David Knight - 5th Oct 2020

Jorja Smith's wonderful collab with Popcaan gets a superb visual accompaniment, thanks to another inspired collaboration.

Amber Grace Johnson made a big impact with her debut video, made for Jorja last year - the steamy and stylish Be Honest. Now she has moved into the previously unfamiliar territory of animation for Come Over, and recruited the help of animation collective Future Power Station to create a thrilling vehicle to dramatise Jorja's love-life complications in the song.

The approach was necessitated by the shutdown on live action production at the start of the coronavirus crisis. But it has conversely allowed Johnson to indulge her love of Japanese anime, and given FPS (that's Yibi Hu, Geoff Parsons, Naima Vogt) to make a rare excursion into music video and demonstrate their design and animation skills.

The video is set in a near-future world familiar in anime, but the storyline is a timeless reflection of the song - Jorja is waiting on a call from a new boyfriend, while he's wondering why she has not called. Each one is hot for the other, each one fears the other has no interest. But with an apposite 'F*ck It', Jorja springs into action, leaping on her hover-motorbike (as opposed to the real bike in Be Honest). She undergoes a mystical transformation, and she also enters a club, and begins to reveal her superpowers to deal with the attention of toxic males, before breaking through the real and metaphorical wall to reach her lover.

“When all production froze due to COVID, Jorja reached out to me," explains Johnson, in a statement accompanying the video's release. "Little did she know it’s a lifelong dream of mine to create an anime-inspired piece, being a fan of Ghibli, Satoshi Kon, Aeon Flux, Wicked City and other classics.

"Best part was that production limits in animation are somewhat non-existent (except of course for how much time you have and resources). But in terms of actions, it felt infinite. I wanted an airborne scene, a hover motorbike, and a fight scene of an undefeated Jorja to kill off a fleet of slimy, artificial club fuckboys on a dystopian sun planet using her hair as her weapon.

"Naturally my script evolved into ideas only my imagination could dream up. We were lucky to have the opportunity to work with Future Power Station, who brought the vision to life and exceeded expectations.”

 

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorAmber Grace Johnson
Animation DirectorFuture Power Station
ProducerXavier Questel
Production CompanyFriends Electric
Executive ProducerMorgan Clement
Executive ProducerBarney Richard
SoundRaphaël Ajuelos
ColouristJason Wallis
Grade ProducerOliver Whitworth
Grading companyElectric Theatre Collective
Other creditsAnimators: Judit Boor, Eric Dias, Fali Mc, Krystian Garstkowiak, Daryl Graham, Simon Graham, Andy McPherson, Kevin O'Shea, Rafaila Raykova, Adam Relf, Katie Spangenberg, Sykosan, Krisi Zhupali

David Knight - 5th Oct 2020

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