Neighbors // Failure

posted by on 03.27.2014, under Music, Music Videos

failure copy

Neighbors released their record, Failure, on Tuesday. We’ve been listening to it at the studio,  non-stop and shamelessly, ever since.

Wild Enough
Directed by Philip Van
Choreographed by Celia Rowlson Hall

So good! This single is rad and so is this video. But it’s possible that ‘Spacing Out’ and ‘Outliers’ are new favorites for me from this album.

Neighbors is playing a show this Saturday, March 29th! Album Release Party w/ Riverwild, Hints @ Glasslands



posted by on 03.01.2011, under Animation, Art, Film, Independent, Music, Music Videos

A music video from Keaton Henson’s album, “Dear …” Click the photo of the suicidal puppet to watch.

Directed by David WilsonJohn Malcolm Moore and Keaton Henson.

Even though the song makes me just as sad as this lonely puppet, I’m going to buy his album.

These three talented lads also worked together on this NEXT insane music video in 20 days back in September.  I remember I wanted to write about it at the time but my mind bent a little bit watching it and I forgot.  Here it is now, in all it’s melting, acid flashback glory:


Cassius – I Love U So

posted by on 02.23.2011, under Music, Music Videos, Random

Thanks, Peter Ahern, for bringing this video to my attention.

It’s fun!  Videos that play with variety vs. constants get me every time, it JUST works. Also cool use of the iPhone in a music video. Reminds me of that band that plays with the iPhone on the subway, Atomic Tom.

I downloaded the free app for some giggles on this uneventful Wednesday afternoon. Maybe I’ll have to submit my own video to the daily motion now?


Woodstock Film Festival 2010

posted by on 10.09.2010, under Art, Film, Film Festivals, Independent, Music Videos, Random

Every year the Woodstock Film Festival gets better and better.   Last week we attended the 2010 festival with some seriously cool highlights.

1. From the left, my fiance flew to NY from England that morning to surprise me.  BONUS!

2. The Woodstock 2010 Festival trailer Joy, James and I created was a huge hit and got a great response from the audience.  Click here to watch and see how it was made.

3. Saw a brilliant film called “Don’t Quit Your Daydream,” produced by John Loar and Adrian Grenier.  It’s about a band, The Good Listeners (Nathan Khyber & Clark Stiles) as they road trip through America recording their third album.  Go out and buy it immediately and while you are at it, check out their other albums.

4. The Animation Screening was sold out BOTH days!  The psychedelic and sexy films were very well received by the hippies.  In the photo from the left: Signe Baumane, Peter Ahern, James Buran, Bill Plympton, Noelle Vaccese, Joy Vaccese and Dustin Grella.

5. We saw Luke Matheny, director of a short called, “God of Love.”  It’s a great film we caught at the Martha’s Vineyard festival a few weeks ago.

6. We recognized Nathan and Clark from the Good Listeners at the after party. They are really cool guys and got us on the guest list for a show they were playing at Levon Helm’s Barn.

7. Concert at Levon Helm’s.  It was a rad experience, The Good Listeners opened and played a mind-blowing show and Levon Helm’s Band was incredible.

8.  We had to leave to get to the Awards ceremony.  Got there late to find that Peter won Honorable Mention for his animated short, Down to the Bone. He wasn’t there to accept his award because we were at the coolest concert ever.  Congrats anyway, Peter!

9. Oh yeah!  And Keanu Reeves won the Best Actor Award.  WHOA!

To see more photos of the Woodstock Film Festival 2010, click here.


The Gardener


After an 8 hour flight home from the UK last night, I had big plans for sleeping.  But then my friend James had an extra ticket for The Tallest Man on Earth at Webster Hall.  Oh, the sacrifice.

The Tallest Man on Earth, Webster Hall - Sept. 27 2010

It was a great show and by our second shot of Jameson, he played “The Gardener.”  This is always the highlight for me, the tippy top favorite of my many favorite songs of his.

I made the trip across the big blue ocean for the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival.  Joy, James and I worked on a music video, Golem, for The Maladies and it’s screening in the Animation Program this weekend.

