HOLLYWOOD — Stardust Studios‘ founder and creative director Jake Banks is such a huge fan of Canadian pop-rock band Sloan, he and Revolver Film Company (Toronto/LA) have poured vast amounts of time and resources into creating a unique new music video for the track “I’ve Gotta Try” from the band’s eighth studio album, “Never Hear the End of It,” which is also Sloan’s first release on U.S. label Yep Roc Records. The 2:34 video was released internationally this week and is expected to begin airing on music video channels soon.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Sloan for over ten years,” Banks explained. “I kept in touch with them and let them know I really wanted to work with them, and after we sent over an idea for this track, everything finally came together.”
Between Banks and Neil Tsai, the design director for Stardust’s Santa Monica studio who served as lead designer on “I’ve Gotta Try” and contributed greatly to the creative vision, the idea they presented suggested using an experimental illustration style to make the band members appear as pieces of sewn fabric inside of an imaginary world. “The song is about imagination, and the idea that anything is possible,” Banks said. “That’s how we looked at this: We wanted to try something new that was refreshing, where instead of creating these guys in 3D and texturing them, we shot them and textured them.”
Stardust is represented by Revolver Film Company internationally for music videos, and Banks named Revolver’s executive producer Jannie McInnes as the “quarterback” for this project. “Jannie took our passion for this project and coordinated with Sloan to put everything in motion, including securing a VideoFACT grant to help cover some of the costs,” he added.
With everyone on board, back in December, Banks and his live-action crew, including producer Rob Knox and director of photography Barry Norwood filmed the band performing the song during a one-day green screen shoot at Hollywood’s Occidental Studios. With the footage transferred into 2K resolution, Stardust’s lead compositor, rotoscoper and keyer for the project Andrew Ashton supervised efforts to rotoscope-out each instrument and every piece of wardrobe using Shake – nearly 850 sections in all – a process that ultimately took hundreds of hours over a period of months. At the same time, Tsai and numerous animators created original animation and composited all the elements together using Maya, 3D Studio Max and AfterEffects. The finished video’s 59 shots ultimately used almost 1,000 textures.
“It was a very complex technical process to make the band formed entirely with fabric textures,” said Tsai. “We’re extremely happy with the final animation. The simplicity of the band’s performance and the band being formed entirely by fabric textures created a very distinct graphic quality that added to the performance aesthetic.”
With “I’ve Gotta Try” hitting the airwaves and bringing Sloan more well-deserved exposure, Banks wants everyone to know that, “everybody involved in creating it gave a little piece of themselves to make it happen.” And also, that Stardust is looking forward to creating more unique music videos.
Stardust’s team also included executive producer Corey Cirillo, post producer Lisa Pierce, 3D animators Sam Sparks, Ash Wagers, Danny Koenig, David Glicksman and Asher Dudley, After Effects and 3D Studio Max animators Daisuke Yamazaki, and effects artists Stephanie Tucker, Michael Plescia, Viviana Kim and Tiffany Germann.
More information on Sloan is available at www.sloanmusic.com.
About Stardust Studios
Stardust is an award-winning creative production company, specializing in motion design, animation, visual effects and live-action production. Led by founder and executive creative director Jake Banks, Stardust’s Santa Monica and New York offices continually redefine creativity for commercial, on-air, music video and in-store presentations. Their recent work – including projects for the world’s top ad agencies, brands and recording artists – has earned numerous awards and worldwide editorial exposure. For more information, please visit www.stardust.tv or call Corey Cirillo at 310-399-6047, or Mike Eastwood at 212-334-7300.