We love to taking inspiration from classic artists and putting a modern twist on things. When it came to making a retro looking video we took inspiration from Saul Bass, classic 1960’s poster styles. Working in collaboration with Nice & polite we made this contemporary animated music video production for the Bastille ‘Hangin’ single and animated in 4K resolution for a more immersive and enjoyable viewing experience.

Contemporary Animated Music Video Production

When Nice & Polite first asked us to be a part of this new music video animation you can imagine our excitement. They went on to describe the project in lots of detail…

We want to create a contemporary and credible animated video for Bastilles single ‘Hangin’. Taking inspiration from Saul Bass style, classic 1960s posters, we want to take this concept of a man falling through a contemporary and hypnotic animated space and really bring it to life using animation and illustrative techniques.

For the overall aesthetic of the piece, the male character will be designed up in silhouette, however instead of illustrating him in the classic suit silhouette, that has been seen in the likes of the Hitchcock ‘Vertigo’ posters and the opening credits of ‘Mad Men’.

Character Animation

Nice & Polite then went on to describe the animation of the character and provided concepts and storyboards that showed us the graphical and illustrative approach they were looking for.

We want to take this character and give him a more modern and unusual twist, with his silhouette being a shirtless man wearing suit trousers and no shoes.

We think this look will breathe a breath of freshness to the video. We want to stick to the red white and black colour palette, with graphical line drawings, shapes, and prints being key in the backdrop that our character is constantly falling through.

The character will be drawn in frame by frame animation, making his fall feel really fluid and look really slick.

Visual Styling

The aesthetic of these being slightly distressed to mimic that screen printed texture. We also think it would be a nice touch to sometimes have the lines fizz and glow when the pace of the video gets more intense. Almost in a VHS White Noise style because we know that the client is a fan of David Lynch styles.

The edit will play out from different perspectives of our character falling – with the backdrop acting like a parallax, that warps and changes perspective throughout, which will act like a hypnotic, optical illusion style anchor for the video.

The pacing of the video is key – with the pace of the video building and dipping with the music – making sure the attention of the viewer is kept throughout.

Illustration and design

Our initial tests with the frame-by-frame character animation proved to be a long and laborious process and with time not on our side we decided that the best approach was going to download a 3D character, that was already modeled and rigged, so we could animate it ourselves and create the illusion of him falling through or abstract backgrounds which worked a treat.

The background imagery designs and graphics were made by a London based fine artist called Kraggy and provided to us as multi-layered graphics ready for us to animate. Because the graphics were ‘layered’ this meant that we could easily seperate them in 3D space After Effects and pass our virtual camera, and our character, through them. As well as implementing some fancy particle and visual effects along the way.

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