behind the lens: simon taffe
  • TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2010

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We know what its like on the other side of a camera, and so do these guys. BTL features some of the faces that work creatively to make our favorite music videos possible.


Oh My God, Charlie Darwin is definitely a story about a man, an ode if you will, to a father of scientific thought who has met with a lot of scrutiny. The title track is full of a melancholic loneliness, and creating a video to match that was no easy task. Enter Glenn Taunton and Simon Taffe of End Of The Road Films, who decided to create a stop animated video to capture the pathos of the song. Simon took some time to answer a few questions for us about the video and how the pair came up with such affecting visuals.

Baeble:Can you tell us a little bit about how you got involved in making music videos?

Simon: Well this is the first one we have made over the last couple of years. I've been playing around with stop motion with my son, so I mentioned to the band that I could make them a stop motion video. Luckily they didn't ask to see to much previous work!

Who else have you worked with?

Just The Low Anthem, though we have shot live action shorts.

What are some of your favorite projects you've done?

So far The "Charlie Darwin" video.

Ours too. Is there an example of a video you admire or that has inspired you?

It was mainly inspiration from old films... films that used long shots more often. The Searchers for example.

When you first heard "Charlie Darwin" what were some of the ideas you had?

The first few times I heard it I didn't even listen to the lyrics at all, which is unusual for me...it's the first thing I listen to most of the time. After one of their shows at the Union Chapel in London I drove home to the country with Glen and listened to the song over and over and we came up with the idea of the world flooding from a single hole, and it's partly inspired form a children's book I read when I was six years old about a man flooding his village with porridge.

Conceptually, did the band have a lot of input? Were they involved in the process at all?

Not really. We drew them up a story board and there were a couple of things they wanted us to take out which we did, which worked out well.

Obviously the concepts in the song were important to the video. Can you talk a little about the challenges of taking those ideas and presenting them visually?

We just wanted it to have a feeling of emptiness that you couldn't pinpoint to any particualr period of time. I guess the water was a challenge because it goes everywhere and ruins things.

Stop animation can be difficult to pull off, what made you decide to go with it?

To be honest we just jumped into it. I felt I had a lot of artists around me who could help, or who have helped with the festival, so I knew we could pull it off. Once we started we knew we had to keep on going... it was a bit insane. We tried many things that did not work, that had to be re-built etc. It may take you 12 hours to get 5 seconds of footage but it's very rewarding every scene you get to watch back.

What were some of the more tricky elements of the video to create?

The water for sure... moving it every frame with six people holding rakes.

What was the bands reaction to the finished product?

We think they really liked it.

How do you think a narrative type video like this compares to the recent trend of music videos with nothing but trippy abstract stuff?

Glen and I are more inspired by films than other music videos. I don't mind making stuff that's random as long as it is visually exciting. Some videos these days try that, but end up very boring and just repeat themselves over and over.

Is there anyone you'd like to work with?

Would love to do a stop motion video for Tom Waits and a live action for someone like Beirut.

What are some of your future plans for creating music videos (if you can talk about them)?

I should be doing the next Low Anthem video for the new album and we have a few [ideas] we are story boarding now but cant talk about yet.

There you have it. Look out Beirut, these aces are coming for you. Check out the finished video below and stay tuned for more from these guys... they hit the first one out of the park. Who knows what they'll come up with next?-joe puglisi



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The Low Anthem on Myspace

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