My team’s1 second fully animated music video for Hallman Animation Studios.

Written and directed by Brent Hallman, the original concept art was made by Garth Laidlaw and later dialed in by Liz. 

We knew it was a special opportunity from the beginning and were pretty intimidated. But in the end we couldn’t have had better luck because #1 – the music is ballin (we really enjoyed listening to it over and over for 2 months haha), and #2 – the fan base is amazing!! The response was overwhelmingly great and meaningful, definitely warms the heart. Also gotta hand it to the PR team for building all the hype and managing the narrative – it really ended up being a tear jerky and special experience. 

The project itself took about 2 months. A good amount of time was spent developing the concept/art style and getting it approved, with a lot of back and forth. We realized on the onset, that there is ZERO USS fan art! We were really surprised, so that became our job! 

Once we got the go ahead on the style we started creating all the assets: characters, backgrounds, the Postcards, photos and Advertisements in 4K (This squeezed ever last drop of power from our workstations).

The first thing we animated was the coffee pouring, entirely made in After Effects with Shape layers. The second was the Highway scene with Ash looking into the distance and the car approaching. I also made the Highway POV Abstract sequence at this time while experimenting with the perspective effect in Sapphire’s Boris FX plugin – I was able to accomplish this with a really simple flat shape and created the illusion of motion by adding turbulent displace and/or a similar effect using the Boris FX brush effect with evolution. Then the opening scene and that rounded out the first half. Then we spent the final 2 weeks pushing 12+ hour days to finish the second half, which is my favorite part. I was particularly happy with the car interior and transformation, so cool!!! Ely handled the art for the car, Liz tackled all the beautiful character designs and poses, and I composited it all and animated it. 

And the rest is history. 

120,000 views in 1 week! Tons of comments and likes, just wow. 

About the Easter eggs… The PR team did an awesome thing, they asked fans to name all the easter eggs in order to get some exclusive limited edition merch. Where did the easter eggs come from? In part from combing over the lyrics and older music videos, but surprisingly a large part of our inspiration came from a very special page on the USS website. There is a page called Synergy Seekers that displays all of the tattoo photos that fans have sent in; a proverbial gold mine, displaying all the lyrics that resonated with fans the most and often with a story to accompany it… super inspiring! 

So we have to admit that we weren’t conscious fans of USS prior to making this, but we had to research thoroughly in order to do this video and along the way we couldn’t help but become the huge fans that we are now. 

1we are a 3 person team codenamed “Snack Powered Productions” consisting of my amazing circus comrade Ely known for his amazing After Death Comics, my super cool art ninja girlfriend (her portfolio is coming soon) and myself).

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