Music Notes

Watch A Marionette Come To Life In This Creative Duo's Handmade Music Video

No CGI or stop-motion necessary.

In Pinocchio, a marionette has to lose his strings to come to life, but in this new music video from Brooklyn duo Kodacrome, the strings are where the magic happens.

Elissa LeCoque and Ryan Casey were in the midst of writing their third studio album when they began work on a crafty video for their song "Oh, You Two." Both musicians have a background in film and set-building, so they worked together to create miniature puppets, sets, and props by hand, using a variety of materials including clay, wood, acrylic, and metal. 

"Somehow getting our hands covered in clay and paint was just what we needed to shed light on this next record," LeCoque told The Creators Project.

The band shared a close-up look at some of their creations on Facebook. The main character's hand (or rather, hands — there were several, made in different shapes and positions) is less than an inch long. Tiny record albums feature detailed cover art. Paint cans fit in the palm of your hand and contain even smaller tools. It's like peeking into a whole new world.

The video itself is moody and slightly surreal, as the main character drives down a dark road, pulls water from a well, and discovers old home movies while cleaning his shed. He ends the video playing a saw with a bow. LeCoque said that the story "mirrored what I was going through writing this record."

"As soon as he stopped forcing his objectives, and began to follow his flow and take care of what was around him," she said, "all of the pieces of inspiration came together." 

The video's style has been compared to that of the Quay Brothers, who are known for their stop-motion films featuring puppets. But you may be shocked to learn that Kodacrome didn't use any stop-motion or CGI for their video. It was filmed live, using strings and gears to create movement, along with electric lights and motors. A more mainstream comparison would be Missy Elliott's "WTF (Where They From)" video, in which the rapper's marionette alter ego was controlled by a puppeteer.

"Oh, You Two," which Paste magazine described as "haunting" and "minimalist," will be on Kodacrome's third album, to be released later this year. Until then, you can listen to their music on Bandcamp.

Watch the duo's labor of love in the video below:

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