Currently viewing the tag: "Phantom Mountain"

Hey check out the interview I did with WNYC about creating the Phantom Mountain music video.

They’re holding a similar contest for a great new Fiery Furnaces tune “The End is Near”. It’s your chance to create a music video!

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Music writer Amy O’Brian interviewed me for an article about music videos on YouTube. The article ran this weekend, and holy mackerel, the photo is HUGE!! Thanks Amy! Here’s a scan of the article!

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Okay I’m getting lots of questions about the music video, so here are some fun facts about the making of Phantom Mountain:

  1. I found out about the contest late so I only had 2 weeks to make it happen and I had no idea what I was doing, having never really tried animation – at least since drawing flipbooks as a kid. I spent the first day storyboarding, then 11 days drawing, and then 2 days shooting all of the photographs and editing the video.
  2. There are about 500 sticky notes in the video, including a butterfly and 4 or 5 stunt butterflies.
  3. There are over 1500 photos in the video. I used a digital camera on a tripod, which I had to sort of crouch over. My back was killing me!
  4. I drew so many cartoons that I actually developed a callus on the inside of my left thumb from drawing too much. Towards the end, I had to get up and shake out my arm every few minutes.
  5. The old clock radio on the table used to belong to my great-grandmother.
  6. The tarot cards are the Ryder-Waite deck, miniature version. The cards that appear in the video are: The Devil, The Tower, Death, and – briefly – The Fool.
  7. I love Dead Dog Bob’s surprise appearance. I didn’t plan to use him in the original storyboard. It just kinda happened.
  8. Will I do animation again? You bet I will! But I think I’ll give myself more time next time!
  9. How did I suspend the butterfly in the air? I used a bunch of different techniques: pins, string, and bits of yellow plasticine.
  10. Do I still have a day job? Yes, I did most of the work in the evenings and only took two days off for the photography work.
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Update 3: Here’s a higher-quality version on

Update 2: Hey I won! Wow! Incredible. A big thank-you to Laura and the band for choosing my video. Thanks to all of you readers for the generous comments and kind words. Having never really done anything like this before, it’s very rewarding to me that it was a success – in the contest, and with all of you. Thanks! And be sure to visit Laura’s site to check out the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place videos!

Update: Fun facts about the making of the video.

The chickens make their animation debut today! This is my entry for the Laura Veirs music video contest. It’s for the song “Phantom Mountain” from the Saltbreakers album – a great album – go get yourself a copy!

Just click the video to start playing it. If you can’t see it for some reason, you can watch it on YouTube.

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