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Stunning stop frame promo for McFly

Award winning director Corin Hardy of White House Pictures directs a stunning part stop frame and part live action promo for McFly’s emotive new release ‘The Ballad of Paul K’.
The song follows the tragic character of Paul K, a lonely alcoholic whose world is slowly disintegrating around him. Corin wanted to give the promo a dream like feel and was instantly taken with idea of creating a model driven, stop-motion, animated promo with a retro storybook feel. However, given a limited time frame – five weeks in total, Corin realised that it would be impossible to build and animate puppets for the band and the central figure of Paul K in time for delivery. Another area of interest to Corin, and a possible solution that would work with the tight deadline, was to shoot the actors and the band wearing masks inspired by Comedia dell’Arte, while also creating a stop frame animated set as the backdrop for the promo.
Taking his influence from childhood memories of 70's illustrated children’s books such as 'Babapapas’, 'Mr Ben' and the darker ink illustrations of children’s artist Edward Gorey, Corin was keen to combine these with styles with the traditional and European styles of stop-motion animation employed by directors such as Jan Svankmeyer and VFX legend Ray Harryhausen.
After bringing on board the illustrator David Lupton to give the set, the band’s masks, clothes and the character of Paul K a consistency and a specific ink drawn look and feel, Corin hand picked a crack team of artists, model makers, animators and costume designers to work on all the background elements before the live shoot.
When it came to shooting the live action elements, the band and the Paul K actor, Jamie Ballard, did a great job of performing as puppets within the animation while wearing masks and using the prop instruments. Corin was able to affect the footage further by holding and dropping frames so that the performances tied in to the existing footage of the animated set. Mirroring the simplistic lighting employed in the animation, Director of Photography Steven Priovolos lit the band and set elements perfectly, thus achieving the 'hand-made' feel Corin was looking for.
With all the elements taken from both the animated and live action shoots, which were layered together in the offline edit at Final Cut, Corin completed the final visual effects at glassworks.
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