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Animator Oliver Jones On The Making Of Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ ‘Mr. Prism’ Video

The Alice In Wonderland-inspired ‘Mr. Prism’ video by Psychedelic Porn Crumpets has been in our lives for nearly two months now. It’s a super weird and wonderful video that ties together all the chaos of the single itself.

“A prismatic man needs a colourful adventure,” says Jack McEwan of Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.

“So when we were throwing ideas back & forth with Oliver it was hard to pass on an edible Claymation. All of us were in awe when he sent us through the final animation – proper cherry-on-top work!”

We did a bit of a Q&A with Oliver Jones, the creator behind the claymation video.

Tell us about how the concept for the Mr. Prism clip came about?

The concept came from the band and the original director, it was originally intended to be a live-action video where the band came up with different ideas for the video and the last idea would have been an animated claymation sequence. I was brought on board to direct that sequence. However, Jack (Singer/Guitarist) fell ill and I was asked to expand the claymation segment.

Originally it was supposed to be a young boy who eats the mayor, but through emails and zoom conversations we changed it to an old man, then a young girl and then evolving it into Alice. We chose Alice as it fit the fairytale vibe and also so we could incorporate the various tropes that come with her, especially the drinking the shrink/growing drink etc but turning it on its head.

Walk us through the process of creating a claymation clip – where does it start, how long does it take?

Claymation is very much like a live-action film, just on a much smaller scale. First, you storyboard and create an animatic. From this, you know exactly what you have to build – characters, props, locations etc That took up the first two weeks. Then I had to spend the remaining two weeks animating the 4-minute long sequence. Not only do you have to animate, but you have to compose the shot and also light it. Just to put into perspective, animators at places like Aardman and Laika would produce around 5-7 seconds of animation a week. In order to stay on schedule, I had to animate 10-15 seconds per day. You don’t really have the time to finesse the animation as you only have the time to have one take at a shot so you just have to be on your game the entire time because you know there’s X amount of shots left to do before you can jump into bed. I was pulling 18 hour days only having time for food and sleep and to say it started to get a little gruelling is an understatement.

What are some of the challenges in creating a claymation clip (even this particular clip)?

There are so many challenging factors with stop motion. The biggest issue is making sure you don’t knock anything – the camera, characters, props or sets. Any slight moment can ruin a shot. Characters are constantly falling over and either have to spend ages getting back into position or just have to start over. Another pain in the ass is that because it’s plasticine, the characters eventually warp and get dirty so you spend a lot of your time re-sculpting and cleaning up the figures.

This one, in particular, was rather tough as I produced it during a heatwave, and one thing plasticine does not like is heat. It got to the point where I was ready to throw in the towel. But it’s important to take a minute, have a sit down with a cup of tea and just crack on with it.

What is your favourite thing about creating a claymation clip?

Us animators love to have a good old moan about how hard and time consuming it is, but at the same time we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are insane people and absolute gluttons for punishment. During the first half of the production, I had no idea if what we had was any good. It’s only when you see it all cut together with the music and the effects that it starts to feel like it’s working. It’s that moment when it starts to feel incredibly rewarding and gives you enough fuel to power on through to the finishing line.


You can see more of Oliver Jones’ work on his website, Instagram, or Twitter. Catch the ‘Mr. Prism’ video below.

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