For some musicians, anything outside the realm of audio is left to another artist, like a photographer, filmmaker, or lighting engineer. Phil Beaudreau is not one of those musicians. The singer and multi instrumentalist spent the last two years illustrating and animating a music video for Ambassadors of Earth (AOE), his new collaborative project with grammy winning producer Dawaun Parker. The video for their new single I’m Right This Time incorporates what look like hand drawn animations, similar to those by video artist RUFFMERCY. The I’m Right This Time video opens on a shaded face animated to sing along with the lyrics of the song. Beaudreau plays with wandering lines, shapes, and flashes of color to create different patterns, transitions, and mesmerizing graphics. The video transports the viewer to a new world full of color, in which a fiery-haired protagonist traverses through a mysterious great hall, free climbs a treacherous mountain face, and ultimately transforms into a shooting star.
The movements in Beaudreau’s video embody a seamless linearity from frame to frame. This fluidity ultimately helps the filmmaker tell a story. Each new scene slips into the next like one continuous free fall. Lines turn into backgrounds and geometric shapes morph to frame the contents of a new scene. “It got to the point where I started seeing little fears and virtues creep out in the work; falling, flying, getting swallowed, being held down, breaking through. […] In this way, the imagery and story kind of came out naturally, one scene being born right out of another,” Beaudreau tells The Creators Project.
Beaudreau says he loves the animation process, despite its grueling, time consuming requisite. To get through just one second of animation took the artist an entire hour of work. But Beaudreau sees animation as a novelty practice, a cathartic experience that allows him to blow off some steam. Somewhere along the way, it became an obsession: “I began grinding it out for days at a time to see if I could make a few seconds of billowing smoke, or trace and paint hundreds of frames of my crooked teeth.” He never made a storyboard but would instead explore the video’s potential as he went. In the beginning, Beaudreau says he focused on the “stuff that would punctuate the music and pop in and out of the screen.” As Beaudreau went through this process, he came to realize the connection between sight and sound and their tremendous capacity to augment one another.
I'm Right This Time is the first single off the group's forthcoming EPentitled Homecoming. Listen to the Ambassadors of Earth on SoundCloud and Instagram, and check out more of Phil Beaudreau’s work on Instagram.