When Danny approached me about creating a video for the title track to his new album “Words,” along with the instant catchiness of the tune, I was grabbed by the many layers of meaning and imagery in this “simple” children’s song. I’ll date myself here, but one of the things I remember most from my 1993 college graduation was the valedictorian’s speech, which was all about the power and importance of language. That idea has stuck with me over the years, and obviously it’s never been truer than today, where use – and misuse – of language has a massive impact on our daily lives. So “Words” immediately resonated with me.
“Words” also moves along to a confident marching beat, and it talks about ideas like “Advocate” and “Demonstrate,” so it seemed like a great chance to show kids a positive representation of our basic right to peaceful assembly and public protest – again, an idea that could not be more timely.
Finally, “Words” speaks to ideas of diversity and acceptance – which immediately said “collaboration.” I’d been looking for a chance to team up with the very talented Mike Owens, and the idea quickly came to us to approach the project as a “directed” animation jam, inviting a diverse team of animation artists to interpret our rough storyboard in a variety of styles and voices. Along with our sketch storyboard, we set up a few guidelines as far as color, character style, and overall feel. The goal was to find that sweet spot, to create a unifying set of visual themes while giving our collaborators plenty of room to express their own creative talents and ideas.
I’m so thrilled, not only at the final video for this great song, but with the process of working with all of these talented creative people. Also, since budget was limited, we came up with the idea of making a small donation in each artist’s name to the charity of their choice, many of them related to the themes of the song. So not only was our crew doing great work, they were lending support to a variety of great causes.
So cool the way it all came together. So grateful for the efforts of our great team. Please check out Danny’s wonderful music, and enjoy the video!
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