Animated Music Video for Polezsky – “Smiling Hunter” & Interview With Marco Galmacci
I recently viewed this great animated music video for artist Polezsky titled “Smiling Hunter”. I loved the color palettes used throughout and how it combined the art based on simplified shapes with a flowing motion. The creators, Hello,Savants! were kind enough to lend me the designer & animator Marco Galmacci who was the brains and hands on this project. Using a combination of Photoshop, After Effects, and Cinema 4D he created a video that he compares creatively to how a painting takes shape.
Check out the video and the interview afterwards:
Your site describes you as a ” fellowship of creative people with unique disabilities and unexpected talents.” Tell me a bit about your company/group “Hello, Savants!” and how you came together.
Marco Hello,Savants! is a collective born and based in Amsterdam around 2005 from the joint effort of 5 friends. Our origins are to be searched in the wild woods of central Italian Appenini. Through the years we have been exploring many different fields, both in art and in the industry. We love to mix techniques and to evolve always into something new. We are a bit like a music band that swaps the instruments on stage during a performance.
Describe your process in creating this mograph music video.
Marco “Smiling hunter” was commissioned by Avantguardia, a young digital record label from Milan. They give total freedom to the directors and they are looking to expand visual territories, so directors feel challenged to push their own “language”. I was provided only with the audio track, no brief, no info about the musician and no contact with him, no boundaries nor rules really. The only real pre-production work was listening to the track. All this process was really liberating if compared to the normal projects workflow, I felt it was more like painting rather than producing a music video.
There are many separate shots that seem unrelated to each other but bring the visuals together with the mood of the track. Was this boarded out or did it come together during the edit?
Marco I definitely wanted to communicate the feeling of two persons breaking apart from each other. The randomness of the images was a deliberate choice to recall moments of the life that this couple lived together, it was like looking into a carton box containing the polaroids taken during their relation, mixing up with desperate moments of loneliness. At the beginning I had fewer scenes and it was more linear, but I started liking the rhythm that was given to the video by adding more and more characters and situations.
What Software packages did you use, and what animation techniques?
Marco The first step was to animate the intro on a single Photoshop layer, without a concept I tried to follow the music using colors and strokes. That looked like rain to me that could match the melancholic idea of the splitting up. I filmed with my telephone a boy and a girl walking away. I started to gather footage, pics, and images from all kind of sources: old pictures of mine, drawings and sketches that set in a drawer for a while, inspiration images that i collect maniacally, internet, anything really. I generated several elements in Cinema4D to create movement and dynamics. Once gathered all this elements I illustrated them in Photoshop and created a rough storyboard. I brought this images and footage to After Effects where I added transitions, zooms, pans and parallax. Only once I had this structured edit I went back to Photoshop to create all the liquid animated effects on top.
Any special challenges you had to overcome in doing this piece, either technically or creatively?
Marco I think I enjoyed this project especially because I went technically really loose, letting the emotive side of things lead the way, letting mistakes happen and basically trying to find simple solutions all the time. I surely had the most struggle with getting all the story together and finding the right images for the right place. I had a lot more scenes that I didn’t use because they didn’t match the vibe or the rhythm or the storytelling.
And finally, any upcoming work that you’d like to mention?
Marco In February we will go to Sicily with the all 5 Savants to write ideas in order to achieve a early-retirment, I hope it will turn in a long session of laughing, joking, drawing characters and telling stories that don’t make any sense. I really look forward to it.