Images courtesy the artist. GIF made by the author, via
A marionette music video that started as a single-set pipe dream turned into a year long labor of love for this Brooklyn based electronic music duo. Last year, Elissa LeCoque and Ryan Casey of Kodacrome had 75% of their third studio album written when they decided to divert their attention towards something a little more hands-on. Together, the two designed, shot, and scored their “Oh, You Two” music video, a live action puppet story that resembles the gothic and enigmatic style of a Quay Brothers short. “Somehow getting our hands covered in clay and paint was just what we needed to shed light on this next record,” says LeCoque.
Although the video’s narrative is somewhat ambiguous, it explores ideas of lost passions, nostalgia, yearning, and futility through a series of simple yet psychologically charged scenes. Our solemn protagonist is shown driving down an seemingly endless road, cranking a bucket from a well, and sifting through old relics while he cleans up his old shed. In the shed he watches what appears to be old footage of his band playing a show. A female character is present at the beginning of the film, but it’s unclear whether she is real or a projection of his memory. Says LeCoque, “Subconsciously, the arc that the character takes in the video mirrored what I was going through writing this record. As soon as he stopped forcing his objectives, and began to follow his flow and take care of what was around him, all of the pieces of inspiration came together.”
The video unfolds across a nine-piece set that was built an 1/8 to scale from a combination of wood, clay, metal, and paint. Kodacrome rigged a elaborate net off electrically-wired lights and motors and a remarkably extensive cache of dollhouse-sized set pieces that remind me of this miniature screen printing press.
Though LeCoque and Casey are musicians first, they both have a background in set-building and film. From the start of the project, both creators were hell bent on excluding any sort of CGI technology or stop motion animation from their film. The whole project was shot live using cinema lenses. Every movement was controlled through a configuration of strings, wires, levers, and gears. You can watch “Oh, You Two” come to life below: