Social media's unique ability to kickstart collaborations comes alive in the new Thelonious Martin music video, animated by digital artist Russ Murphy, a.k.a., RUFFMERCY. "Infomercial" is an abstract, cut-out collage animation that tinkers with and subverts garish vintage television advertisements.
In the past, video artist RUFFMERCY has made music videos for the likes of Earl Sweatshirt and Run The Jewels, while record producer Thelonious Martin has worked with acts like Joey Bada$$, Odd Future’s Hodgy Beats, and A$AP Rocky. When the two connected on Instagram, Martin had his Late Night Programming LP set to release in October, so he sent Murphy a copy of the album artwork which, along with the "Infomercial" title, became inspiration for the video.
Murphy says he doesn’t plan out the majority of the videos he makes. He starts with a general idea of what he wants to do and stretches the piece in that direction as he goes. He works through three foundational Adobe software programs, beginning by drawing animated elements in Photoshop, compositing them together in After Effects, and then sometimes re-editing the footage in Premiere.
Murphy started with the color bar artwork Thelonious had sent over (bottom) and made an animated base out of the linear art source. From there, he built a 3D environment in After Effects and rendered out 20-25 different camera movements. He then edited those clips in Premiere and then placed them into the 3D environment again, a visual effectiveness Murphy describes as “making it all a bit more of a headfuck.”
Martin had also sent over footage of himself playing the MPC that he wanted Murphy to incorporate. Murphy inserted Thelonious’ footage into the video and started to add soundbites and images from old advertisements as well graphical elements from the album art. From there, Murphy brought the whole thing back into Photoshop to add extra cel animation as well as some cockroaches, “because as everyone knows the roaches come out Late at night,” Murphy tells The Creators Project. Check out the final product below: