Darcy Prendergast of the Melbourne-based production company Oh Yeah Wow decided to challenge his team with an ambitious project. In just seven days, they would gather 350 people and shoot thousands of portrait photos of them that they would then assemble into one stop-motion music video. Australian band The Paper Kites had created a beautiful song called Young that was about the fine line between individuality and conformity and they needed a video to convey this somewhat abstract idea.
Here's the beginning of that song:
We only wake 'cause our eyes are open
Open so wide we walk in the dark
Trying so hard to keep what we're losing
Using our feet to show them the movements
And they wake up, and they go out
Head in a cloud
Darcy enlisted the help of photographer Oli Sansom to make sure that each of his 350 extras were not only willing and ready but perfectly aligned. Sitting as still as possible for about ten minutes, each person had to pose with various mouth shapes. As he tells us, “We were aligning them with several registration points on screen, various markers for eyes and nose, so getting people in the right spot took quite a bit of work and time.
“We gave instructions like ‘chin up a little, turn your head to your right a millimeter, now sway your body a fraction to your left' and hoped that people could comprehend. Our faithful subjects were actually a lot more amazing at it than I anticipated. They made our job easy!”
Finally, in post-production, four editors worked tirelessly, around the clock, to assemble the resulting 4,000 photographs to correspond with the lyrics.
Released just six days ago, the stop-motion video was quickly picked up as a Vimeo Staff Pick. The mesmerizing video is quite amazing especially when you release it was made entirely with photographs!
Watch it all come together below, but first check out these awesome outtakes or what Darcy calls the “party frames,” where everyone was finally allowed to unwind and relax.
The Paper Kites: Young from Oh Yeah Wow on Vimeo.