Emma Hill is a singer/songwriter from Alaska. Please visit http://www.emmahillmusic.com
Album can be purchased at https://emmahill.bandcamp.c...
..., or http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/em...
Find an interview about the song and video with CMT Edge's Chris Parton here:http://www.cmtedge.com/2014...
Making of “Lioness”
Director/Animator Eric Power
After listening to Lioness, I felt strongly that a silhouette animation aesthetic would work well with the style of the song. Shadow animation is one of the earliest forms of animation dating back to around 1920. In fact, the first feature animated film was created in the medium by Lotte Reineger called The Adventures of Prince Achmed. I’ve been a fan of Reineger’s work for some time and have worked in the art form before. This video, however, pushed my skills in exciting new ways. I feel it is my strongest effort thus far in a style of animation I have grown incredibly fond of.
The creative process begins with a selection of paper. I chose a wide assortment of tissue papers and translucent art paper to work with. Black card stock was purchased in bulk and I spent several weeks with an xacto knife and pair of scissors, cutting all the props, characters, and backgrounds out.
When all my assets were complete, I set up my animation rig, which consists of a giant light box with a tripod/camera rig positioned above it connected to my computer. The paper is then laid out on the light box, with the background separated by a custom cut plane of glass. All movable objects are then placed on top of the glass and animated frame by frame. I employed a new practice in this production in a few scenes involving shooting some characters on green screen (in this case green light) and compositing them into the final scene during the editing process. An example of this is the shot of the woman swimming up the underground channel. I shot the channel with the fish parting as a background layer and shot an additional clip of the woman swimming. Later I put the two shots together and matched them up in a way that makes the fish seem to swim around her. I love looking for opportunites in which modern filmmaking technology can combine with traditional techniques in fun and exciting ways.
Another example of my use of new technology was in the editing process. I use Final Cut Pro X and found the color correction tool especially useful during production of Lioness. My intention for this video was to give a sense that the woman is globe trotting to a wide assortment of interesting locales. The stark contrast of colors from one scene to the next, I felt, helped differentiate each new area. Finding the appropriate color selections from a limited amount of paper at the craft stores proved difficult. In post production, however, I could tweak the colors in subtle ways to achieve the look I was going for.
Lioness was an incredibly fun video to work on (not to mention an excellent song) and offered a fantastic opportunity to experiment with one of my favorite animation techniques.
She's Medea, crazy and wild eyed
Armed with a killer's knife
Quick to tell a lie
She is hunting deep in the dead of night
Scheming up alibis
Crossing t's and dotting i's
She's a lioness, waiting to kill
To please her man, or just for a thrill
She's been tested by black suited men
She is wanted on four continents
And you've heard her name spoken in whispers at after hour parties
She's a slut, but only by choice
She is dangerous down to the bone
She is fragile if you knew her well
But she's never gonna let you get to that point
She is lonely but not on the outside
She's a scent you're dying to recall
You'll say you knew her once,
But only to those who can't prove you wrong
Emma Hill - lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Bryan Daste - vocals, pedal steel guitar, upright bass, harmonium, Omnichord
James Dommek, Jr. - drums, percussion
Kate McVey - viola
Kevin Charlestream - cello
Co-produced by Evan Phillips, Emma Hill and Bryan Daste
Recorded by Evan Phillips at The Wolverine Den, Anchorage, AK
Additional engineering by Bryan Daste at The Magic Closet, Portland, OR
Mixed by James Glaves
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA
Assistant mastering engineer: Maria Rice