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Friday, 4 December 2009

David Gilbert & Maxim Lucas (Plastic Horse) "What Do They Know? " (2009)




In June I featured Three Times by David Gilbert and Maxim Lucas (Plastic Horse). That video was one of the 4mations Toon Bom Competition winners a few weeks ago alongside a favourite, Ilias Sounas whose short I intend to feature on Sunday. Today it is Plastic Horse’s latest, What Do They Know? by Sam Sure & Giacomo. I’ll let David explain their approach: “We took loads of photos of Sam and Giacomo miming to the lyrics and doing various actions (all at 3 frames per second). Then we spliced this together in After Effects with loads and loads of separate background photos. Every image in every frame has been treated individually in Photoshop, which took absolutely ages. But we think the result is worth it!” Watching the very finely edited video it might be pertinent to ask what is gained by using a stop motion technique as opposed to live action. First off is the marriage of quickfire rap lyrics, in your face delivery and the rapid succession of doctored images that rattle along in complementary form. There is a beguiling cockiness about the band shown off to advantage by the animators. The effects are obvious: saturated or coloured tints, the introduction of brightly coloured balloons and patterns, an acceleration or reduction of images, superimposed, layered, some drawn animation effects. The team have crafted a piece of work that greatly adds to the music. Cheaper and quicker by far to simply place the band on a London street and film them. But not nearly so interesting. I think the screenshots are revealing. Each shot of the pair is selected, like choosing the best photographs from the memory card of the digital camera, exactly what David and Maxim have done. And then some. I reduce the wrinkles on mine. The boys add blue sky and aeroplanes.

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