David Knight - 22nd May 2008

In the olden days they used to call it a medley and it wasn't that uncommon. So it's interesting that Laura Marling, who's about twelve (well, she looks it with her new haircut) should revive the old tradition by sticking two songs together and releasing them as one.

It's probably coincidental that the video for Cross Your Fingers/Crawled Out Of The Sea was directed by two people - Tom Palliser and Ian Anderson, aka Babanuki - and it's their second video for Laura.

Tom and Ian know their visual effects - Babanuki's ads and handful of videos, including a Katie Melua video made last year, have a versatile graphic sensibility. But this is their first real go at stop-motion animation. "It seemed to evoke the themes of decay and age that run throughout the song," says Ian, "and it's also a good way of making a low budget video look dollar."

And there's a distinct development in Tom and Ian's torn paper theme once Cross segues smoothly into Crawled.

Laura Marling

Cross Your Fingers / Crawled Out Of The Sea (Virgin)

Prod co: Another Film Company

DoP: Ben Pritchard

Editor: Babanuki

Animation: Babanuki

Telecine: Ben Rogers at Glassworks

Online: Glassworks

Commissioner: Carole Burton-Fairbrother

Watch online: Quicktime movie

Tom and Ian of Babanuki on Laura Marling's Cross/Crawled video

Tom: "We had done a little bit of stop-motion experimentation in the past, certainly nothing that you'd call accomplished. Laura suggested a homemade feel, so it seemed right to make something which revelled a little in its imperfections.

"We had had ideas for a few scenarios and we were going to initially shoot these scenes with just a stills camera. However that would mean that all the lip-sync was going to look really 'live' and video-y.

"So we tried a technique whereby we shot everything as normal, then printed out the individual frames, re-photographed each frame with a digital stills camera, adding in any extra stop-motion manipulation along the way, then fed it back into the edit suite to replace the previous shot."

Ian: "Essentially, we shot the promo once, edited it, then shot it again."

Tom: [on the break from one song to the other] "The theme angle basically stops at that point and it's more about the performance of Laura with her band. This part of the video has each performer animated within a ripped section of the image, appearing and disappearing in an unusual way each time. By the end Laura has been ripped to shreds, the pieces scattered into the air before landing on the carpet."

Ian: "We tore every frame by hand, so the edges have a chattering movement. There's a lot of paper that still needs clearing up round Tom's flat."

Tom: "And we're really grateful to everyone at Glassworks as they were so kind and considerate given they were doing us a favour. We'd hope that we'd be allowed back in again!"

Credits

Art DirectorJoe Lobley
DirectorBabanuki

David Knight - 22nd May 2008

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