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morris / “joy ” for iron and wine

It’s only delight with an unassuming visionary. Raw yet refined, in both emotion and artistry, this is a quintessential Hayley Morris piece. Lighting, construction, animation, concept….all just a big sweetly and expertly constellated wow. She was written up by NPR. Read on, as Hayley generously shares some cold hard facts about her very beautiful process and inspirations.

Hayley Morris:

    I have loved Iron and Wine since Sam Beam’s first album “The Creek Drank the Cradle”, so given the chance to direct one of his music videos was a dream project.

    Sam let me run wild with my ideas. When thinking of a concept for the video, I was drawn to the lyric- “Deep inside the heart of this crazy mess, I’m only calm when I get lost within your wilderness.” I tuned into the idea of wilderness and nature. I thought it was a perfect setting for the pacing and overall feeling of the song.

    “Joy” is a song about love… and taking a moment to realize how someone can vastly change how you perceive yourself and the world around you. My goal for this video was to make the viewer feel this sense of joy, discovery, and appreciation; by following the organic flow of the song as the landscape changes, through bursts of color, growth and transformation. Through his eyes, we see how the woman Sam sings about changes his world, by catching glimpses of her within the different plants, rocks, trees and objects that occupy the scenery and himself. In the end, we see that he is also full of color and vibrancy, as we zoom out of his chest.

    The video is a mixed media piece. I spent the first few weeks making hand painted water color rotoscope sequences. Then I hand made every piece in the landscape from found objects, paper, clay and various materials. Once I had everything painted and built, I combined the 2d and 3d world by projecting the painted animations of the woman, frame by frame, into the set pieces. I liked having her be very clear in some shots and then somewhat distorted in others. I made the entire video using Dragonframe in a little studio I set up in my apartment. It was great to roll out of bed and have everything ready to go in the morning.

Breathtaking….thank you, Hayley.

A few shots from the inception:


Also synchronistically stunning, the making of video:

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