Animator tops Rihanna with intricate ‘dream’ music video

Anna Ginsburg has completed a stop animation
Anna Ginsburg has completed a stop animation
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IT’S a film so labour intensive that it took up to 16 hours to record just one second.

But an Edinburgh animator’s painstaking efforts have been rewarded with thousands of viewers for her latest film – the official video for the new single by indie band Bombay Bicycle Club. The stop-motion dream sequence which accompanies How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep lasts less than four minutes but took six months to make, with creator Anna Ginsburg, 22, listening to the song at least 25 times every day as she worked on it.

The video received more than 70,000 YouTube hits within a week of its release, beating Rihanna to hit number one in the Universal record label’s daily online chart of its own artists.

Ms Ginsburg, a fourth-year animation student at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), who lives in Southside, has known the band’s bassist, Ed Nash, since she was at sixth form college, and when she started making films decided she’d love to make one for them.

She said: “It’s been in the pipeline since my first film three years ago, which was very rough around the edges, but Jack [vocalist Jack Steadman] and Ed particularly loved it.”

The student put together two proposals for different videos for the song, which had already featured on the soundtrack of the film The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. She pitched both ideas to a panel from Island Records and its parent company, Universal. They loved her second-by-second outline for the dream sequence, which features a man dropping off to sleep and then rowing across a shimmering sea to climb a ladder to the moon.

Ms Ginsburg recruited fellow students to help her with costumes and model-making, and also with one of the most labour-intensive sequences, where the sleeping man’s patchwork quilt, made up of tiny separate triangles, unravels.

The unravelling lasts only seconds, but was so intricate and time-consuming that Ms Ginsburg asked for the help of fellow animator Anna Pearson.

Ms Ginsburg said: “She knitted all of the individual triangles on metal sewing needles with cotton thread and then threaded them on surgical wire. It took a month-and-a-half, and I had to call her every day saying ‘Please don’t give up!’

“It was such a beautiful object. When she brought it up, I was working about 16 hours a day. I got one second done a day because I was moving about 300 triangles with little pins.”

Ms Ginsburg began the project last summer, and it was finally released on YouTube this month.

She received an offer of work experience from Bafta-winning animator Mikey Please, as well as impressing ECA animation programme director, Jared Taylor, who said: “Animation is a labour-intensive process at the best of times but Anna was working all the hours that God sends to make this so we’re very proud of her. I think she’s going to go a long way.”