Work / Animation

Director I Saw John First creates animated video for Jack Steadman’s solo project, Mr Jukes

Strange Beast director I Saw John First (AKA John Christian) has directed the first video released as part of Bombay Bicycle Club frontman Jack Steadman’s new solo project, Mr Jukes. The project is an album of collaborations with a range of different artists and this first track has been created with BJ The Chicago Kid.

The video is titled Angels/Your Love, and London-based John liked the the song offered as a music video project. “As usual you get a few pointers from the artist about what’s rolling in their heads and I absolutely agreed with Jack’s vision,” he says. “He mentioned rituals and for it to be quite dark, so that lead to me thinking about blobby ghost children singing around a vomiting eye and over saturated visuals dancing around in sync to the song.”

With vibrant colours, ghostly figures and smooth, undulating transitions interspersed with footage of BJ, the video echoes the track’s exuberant energy. John’s process was fairly intuitive when creating the video: “I would create a sequence, play it through with the song and jump on the ideas that came flying into my head and tie it in with the previous idea if they played together in a good way,” he explains.

“Most of it is frame by frame drawn in Photoshop and Flash, with some 3D elements and some additional rotoscope trickery.” For John the most exciting part of the project was discovering he could animate frame by frame “with the blur and smudge tool in Photoshop to further manipulate animated elements as well as live-action footage”. Seeing himself as a multi-faceted animator, John doesn’t describe himself as having a specific style. Having worked on numerous music videos and commercial projects, he says: “I’m easily influenced by things and try not to have a concrete style but there’s always traces of familiar elements in the work I do.”


I Saw John First: Angels/Your Love, Mr Jukes (still)


I Saw John First: Angels/Your Love, Mr Jukes (still)


I Saw John First: Angels/Your Love, Mr Jukes (still)