Interview: The Making of the Music Video for ‘Fragile’

The video for Urban Myth Club’s latest single ‘Fragile’ is a quirky story that is intriguing to watch. From the concept to the production of the video, Gurkanwal Dhillon found out what was behind the influences and ideas to create a piece of work called “amazing!” by BBC Five Live’s Victoria Derbyshire, with an exclusive interview with the creator and director Graeme Coop.

What inspired you to create this video?

“My friend Jack, I hadn’t done any animation for a few years, and even then it was mainly for my own amusement. I got an email one day from him asking if I fancied doing something for UMC, which as soon as I started thinking about it, got me more and more excited about getting the plasticine out again!”

Who is a major influence in your video making?

“I really enjoy hunting through the internet and finding independent and often unknown film makers. Although a lot of them aren’t great, every now and then you come across someone who has made something beautiful out of everyday objects on a limited budget. I found that those kinds of videos inspired me more than many of the higher quality ones as it goes to show what can be achieved with the right imagination.

As far as professional videos go, I’m still so in awe of the video for Oren Lavie’s song ‘Her Morning Elegance’ – an amazing stop motion film that uses two people, a mattress and bedclothes to tell a story. Also the animated short ‘Harvey Krumpet’ is always a winner.”

How did you go about creating the video?

“I spent about a week listening to the song over and over whilst story-boarding, then another week or so surrounded by cardboard and old photographs making the sets (I think I spent a whole day making the brick house, even though it is only in the film for a few seconds!).

The actual filming was done in about 5 days (using around 2200 images), and the final stage was piecing it all together on screen. There were a few scenes I added in later (such as the moving shadow) as it is fairly tricky to predict where the drops in the song will fit.”

How long did it take you to create this video?

“From beginning to end it probably took about a month.”

What is the concept of the video?

“Rather than take the lyrics literally, I wanted to develop the overall theme of fragility and love, the idea of trusting someone and following them even though you’re not entirely sure where you will end up. The idea of setting it in two
varying worlds (paper and plasticine) was to add that sense of the unfamiliar, but have both characters morph into the same materials as a kind of unity and understanding.”

How would you describe the song ‘Fragile’ in 3 words?

“Catchy as ****!”

How would you describe the video for ‘Fragile’ in 3 words?

“Hopeful, Cute & Exhausting!”

What is your favorite part of the video?

“I was really pleased with how the transition between the album and the forest went – I only found out if it had worked once I started editing so that was a bit of a tense moment! I also like the flower and the pieces coming together to form the woman – there were a lot of ideas like that that didn’t quite work out that got cut but I’m pretty chuffed with the ones that made it.”

Is the paper woman in the video someone you know?

“No, all the photographs were ones I picked up in a flea market in Brighton. I originally just wanted one or two as main characters but there were so many great images that I decided to use them as the background as well. I like the idea
of these humble photographs that may have sat there for years getting a new lease of life. Who’d have thought that the woman, who I’m sure must have died long ago, would now be the main character in a music video!”

Did you base the two characters in the video on anyone?

“Not really, it’s more of a hypothetical ‘could-be-anyone’ kind of thing. Although the little girl was put in because she looked a bit like my little sister. I’ve had people speculating that she represents innocence fluttering about in the background, but I’m afraid it’s not as clever as that – it just made me smile!”

If you could choose another song off the new Urban Myth Club album to make a video for, which would it be?

“Probably ‘We Have Landed’ – I like the murky, Bjork feel to it. It’d be nice with some kind of grainy, abstract video to it.”

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