Rob Ulitski - 5th May 2020

A lonely kid from a broken family in small-town America, discovers a miraculous gift, in Kimberly Stuckwisch and Nelson De Castro's innovative video for Broken Bells, the musical project of Danger Mouse and James Mercer of The Shins, and last year's one-off single, Good Luck.

As he escapes from his home, young Ralph (Flynn Zanco), can see that some people are distinguished by a special quality: their bodies become composed of beams of light. These are the people who are ignored and seemingly invisible - just like him. As the boy himself begins to take the same form, the organic nature of the 'light people' becomes even more evident, and confirms that this was not achieved by conventional digital effects.

In fact, Stuckwisch and De Castro have supplemented the rich filmic quality of DoP Andrew Droz Palermo's cinematography, via an extraordinary method. The 'light ray' effect of the figures was created by hand tracing and laser-cutting over 4000 frames onto black card stock to create shape mattes. "Then we physically shined light and haze through each individual frame to produce the stop motion effect, before laying it back over the footage," explain the directors. "It gives it an old school animation feel, all done practically."    

The painstaking animation technique creates a look and style that is nostalgic yet contemporary, but unlike anything else currently out there. Beautiful work and top-notch craftsmanship from the whole team.

Credits

DirectorKimberly Stuckwisch
DirectorNelson De Castro
ProducerIan Blair
Production CompanyLittle Ugly
Executive ProducerIan Blair
1st ADJeff Cobb
Director of PhotographyAndrew Droz Palermo
Art DirectorJade Spiers
WardrobeKimberly Stuckwisch
EditorNour Oubeid
ColouristAlastor Arnold
Grading companyFotokem
VFXRyan Ross
Lead actorFlynn Zanco
Director's Rep (US)Reprobates

Rob Ulitski - 5th May 2020

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