Inspired by 3D laser-cut wood puzzles, Aardman animation directors Karni&Saul (the duo behind BAFTA nominated short Turning) build a forest setting inhabited by cute hybrid creatures for The Staves’ Winter Trees promo. Despite its classic stop frame look, the promo was instead achieved by using a combination of hand drawn Flash and CG animation. Karni&Saul also decided to take a symbolic approach to the relationship themes expressed in the song’s lyrics, peppered with surreal elements such as The Staves members being represented as instrument playing trees:
We knew from the girls, the song was based on a relationship so we wanted to take it wider and further by showing creatures escaping a flood and hanging precariously of tips of trees….it reminded us of the fishermen who sit on tall poles in the sea…it was a very visual scene. We wanted it to feel emotional while not too twee… and have a story that was symbolic of a relationship and slightly surreal.