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Pictures from the Brainbox: A Weekly Dose of Indie Animation - Nils Knoblich & Florian Maubach

This week Chris Robinson puts the spotlight on the post-apocalyptic chill of Nils Knoblich and Florian Maubach's music video for the German electronic music group, Coma.

Blanketed by soothing serene sounds (by, fittingly, a band named COMA), an iPod leisurely descends to the bottom of the sea, passing by assorted sea creatures along with a mishmash of litters of humanity until finally landing upon a pair of human skeletons floating at the bottom, as though they’ve been waiting for that last dance to the end of love and life.

Never has the decay of civilization been so chill.

The Sea was made by German animators Nils Knoblich (First Date, 2007 & From Dad to Son, 2012) and Florian Maubach (Hans, 2015) for an electronic band from Cologne. “I’ve known Marius and George of COMA,” says Knoblich, since our school days. After graduation, we went our separate ways but stayed in touched. I often danced at their live performances and even DJ’ed at some of their shows.”

After making an earlier video for the band’s song, Hooooray (2013), Knoblich was approached to take on their song, “The Sea.”  For a playful challenge -- inspired by the short production times of a first year course at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg where Knoblich teaches -- the duo decided to locked themselves up in a room for a week to work on the video. “Because of the short time window,” adds Knoblich, “we simply drew one underwater creature or object after another, as they came to our minds. The only rule was that they should swim around the MP3 player. We went on without knowing the end. Our experiment was only possible because COMA gave us the greatest possible artistic trust: we just gave the final film to them -- without a previous pitch or interim feedback.”

Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.