David Knight - 17th Dec 2008

It starts as a curious piece of antique stop-frame animation - by Ray Harryhausen no less - accompanying Bloc Party's One Month Off.

So not that dissimilar to the 'videos' introduced by Whispering Bob Harris on Old Grey Whistle Test many, many moons ago (okay, you have to be bloody ancient to remember those...)

But over and above Harry- hausen's formative take on the classic fairy tales, Irish directing team D.A.D.D.Y. have also added a disturbing new dimension. With echoes of Shynola's chilling video for UNKLE's An Eye For An Eye, the defenceless idyll comes under attack.

D.A.D.D.Y.'s Mike and Enda explain below how they brought weapons of mass destruction down on Little Miss Muffet, Jack and Jill, and Rapunzel.

Not very seasonal admittedly - but Father Christmas appears to have been spared...

D.A.D.D.Y.'s Mike and Enda on the making of their video for Bloc Party's One Month Off

"We are big fans of master animator Ray Harryhausen, and a while back found a series of fairytales that he animated in the 1940's using film stock he had acquired cheaply from the American army after the war.

"The themes of this song strangely brought these back to mind. These themes seemed to be the loss of something simple, perhaps a sense of innocence within a relationship. Other smaller metaphors from the lyrics like 'fire' and 'firewood' are also recurring themes in these fairytales, and they ended up inspiring the finished piece.

"So basically we acquired a number of the fairytale stories and re-edited them to the track so we had a strange narrative set in this animated fairytale world - a place inhabited by all the classic characters from Little Miss Muffet to Red Riding Hood. Taking the re-edited vintage animations, we then reanimated over these beautiful old stop-motion films, adding some 'reality', so they lost that innocent feeling and meaning they once had.

"We have no idea what Mr. Harryhausen will think if he sees them, but some of the new cartoon violence makes parts of the video darkly funny, which he might like."

Watch 'Bloc Party's One Month Off by D.A.D.D.Y.' here


Production CompanyRed Jam Productions
ProducerMary McCarthy
Director's RepresentationDebs Herbert
CommissionerJill Kaplan / Skyway Productions

David Knight - 17th Dec 2008

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