Transatlantic Doo-Wap-O-Mation

I received a mysterious package in the post yesterday. Smelling the unmistakable musk of foreign promise, I tore into it and discovered a CD from The Diskettes, a three piece bossa nova/doo-wap band from across the pond. I saw them back in May when they played a couple of gigs in Shoreditch and, being a sucker for close harmonies and lo-fi production, I was instantly hooked, and had to go and pester them about making a video for one of their songs. Now it’s all systems go!

The song they’ve suggested I work on is called Do What You Need To Do and is a slow, melancholy bossa nova reverie. At first it doesn’t sound like an obvious choice for an animated video, but thirty seconds in it bursts into a mad percussion frenzy that positively begs for some chopped up frame-by-frame accompaniment.

I’m keen to use this project to try out some mechanical animation devices before I start using them in my two other graduation films, so I started looking around for a suitable contraption that I can hijack to play my frames. Yesterday afternoon I found one: A casino card shuffler. My thinking is that if I have no control over which order my frames occur, I don’t have to think about editing any more. Apparently it can shuffle six decks in just five seconds. I’ll soon dampen its enthusiasm though; I’m going to cripple the little blighter somehow until itís PAL-compliant.

The structure of the song is repeated twice, and the lyrics are fairly open to interpretation, so my plan is to tell two versions of a story, one posititive and one negative, using the same frames. First I’ll tell the happy version by shooting the frames in the right order, then I’ll use the card shuffler to mangle them up into a heart-wrenching tragic version where everything happens out of sequence.

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