While journeying through a forest, a curious young girl is lured away from her mother by a mysterious river spirit.
I was commissioned to create a stop motion music video for You Are Wolf's song Drowndown. Drowndown is the third track from You Are Wolf's second album, Keld (Firecrest Records). You can buy it here: https://youarewolf.lnk.to/keld
Check out the band's Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/youarewolf
Drowndown is a song about vengeful rivers, partly inspired by the saying ‘River Dart, River Dart, every year thou claim’st a heart.’ In legend, the river cried out for a human life and lured a young farm boy by calling his name; indeed, it has claimed several over the years. It’s also inspired by the monsters and spirits, from Jenny Greenteeth to the kappa (‘river child’) and kawatora (‘river-tiger’) demons of Japanese folklore, used by adults to warn their children from going too close to the edge.
The first time I heard Drowndown I was struck by the haunting and enchanting nature of the vocals and I knew that stop motion would lend itself perfectly to conveying this mix of atmospheres. I was keen to explore how nature, in this case rivers, embodied by a river spirit, can be both a source of beauty and wonderment, yet at the same time be powerful and deadly. I looked at traditional folktales surrounding river spirits and created my own spin on these, combining it with a tale of the bond between a mother and daughter, exploring both love and loss.
Drowndown has allowed me to draw on my love of nature, folklore and the supernatural, which is always a huge influence on my work. The crafting of the stop motion came with many technical hurdles, but the hardest thing about creating the film was animating the water, which can be a tricky thing in stop motion, but hair gel came to the rescue there.