The Sailor's Song
A moody, surreal video suits the music mood...
We spoke to Lee Barber about his video clip.
I am a musician and painter living in Austin, Texas, and I’m always looking for new ways to tell stories. When I completed my album, The Missing Pages, I thought that some of the songs could work well as animated videos. But I didn’t want a computer generated look as my take on music is organic, handmade and personal. The animation needed to be created in the same way. A friend showed me some basic stop motion work that she had done using photos and I decided to try my hand at it, basically learning as I went. The frames were drawn using vine charcoal on panel and photographed with a borrowed camera mounted on a tripod. Midway through the project I discovered Stop Motion Pro. You can do amazing things when the software is connected to a DSLR camera, but it also worked beautifully for assembling my somewhat unconventional project, allowing me to import image files from a standard digital camera. From there I was able to work out the timing and music synchronization. I found it versatile and easy to use and I look forward to creating more of these. Enjoy!
I leaned on the lyrics to move through the song. That was my structure. For much of it, I drew and photographed one frame per letter, with the letters accumulating into words and phrases. So my approach was kind of naïve in that way. I had a few images in mind before I started, i.e.: a solitary figure against waves, the guy in the boat, the lighthouse. And I knew that I wanted to go underwater at some point. These were starting points that evolved as things moved along. You’ll notice that the lyrics become more abstract as the song progresses--I felt like the images needed to do the same. You can see that happening in the circles and discs that start appearing in the later verses. They were made by tracing the outlines of shot glasses! In the end, I’d say my approach was mostly intuitive, finding my way through the logic of the song while trying not to lose emotional intensity.
Thanks for sharing your film and music Lee!