Indie bands have to do everything they can to stand out these days. And sometimes some good, old-fashioned innovation is all it takes to make you stand out.
That’s very much the case here.
This music video is a great example of photography as art with its innovative use of still photographs.
Using 2,250 photographs to give the impression of moving video, “UnAmerican” from Said the Whale is an interesting pastiche of film and song. It’s really a cool effect in action.
The whole thing took 80 hours to film and uses absolutely no digital effects according to a report from PetaPixel.
First, the director, Johnny Jansen, filmed the music video and then later printed out all of the photographs of the performance in order to string them together for the final film.
He spent about $680 printing the pictures out on a printer which is pretty cheap given the end result.
Jansen described the process in a Reddit post about the subject, writing: “We timed out the entire video as an animatic well before we started shooting…I also embedded the time code on the bottom right corner of each photo that synced up with our stop motion software. The problem was that the time code was so small we could barely read it so we almost lost our place a few times. Almost everything was planned in advance to make sure everything was timed properly. For the longer travelling scenes like in the backyard, we measured out the distance and divided it by the amount of frames in the shot so we knew exactly how much to move the photo each time. Pretty crazy process.”
Of course, it was all worth it because now the music video is going viral, giving the band some real return on their investment.
You can check out the video here on YouTube.