Video Premiere: “Theatre of Magic”

I have made a video, called THEATRE OF MAGIC, using 26 minutes of the 40 minute long original cast recording of The Tim Heidecker Masterpiece’s rock opera of the same name. If you’re wondering why you should bother watching an action figure stop motion rock opera, then you should probably just do something else and not bother. But if a rock opera with action figures and/or the music and awesome of Tim Heidecker gets you even the slightest bit juiced, please do yourself a favor and watch this thing I’ve created.

Now I’m going to assume you’ve spent less than a half hour changing your life for the better by watching the video and I’ll tell you a little bit about why I made it.

At some point in 2009-2010 I bought Theatre of Magic on CD. I bought the CD on the advice of a friend who assured me that I would enjoy the liner notes more than I would enjoy a digital download and this was an astute observation.

I loved the music, I loved the songs, but I was always frustrated listening to it because I could not SEE the production. I really wanted something visual to go with the music. Somehow by 2011 this desire had turned into a plan to make a video with action figures using the album as the soundtrack. I am a solution-oriented person (good resume-fodder, that line, you’re welcome), so when I face a problem I try to fix it. Since I’ll never be able to make a time machine that lets me travel back to see a live production of Theatre of Magic, and I certainly don’t have and know anyone who has the skills to make a real live production of it, but I do have a lot of toys and an apparently stupefying amount of patience for moving them fractionally and taking pictures. For hours and hours and hours.

Because of how much I love to procrastinate and make excuses, I didn’t really knuckle down to work on this with any real seriousness until the end of last September. I had spent the intervening years making notes and plans off and on, listening to the songs over and over, collecting and painting plastic figures with glitter, and making trees out of paper. By the time I actually got serious about shooting, I had most everything I needed.

I knew from the beginning that I couldn’t do the whole thing with stop motion – there is just not enough time in the world. At some point during shooting I realized that I should do through-shots of the figures miming to the songs and, using those as a baseline, add stop motion sequences to make it more visually interesting. I had made a video at the beginning of 2014 using puppets in front of blue and green screens and figured I could do a reasonable job of ‘puppeting’ the action figures to make it look like they were singing and talking.

I hope you enjoy watching this because I definitely enjoyed making it and I love watching it – the album is wonderful but a visual element adds so much. I wanted to make this video because I wanted to watch this video. It’s not a perfect video and I won’t argue that it’s anything other than a very amateur labor of love.
Thank you for watching!

Download link: https://db.tt/Lc84NTtJ

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