun way to spend my January that I thought I'd do it again this year - this time for the slower paced "Ordinary Life". It's an amazing song, and probably my favourite track on the album.

Here's the video:

I know Ezra writes a lot of his songs in bedrooms, and I've always felt entering someone's bedroom is as close as you can get to actually walking into someone's mind. The room we sleep in is where we start out from on most days, like a launch pad. I think that's why depression can make it so hard to get out of bed - to launch out into the unknown.

I liked the idea of building that space in miniature. Partially because it would enable me to fuse the space with a notebook (the same video done on a larger scale would have meant a boldness in the wall writing, which wouldn't have felt appropriate), but also because of the delicate nature of all the objects on that scale. 

The video for Restless Year was big, open and roaming, while this needed to start small and fragile before releasing out into space. It needed to feel handmade.

The same with the universe which the bed escapes into - I wanted that to be hand drawn in order to connect with writing on the wall. Everything that transforms the space comes from the tip of a pencil or brush. 

It's something mundane and ordinary being transformed by the ideas forming inside it.

Jade Dragon

Casting sucks. 

Recent years have seen some progress for diversity on screen, but the fact remains: if you're any ethnicity other than white, you'll usually be stuck playing the stereotype dictated by your skin colour.

And that's if the part hasn't already been nabbed by a white actor.

*cough* Christian Bale *cough*

*cough* Emma Stone *cough*

*cough* Ben Kingsley *cough*

*cough* Rooney Mara *cough*

Arguably the lowest on the ladder of poor representation are the East Asians.

Don't believe me? Try and name 5 famous East Asian actors working in Hollywood today.

Or try and name 5 East Asian characters whose roles weren't defined by their ethnicity and the stereotypes that go with it. You know, who weren't maths geniuses, suppressed daughters, martial arts experts or working in a Chinese take-away.

Try and name 5 who didn't have a foreign accent. 

So yes. Casting sucks. 

Rebecca Boey has been on the hard end of this situation a fair few times. Rebecca's half Geordie, and half Malaysian. She speaks with a Kensington accent, doesn't know kung-fu and her only other language is French.

But she looks a bit asian, which means she spends half her auditions faking a Chinese accent and feeling a bit racist.

After getting more than a little frustrated she sat down and wrote a short satirical film about the whole situation. We made that film, and now you can watch it below. 

It stars Daniel York, Anna Brophy, Stephen Hoo, Rebecca Boey, Rosie Revan and William White.

We shot it in a day, in a lovely Chinese take-away in Kew called China Pearl. The owner didn't even blink when we asked to film there.

Have a look:

 

*cough* Noah Ringer *cough* Scarlett Johansson *cough* Tilda Swinton *cough* *cough* Jim Sturgess and Kevin Spacey*cough* Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton *cough* Josh Hartnett *cough* Carey Mulligan *cough* Johnny Depp *cough*

God, this cough is awful. 

John Lewis

The lovely people at Cain & Abel (the content division at Adam & Eve DDB) asked me to come and animate some things from John Lewis' summer collection for their 'Things We Love This Summer' campaign.

I spent some time playing with shiny objects and living in a fictional picnic land for a few days to make these:




 

(They take a second to load because they're Facebook videos, so if there's nothing here just give it a moment)

Ezra Furman - Restless Year

It's a new music video, it's for Ezra Furman, and it's great.

Subjectively speaking. 

Take a look!

Ezra pushes so much energy through his music and I knew it would be important to find that same energy in the video for Restless Year. Stop motion might not seem like the obvious choice for that, but with a huge amount of patience from Ezra we were able to make something together which is as energising and adventurous as the song itself. 

We made our way around San Francisco frame by frame, step by step, in what is probably the slowest tour of a city I’ve ever been on. Ezra took to the technique almost immediately, and it’s his performance within that brilliant city which makes the video so fun.

We called in some of Ezra's friends to play extra parts in the video, who all threw in with total enthusiasm.  

"Can you perform this dance we've made up in one inch iterations?"

"Can you come dressed in a suit and help us pull this armchair down the side of a street?"

"Can we come round to your house, dress you up as death and then walk around the park at night?"

San Francisco's a weird and wonderful city with what felt like an infinite number of interesting locations to shoot in.

The lovely people at Kayo Books let us shoot in their bookshop, which was probably the most distracting location I've ever worked in.

I'm a sucker for pulp paperbacks and I could quite happily have spent the entire production browsing those shelves.

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A definite high point was walking through town as dawn broke, photographing the city as it flooded with light while a drunk man followed me muttering “Oh look at me, I’m a photographer, I’ve got a camera”

Thank you, goodbye.

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