This was the first project I worked on with Joe Baughman. He had heard that I had done some stop-motion animation for my short film, and brought me on for some assistance in animating some final shots. All this was set up in his parents’ living room (the poor folks were unable to use their front room for a month!). I remember in particular animating the candy-cane ladder shot by filming it in reverse and carefully using garden clippers to try to cut the candy canes without making them crack and shatter. There was also quite a bit of anxiety, having Joe’s brother race around on top of a frost-covered roof in the dark, tangled up in Christmas lights… but he survived, so it was proven to be a totally prudent decision.

Random Notes:

  • So we were pretty excited as Christmas approached and the video was to come out on the UK Guardian(!)--which was pretty exciting to us at the time. Unfortunately, less than 24 hours after showing up, the video was removed for copyright infringement. Apparently the rights to "Holly Jolly Christmas" are owned by a sort of cartoonish, Christmas-carol-owning conglomerate and Sufjan didn't get the rights to it (doesn't this sound like the plot of some children's holiday movie?). So very few people ended up seeing the video. But, thanks to the slack copyright enforcement of Vimeo and some lovely content pirates on YouTube who generously stole it and re-uploaded it (with ads running against it, no less!) you can still find copies online of what remains one of my favorite videos I've worked on. (You can also see the Guardian article and the dead link full of so many empty promises and lost dreams here.)