It's hard to get your head around the amount of work it must have taken to make the new video for Son Lux's "Change Is Everything." Conceived and produced by The Made Shop, the whole thing was painstakingly pieced together entirely with a foam white board, a whole bunch of map pins and old-school stop motion animation.
"This moment: Change is everything," sings Son Lux frontman Ryan Lott as an outline of his silhouette, drawn in tiny black pins, mouths the words. (Here's a video on how they did it).
"The first day we knocked out 535 frames (out of roughly 4,000)," director Nathan Johnson tells us via email. "By day three, the pads of my fingers were so raw that it hurt to move a pin. I didn't know how I'd be able to keep going, but my wife, Katie found some rubber finger tips at Staples that helped dull the pain (though it also decreased our precision). We also didn't realize that the surface of the foam core board would be blown out by day four. We got to the point where the board was so pockmarked that the pins would randomly shoot out and fly across the studio every couple frames. After that, we stocked up on a few more boards and started wearing safety goggles."
In all, it took a week to prep the reference video used to guide pin placement, and two weeks of frame-by-frame shooting, from early morning to late night.
"I've always been attracted to art that uses very simple materials in its execution," says Johnson. "I love the 'lots of something little' approach. I guess, partly, because it means that you can use everyday materials that everybody has access to, which feels really accomplishable. I love the idea of seeing something ordinary and mundane transformed into something beautiful and lifelike; and it feels extra empowering to know that the price of admission is only the amount of time and energy you've got to spend."
"Change Is Everything" is on the upcoming Son Lux album, Bones, due out June 23 on Glassnote.