This past summer, I was approached by La Dispute to make an animated music video for a song off their new album, Panorama. That made me excited and nervous - I knew they meant a lot to a lot of people. Even though I actually love listening to music like this (and hold it very near & deer to my heart), I tend to think of my animation style as very goofy and silly. I absorbed the prompt the best I could and sent over 3 variants of ideas with small descriptions/references - the last of three being something I had thought of a few years prior. Imagine a deer wandering through isolated back roads and being immune to death… could be fun!
When everything confirmed, I knew I needed to consult my friends that were longtime fans. If I had the responsibility of making something for a band with such a strong fanbase, I knew I needed to pick brains about why they liked them so unconditionally, what they made them feel like, and where they brought them. Talking with everyone made me feel better about capturing the feeling of a long drive through the midwestern countryside at night (something I spent a lot of time doing when I got my driver's license and that I honesly miss a lot). This feeling of being self-reflective in a dark, rural, isolated setting started feeling more and more plausible.
Nothing really makes a new move across town feel right than walking to the nearest coffee shop and writing notes/doing thumbnail sketches for a few hours. After I really worked the idea out in my brain, I had enough material to start a more cleaned-up storyboard.
Using the thumbnails as a guide, I did a few digital sketches and roughed out the story drawings on the computer and exported a .pdf with descriptions. Here’s a loop of all those drawings + the colored sketches:
Next… I kinda just had to get to work. Made an animatic/started timing out all of the storyboards to the song itself; leaving a ton of room for movement/animation that would come later. My main point of contact, Adam Vass, was huge on describing colors to me since the start. I ended up making a color guide so nothing ever felt too up in the air/out of place. The plan was to ramp the colors in a different direction depending on the type of light in the scene.
A few work in progress shots of the animations straight out of Animate CC:
Always helping me in some shape or form, Karl gave me some suggestions as far as texture/grit to zap into this thing.
After a lot of back and forth, and inbetweens… we had our final video!
The response has been very cool so far, thank you for all the love! :)
This project was a blast. Cheers to more animations in 2019.