Baptism, confirmation, eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, matrimony, and holy orders: in the new music video for This Will Destroy You's "New Topia," (from 2014's Suicide Squeeze Records release Another Language), which premieres today on The Creators Project, animator Lilfuchs takes you on a hypnotic trip to the afterlife by way of the seven sacraments of the Church.
"'New Topia' is a place for imagination and hope for what lies ahead," Lilfuchs, a.k.a. Adam Fuchs, tells The Creators Project. "The focus of the story was making sure the sacrament symbols linked in correct order from baptism to anointing of the sick."
As production took place during a period of personal tragedy for Lilfuchs, he describes the experience as "out of body." The resulting music video weaves together inspirations as diverse as spiritual symbolism and color theory into a continuous, evolving tapestry of swelling instrumentals, closing books, and opening doors. "The purpose of that was to get a glimpse of spiritual order and how it can be so demanding and fragile. In the end I wanted to leave a bigger hole for imagination."
The Creators Project spoke to Lilfuchs about animating "New Topia":
The Creators Project: How long did it take you to animate "New Topia?"
Lilfuchs: It took me 6 months to complete. The first 2 months were spent blocking out the idea from mood boards, writing out ideas and then an animatic for timing and transitions. The last 4 months were spent animating and fleshing out the ideas with lots of drawings and color theory.
How do you visualize which objects should link into one another?
I’m a fan of visual storytelling but in a style that’s more weird. It’s normal for me to think about a linear story line, but then doing it in a way that’s more my style. I’ve always loved having things transition and flow into each other without having to cut or break the scene. I wanted to create an upside down journey through the seven sacraments, so I knew the natural progression had to be the order of them and what they were about. There’s lots of spiritual symbolism that touches on those sacraments, but the focus is the journey through them.
How did you feel the first time you heard This Will Destroy You's song? Tell me about the moment you came up with the concept for the video.
I’ve been a long time fan and happy to say, a good friend of theirs for some time so I was already anxiously excited to hear their new album. The whole experience with this album and track was a bit surreal for me. Chris approached me to do the video just after I found out my father was diagnosed with cancer. Following that horrible news, it felt like the entire record was personally written for me. I’ve never had anything happen to me like that. Going through such a heavy, personal tragedy while having some sort of personal life soundtrack was something I’ll never forget. I wrote the whole concept while by my father’s side in hospice. The entire experience was very out of body. It’s hard to put into words.
Do you have a favorite moment in the animation? If so, why?
I’d have to say I always like the spiral staircase moment. It’s the most melodic part of the song and hits you like thunder, plus Alex’s drumming in that part is awesome!
What was the biggest challenge you overcame in your animation process?
Finishing it! haha, no maybe boarding the animatic because it’s the foundation to the whole thing. Boarding it out felt like I had run a marathon and then once we started animation I felt like I had to walk back to my car.
Does the video have an overarching message?
I’d say the message is about the spiritual sacraments and how they’re interpreted as sort of like, religious rules that may or may not be a pathway to a better place. Really, I wanted to leave it totally open for any interpretation, allowing it to be whatever you want.
What other projects are you working on? What's next for you?
Right now I’m working on designs for another band that I’m a big fan of. I hope to take a break from animation for a little bit and focus more on design, fine art and hanging with my family.
Concept / Director: Lilfuchs
This Will Destroy You tour dates:
02.26.15 - Saint Vitus - Brooklyn, NY
02.27.15 - Saint Vitus - Brooklyn, NY
03.18.15 - The Crescent Ballroom - Phoenix, AZ *
03.19.15 - Casbah - San Diego, CA *
03.20.15 - Roxy Theatre - Los Angeles, CA *
03.21.15 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA *
03.23.15 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR *
03.24.15 - Neumo's Crystal Ball - Seattle, WA
03.25.15 - Electric Owl - Vancouver, BC
03.27.15 - Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City, UT *
03.28.15 - Mariquis Theater - Denver, CO *
* w/ Cymbals Eat Guitars