David Knight - 6th Feb 2008

Shown last week at BUG 05, we posted Elliot Jokelson's video for Eastern Conference Champions rocking singalong The Box a few weeks ago.

But it's worth putting up there again now because Elliot has come back with the story of how the whole Cuckoo's Nest-meets-Waking Life thing came together. And because it's great.

ELLIOT JOKELSON TALKS TO PROMONEWS ABOUT MAKING THE EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS' THE BOX VIDEO

"Writing treatments for music videos can be a tricky business. Being an idea machine isn't easy. For the most part, treatment writing falls into two categories for me: painless and painful.

"Sometimes when I receive a track to write on an idea comes to me immediately. It's great when this happens! Imagine what it feels like to have the universe kiss you on the forehead. But other times the creative process is laborious and stilted. Imagine what it would feel like if your head was filled with mud and you were asked to do some calculus.

"It can be a long, hard process when I am stuck, and in these cases it's not unusual for me to listen to the track a couple hundred times over the course of 2 or 3 days hoping that an idea will come to me. Most times it does.

"The Box fell into the second category. I was feeling panicked - as I often do when I can't come up with an idea quickly - and with a backlog of other treatments due, I started feeling really neurotic and stressed. My thoughts started going in circles and I couldn't stop thinking about all of the work I had to do and the short amount of time I had to do it in.

"Then suddenly It struck me. I wanted to create a video that reflected my creative process when I'm stilted - and what better setting then a mental ward After I had the initial idea everything else fell into place. I drew on my various neuroses for the videos imagery - like the bald orderly dance troupe (my hair started falling out last year) - and created a cyclical plot to mirror my stressful bout of worrying.

"The animation was created using a proprietary Japanese anime hardware and software system called RETAS! Pro. It's a great system designed to create a digital workspace for cell animation - the main system used in Japan for TV and film. The video was about 50% pure animation and 50% rotoscoped video.

"We shot the band performing, cut together performance sequences, rotoscoped the footage, used the rotoscope as a guide for creating our cells and then placed our animated characters in animated settings. The dancing orderlies was created from a rotoscoped clip of an in house animator doing a little dance.

"At first the video was created in black and white but after the label saw the initial footage they gave us some more money to colour the background plates and characters."

David Knight - 6th Feb 2008

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