BlinkInk director Nicos Livesey, working from concepts by former Pixar stalwarts Mark Andrews and Andrew Gordon, animates the band’s first new music in six years, a story of a dystopian world destroyed by pollution that can only be redeemed by a Maiden-esqe biblical wrath.
BlinkInk has shared with AWN the just released music video for legendary rock band Iron Maiden’s brand-new track, “Writing on the Wall.” Written by Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith and lead singer Bruce Dickinson, produced by Kevin Shirley, and co-produced by Maiden bassist and founder-member Steve Harris, “Writing on the Wall” is the band’s first new music in six years.
Dickinson initially conceived the video in collaboration with former Pixar creative leaders and long-time Maiden fans Mark Andrews and Andrew Gordon, whose award-winning work includes The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Brave, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo. They brought the project to BlinkInk, a London-based animation studio known for their highly stylized work on a variety of global brands ranging from Adidas to Coca-Cola, as well as a number of high-profile music videos.
BlinkInk director Nicos Livesey, another long-time Maiden fan, helmed the short, drawing inspiration from sci-fi and heavy metal, as well as Peter Jones, Roger Dean, and Mike Ploog. Writing on the Wall brings to life a story written by Dickinson, inspired by biblical tales of Belshazzar's feast and Daniel in a mashup with Adam and Eve and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The film portrays a dystopian world destroyed by pollution and drought, ruled by an elite class as they prepare for a party. As you can guess, evil must atone!
Loaded with Maiden-related Easter eggs, the video took a team of 60 artists almost eight months to produce. The short, created in classic 2D style mixed with 3D elements, goes full 3D with the unexpected, first ever glimpse of a re-born Eddie, Maiden’s longtime mascot, who has graced all the band’s albums and some of their videos.
Turn up your computer volume and enjoy!
According to Dickinson, “I had a pretty clear idea of the concept to accompany the song and when I met Mark and Andrew, on Zoom, it quickly became clear we were all very much on the same wavelength, and this was reinforced with the addition of Nicos and his young BlinkInk team. Our weekly team Zoom meetings were then usually both highly creative and a lot of fun!”
“I’m very proud of the way the video turned out, as it’s more like a mini-film really,” he continued. “I knew it was going to work out as soon as Mark brought my treatment to life with his incredible storyboards - I thought we could make something very special together. I think we did and hope our fans will agree. In fact, it’s pretty much created by Maiden fans!”
“We quickly found the expertise we wanted, and people were literally throwing themselves at me to work on a Maiden video – we had more than 60 people in 13 countries from Brazil to France, Romania to the U.S.A.” Livesey added. “I’d say their love, passion, and understanding of the band shines through every frame. They were a dream team for the producers and me to manage.”
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.