Amanda Palmer's awesome stop-motion music video [NSFW]

Amanda Palmer's just posted her latest video for a new song called "Want it Back," and it's a fabulous piece of stop-motion animation in which the lyrics are calligraphed across Palmer's body, sheets, companions, books, and some nearby graffiti walls in Melbourne. The inking here is nothing short of inspired. Palmer provides extensive notes on the production, which sounds like a real bear.

he scrambled to find the space and the artist (curran, who was a patient brush-wielding GOD), and i showed up for three days straight, getting drawn on. there were a few moments where the entire crew fell asleep on the floor waiting for the slllllllooooooowwww process to come to a painful end.

anthony cleave helped with a lot of stuff and did the makeup - some nights he had to jet and i’d just DIY it. the entire crew was, at maximum, about 4 or 5 people. curran’s girlfriend came in one day and helped out (she’s the cute one with the pink hair in the photos below).

each frame that you see took at least a few minutes to photograph….multiplied by thousands.

jherek had to jet, so we created a scene for him that didn’t require the whole band to be there, and we squeezed in the scene with michael and chad before they had to fly home.




  1. The facts that this was done in three days and that it was done on a shoestring budget speaks to the cleverness and creativity of the people involved. Synching the stop-motion to the audio track that well is the hallmark of a truly gifted producer/director. Tying this in to AFP’s well-known penchant for writing on herself with a Sharpie and posting photos of the results on Twitter just adds to the amusement factor. Well done all.

    1. I guess I should have seen it coming, but the wipe/rewrite/inkblot of the signature eyebrows was a giddy surprise.

      What an astoundingly cool video.

  2. I don’t want to make this the focus of the video at all, but I just want to comment on the fact that I’m SO HAPPY to see a modern woman who’s not afraid of her body hair. It’s incredibly beautiful.

      1.  In her defense, it’s difficult to paint over body hair.  And yes I know this from experience.

  3. Animation Fun Fact: The use of the human figure in this video places it in a subset of stop motion animation know as pixilation. This is of course not to be confused with pixelation, which is how a bitmap images breaks down if you zoom in too far. Or with pixelization, which is used to cover up naught bits on tv.

    And yes spell check is labeling all three of those words as spelled wrong. sigh.

    1.  If you consider that porn, then maybe you need to get out on the internet a bit more.

    2.  To be perfectly honest, I watched quite far into the video before I realized that since it was a woman’s naked torso on screen, it could technically be construed as inappropriate for watching at work.  And I didn’t catch the NSFW tag because all I saw was “Amanda Palmer’s awesoCLICK!

        1.  Ha! Good point. Though, technically I got to the school early to get some grading and stuff done, so really its my own time. What sucks is that at my old school (I teach film and animation), we would have been sharing links to this video around with everybody. It why we teach this stuff. At this place though, there are so many people who would flip their $h!t. Can’t wait to find a new place.

    1. I am curious, are you proud to have never heard of a famous, talented musician? Do you delight in your ignorance?

  4. Am I the only one who cringed at the spelling error in there?

    Great video anyway, but my OCD mind still remembers that “dosn’t”

    1.  I cringed, but only as an animator–knowing the feeling you get when you’re that deep into a shot and somebody makes a mistake. You saw they corrected it, right? I thought that was funny on a broken-fourth-wall level.

    2. I thought there was a dosn’t in there but didn’t go back to check. It bugged me all the way through once I had seen it. But then I also imagined what it must feel like to have made the mistake and forgot it.

      1.  There is a dosn’t, but it has a ^ and an e, so it’s corrected.  They realized it when it happened and, for whatever reason, they thought it was sort of cute and added the correction and left it in.

        1.  you are correct (as if they had a choice, anyway) and Paul needs a reality check.

          “I really hated it when I contracted that cold virus, it should never have been in my airspace” said Paul.  Life is messy.  Chaos is the nature of the universe.  Mistakes are as natural as the young lady’s armpit hair.  You can go back to your sterile bunker and continue missing the point of all artworks.

        2. I thought it was cute too. But my OCD mind noticed another uncorrected “dosn’t” near the end…

    3. Calligraphy is hard, with or without stop/go.  Try writing a love letter with a dip pen and ink, and  see how infuriating it is when you realize you made an error halfway into the page.

      Now what do you do when you it happens on someone’s bed sheets?

  5. wait a minute, where are the “every book is sacred” trolls? they totally ruined that copy of hemingway…

    1. When I was in college, I had a girlfriend whose professor yelled at her for writing in a book – it was her own – because “that’s disrespectful to the book.”

      As a grad student, often loaned books by professors themselves, I have found that it’s a general law of the universe that people who actually care about content and ideas have no problem with annotating the shit out of anything, even with rather colloquial comments.  Marginalia is actually taken very seriously in the field of history, because we all know Voltaire or Twain were at their most honest when no one was around – it’s taken more seriously as evidence than letters and correspondence.  

      Many new books were often begun in the margins of, or at least planned out in, other books authors were reading.

      Unless one is a book collector, the lovers of books’ pristine appearances have to same relationship to books that the deaf have – no offense- to phonographs.  And in a proudly “missing the point” hipsterish way, I bet they know it and are unashamed.

      (edited for typos and a mixed up homonym)

      1. i used to hate marginalia, until i checked out a math book from the library and found that someone had derived some of the “obvious” (any math student knows what THAT means…) parts in pencil. it was like early christmas.

    1. I like the video and the song.  I was not digging your comment until I pulled out my guitar and went, “Oh, that one, duh.”  I still like the song, but see where you’re coming from.  When I come around I can’t live with or without you. I will not try any further to make sentences out of song titles.

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