Dancing Diablo Partner Animates Steriogram Video

Peter Sluszka, creative partner and director of animation for Dancing Diablo, helped create stop-motion animation seen in the music video for "Walkie Talkie Man," the first U.S. single from Auckland, New Zealand’s rock/hip-hop group Steriogram.

Sluszka worked closely with director Michel Gondry (renowned for his collaborations with Björk, The White Stripes and others), animator/director of photography Adrian Scartascini and Partizan Ent. to capture the action which takes place in a universe made of yarn.

The video’s "Walkie Talkie Man" is a huge security guard who refuses let the band into their own gig. Intent on finding the group, the ill-tempered knit giant busts out of the concert hall and lumbers down the street, smashing a wool car in the process. He then scales the Columbia Records building and punches through the window to get at the band members and engineers. Grabbing a loose thread on the finger of the wooly mammoth, the band winds it onto the reel-to-reel machine and unravels their tormentor.

"There was a lot of stop-motion character animation–everything is fabricated of thread and yarn–the Walkie Talkie Man, the music being recorded on a reel to reel player, sound patterns, sound waves and automobiles," explains Sluszka. "We also created a number of pixilated shots of the band members which were integrated into the video."

The yarn universe was fabricated by production designer Laurie Faggione and her staff. Scartascini shot the animation on 16mm film with a Bolex camera and special effects were provided by The Mill and Flame artists Angus Kneale, Anthony Walsham, Jamie Scott and Jeanette Williford.

The creative team at Partizan Ent.’s Los Angeles office, led by Gondry, included producer Julie Fong, U.S. music video representative Danielle Hinde, wardrobe stylist Heidi Bivens, make-up artist Roz Music, and behind the scenes Jeff Buchanan.

The video debuted this month on MTV. Steriogram’s album, Schmack!, is scheduled for release nationwide on April 20 from Capitol Records.

Dancing Diablo Studio, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, recently created a stop-motion animated talking cupcake that appears in a promo for Paramount Pictures’ and MTV Films’ teen comedy The Perfect Score, now in theaters.