Lola Amour have stepped into the world of animation.
On Sunday night (01/31), the 7-piece Filipino funk-rock group premiered their long-awaited animated music video for 'Please Don't Leave' off of their latest EP Don't Look Back (Revisited).
Like a lot of projects created over the past year, the 'Pwede Ba' act's latest offering was met with hurdles and delays due to typhoons and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here for everyone to feel their feelings in this chilly February weather.
Bandwagon caught up with key animator Kaitlyn Co, background artist Tammy Dela Fuente, and Lola Amour's Pio Dumayas to talk about the band's first animated music video 'Please Don't Leave'.
Tell us the story about how you guys came up with the idea for the 'Please Don't Leave' music video.
We really wanted to produce a music video for this song because we havent released a single in a while. We really missed promoting the promo experience but this time we had to take the pandemic into consideration. A bunch of us have been watching a lot of anime at home so we thought why not try it out?
How did you relate the message of the song with its accompanying music video?
The song is obviously a breakup song and the lyrics are quite straightforward. So, the challenge was to work around that obviousness. How could a music video provide even more meaning to such a straightforward song?
We thought of different situations that would warrant the statement “Please don’t leave me” and at the end of it, the obvious choice became the current concept. Because “please don’t leave me” is only uttered in near helpless situations, we decided to go with a concept that really illustrated the level of desperation you need to be in to say those words.
How did you gather the production and animation team for the visual?
We chose to work with a friend of the band, Kaitlyn “Keik” Co. She’s worked with Pio in past projects for their student organization so she was an easy choice. Fun fact: Keik is the girl eating with Pio in the 'Fools' lyric video.
The rest of the team was referred to us by a friend from UP College of Fine Arts and DLS-CSB. This whole project was produced by students.
What was the process like? How long did it take you to complete it?
The timeline was pretty short. We thought of the concept at the end of September and two days later, we already assembled a team that had to make the video in a month all while balancing online classes.
We kind of underestimated the workload and our initial timeline wasn’t followed. What took the longest was drawing the key frames and getting them to look smooth. 3 weeks into production and we weren’t even done with half of the sketches. We were kind of nervous at the start but when all the assets started coming together, it all made sense.
For Kaitlyn and Tammy, what was it like working with Lola Amour on this project?
Keik: I am extremely honored and grateful to be given the opportunity to work on the MV of 'Please Don’t Leave'. Even from the start, hearing about the idea of giving the MV that animated style, I was already 100% on board and ready to give my all.
I felt that our vision for the MV perfectly aligned, and it was very exciting discussing about aesthetic, techniques, colors, and all the technical and visual aspects of the MV. Then, they showed us the storyboard, and it was brilliant, clearly well-thought-out, creative, and emotionally captivating. Seeing how their story would play out gave me the motivation to work hard in ensuring that their story is properly told through animation. I was inspired to give life to their storyboard.
Moreover, working alongside creative people made the process enjoyable and encouraging at the same time. Animation is definitely not an easy job, but Lola Amour made it a fruitful learning experience for all of us. I felt like we all discovered new things from one another and improved our skills together.
Lola Amour was also not afraid to give their own input and suggestions. Each critique from them felt value-adding and significantly improved the quality and story-telling of our works. Normally, revisions would feel tiring to hear and sometimes come off as too nit-picky, but this was not the case at all, because Lola Amour already had a clear vision and goal for their MV that it made working with them easy and straightforward.
Tammy: It was fun! I don’t know what else to say because working with them has made things easier. They knew exactly what they wanted but also let me have some creative freedom.
What were the biggest challenges you faced?
Keik: With only a month and a half to work on the MV, time became a huge obstacle for us, and we found ourselves working non-stop. A lot of collaboration was necessary to meet the deadlines.
We learned to take advantage of our individual strengths and distribute tasks appropriately. At the same time, we didn’t hesitate to takeover each other’s task when we felt work was piling up on one side. New strategies and systems were constantly put into place to improve our overall efficiency.
There would also be a lot of times where we would encounter minor inconveniences, but our strong communication allowed us make the appropriate adjustments quickly.
Tammy: I think the biggest struggle was the time constraint. 6 weeks! When we were plotting out our deadlines, we already saw that we’d need to work harder to reach them but hey we did it naman.
Pio: I think the biggest challenge was balancing this project with schoolwork. Our head animator, Keik, is in her first year of med school so sometimes, even if we really needed to work faster, there wasn’t much we could do.
Pio, do you see Lola Amour releasing more animated videos in the future?
I really love animation so I sure hope we do keep releasing videos like these. I find that there’s so much uncharted territory in the realm of animated music videos and I’d be happy to explore it.
For Kaitlyn and Tammy, tell us your background in visual arts and animation. Please feel free to share any online portfolios or art accounts.
Tammy: I’m currently a third year Painting student at the College of Fine Arts UPD! I haven’t been active on socmed since I entered college but my Instagram is @drawnerys and I post my personal works and plates on there from time to time.
Keik: I have no educational background for art but I’ve been doing commissions since I was 13. I did a lot of animation and graphic design for UP Fair Cosmos while I was in college too. You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter.
Email me at email@example.com if u want to discuss project ideas etc :)
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
This is our last release of the year but aside from spending the holidays with our loved ones, we’re hoping to get back into writing new songs and maybe improving on our unreleased ones. I, personally, have been exploring the idea of collaborating with other artists, but we’ll see what happens. We had a full-length album scheduled for release in June 2020 before the pandemic happened so we’re definitely still on that.