Director Yousef Thami has produced his seconnd lush animated collaboration with the super-talented young Irish singer-songwriter Orla Gartland, both commissioned through Radar.
Orla has built up a fanbase on YouTube - 9 million views in total - through personal videos of her playing songs in her bedroom. Yousef was keen to tap into that image. "We were lucky enough to find a bedroom with bright yellow walls similar to the ones in Orla's YouTube videos," he explains. "We really wanted her to wake up in 'her room' because it's a place where fans will recognise. Orla was helpful enough to bring over some mementos and trinkets from around her real bedroom in Dublin to make the new room feel more like it's hers. With the mirror we stuck various photos, concert tickets and stuff that was sentimental to Orla. We also added a couple references to the 'Roots' video. We added a Queen playing card to the side of the mirror and a couple cards at the top that form the reccuring number 11.11".
Yousef wanted to have similar motifs run through the two videos, which were shot at the same time. He wanted to create a whole, self-enclosed 'dream world' for the shoots, characterised by the whale Orla sees in both videos. "We developed ideas about how we could cut from the dream world to the supposed 'real world' so we reintroduced the whale character - later revealed to be named 'Alro' (Orla backwards). The main idea is that Orla is seemingly waking up from a normal dream; she looks around, sees her leather jacket which mysteriously disappeared in 'Roots', she sees her pet miniature whale and looks in the mirror but her reflection is upside down. The idea is that she has spent the last two videos in a strange new dream like world only to wake up and realise she's already in that dream world." It's a detailed approach that will pay dividends in the real world - Orla goes on her first UK tour next year, backed up by some great videos to spread the word.
Director - Yousef Thami
Director of Photography - Duncan Howsley
Actress/Singer - Orla Gartland
Animator - Prosper Unger-Hamilton