Director Marek Partyš’ music video for Island Mint’s Burnout is a zippy, playful and incredibly creative scrapbook-style look at a couple on the run at the end of the world. What’s interesting is how Partyš uses the doomsday device as fuel for the couple’s romance, a method for their passion to enflame rather than quell. Also, the contrast of burgeoning love with apocalyptic doom brings with it a great opportunity for Partyš to generate a whole assortment of images filled with quirky exuberance, an ideal match for Island Mint’s song which melds the psychedelia of Tame Impala and The Flaming Lips with bouncy pop rhythms. DN caught up with Partyš to learn more about his creative process, the extensive planning that went into creating the scrappy, collage-like look of the music video, and the solitary experience he had in post-production animating the project himself.

What spurred the collage-like concept for this video?

The theme is clearly delineated by the song itself, a love story during the apocalypse, but it avoids a dark and serious portrayal, instead, using lightness and playfulness. This aspect, together with the limited budget, set the very form of the video, a kind of collage-like game eclectically using a variety of existing footage.

I wanted to create two contrasting themes, on the one hand, the carefree loving outburst of two people, and on the other, themes of increasing tensions in the world.

How do you plan for a video like this? One which uses live action footage but is constructed mostly in post production?

The basis was the material that we shot in the studio together with excellent Czech actors Alžběta Malá and Vojtěch Vodochodský. Here, however, there was a difficulty in making their movement and actions fit the later compositing in post-production. This required a fairly clear idea of what the final compositions and collage composition would look like before the shoot itself. This was probably the biggest challenge of the whole process and required perfect preparation throughout the shoot itself.

Could you break down the planning that went into the shoot? Did you storyboard everything before shooting the live action footage?

I tried to describe each scene in as much detail as possible, but I tried to avoid storyboards. Personally, I prefer to work only with my vision in my head, which is recorded through text but is not bound by the image in the storyboard. It then leaves me mental space for new ideas or adjustments that come to me during the shoot. But at the same time, I couldn’t change too much about the movement of the actors during the shoot. The adjustments that took place compared to the plan were more related to the collages themselves, consisting of different footage.

You mentioned the contrast of a dark story with a playful tone, how did you look to implement that on both a narrative and technical level?

I wanted to create two contrasting themes, on the one hand, the carefree loving outburst of two people, and on the other, themes of increasing tensions in the world, whether on a political or environmental level. With this synthesis, I wanted to achieve an atypical feeling that revolves around the demise of the world. At the same time, I wanted all the explosive situations surrounding our central couple to not only mark themselves directly but also serve as a kind of symbol to enhance the fiery passion taking place between the couple in love.

I noticed that you were the only post-production crew member listed in the credits. How was that as an experience?

The post-production itself took about a month and since my budget didn’t allow me to involve other people in the post-process, I had to do everything myself. Most of my work involves feature work and I tried the more intensive role of animator for the first time in my life. It wasn’t until this experience that I realised just how challenging animators actually have it, patiently clicking a mouse in a darkened room with no significant social contact. Since finishing the video, I look at animators and their work in a completely different light.

Since my budget didn’t allow me to involve other people in the post-process, I had to do everything myself.

How involved were Island Mint throughout the making of the video?

The band members didn’t want to play a big role in the video, so they took on the characters who are looting on the street in one scene. But their next role was even more important. Since our budget didn’t allow us to hire a traditional production team, they turned into production roles during the preparation and filming.

The edit is so fluid, how challenging was that to achieve in post-production?

A certain fluidity of editing, where some scenes blend into others, was meant to enhance a certain sense of surrealism to show their absurd interconnection. Since I’m not primarily an animator, this was a big challenge for me, and I have to admit that at times during the animation process I had to go online and look at some After Effects tutorials.

Do you see yourself returning to animation anytime soon? What else did you learn in making this video?

I think I’m going to take a break from animation for a while. It’s a beautiful job, but it’s also very anti-social and therefore mentally demanding if you’re used to social contact and like it. But maybe when I’m sufficiently socially saturated I’ll feel like animating again.

What’s coming up for you next?

In addition to working on some commercial work, I am now preparing a music video for the Czech band DVA, which will be even more surreal than this one.

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