Music video direction and creative production of stylized animation. Almost 70 shots with dozens of painted locations flow in water colours and above all the cheerful music of the musical dulcimer group HARAFICA.
Filmový Uzel Zlín
2D charater designer
Director / Screenwriter
3D Designer / Generalist
What I Did
Script and Storyboard
- Concept and Storyboard
- 3D Animation
- 3D Visualisation
Edit / composition
Final music video
on a journey with a song
on their lips and joy in hearts...
on a journey with a song
on their lips and joy in hearts...
The complex realization of the music video for the HARAFICA dulcimer music was a great creative playground, where I applied various modern and classical techniques.
Zuzka Bahulová (the producer of the music video) approached me with a request to direct and produce a music video for the newly emerging animation space and museum "Filmový uzel Zlín". The cheerful folklore music by the dulcimer band HARAFICA immediately evoked a multitude of images in my mind and I gladly accepted the offer and set to work.
Direction / Scenario
The basis is always the story, the script. For the narrative I chose to follow the lyrics of the song, which itself sets the plot and we loosely followed it. The main character, a gypsy named Andrej, sets off on a pilgrimage from Slovácko to the Chřibské forests, meeting his friends with whom he ends up in a small village pub. They are all musicians, so they have a great time. But Andrej is a big loser who has no shortage of precarious situations. As his sweetheart, Eržika, says: "Your bad luck is smiling on you and you are smiling on it. So I devoted myself to the complete preparation of the annotation of the story, the script. The realization of the animated scenes was preceded by the creation of a storyboard (picture script), where we clarified the story and the plot of the clip itself. I realised the environments, locations and other props through a combination of 3D graphics and digital watercolour painting.
The next stage was conception. Zuzka Bahulová created a series of rough sketches and a drawing study of the characters. On the basis of the documents, I finally decided to abandon 2D animation, for which there was no time, people or resources, and we went the way of 3D puppets. So, within the 3D I designed the design of the future puppets. Another area I took great care with was the concepts of the environments and landscapes. I collected a large number of references, photographs and visited a number of locations which I then incorporated into the actual story, concept and set design of the story.
Special effects (SFX)
The production of the clip started with a creative camp with the guys from Harafica in their home region of Uherské Hradiště. With a large group of eight musicians, we set to work on a fun abstract watercolor texture paintings. Involving the band members directly in the production of the clip was a nice change and we could get inspiration directly "on the spot". Zuzka Bahulová came up with this idea and put us together and helped a lot with the production and logistics on the spot. She was directly involved in the production, documented the event and brought the aquarium :).
I prepared several non-musical "creative attractions" for the guys from Harafice. They spent one evening creating colour effects, splashing watercolours on papers, pouring inks into the aquarium or action painting with water colours. This gave us quite a database of textures and video effects to style.
Behind the scene
Our "band camp" lasted two days in the inspiring environment of the Pod Břesteckou skalou guesthouse in the middle of the Chřibské Hills. In the clip, I used the materials I gathered to create the environments, locations, animated skies or the foundation of the graphics, which I then built upon.
In the hills and forests of Chřibsko I soaked up the atmosphere and inspiration for the realization of the clip and the creative marathon could begin. The animation production, 3D and complete editing was done in my studio in Prague. You can see how the whole clip was produced from the beginning to the end in a short video:
Loosely based on the rough sketches of the characters created by Zuzka, in the next stage I started to realize the four actors, 3D puppets. The characters had to look cute and cartoonish. In the lyrics of the song, there is also a character of a pretty gypsy. So there were four characters in total for the company. I christened them with classic Romany/Gypsy names and gave them characters. For some of them I was inspired by the members of Harafici themselves :)
Andrej / accordion player (main character)
A cheerful and positive person, who is not disturbed by anything. Apart from the harmonica, he is always pulling bad luck...
Eržika / dude, dancer
The muse of Andrei the accordionist and often his saviour. Dancing and singing are her great passions. She delights in the glittering ornaments she creates with filigree perfection.
STEFAN / violinist
He is a dreamer and a perfectionist. He loves music more than wine, women and singing.As a child he fell asleep only to the sound of a well-tuned violin.
Jozka / clarinetist
An avid amateur ornithologist. Spends hours in the woods listening to birds. He spends hours trying to imitate them on his clarinet.
I tried to make a virtue out of necessity and eventually conceived the character animation as a more rigid naive puppet. Given very limited time and resources, I was unable to approach any 3D animators and with about 65 SHOTS it was a real production challenge.
I tried to put a nice trip/summer atmosphere of different real places into the animation. The viewer can look into the landscape of the White Carpathians and meet a dominant rock. Vršatecká bradla, visit the forest corners with the old Ctibor oak, the mysterious Kalíšek rock, the dominant feature of Buchlov Castle or villages inspired by classical Moravian architecture.
The environment of Chriby, Velehrad, etc. was very inspiring for me. From the people I met, to the picturesque landscape, to the classic folk architecture and the atmosphere that transported me to a time long ago when people walked. They watched out for forest ghosts, and in the distance, like a beacon at night, the spire of the village church shone, calling pious people to worship, or the window of a tavern, a wine cellar.
Starting with the design of the story telling, script development, art and character animation, it was a challenging workflow that took me over two months of very intense work. I didn't have much time for the actual realization, "breathing animated life" into the characters, so in the end it's a simplified animated shortcut ala naive puppet. In an intense production effort I wandered with four animated characters through the landscape of the White Carpathians, Slovácko and Chřibské lesy with the sounds of cheerful dulcimer music HARAFICA.