As you know, Keane are releasing a special single for Warchild on October 29th. We're pleased to announce that the animated video for 'The Night Sky' is currently being worked on in London, with director Corin Hardy leading a workshop of 12 young teenagers. Corin has previously worked on the videos for 'Somewhere Only We Know' and 'Bedshaped'. We called him up to find out more about the new video...
Hi Corin. How's the video going?
It's going really well, thanks. I've just got home from the second day. It's pretty full on.
What does it entail?
Well, in between directing various music videos, I've run various animation workshops, for all ages from primary school up to degree level. I'm always quite amazed with the results. They always have a certain look and charm about them, because they're made by children or people learning for the first time. They come up with such brilliant angles and weird ideas. I heard that the band probably weren't going to be in the video for 'The Night Sky', so we thought making the video using one of these workshops would be a good way of linking to War Child. So we're doing a four day model and shadow puppet animation workshop, with a group of 12 children aged around 13 and 14 from a school in London. The video will come out of that.
Is there a plot to the video?
Sort of. But I didn't want to go in there and say, "Right, this is the idea that I want to make, now go and do it". I wanted it to come as much from them as possible. So I came in with a workshop structure and a loose narrative, with the starting point being the War Child side of things. We actually got two representatives of War Child to give a talk and I put together some information packs on four of their projects, in Iraq, Afghanistan and DR Congo. And that started to inspire the children, as did the lyrics to the song, which we'd typed up. So the walls are covered in inspiration from different angles. Some of it's pretty dark and quite horrific, because that's what War Child's work can involve.
Are there characters in the video?
Yes, they must have made over 20 characters now. So in terms of the narrative, it's to do with War Child and Uganda and Iraq and the night sky. And it'll be threaded through with a documentary which we're also shooting of the whole workshop.
So the kids will appear in the actual video?
That's the idea at the moment. I don't wanna say too much, because things can change when you edit stuff, but in theory we're making a documentary-like film about these children making the animations. So we'll probably have an animated video within a documentary within the whole video, if that makes sense.
Do you play the song in the workshop a lot?
Not on a constant loop! But I do play it through quite a few times each day.
Will the animated models lip synch along to the track?
No. But we are toying with the idea of there being Keane puppets in it. There may well be. In which case, there might be crude lip-synching. But the children are in groups of three and they've all come up with one or two narratives, so we'll see which ones we end up using.
How long have you got to make it?
The workshop runs until 4pm on Friday. We've done all the model making and now we're going to be animating for two days.
What happens after that?
Then we'll be editing for a good week or so. And I think it has to be delivered by the middle of the week after next. It's always quite a quick turnaround on videos.
Will it resemble 'Bedshaped' at all?
Not really, although it will involve a similar, old-fashioned style of animation. I'm steering it, but I want to let it evolve it's own natural way. I haven't gone in and said how I want it to look, I'm just helping them achieve a certain standard or level. I think the way it's being made will be very much part of the charm.
Of course, Keane have played a big part in your career.
Yes, the first big video I did was the 'Somewhere Only We Know' one where I did them walking through the forest and the creatures around the pond. That started things off for me, then 'Bedshaped' came a few months later. So it's really nice to be working with them again.
Are you feeling good about the video?
Yeah, I'm feeling really good about it. You always have doubts or worries, but I've been really pleased with how the kids have got stuck in and the work they're producing. So it's just a case of staying on top of it. We've got a lot to do, but I'm tentatively confident!