“Our favorite thing about stop motion animation is the ability to bring life to imagined creatures, this is why we focus on monsters in our projects. We wanted to create characters who were a combination of beautiful and ugly,” Eleanor Evans said of her recent music video with partner, Giovanni Aguilar. “Imagine´” is the first music video for this pair of musician/animators known as Eleanor Giovanni, and it took the prize for best music video at the 2019 Canberra Short Film Festival.

“Everything in this video from the music to the puppets and animation was produced by our two-person team over the course of a year…A lot of our focus in character design was on color and texture, we took inspiration from the animal world where filtration is conducted with colors and movement. For example, the mermaid who is inspired by Blue Devil Fish, an Australian fish that has beautiful scales and a face only a mother could love.”

Giovanni is a Caribbean-Colombian graphic designer and Eleanor is an Australian visual artist. They credit their different backgrounds with helping bring variety to their ideas, sharing a goal to create music with a Caribbean influence and well-crafted animation. “The Caribbean, where Giovanni grew up was a strong influence on the music, set design and costume design of this project,” Evans told us. “We were also inspired by classic musical movies like singing in the rain and 1980s music videos.”

For materials on this colorful, rhythmic piece, the pair used use ball and socket armatures for the main puppets. “They’re covered in recycled foam we carved into the body shapes, painted and covered in fabrics,” Evans said. “The other characters are made from a variety of materials including plasticine, silicon, feathers, fabric and polymer clay. The camera movements were achieved with a homemade camera slider we made from a recycled printer.”

In terms of the challenges that inevitably arise, Evans told us about all the new skills they had to master, being a team of only two. She also explained, “The largest challenge we faced was that we had to move internationally halfway through making the film. We animated all the interior shots in Barcelona but then had to move to Australia. When we arrived here we had to build a new set to animate the exterior shots.”

If you like what you see here, you’ll be happy to hear that the pair are currently recording their first album of music and animation which will be released later this year. “We are passionate about animated music videos,” Evans said. “We think that music videos should be considered an art form in their own right rather than just a promotional tool. The album will be a conversation about our lives, the future and our planet.”

For more on “Imagine´” check out the behind the scenes video below: