Yeasayer reached out to us and gave us carte-blanche on the concept: we just had to tie in to their album cover, which consisted of sculptures commissioned from David Altmejd., We 3D scanned his sculptures and a live model, and I sculpted the rest. The bulk of the animation was mocap, but we also did a fair amount of hand-animation, collaborating with Deep Sky Studios for a couple of the scenes. Turnaround was six weeks. I Am Chemistry picked up a Vimeo Staff Pick, played at SXSW, won a D&AD pencil, hooked us two Cannes YDA's, and garnered other awards at many film festivals worldwide.
I got the call from Chris (lead singer) while traveling across the country. My wife and I had just moved away from NYC and were camping across the US on the way to Oregon. I was writing a story about a lost cosmonaut, sketching it out at different campsites. Kinda slipped into the treatment I guess.
Some initial concepts. We knew right off the bat we wanted it to reach out, grab your lapels and show you something totally unexpected.
Kicked out a hand-drawn animatic to sell to the band and figure out the timing. Always nice to do when you have the time. Of course, I guess we really didn't have the time, but we did it anyway.
Flew out to NYC, scanned David's scuptures. It was a delight to be in David's studio, he's an amazing talent. And yeah, that is Donald Trump in the video. Who knew.
Stunningly, this actually worked: Abby and Ryan were in NYC, working with Dante Brown (choreographer/dancer) who was in mocap suit: I Facetimed in on an iPad from Portland and co-directed from my living room. Dante crushed it. We kept telling him "more Brittany! Yes! More Brittany!"
Left: render of our 3D scan of David's sculpture of Chris. Right: BTS shot of the sculptures for the album cover.
First screen test of the Alpha xenomorph. Was thinking a lot about Henry Moore, early Picasso sculpture.
First dance test with the sculpture of Chris.
Early Previs of the whole shebang.
Jason, the band's manager, had us whip this up for social. Hotline Bling had just dropped.