Muvizu In-Depth: Jeremy Comer

by Muvizu_Admin in Mogul Questions

As one half of Muvizu Mogul team Skylike, we’ve always enjoyed the offerings of Jeremy Comer.

Kobra and the Lotus

He’s been a long-time user of Muvizu software, masterminding the incredibly popular gore-fest ‘Tales from Zombietown’ with his creative partner Dre. But it was his recent video for Canadian metal band ‘Kobra and the Lotus' that really made us sit up and take notice of his animation skills.

Collaborating with the band, his production studio Happy Apple created an entire Muvizu universe - showcasing the creative and commercial possibilities of our software.

We got in touch with Jeremy to find out more about how Happy Apple did it.

How did you discover Muvizu and how long have you been using it?

We first discovered Muvizu through Jon Beswick’s fantastic series ‘Ghost House’. He was a big inspiration. Timewise, we have been using Muvizu for just over 18 months.

Texturally, it’s one of the most complex Muvizu animations that we’ve seen. What did you find the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge we had was with the lead singer. Unfortunately the heroine character was designed as a fighter, not a dancer, so we had to improvise a lot with her movements. But like everything we do with Muvizu - where there is a will, there is a way!

In respect to the textures used, Dre used detailed and individual textures on the walls and floors to give the set a seamless, natural and realistic look. We didn’t want the sets to look cartoony. As for the characters textures, they were hand drawn and taken from the band member’s tattoos, make-up and features.

From start to finish, how long did it take to make? How many sets did it take to create the video?

The project took 3 months to deliver, with 26 individual sets all with multiple camera angles.

How did the band find out about you? Did you collaborate on ideas or work to their brief?

The band was actually sent a film clip video made by a Muvizu user named Karmeleon, and although it was a very basic film clip and only 22 seconds long, it displayed Muvizu well. From there, the band’s management found ‘Tales from Zombietown’ on and eventually contacted me via our website

Once we were told what the song was going to be, we put together a storyboard displaying what would happen at what times. Ultimately, this changed a lot.

But to start it was basically, “Here’s the song, here’s the band: now add zombies” We took it from there. It’s always important to collaborate with your clients as much as possible. That way you can tell exactly what they want to achieve.

Was it hard to make the animations sync up to the music?

Syncing the movement animation to the music is never difficult. The movements are well-timed, so it takes only a little fine-tuning to get it to sync.

The lip-sync is a different story. The software doesn’t like background music when trying to lip-sync with your character. Editing the individual clips together to make the whole thing flow was difficult too at times. We tried to maintain a constant fluidity throughout the film clip.

If you had to do it again, would you change anything?

Not that we would change anything, but our original draft was a little slower-paced with a lot more of a spooky, scary feel. Management opted for the more comical side, but as you see we still managed to make our zombies nasty for you guys!

What inspires you when you’re animating?

Inspiration for the film clip came mostly from Rocky Horror Picture Show: the idea that people are forced into an unfamiliar scenario with an unexpected outcome.

The original concepts for the film clip were based on Interstella 555, Night of the Living Dead etc. Those ideas were a bit too dark for the band’s management.

Why do you choose to work with Muvizu?

Muvizu is designed for everybody: young or old; experienced or not. It provides thousands of customizable features - this allows us to have as many characters as we want, adding details and textures to them so that the characters have their own individual look.

If you are prepared to spend a bit of time and put in the effort, Muvizu can be a very powerful tool.

What’s next from Happy Apple Productions? !

We have an online store opening shortly which will have all the “Tales from Zombietown” merchandise you could ever want. Series 2 of Tales from Zombietown will continue as usual so stay tuned. We will also be making an appearance at VidInc Sydney and are working on having a Happy Apple Productions booth at Supernova (Sydney) 2014.

Would you make another music video if the opportunity came up again?

It was a long journey and we put countless hours of work into it. Would we do it again?

Hell yeah!