David Knight - 2nd Feb 2010

With his figures cavorting against black, Nick reveals that he was inspired by Roman vase art - but with his bodacious devil-girl there's also a substantial nod to retro-inspired poster art maestros like Kozik and Coop.

Nick directed the award-winning indie film Dark Mind a couple of years ago, and has also worked as a VFX producer with complex motion control shots as a speciality. With this he shot everything in live action - shot by British DoP Nic Sadler, with beauty by Nic's wife Yolanda Price - then hand-painted the footage afterwards. A great-looking and riveting video for the clearly marvelous (and apparently still unsigned) Tweak Bird.

Nick Peterson on making the video for Tweak Bird's The Bones

"I wrote a treatment for a different band and pitched this technique to them. They passed on it and I didnt get the job, but I really wanted to do a video with this style of animation. I met Tweak Bird through friends and when I saw them perform I thought they were awesome and I asked them if I could do a video for them and they agreed.

"For some reason when I was designing the look I kept thinking about early Roman art you'd find on vases. And the story just evolved from there - certain ideas I had kicking around in my head and inspiration from the music and the band's personality.

"We shot for two days, one with the band and another day with the actors. Since I knew everything would be animated I was able to shoot it all with my little Sony handicam with a wide angle attachment. The advantage of shooting with such a small camera was awesome. It allowed me to get really dynamic shots with very little effort. And keep the crew to a three person crew: myself and Nic Sadler the DP and his wife Yolanda Price for hair and makeup. Both of them are from the UK and have worked in London for many years.

"The actors were very trusting of me, and brave. Both of them were in their underwear on a dark stage with a small crew of strangers. I'm sure at times they thought 'what the hell am I doing here', as the male actor standing on apple boxes was pouring invisible liquid onto the girl as she danced below him. I'm glad they stuck it out.

"The original footage was all shot live action and cut together and comped in Final Cut Pro. Then I exported each cut as a separate shot through Apple's Motion as a progressive image sequence of stills. The image sequences were then run through Photoshop and layers were added. Each frame was hand drawn with a Wacom tablet.

"Once the 1500+ drawings were finished I plugged them back into Final Cut Pro, did colour correction with Apple's Color program and exported everything with Apple's Compressor."

Credits

DirectorNicholas Peterson
Director of PhotographyNic Sadler

David Knight - 2nd Feb 2010

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