The official music video for Teach Me Equals. Fix History is the result of 10 months of on-and-off work as a writer, director, and animator.
Developing Theme and Concept
The creative process for this project started with many lengthy conversations with the band, Teach Me Equals. Given the unique and intense nature of the band's sound, it was important to understand where they were coming from thematically and conceptually. Though the music video departs from some of these initial ideas in some ways, the band and I were always on the same page and unanimous in our decision making - something that is all too rare in creative work.
When the video was in its earliest stages, I was thinking a lot about the Industrial Revolution, and how it, along with other incredible advancements in technology, have allowed us to do so many things and have given us the highest quality of life humanity has ever seen. Beyond this "power" and luxury we enjoy, however, as a byproduct we have ravaged the planet's natural resources, and has led to unsustainable lifestyles. If something doesn't happen soon, we risk self-destructing from our desire to abuse the ecosystem for selfish and short-lived gains.
In its more abstract state, the video could represent any sort of great power that is first alluring and seductive but turns destructive and consuming. In some ways, it is like the story of Prometheus crossed with Pandora's Box.
Creating the Look
From the beginning, we knew that digital animation would be the only feasible way of creating the animation quickly and on a tight budget. However, we were adamant about making sure the aesthetic was still very hand-drawn and of physical media like paint and charcoal. For this reason, Photoshop was used to create all of the animation, using rough brushes to keep a liveliness to the line quality and backgrounds.
True physical media was also used to support this painterly feel. Marbling ink was used to create over 50 unique prints that became the strobing pulses of light throughout the piece, and a 35mm film reel was painted on to serve as a background for the interlude and finale scenes. These various forms of 'mixed media' filmmaking were heavily inspired by the works of Stan Brakhage and Norman McLaren.