Bowerbirds “In Our Talons” from Alan Poon on Vimeo.

Alan Poon shares his experience directing the 2008 music video “In Our Talons” for the Bowerbirds. If you missed it back in 08 Alan has just added it to his Vimeo Page. The ambitious clip features a dancing crab, black bird and two love bitten praying mantes.

“We had three different stopmo animators working on it. It was a tough but fulfilling project. I had DP’d stopmotion before, but this was really my first venture into stopmotion as a director.”

“One Dragon feature that worked out very well was the multiple exposures setting… the ‘fire mantises’ were backlit (on purpose) and we used blue card stock to cover the rigs, but the blue was way too dark to key out. We ended up doing two exposures, one for the ‘picture’ backlit, and one that was front lit for the blue card. In post we could grab our matte from one channel and apply it to the other, it worked out great.”

“The crew was small and very hard working. My friend and collaborator, Adam Makarenko who built the sets and DP’d, had to leave town for a job, so I was left to manage on my own. During those last weeks, I was working on average 15-16 hour days on set, having to spark up the sets in the morning so they were warm for animation (to avoid massive set shifts) and then strike everything in the evening and backup all the footage for the day. But there’s something so magical about stopmotion… I’d usually go home and watch the footage a bunch of times and then start rig removal before I went to bed!”

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In Our Talons

In Our Talons

Here is what one of the animators, Sylvie Trouve had to say about the project:

“It was great working with the director Alan Poon; I loved his vision behind the video. He was great in that he respects and trusts the animators he works with; being open to their collaboration and giving them room to play. It’s not often you get a chance to make a crow dance as if he was a russian ballet dancer. The puppets were also extremely well done and great to work with and the song of course was great to work to; i must of listened to it a thousand times. It’s hard to pick a favorite shot, i love so many of the landscape, the crow changing feathers, the crab curling up etc. Working with Dragon made my life so much simpler as an animator, its a good stable program, easy to use with a nice interface. It’s like eating at a restaurant with good lighting.”