We were also asked to make the Festival Signal Film again.  Keep reading to find out how we made it:

There were two rules to making the film.

One – it had to be based on the 2010 poster by Portia Munson, which was created using flowers from Munson’s Catskill garden.

2010 Woodstock Film Festival Poster by Portia Munson

Second rule – the film had to be done using pixilation.

I was still in England so Joy and James called me on video chat to discuss.  As James explained their concept, I could see Joy in the background, putting on too much makeup and wearing a funny costume.  They said they would handle the live action while I animated the flowers which I’d send to them to put to music.

We got started.  Joy and James dressed up as mime gardeners, a fairy and a rooster and took about 2,000 pictures of each other in their backyard.  I watched classic Sesame Street stop motion for inspiration and spent hours digitally cutting out 105 flowers and 1 insect from the poster.  I think I counted about 340 flowers in total but I could be wrong because I got dizzy.

You can imagine my excitement when they sent me a link to the finished movie.  Their part was so fun and well done for two animators who work almost exclusively in hand drawn and computer animation.  The live action seamlessly melts into my dancing flowers to The Tallest Man on Earth’s “The Gardener.”

We’ve been making the Woodstock Signal Films for three years now – here’s 2008 which Joy and I did together and here’s 2009, which we made with James and Arthur Metcalf.

There are going to be a few signal films in the festival this year for variety, two others were created by Aaron Hughes and Ivan Joy.  I can’t wait to see what they came up with!


Arcade Fire, The Wilderness Downtown

posted by on 08.30.2010, under Art, Film, Music Videos

The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive film directed by Chris Milk.  It’s unique to each user thanks to the über nerds at Google who together with Milk, set out on a quest to prove the awesomeness of html 5.  The experience features Arcade Fire’s “We Used To Wait” and at some moments, it’s so touching I thought my little black heart would melt. Especially when the video asked me to write or draw a postcard to my younger self.

postcard to myself

I had a little too much fun drawing. After the film ends, you can share your film and postcards with other users!

I’m not going to get techie with it.  Listen, you ready? Go the the site, play and enjoy.  Then go find out how the magic happens from the experts at WSJ Blogs.

Remember The Arcade Fire Presents “Neon Bible”? I was wondering how they were going to step it up after that one.

Kristofer Strom and the Baltimore Clap

posted by on 08.10.2010, under Animation, Music Videos

I’ve been a big fan of  Kristopher Strom’s work since I first saw his whiteboard animated music video for Minilogue back in 2006

I love how he interacts with the creatures he draws under the camera.  Makes for some wonderful surprises along the way.  This seems to be a great medium for this type of animation, but as he says in the description of the video, it’s stop motion on whiteboard, so no undo or redo.  Only makes it more impressive.

His most recent work on his youtube page is the Official Music Video for Benga’s “Baltimore Clap,” which follows a hapless little chap on a terrifying journey through a cavernous clap factory …

I love the snappy animation to the beat of the music, my favorite part being when the little chap’s hand grows back – only to find that the horrible cycle will continue infinitely for an unexpected purpose.


It feels like being tranquilized

posted by on 07.10.2010, under Music Videos

It’s summer and my new favorite album on my summer tunes playlist is Yeasayer’s ODD BLOOD.

Click the image to watch their music video for “O.N.E.”

Can we go to this party?


Hot Nurse Experiment

posted by on 05.09.2010, under Cut The Fat, Music Videos

Here is a 6 second clip that somehow could not fit anywhere in the music video, “Golem.”

For more deleted scenes, click here.


Wishful Thinking

posted by on 05.05.2010, under Animation, Music Videos

One of my favorite music videos that uses pixilation – remember “Wishful Thinking” by the Ditty Bops?  This video is so damn cute.
It starts off with the two band members cutting out the set and little characters, as if they are actually making the animation come to life.  They playfully try to kill each other throughout the entire thing and the Vaudevillian style lends itself to pixilation – rather than just doing it to try something different.  It really gives it that old silent movie feel.