Man I Need – music video

Good friend, Toby Pedersen and SVPERVIXEN teamed up again to bring you the new music video by Australia's own Jagwar Ma. 

Using the idea of using straight ahead animation, which is painting the animation frame by frame, from beginning till end. There is no planning (in the traditional sense) the process was linear and it is often referred to by animators as 'straight ahead animation' or animating by stream of consciousness.


There is minimal thinking in this, with thought comes the corruption that distracts us from the point of doing this.
— Original treatment opening line


A new concept to the studio, we decided that we'd give it a go. The best way i can describe it is.. ‘Its everything we wanted to experiment with but never had an outlet for.’ 

That being said... what we intended to do is create a graphically erratic, eclectic mix of visual styles that encompass what the music makes us think. It is our brains speaking to us visually. No forced story. No staged scenes of band members trying to pick up a hot babe in a nightclub. Nothing like that.

We roughly themed the video as a combination of styles that reference the origins of the idea. Most notably that of Len Lye, considered one of the pioneers of animation, he used a technique that involved working directly on film to create abstract patterns that roughly went to a soundtrack.

This too was inspiration, the idea of Synestesia, using the shapes and motion to represent the sounds of the music behind it. Despite its subtlety, every line, dot and squiggle is timed to sound of the track.

First we all created style frames of roughly where we wanted to go. We found our different style lent themselves to becoming different lands of the same sequence, in parallel with the structure of the song, each style became the Verse world, Chorus land, and Frazzle land

The character that appears through the clip, whether he is represented as a silhouetted figure, or a collection of shapes, is conducting a journey that will take him through many different landscapes and will essentially fend for himself against all our brains threw at him.

An idea that has homage to the La Linea clips of Osvaldo Cavandoli, featured heavily in our childhood.

An idea that has homage to the La Linea clips of Osvaldo Cavandoli, featured heavily in our childhood.

After the rough cut was made of where the styles would meet, we started on the arduous task of animating frame by frame in photoshop, each section we assigned ourselves.

Though normally animation is done on "2's", meaning every second frame is different, we decided to created our animations on every frame, this doubles the workload, but also doubles the fluidity of the motion.

As part of the contract with Marathon Artists, we needed to show the band members performing the song. So with this included, we were able to spend an evening with Gabs Winterfield, Jagwar Ma's vocalist, filming him in action on a green screen setup in the SVPERVIXEN Studio space.

Using this footage, we came up with another style for the video that involved tracing live footage, and building 2D animated transitions to other 2D live action footage. This approach also provided us with the ability to include Jono Ma in the music video as he was not available to join Gabs for the shoot. Jono's appearance was taken from a previous music video, and as we were painting over this footage anyway, we were able to create the illusion that they were performing together.

This is seen mostly in the end of the video. We worked some serious hours so there may be some odd frames in there if you go through it one at a time.

At 25 frames per second, and 3:40 minutes long, this ended up involving around 5500 individually painted frames, no mean feat for a studio that rarely has the opportunity to create 2D animation.


Marathon Artists & Jagwa Ma

Daniel Bavell
Morten Rowley