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The Carefree Claymation of Gilligan Moss’ ‘Slow Down’ Music Video

Francesca Morea takes the Brooklyn-based electronic duo on a surreal but easygoing journey in the ocean, forest, and outer space.

Chicago bred, Brooklyn-based electronic duo Gilligan Moss kicked off the new year with their just-released single, “Slow Down,” accompanied by a stop-motion animated music video.  The song combines carefree vocals, warm instrumentation, and an infectious bassline, and will be featured on the musicians’ upcoming self-titled debut album arriving April 9 on Foreign Family Collective.

Childhood friends who have known each other since the age of three, Ben and Evan of Gilligan Moss have toured with Glass Animals, Toro Y Moi, and Tourist, played major festivals such as Coachella, Pitchfork Paris, and Electric Forest. More recently, they released a 13-track mix for Adventure Time: Distant Lands – a set of four, hourlong specials based on Pendleton Ward’s hugely popular Cartoon Network show, Adventure Time - where they remixed and reimagined original clips from the show.

The music video, directed by Italian claymation artist and set designer Francesca Morea, is a “surreal journey” that depicts Gilligan Moss as they morph into different versions of themselves: in the sea as octopuses; in their natural element outdoors; in the club; as children; and in outer space. The duo is observed by an older gentleman who glides through each scene effortlessly via skateboard, picking up elements from the guys surroundings to add color and joy to his own life.

Check out the official music video for "Slow Down."

According to Gilligan Moss, “Slow Down is a song about taking it easy and having a good time, so we filled the video with the people and places that make us feel that way. The director, Francesca Morea, was incredibly fun to work with and her style is so warm, so it fit well with the music. It’s filled with little Easter eggs and appearances by some of the Foreign Family crew.  We become octopods, a version of ourselves as preschoolers, and aliens too. What more could you want?”

“The short obviously started from an idea, in this case, after hearing the song and understanding the meaning,” Morea explains. “After discussing with Gilligan Moss and Foreign Family, I came up with what you see in the final video. I switched to animation, mounted the lights, created coherent shadows, placed the camera on the stand, attached the computer, and started shooting.” 

Morea worked meticulously to create the plasticine characters and backgrounds, using various materials, including polystyrene, plasticine, and paints. “I animated at 14 frames per second using Dragonframe,” she explains. “Basically, the process involved moving the characters very little at a time, then taking a picture, moving the character again and taking a picture, and so on to create the defining movement.”

“For the 2D scenes, like the whale or the clay writing, the difference is that I mounted the camera at the top and worked flat,” she adds. “For the fish in the underwater scene, I used magnets to make them move in the background. As the animation work continued, I started editing the created scenes. By doing so I was able to develop scenes like the bark of the dog, the spoken dialogue from the characters, the barking bird, and the school bell to better match the song to the video, and in the end, I did some additional editing to tie it all together.”

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.