Erin Stout (my drummer and producer’s lover as well as my housemate and a frequent collaborator with all the crazy goings on over here) was notified that she would be receiving a Christmas Bonus in the form of an eight day unpaid furlough (yeah… merry fucking Christmas…). In response, I decided we should make a music video featuring some of her wonderfully bizarre psychedelic illustrations. The hope is maybe the video might bring some attention to her art and maybe she could get a little extra money for the holidays selling it. I thought the song, Laughing with a Cigarette, has the sort of whimsical vibe that would suit some animation. I made a little money selling copies of the CD and chapbook version of Moab, so I invested about thirty bucks in green paint and flood lights.
It wasn’t much. We don’t have anything approaching a professional studio. We are fortunate to have a garage with a couple of panels to paint green (green is the color video makers use to key out the background because it is close to opposite of flesh tones). Erin brought some green table clothes from work to help with Sean’s piano. I wasn’t really that thrilled to have to illustrate and animate Sean’s goddamn piano but that was easier than bringing a real piano into the garage.
This video was a joy to make. From first shoot to finish, it only took a week. It is amazing what you can do with a lap-top and an okay camera today. Even a poor, barefoot, artist such as myself can make awesome shit. The animation was done semi-Old School, starting with pen drawings. I love the affect. It reminds me of those great psychedelic cartoons from the seventies like Fantastic Planet and those Terry Gilliam shorts from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
This production is not exactly new territory for me. It is more of a coming home. I was a cinema major a long time ago. I made political cartoons in college. I even won some awards for it. Our little household is in agreement that we should produce more animation. It might be more rewarding than music has been. We have some new projects in mind. Stay tuned.