David Knight - 5th Aug 2009

Delightfully art directed and rather soothing vid of Cheatah's Nathan Hewitt strumming his ukelele in a jungle, overlooked by giant lion eyes - all created from his own beautiful, recreated-from-childhood illustrations. How cool is that

It's another well-crafted, self-produced, fine achievement by Alex Turvey, who's been picking up well-deserved 'young gun to watch' notices recently in the Independent and Dazed.

Alex Turvey on making the video for Cheatahs' Warrior

"It was over mushrooms on toast that Nathan [Hewitt] and I decided to recreate his childhood portfolio of animal illustrations on a mammoth scale. Originally rendered in pencil under the guidance of a trailer-park drawing class in Edmonton, Canada, when Nathan was just seven years old, the repertoire of very strange-looking owls, lions, lynxes, polar bears and monkeys were painstakingly copied from wildlife photographs.

"We decided to create Nathan's Place, a huge 2D landscape of his childhood animals, and an homage to Canadian children's TV host, Fred Penner (who climbed through logs into magical worlds, and had an enviable collection of wooly jumpers).

"The making process took two weeks of solid graft. We rigged up a projector so that Nathan could redraw his illustrations with paint marker and charcoal. Simultaneously, hugely-talented propmakers Mark Conell and Omar Lado of http://wearemade.org.uk Made moved their tools and materials into my flat where they worked day and night, sawing, sanding and drilling until the set was complete--resembling a pop-up book where each animal had a hand-operated, movable function, from bobbing heads to roving eyes.

"After a sweltering two-day shoot smack bang in the middle of the July heat wave, followed by a week of solid animation, I then took the footage to Paris in order to grade the final edit with the wonderful people at La Pac. All in all, the project has been a labour of love for everyone involved, the only problem now being, what to do with the eight-foot owl in my living room and the lion at the end of my bed."

Watch 'Cheatahs’ Warrior by Alex Turvey' here

Credits

Production CompanyLove
Director of PhotographyAndrew Farrar
StylistLaura Clayton

David Knight - 5th Aug 2009

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