David Borrull (AKA Maliboo) and Olga Capdevila have co-directed a music video for Catalonian indie band La Iaia. The monochrome animation is about a man and a woman who split up and realise they “were never two individuals in their relationship but part of a full entity”. As the couple have now broken this bond, they are left with “holes and blank spaces that aren’t replaceable” and we follow them as they begin to heal themselves and confront their feelings.
Olga, an illustrator based in Barcelona, came to David – who has a studio next to hers – with the idea for the music video as she’s friends with the lead singer of the band. “We connected immediately and she proposed we did the piece together,” explains David. “While she was in charge of creating the style, I got to develop all the animation.”
The track is called Un i mig, which in Catalan means “one and a half”, and that sentiment inspired all of the visuals. “In some ways, this is something we all have experienced in one way or another, so it was easy to connect with the lyrics,” says David. Using a palette of black and white, the animation merges tessellating shapes, grids and fine linework to transition smoothly from one scene to the next and illustrate “the intangible feelings of solitude, despair, void and resignation” featured in the song.
The animation’s aesthetic has been developed to suit the track, rather than being directly informed by Olga or David’s personal style. “Olga’s work is usually very bright and colourful, taking on big chunks of colours and strokes, but this time since the song called for a reclusion and sensitive mood, she wanted to try a super fine line, black and white, very austere sort of look,” explains David. “I took a step back on the style since I knew I was in good hands and focussed on developing the story and work on a balanced animation that could be subtle but at the same time would allow me to be fast. We had little time and four and a half minutes to animate.”
With this time constraint David had to find a way to animate a considerable amount of frames in little time, which meant he had to find “interesting actions for the characters and fine transitions, without being too explicit”, while still keeping the story moving. “For both of us, it was always a matter of balance, without compromising the sensitive material the song tries to convey,” says David.
About the Author
Rebecca Fulleylove is a freelance writer and editor specialising in art, design and culture. She is also senior writer at Creative Review, having previously worked at Elephant, Google Arts & Culture, and It’s Nice That.