Music by Metallica
Directed by Jess Cope
Written by Jess Cope and Adam Oehlers
Produced by Alex Halley
Production company Partizan
When I got the call from Director Jess Cope about this job there was a lot of excitement, and that excitement continued on throughout the project. Once again Jess had brought me on board with a concept that dealt with some very difficult themes. It pushed all of us way out of our comfort zones but we welcomed the challenge. I wouldn’t have believed it if someone had told me at the beginning of the year that I would be making a thriller/horror animated video for Metallica. And that is essentially what this is.
It follows a Killer, surveying his trophies and setting his sights on his next victim. But his world and his power begin to crumble and his victims return to him to turn the tables. It’s a story of the shift of power from the hunter to the hunted, the retribution of the victims on their killer. It’s about Revenge.
Once the story was finalised and the storyboard was being put in place I began work on these first three pieces of concept art. These were to set the feel for the animation and give a guide as to how this world would look.
When I had completed the initial concepts the storyboard was all in place so I started work on our Hyena Man Killer. He went through a few variations before I got him right. When I did it was a matter of creating him from every angle needed.
I then moved onto the Character design of the victims...
...and then again, in a slight worse state. It was amazing to see what the animators did with these pieces as they were used in a different method of animation for the scene where they come to life. The result was a lot of fun to watch.
Then it was time to move onto the backgrounds, landscapes and objects that appear within the video. This is really when the magnitude of this project hit me. It’s the first time I had created every aspect that would appear in the actual animation and although it was time consuming and at times ‘mind melting’ it was an extremely rewarding process. When I saw it all being put together, how the animators were building the world from the individual illustrations that I sent them just blew me away. This doesn’t really scratch the surface of everything that needed creating but here are a few examples of the individual illustrations I created.
I was lucky enough to be working on this with an incredible team, the Director Jess Cope along with the producer Alex Halley and the entire team at Partizan did an amazing job. Here they all are for you.
Music by Passenger
Directed by Jess Cope
Written by Jess Cope and Adam Oehlers
Animated by Luke Simpson
Produced by Partizan
Director Jess Cope got in touch with me about this project and I jumped on the opportunity to work with her once again. It was a bit of a different project for us to work on but we welcomed the challenge. Due to the short amount of time we had to work on it I only created a couple of pieces of concept art before we moved onto the final production. We knew from the beginning that we wanted this to have a paper cut out feel to it so for the initial concept art I felt it only right to create the puppets out of paper and photograph them. I came up with some character concepts and when we chose a couple I set to work on the puppets.
Once the puppets were made I shot them in front of a backlit shadow puppetry screen with elements of foliage that I also cut from paper. I then digitally coloured the photographs.
Once we reached a look and feel that we were happy with I set out to rebuild the puppets in a digital format creating each element of the bird on a separate layer that could be manipulated independently.
With puppets complete I set out to create the birds heads from varying angles and then the landscapes, which I approached in the same way as the birds.
When everything was done it was then sent off to Partizan where animator Luke Simpson under the direction of Jess Cope put it all together, matching the colour and feel to my original concepts and they brought it to life. They did an extraordinary job bringing it all together and it was an absolute pleasure being a part of this very small team.
Directed and animated by Jess Cope
I was approached by Director Jess Cope and asked to work with her and Owl House studios on this 10 minuet music video for Steven Wilson. The tone of the story grabbed me straight away, it follows a woman stuck in a seemingly never ending routine as she deals with an unthinkable grief. A lot of my own characters and stories focus on individuals stuck in a task or moment that they cannot escape so straight away it pulled me in and I jumped on the opportunity to work with Jess once again. Here are a selection of my original concept art for the project.
I began work on sketching out the main character of the piece and after a few attempts I sent this one over to Jess. Her feedback was great saying that this was exactly how she was picturing her so we moved onto a colour final and full body look for the character.
Although this little guy was eventually cut from the film I thought I’d share him with you. The original storyboard had a cat companion that the main character lived with and in her grief unwittingly neglects him, with the 2 companions reuniting in the end. Here is the original concept for her cat who never made it into the story.
Once the characters were finalised I moved onto the landscapes and house, creating sketches for both the interior and exterior and surrounding landscape.
Along with some other pieces of mine that hang on the walls of the house you’ll see these 2 sketches created for the animation, a family portrait and a photograph of her 2 children playing on a swing by the tree.
The model makers did an outstanding job and during production photographs were sent to me of the building of the characters and the house which just blew me away.
Until finally the animation was released.
Live on Stage at Steven Wilson's "Hand, cannot, erase" tour. Photograph courtesy of Lasse Hoile.