I was asked by Crisp Magazine to write an article about the concepts and processes involved in creating the ‘Rises and Falls’ music video for Lanks.
It was in our first meeting that I said to Lanks and his sister/manager Lou “I have a few DVDs of music videos I’ve been meaning to re-watch”, I went home and pulled all the DVDs that are full of music videos off the shelf. It turns out I own 20. I had a lot of re-watching to do.
Being the son of a musician, I was brought up surrounded by music. Animation is a passion of mine and I’m always drawing or creating something, so this project was a real joy for me from start to end. It also helps that Lanks is super talented and I love his music. The fact that I still really enjoy listening to Rises and Falls after hearing it a few hundred times is a testament to how good it is.
The track has a strong narrative to it; love, tragedy and irony with a powerful build up. On the one hand it’s easy to make visuals to something that already holds so much depth, but on the other hand I was challenged as I didn’t want to just display what was being sung. I decided to create what I refer to as a ‘suggested narrative’. The animation guides its own story which runs parallel to the track. Before animating, I wrote out pages and pages of notes and mentally formed a lot of imagery containing metaphors and symbolism. One of the concepts that reoccured in my notes was the idea of a character leaking an emotion or sense of longing. This idea took many forms in my mind before evolving into the mixed media animation and video that it is now.
The animated segments are made up from pencil drawings, inverted charcoal shapes and photos of textures such as leather and metal. Before Lanks knew much about what the music video would be, I sent him one of the most bizarre messages I’ve ever sent, it went along the lines of “… I’m going to pour paint down your face, shirt, arms, hands, legs, shoes…”. For those shots I did just that, filming it in slow motion then superimposing the paint drip onto the animation. I have to say, I’m very pleased with how it turned out.