X-ray specs have been enlisted in the fight against the smuggling of exotic animals. Alongside super-intelligent beagles, X-rays represent formidable barriers to wanna-be smugglers. For example, take Jessica Dean & Marc Eiden of TukTuk Productions. While they’d struggle to smuggle large zoo inflatables full of dental grade nitrous oxide into the country, they have no trouble juggling the complexities of video. Behind the scenes then we go, to see how they made their ‘77%’ film clip for the Herd (from ‘An Elefant Never Forgets’ – Elefant Traks).
Pitch your clip / plot / animation in 25 words :
Jess: John Howard walking a mile in the shoes of those he has disrespected. First he morphs into an aboriginal and then a refugee.
Marc: He’s very sorry!
How many hours went into making your clip?
Marc: The clip is five minutes long and it took us about three months and 250 cups of coffee. Not sure how many hours, just every spare moment in between our nine to fives.
Jess: We now look like Jon English.
How’d u approach the Herd lyrics & beats to devise a clip?
Jess: First of all we loved the lyrics and wanted to do a clip for this song.
Marc: We animated all the sequences then edited it to the beats. We wanted a story that would stand on its own, but still compliment what The Herd were saying.
How much storyboarding went down, and to what sorta detail?
Marc: The story was scripted first and then every shot was storyboarded.
Jess: We then improvised and came up with other ideas as we were animating.
What were the key processes, once u got started?
Jess: We wanted the animation to look different, so we experimented with various textures. First we drew each scene and character in Flash then we scanned in felt material, which gave it a child-like feel.
Marc: Next we cut out the scenes and characters from the felt and layered it over the vector drawings. Then the animating began. We outputted the animations as Quicktime files and edited them to the music in Final Cut Pro, combining live Herd footage from their Sydney and Melbourne gigs.
Pleasures & painz of the software you used?
Marc: Flash was great, but our files were so huge like 150MB for three seconds. We couldn’t see them in real time until we’d exported them as Quicktimes. We’d only animated vector files previously.
Jess: The only pain I guess is that in Flash you are dealing with unlimited layers, so after three months we started dreaming in layers, seeing everything in layers, it creeps into your subconscious. It’s quite strange.
Marc: I totally recommend it. Final Cut Pro was a treat. It did everything we wanted and more.
What features would u invent in new animation / vid-editing softz?
Jess: Plugging your brain straight into your computer Cronenberg style, so everything you imagine would be perfectly and instantly created!
Marc: We haven’t worked with every animation and editing software available, so this might already exist.
Where can peeps catch the vid?
Marc: It’s being streamed on the Elefant Traks website: www.elefanttraks.com. We’re hoping for TV play and at various film clip festivals worldwide.
Future vid + music plans?
(Jess & Marc in sync almost aggressive, Marc beating chest): We want to keep making clips for bands and artists we find interesting / stimulating. Our aim is to get stories told visually through music. We want to engage the audience, make the experience interesting and stay away from boring cliches.
Marc: ‘Careless Whiskers’ the debut album by Moustache will be out very soon. And keep your eye bugged out for ‘The Greys’.