The hectic video for Byron Bay garage rock legends, Skegss, track ‘Paradise’ is an epic stop-motionpièce de résistance that’d make both Wallace & Gromit hang their heads in shame. We were so enamoured with the clip that we tracked down the man behind the masterpiece and picked his brain about his creative process.
Check out our interview with director Nick Chalmers now.
Watch: Skegss – Paradise
How much of the video was your own idea, and how much of it came from the lads in Skegss?
NC: Basically I worked from the lyrics of the song and from that what I envisioned was to create animation scenes of each band members “paradise”. Benny’s idea of paradise was drinking tea and eating scotch fingers. His scene then evolved to him hanging with an alien in space once he told me how much he likes space. Jonny just wanted to be hanging with his dog Keith. Originally they were going to be running through some kind of psychedelic forest together, but I recalled one of my favourite movie scenes from the film NeverEnding Story where the main character Bastian rides the big dragon Falkor and thought that would be perfect for Jonny and Keith. Toby’s scene didn’t really stray from what his paradise is – driving around in his Brumby drinking a cocktail. At the end of the day I wanted the scenes to be colourful and elaborate.
From its initial concept to the finished product, how long did the whole thing take?
NC: That’s the million dollar question. I stopped logging hours after the 40-hour mark as I was too far down the rabbit hole and had my vision in mind and didn’t want to budge. If I combined all the hours it would have to have been in the 3-4 weeks window, maybe more – that’s from writing, to shooting the backyard scene, making all the animation scenes, animating them and then editing.
What’s the most important thing to you when it comes to making a clip like this?
NC: For me it’s making sure that both the band and I are stoked with the final product. I’d never want to make something where one party isn’t happy with it.
That’s followed closely by creating something I consider to be entertaining. I think the video really needs to compliment the song. It’s a bummer when a song is great and the video sucks or vice versa.
The clip looks like it’s pretty simple, but what was the most challenging thing about making it?
NC: Without a doubt making the clay scenes. Each band member starts with a wire frame skeleton, then is covered in alfoil, then the base layer of clay and more layers after that until you get to the final product. For all the parts I didn’t need to move I had to bake them in the oven for 30 minutes at a time. Making Toby’s Subaru Brumby was great but hands down took the longest. That being said it’s probably my favourite part of the animation scenes. That and the koala sign which was coincidentally the easiest part to make.
What sort of clever behind-the-scenes trickery do you think would surprise the viewers about this clip the most?
NC: To be honest I don’t know if there’s any hidden trickery. I intentionally wanted to make the green screen scenes very cheesy and that obvious green scene aesthetic. The animation of smoke was cotton wool balls which is an age old trick and besides that there was literally a bit of blood and a lot of sweat. I’ll definitely want to be working in air conditioning for anything like this in the future.
Obviously, there are a few easter eggs thrown into the clip, were there any ideas that didn’t quite make it beyond the brainstorming step?
NC: Off the top of my head I think I included all the little intricacies I wanted. You can’t see in the final cut but Toby’s clay character is wearing a Pist Idiots t-shirt. There was also a shot of Toby’s old house that his animated character drives past, but this didn’t make the final cut. It was cool to see people pick up on his house in the first cut though.
Is there anything about the clip that hasn’t been said so far that you’d like to say?
NC: Like most Australian kids in the 90’s I’d wake up at 4 or 5am every Saturday and Sunday and watch Rage until my parents woke up. It’s such a fond memory of mine and there’s some iconic clips that still resonate with me today. What I wanted to create with this clip was to capture the band in this era, whilst making the clip something people could watch in 5 or 20 years and still enjoy.