Promonews - 13th Aug 2019

For a song that was originally performed by Sheila E and featured in the early hip hop movie Krush Groove, this Prince recording from the 1980s gets a well-executed, time-specific comic book treatment by Aaron Lampert.

Inspired by a Prince comic book from the early 90s, this is a welcome piece of additional Prince visual content - approved by his estate - to be enjoyed by his avid fanbase.

AARON LAMPERT:

"This was a really exciting brief to work on - essentially an open brief, but they had requested that it feel fun / epic and could also appeal to a younger audience.

"There is a Prince comic book Alter Ego by Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan from 1991, which the Prince Estate cited as a possible stylistic reference. This was the inspiration for the use of comic-book style panels in the video.

"The song was written in 1985, so we were instructed to ensure that all the Prince reference imagery that we used was from the relevant time period. All of the outfits and hairstyles in the video are based on that era of Prince. We strived to retain as much likeness and authenticity as possible.

"The track was originally performed by Sheila E and featured in the 1985 hip hop movie Krush Groove, which is based on the early days of the Def Jam label. Krush Groove and the early hip hop influence was the inspiration for the graffiti sections. Lots of the graffiti is Prince’s actual handwriting, taken directly from his original handwritten lyrics provided by his estate. I isolated individual words and phrases and then processed them to give them the appropriate look.

"I wanted to give the video a modern twist on an 80s feel. I grew up in the 80s and much of my favourite film and music comes from that decade. The song and Prince reference material, combined with the fact that I’m a big fan of comics and hip hop history meant that the aesthetic of the video came together quite naturally.

"The decision to lip-sync Prince’s vocal and sync the animated instruments with the track was to ensure that there was a strong connection between the music and the visuals. I wanted to bring as much life and rhythm to the imagery as possible.

"The main challenge was devising a plan that was doable in the time that we had to work with. And as well as keeping on brief, there was also the pressure of developing something that Prince’s huge existing fanbase would approve of.

"I worked with a very talented team, producer Mike Downs at Electric Light Studios, art director Sharon Liu and animators Nicolette van Gendt, Duncan Gist, Reg Isaac and Andrea Simonti.

"Since the video went live i've had many positive messages from hardcore fans which has been great."

Credits

DirectorAaron Lampert
ProducerMzl
Production CompanyElectric Light Studios
Art DirectorSharon Liu
VFXNicolette Van Gendt, Duncan Gist, Reg Isaac, Andrea Simonti
CommissionerJamie Carter
LabelWarner Music UK

Promonews - 13th Aug 2019

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