Michael Robertson is the Director behind the animated music video Together – Parallel Universe. His company Toon53Productions in Johannesburg, South Africa made the film for the band Made for Broadway. Here’s the story.
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What is your background in film or physics?
I started off in high school wanting to be a comic book artist. Then I went into animation. Other than what I studied in school, I don’t have any background in science. On physics, I love the idea of it but I don’t know much about it. You will probably have more detailed answers from others people.
So how did this film come about?
We had done a couple of music videos for a local band called the Parlotones. Made for Broadway had seen their videos played on the metro and reached out to us and commissioned us to produce a video for them. They had an idea and we took their idea and developed it further. Wormholes and other dimensions, we said, let's do it! We brainstormed with amazing creatives like Kiernan Sjursen-Lien who came up with a rainbow kitten and most of other things that work so well in the video.
Most of the science ideas actually came from Brogan, who is the guitarist in the band. He was the one who brought up the topics of the quantum leaps and all that.
How did you create the animation?
We built everything in ToonBoom. We’ve been using it the last couple of years, and that software has helped put us further ahead. It’s award-winning software. They did the Sponge Mob and The Simpsons movie with it.
What’s your advice for how to make good animations?
Always look for people who are better than you, that’s my best insight. Find the best people for the job, people who inspire you, and take your ego out of the equation as an artist. I’ve had people working with me on projects who I had never thought would say yes. The artists who worked with me on this project were and are amazing. It’s definitely the team that makes the project.
How do the band feel about the video being in a quantum festival?
They love it. This video has been in a few festivals in Hollywood as well, and they are quite enjoying that. They are loving it. It's good branding and advertising for them, and it's brag-worthy.
We've had a couple of films before in festivals but nothing like this. This is definitely miles beyond anything else on our portfolio in terms of success. It was quite a surprise. We didn’t realize people would take to it so much, and there’s a large variety of people enjoying it.
What do you think is the secret to its success?
I really think the whole – I will use the word science-y - quantum leap and stuff brings in a much larger audience than if we just had to do a heavy metal band playing on stage with with flames in the background, or just a princess riding a pony. The concept allows us to throw a much larger net out with regards to our audience. Everyone likes going to different dimensions.