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Work / Animation

Barcelona studio Nice Shit animates Interpol’s Daniel Kessler’s music memories in this short

Barcelona-based design and animation studio Nice Shit has created an animation as part of music festival Primavera Sound’s My Favourite Music Memory series. The series sees artists describe a special music-related moment and different animators create the visuals to accompany the sound bites.

Nice Shit was tasked with creating a short for American rock band Interpol’s frontman Daniel Kessler, and their short takes viewers on a vivid, illustrative journey full of smooth transitions and clever details. “Regarding style, we were given almost complete freedom,” says the studio. “They sent us a small colour palette which could be altered and extended, but it helped to link the other episodes as a series. They also suggested to try to maintain a ‘night mood’.”

The studio has recently moved to Barcelona from Buenos Aires and is made up of Guido Lambertini, Rodier Kidman and Carmen Angelillo. Nice Shit describes its personal style as “graphic, bold and minimal” and it often finds itself setting its own constraints for a project like “can’t use more than four colours” or “only three sizes of shot” as a challenge, which seems to work for the trio. “90% of the time we give feedback to each other it’s things like: ‘take that out’, ‘we don’t need that’. We like it a lot when we communicate a lot, using very few elements.”

For the animation, the recording came first, so after Nice Shit did the first edit on it the next stage was storyboarding. “The most important stage of any project is storyboarding, there is a lot of freedom at this moment but also a lot of responsibility,” the studio explains. “You are pretty much deciding what is going to happen from now on.”

The studio does the storyboarding all together: “One pencil in each hand and all trying to speak at the same time, it sounds chaotic but it works!” says Nice Shit. “We have now created a template grid on a big piece of paper, where 16:9 Post-its fit perfectly, you can move them around easily and it also gives you the chance to see the whole thing at a glance.” Once the trio is happy, each one takes on their roles, and while all three of them design and animate, over the years each one has developed their own strengths: “Rodier is in the design side, Guido in the animation side and Carmen right in the middle.” For the project the team was also able to invite three other animators to take on a scene each, and they invited their friends Olivia Blanc, Gabriel Fermanelli and Leo Campasso to join.

The freedom of the brief allowed Nice Shit the room to talk about a lot of ideas, but the studio settled on a style it knew and felt right for the two minute short. “We are trying to tell a sensitive story, moving in a slow pace but keeping it interesting,” the studio explains. “We always kept in mind that this wasn’t a commercial piece, there was no need to be literal and it was more powerful to create a whole sensation and move than to translate each word to images.”

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Nice Shit: Primavera Sound presents: Daniel Kessler, Interpol (still)

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Nice Shit: Primavera Sound presents: Daniel Kessler, Interpol (still)

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Nice Shit: Primavera Sound presents: Daniel Kessler, Interpol (still)

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Nice Shit: Primavera Sound presents: Daniel Kessler, Interpol (work in progress)

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Nice Shit: Primavera Sound presents: Daniel Kessler, Interpol (work in progress)