Academic's animated music video receives prestigious award
Ashley Dean, Lecturer in Computing and Creative Technologies at Leeds Met, created the stop-motion film when his production company Broken Pixel was commissioned by Leeds-based band Fossil Collective.
The Yorkshire two-piece's single, 'Let it Go', was released last summer, and since then, Broken Pixel's four-minute-and-26-second music video has received more than 225,000 views on YouTube; been crowned Best Music Video at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival and, just last week, was screened at London's Victoria and Albert Museum and honoured with the prestigious Royal Television Society award.
The video, which took six months to create, tells the story of characters Edward and Anne, a couple separated by an ill-fated scarf saving incident.
Leeds Met Graphic Arts and Design graduates, Leanda Johnson and Emily Brooke-Davies, were interning at Broken Pixel at the time and helped create the set, which was made entirely of sugar paper.
Ashley, who directed and produced 'Let it Go' and who also created Fossil Collective's music video for their earlier single, 'On and On', commented: "We are delighted with the recognition and success that 'Let it Go' has received over the last twelve months. It was quite an extensive production and Fossil Collective gave us a lot of freedom and allowed us to be really creative with it.
"Leanda and Emily came to work as interns at Broken Pixel prior to their final year of study at Leeds Met and their dedication and input into this project was really impressive. They are both brilliant at what they do.
"The video was inspired by the creative and narrative possibilities of the extraordinary indie game Minecraft and the classic concept of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. We created a world made entirely of paper and brimming with detail to make it a believable and interring place.
"The characters were designed in the Broken Pixel basement at ESA's Patrick Studios in Leeds. Leanda painstakingly clad Lego with sugar paper. Emily worked on the balloon, the moon and countless other details. In addition scores of tiny props and trees for the set were made in a week-long session at Temple Works in Leeds."
Emily, who worked on the video as a prop designer and shooting assistant, said: "It's astounding how much attention the video has received, and I'm really happy that Broken Pixel continues to win awards. At the time of working on the project we had no idea it would be so successful.
"Personally, I've always had great enthusiasm for animation, which was nurtured in my first year at Leeds Met, and the knowledge I gained about the principles of animation were definitely put into use whilst at Broken Pixel."
Leanda, who worked on storyboarding, character design and construction, prop and set design, model making and shooting assistance on the video, added: "I spent most of my second year at Leeds Met working independently on a series of short stop-motion animations. At this stage working alone was favourable as it enabled me to experiment with all parts of the animation process and work out my strengths. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to refine these skills whilst working on the 'Let it Go' project. Ashley was a great mentor, and always encouraged us to focus on the jobs we were best at in order to refine our strengths."
The project was also assisted by Josh Howley, Kevin Roper, Akeelah Bertram, Ellie Ragdale, Janet Dean and John Dean.