Traveling the Hard Road to Redemption in Lee Rogers’ “Silent Song” Music Video

To support the release last month of his new album, GamebloodIrish singer-songwriter Lee Rogers released an animated music video, silent songas well as a behind-the-scenes breakdown of the production of the short.

Hailing from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, Rogers spent his formative years growing up under the dark cloud of unrest. He was musically inspired by Bill Withers, Marc Cohen, Tom Waits and other classic voices that came to him from outside the tensions in his native land…his voice and sound draw from the “vast well of timeless Americana, while being supported by the authentic writings of his life and environment.

Rogers happily returned to performing and recording in 2020 after his label, Zenith Cafe, was finally free to resume following the infamous HBOS Reading banking scandal. Gameblood was years in the making, an introspective, often painful journey.

Gameblood for me, it was a visit to those hard places, those places that most people put in the back of their psyche and build a wall around,” shares Rogers. “Love, death, addiction and lots of ghosts and spirits moving around to hold it all together.”

Award-winning tattoo artist and herpetologist who has spent most of his life with a collection of snakes and reptiles (he especially loves large pythons and cobras), Rogers tapped the host Bob Price to produce the video clip. Price, which runs Pictures of Neep out of Boom! studiosis based near Bangor, Northern Ireland (just outside Belfast).

Take a few minutes and enjoy silent song:

Price spent three months producing the video, from first contact with Rogers to its release. Working solo on the short during the pandemic lockdown, the host “was grateful not only to be busy at a time when so many people were losing their jobs, but to be working on such an enjoyable project”.

According to Price, “It’s hard to shoot a music video during lockdown. Luckily, like most freelance animators, I don’t socialize much and don’t leave the house much anyway. So animation seemed like a good solution.

Noting that he wanted to match the rich narrative and journey that Rogers had created in the song, the host shares, “I played with the themes of dark and light from a personal perspective: one person’s heaven may be another’s hell. Angels and Demons don’t always appear as expected. The road to redemption is a hard road to walk. Animation has always enjoyed playing with dark themes and stretching reality until it clicks. One of the best examples of this was Cab Calloway’s creepy but fun journey into the underworld as he played St. James Infirmary in the 1933 Betty Boop version of Sleeping Beauty. And our silent song The film is a strong nod to this performance and 1930s Rubber Hose-style animation.”

Price animated the video in Adobe After Effects, using character rigs created with DUIK Bassel by RX Laboratory and RubberHose by Battleaxe. All illustrations were created in Procreate.

Go behind the scenes to see how the music video was produced:

With over 20 years creating television and interactive content, Price has done numerous animation and motion graphics projects for Irish, UK and international broadcasters. He has also created corporate content for global brands such as Google, Microsoft, Mojang, Crayola and Bosch.

Dan Sarto's photo

Dan Sarto is the publisher and editor of Animation World Network.

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