The talented dream team at ‘Oh Yeah Wow’ recently produced a gorgeous music video for Sydney based singer/songwriter, Sam Buckingham. The song is entitled ‘Gravity’ and is a tale of love and attraction between two yellow blobby characters. Michael Greaney, Seamus Spilsbury and Josh Thomas all chipped in on the project and were led by director/animator Darcy Prendergast.
Darcy was kind enough to share some insight on the making of an animated music video.
Ozanimate: Hey Darcy! Can you tell us abit on how did you “pitch” the concept of the Gravity video to Sam Buckingham?
Dee Pee:Yes hello! I believe it went something like this “I make clay animated things. Cool. Can you make something for me? Yes”
Ozanimate: How do you usually come up with concepts for your music videos?
Dee Pee: This is going to sound incredibly lame in written form but Im no stranger to public humiliation so what the hell. When I conceptualise for a song, its a pretty visceral formation. I close my eyes, listen to the song a thousand times, and follow the tangents my mind takes me on. I start brainstorming internally, and I get ‘visions’ for lack of a better term. See? Told you it was lame. My process is almost like a pokie machine, I pull that elever and elements start falling down and locking into place until – Ding ding ding- we have a winner.
Ozanimate: Is the process/approach of directing a music video different from other animated work you’ve directed?
Dee Pee: In essence, not at all. I think a good music video still follows a formula, a version of the hero’s journey, or 3 act structure. It multiplies and expands as it works to its crescendo. I’ve developed my own guidelines that I believe strongly in, which has spawned from the viewing of a lot of unimaginative drool. I’ve always said you can learn more from a bad production than you can from a good one.
Ozanimate: Do you sometimes feel constrained to the narrative embodied in the lyrics?
Dee Pee: Quite the opposite. Its quite liberating in some respects to have a theme or mood to work with as a starter. I enjoy being taken in different directions by the music, as it challenges me to branch out into different styles and methods. Lucky- which I made for ‘All India Radio’ was never suited to the kind of visuals I did for Gravity. Nor would the visuals for Lucky be suited to one Im collaborating on for Gotye right now, so its about tailoring a solution to fit. Being pushed out of that comfort zone is always an exciting challenge for me.
Ozanimate: Do you have a favorite animated music video?
Dee Pee: Disappointingly, no. I constantly find myself picking at the animated ones too much, as I can generally pick the cut corners a mile off. Budget for me, never dictates the outcome. I treat each clip the same and strive to make it the best I can regardless, because I think by doing so, you keep your integrity as a creator in tact. Obviously money places certain restrictions upon you, but its about finding a realistic solution that doesn’t jeopardise the quality. I have so many favourite clips though but I guess my two favourites right now are ‘Desecration Smile’ and ‘Fortune Faded’ both by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They both have a really beautiful life and energy about them, which I think is something that animated clips often miss- Capturing that spirit, or mood. I obviously love the animated medium though and speak not about all animated music videos- I just dont have anything springing to mind as a front running favourite right now…
Ozanimate: Can you share what is next for Dee Pee? Or are we talking super top secret government stuff?
Dee Pee: Ha! I try and steer clear of any ‘stuff’ Government related…
I’ve just started a small company called ‘Oh Yeah Wow’ with my two best buddies and have also just signed on with ‘XYZ Studios’ as one of their directors. Right now though, Im collaborating with PictureDrift in Sydney for the new Gotye music vid, I’m developing a kids series, directing an animated fashion shoot and a couple of commercials as well as trying to find time for another couple of shorts for the festival circuit. Then with whatever time is left, I divide up between drumming, Fifa ’10 and sleep, which seems to be at the bottom of my priorities… So yes! There you have it. Fin.