Louise Silfversparre and Lina Reidarsdotter Källström animate a “sad power ballad matched with the heated emotions of reality television”
The It’s Nice That Graduate returns with a new studio and heartbreaking video for musician Sarah Klang, made in collaboration with comic artist Moa Romanova.
- 20 May 2021
- Ayla Angelos
As one of It’s Nice That’s Graduates last year, Louise Silferversparre unanimously wowed us with her detailed and technical project Technofossils – a skilful inquest into our fragile relationship with the environment. And now, the Stockholm-based 3D designer and animator has co-founded Double Up Studio, launched with her friend Lina Reidarsdotter Källström “the second” they both graduated from the same class at Beckmans College of Design. “We’ve been working as a duo for almost a year now and it’s been great,” Louise tells us. “We’re very similar when it comes to goals and work ethic, but our personalities are quite different, which has proved to be a good match apparently.”
Since joining forces, the duo have gone on to develop a succinct and complementary style of working, one that blurs the line between “hers and mine” and blends realistic 3D techniques with an artificial cartoony feel. This becomes paramount throughout all of their work to date, from 3D visuals for a jewellery collection named Inner Flame, to animated season’s greetings cards and an animated furniture collection titled Seats. The most recent endeavour, however, encapsulates this even more so, having been asked to animate a music video for Swedish artist Sarah Klang and her new single Love So Cruel, made in collaboration with comic artist Moa Romanova.
Like many of us, Louise and Lina have spent the past year engulfed in the comforting dribble of reality television – watching hours of shows like Love Island, Too Hot To Handle and Love is Blind. And it’s this exact competitive and romantic spirit that formed the crux of their new animation, which pulls tremendous references from all of the much-loved reality television shows. “The theme behind the video felt like an homage to the TV series that kept us company,” adds Louise. “When we got the script, we immediately got excited; who could say no to a sad power ballad matched with the heated emotions of reality television?”
Proceeding to base the video around the tropes of a reality show and its usual plot of “love and loyalty”, Love So Cruel atypically begins at the end of the story. Skipping the introductions, flirty meet-ups and games, the video kicks off with the finale, wherein the remaining couple have to prove their loyalty to one another. The final test of true kinship, the glam, dressed-up characters embark on their final quest in front of the camera in a very familiar Love Island fashion – you know, the moment when they decide whether or not to selfishly take the money or share with their new partner. “We understand that these two characters have some kind of history, maybe they fell in love during the show, and that at least one of them is blinded by love,” says Louise. “If they keep their crystal orbs intact during the final ceremony, they both win. But if one of them decides to smash theirs, that person leaves with the money and the other one is left empty handed.”
Besides the obvious undertones, the duo tossed in some additional cinematic references, like the necklace from Titanic, plus more methodical techniques such as a “dramatic dolly zoom” when – *spoiler alert* – the protagonist realises her loved one is about to betray her. Even the title of the song hints to some kind of heartbreak, but they both wanted to add in as much of the unexpected as possible. This is achieved through a merging of theatrical filmmaking techniques, fine-tuned details (like the necklace reference) and moody lighting, where at first the video is drenched in happy tones and sunlight, before it brashly switches into darkness as the character is left alone.
A challenge no doubt, the video was built entirely in Cinema4D – “from the structure of the house to the last press-on nail,” adds Louise. They also learnt a few new tricks in 3D fashion design software CLO, creating pattern sketches and sewing them onto the characters. Moa is the lead behind the character development for the film, whose work generally tends to toy with bubbly, playful characters and darker or strange environments. She’s also friends with Sarah, the artist behind the song, and has based a character on her in one of her comics beforehand. “It was her idea to use the Sarah character from my comics universe in this video,” says Moa. “I think it’s a great clash, this super serious, angelic love ballad, but told through these zany comical characters. In my opinion, almost every portrayal of sad or dark feelings his so much harder if it's mixed with humour.”
As with any reality show, Love So Cruel also hopes to pull on your heartstrings a little. It begs to question why we even want to watch these kids of tales in the first place, because we know we’re all going to have a good cry at the end, whatever the outcome. But we just keep on coming back for more. “With reality TV being somewhat of an everyday escape, we wanted to give the audience a dramatic moment to really sink their teeth into,” says Louise. “Feelings on TV can be just as real as IRL feelings that are not being broadcasted as entertainment, and so can the feelings that come from watching it. We saw a comment on the video saying something like “thanks for the crying session”, to us that comment felt like: goal achieved. When working very hard on something it’s a nice reward to feel like you’ve evoked some kind of emotion in the audience.”
GalleryDouble Up Studio: Love So Cruel, Sarah Klang. In collaboration with Moa Romanova (Copyright © Double Up Studio, 2021)
Double Up Studio: Love So Cruel, Sarah Klang. In collaboration with Moa Romanova (Copyright © Double Up Studio, 2021)
About the Author
Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she was interim online editor in 2022/2023 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima.