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Coldplay 'Ghost Stories/Always In My Head' by Alasdair+Jock

Jimmy Brown - 22nd May 2014

Alasdair+Jock's superb animation that accompanied a full 43 minute stream of Coldplay's sixth album Ghost Stories saw the album go to No 1 in over 100 countries this week. The iTunes stream was available for a full week ahead of release and Coldplay's vast army of fans took to social media to voice their approval.

The directing duo brought to life Mila Fürstová's brilliant album artwork - a detailed etching of a pair of angels wings over an ocean - to stunning effect. 

The film used a multitude of animated techniques and a team of 10 animators and art workers using 3D, 2D cuts outs, and classical 2D hand drawn came together to create the 50 individual sections. Each section had to be animated in such a way that they could be looped, ranging from 30 secs to an impressive 2 minutes. Once animated, each section then had to go through a heavy compositing and effects stage in order to pull all the different techniques together, and make sure the line style in the animation was exactly the same as that of the album artwork.

To help build an overall visual narrative for the album, the team slowly revealed more and more detail as the tracks progress allowing the viewer to travel in and out of what is in essence a world within a world. The team also utilised time-lapse photography and SFX to create the world ‘outside’ the wings. Time lapse clouds, sea, and mist are mixed with affected art worked shooting stars and a waxing and waning moon which casts the wings into darkness as track 5 Midnight progresses in the middle of the album.

Aladair notes: "It was a massive undertaking but we wanted to create something unique for the album, and we loved the idea of bringing this image to life with some really beautiful movement, in a way that matched the intricate and complex look of Mila’s artwork." 

Producer Richard Barnett adds "The finished project has to be up there in our top 5 along with the projections for Madness at the Queens Diamond Jubilee, Rok’s lyric vid for The Rolling Stones, our visuals for Keith Urban at the Country Music Awards, and of course Elton John’s Million Dollar Piano visuals!".

Below is an excerpt from the stream that accompanies opening track Always In My Head. A behind-the-scenes can be viewed here.

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Jimmy Brown - 22nd May 2014


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Line Producer
Pedro Lino
Richard Barnett
Production Company


Sam Seager


2D Animator
Marie-Margaux Tsakiri-Scanatovits
2D Animator
Zoe Matzko
2D Animator
Jeroen Jaspaert
2D Animator
Aaron Lampert
2D Animator
Valentina Delmiglio
3D Animator
Layla Atkinson
John Harmer
Valentina Delmiglio
Jock Mooney
Mo Hague
Chris Sayer
Alasdair Brotherston
Album Artwork
Mila Fürstová

Jimmy Brown - 22nd May 2014

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