Sometimes the simplest concepts are the most beautiful, and the most painstakingly difficult to achieve.
That's the best way to describe the new music video for Change Is Everything from Brooklyn-based artist and composer Son Lux. It's a simple stop-motion concept that involves a few foam core boards, 200 push pins, 500 feet of rubberized thread, and a whole lot of patience and dedication. Check it out below. Just as a heads up, there are a few moments where the video strobes and flickers, so if you're epileptic, you may want to skip ahead to the BTS video.
In an excellent behind-the-scenes article over on NPR, the director and animator of the Change Is Everything music video, Nathan Johnson of The Made Shop, revealed that all in all, the process of preparing and shooting this video took upwards of three weeks, one for preparing the reference video (to help guide placement of the individual pins), and two weeks of shooting. Two very tedious, painful, and sometimes dangerous weeks of shooting.
The first day we knocked out 535 frames (out of roughly 4,000). 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.
And here's the BTS video that shows just how tedious and painstaking this video was to create.
For me, this video and creative process behind it are incredibly inspiring, not just because of the dedication and patience required to make it come to life, but because it's a simple concept accomplished with simple, everyday materials that most everyone has access to. There's no reason that you or me could not walk over to our local office supply or hobby store, pick up some basic, inexpensive supplies, and do something similar ourselves (with our own unique creative spin, of course).
As Johnson puts it, "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."