It seems influence has gone full circle since the West and the US of A fascinated Japan with their culture post World War 2. Now it is the UK’s turn as a generation of Final Fantasy players and Pokemon watchers go to their rooms and produce. The natural step for visuals is animation and we’re grateful for it. Budding creatives from Japan, Sankaku, got the opportunity for Butterfly/Satellite and using a mixture of techniques continued by sending us on a mysterious journey through different worlds. What we enjoy more though is the idea that it is now possible for a teenager to create a song in their room in Croydon and animate the video by a teenager in Kawasaka. This isn’t the case here but much like the music video, we can dream.
As such we got in touch with Studio Sankaku to find out a little more about who they are, what they do and who influences them. Fearing a touch of Lost In Translation we were lucky enough to have another artist Hanae Seida act as intermediary.
Word Is Cheap: Is Studio Sankaku a collective of artists? Is this your first music video?
Sankaku: Sankaku originally started as a two-people creative group. We are three of us at the moment but sometimes take other guys in depending on the project.
There are few other music videos we directed before Butterfly/Satellite including some in-house production and collaboration projects with other directors. You can see our CGI animation work on ‘Ice Planet‘ by Her Ghost Planet. We also direct live action videos such as Outatbero’s ‘Monopolized‘. For the collaboration stuff with our friends, check out Megumi Nakajima’s ‘Transfer‘ music video.
What were your influences when creating the imagery for Butterfly/Satellite?
Pictures of nature and urban sceneries around the world mainly. We love mountains and hiking and are big fan of Jim Jarmusch. His films are great inspirations.
Is the girl based on a real person you know?
No one in particular really. Initially we had a thought about making the main character a boy but once we knew it had to be a girl it was pretty quick to come up with the designs. We wanted her to be a girl who is almost like a grown woman with a bit of adolescence, and she’s got some ‘floaty’ feel throughout the video. It was nice to see the album cover art after the character design was fixed, as the both concepts ended up surprisingly similar.
You use a mixture of styles throughout, which is your favourite?
We don’t have a strict visual style however mixing technique is our favourite thing and I think it’s what we are good at. We like using 3d animation as a base with some additional 2d animation and live action material.
Is there a set storyline or do you like that it is open to interpretation?
Yeah there was a narrative story in mind but it’s completely up to viewers how they interpret the video and I’m not telling you. It’s secret!