David Knight - 2nd July 2010

Nir Ben Jacob, who directed the beautiful animation for The Walkmen's On The Water last year, has now created a wonderful video for Toronto band Great Lake Swimmers that was inspired by the discovery of some remarkable craftwork: the fifty year old wood-chip plate compositions by his own grandfather.

Nir has woven a story from the original plates in 3D with tremendous skill and this is a very worthy tribute to his grandfather's beautiful creations.

Nir Ben Jacob on making the video for Great Lake Swimmers' River's Edge

"About a year ago I stumbled on these old wood-chip plate compositions my late grandfather made," says Nir. "They're a beautiful example of early Israeli-Yemenite art. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to animate them.

"My grandfather made the plates in Israel around 1960, and he passed away in 1965. There are eight detailed compositions depicting early rural and agricultural life in Israel. After admiring and studying the craftsmanship, I started to weave the story together. It was all there in the plates, it was just a matter of organizing them. I tried to stay true to his vision by not adding too many extra elements to each plate.

"As far as animating, the first step was to photograph the plates and bring them into the computer. Then, separating the elements into layers and arranging them in 3D space to recreate the world depicted in the plates. I also used the camera projection mapping technique, in which you project an image (in my case the ground layer) onto 3D geometry, to help create the scenes."


DirectorNir Ben Jacob

David Knight - 2nd July 2010

Related Content


Modern Tapes' Caroline by Nir Ben Jacob

Following his work on animated videos for The Walkmen and Great Lake Swimmers, Nir Ben Jacob moves over to live action for the promo to Modern Tapes' Caroline - shot in an empty building and …

Jimmy Brown - 18th May 2011


Modern Tapes 'Stranded' by Nir Ben Jacob

Following his video for Caroline, Nir Ben Jacob's second video for Modern Tapes reworks vintage 50s footage that crystallises two towering preoccupations of the period - rock 'n roll and nuclear …

David Knight - 1st Dec 2011


Document 'Turnstile' by Nir Ben Jacob

Nir Ben Jacob basically dumped the non-porn content of the internet into his mesmerizing gif-montage video for Document's Where You Are. This one, also for the band he fronts, is a …

David Knight - 20th Jan 2014

Latest News