Ahh, the good ol’ breakup music video. Well-worn territory with a fat catalogue of specific, and all-too-familiar, tropes: the pantomimed fight seen through the window; the standing out in the pouring rain (because it represent your tears!); the divvying up your belongings; the engaging in some symbolic and vengeful destruction; the being Taylor Swift, just in general. Breakup videos are easy to do effectively. But they are difficult to do originally.
What makes the new music video for the Diagrams‘ track “Phantom Power” special is not it’s deviation from the breakup tropes, but it’s decision to explore them through playful animation. Sure, the animated video has been done before (for example, Kanye West’s rotoscoped “Heartless”, and, for extra-bonus points, watch Jonathan Ng’s elegant kung fu short “Requiem for Romance“). But has there been one executed with such simple, design-oriented illustrations as “Phantom Power,” that still manages to convey the emotional weight of the topic? Any frame of this video would make a cutesie greeting card or art print for a kid’s room (we’ll just tell ’em that’s a six pack of soda), yet it still manages to hit you right in all of the grownup feels.
Directed by Brighton-based studio Persistent Peril and animated by Garth Jones, Ginny Jones and Mark Billington, “Phantom Power” tells the story of a man, still reeling from a fresh breakup, who opens a portal into the past to contemplate, and come to peace, with his failed relationship. It’s worth noting that the track, off Diagram’s upcoming album, Chromatics, is quite lovely, too.
Persistent Peril has also shared a “making of” video. Enjoy below!
[Source: Creative Review]