David Knight - 8th Mar 2018

Labour-of-love of the week so far is certainly this stop motion animation for Fingers and Thumbs — the acoustic solo project of Dark Horses guitarist David Wheeldon - by Ian Newcomb. He spent three years thinking about making it, and then a whole year actually doing it.

The video for I Won't Shoot is divided into chapters where similar things happen - but with a notable difference in each one; the camera draws up to a tree trunk and looks up to the branches above. The first time the branches are completely revealed. When it happens again, the tree has changed. And it keeps changing.

Shot in black and white, the tree (and Wheeldon) spotlit in the dark, it also has a eery dreamlike quality that makes the idea even more effective. An impressive achievement.  


"This was all shot in-camera — no After Effects monkey business here! Even the title cards were hand cut and photographed. I like making life hard for myself.

"A year in the making (actually four years if you include three years of procrastinating), the main character in the video is a tree, photographed bare in winter, budding in spring and fully-leaved in summer. The main theme of the video is about overcoming negative self-delusion. Things are never as bad as they seem in your head. If I wanted to sound pretentious, I’d say it’s also about the circle of life, but I don’t. So I won’t.

"Like the song, it’s home-made so it’s a bit rough around the edges. If I had the budget and a massive crew it probably wouldn’t even have been stop motion. But I like how stop motion gives it a jerky, slightly unsettling Nosferatu kind of feel. It’s like a sinister, lo-fi version of the video for A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Dis Generation’, but with less cars and rappers and more tree (but not the kind that Busta Rhymes is talking about smoking).

"Actually, I started work on the video waaaaay before theirs so actually it seems they ripped me off. Bastards!"


DirectorIan Newcomb
ProducerIan Newcomb
Director of PhotographyIan Newcomb
EditorIan Newcomb

David Knight - 8th Mar 2018

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