Featherweight | Behind-the-Scenes


Wednesday, Sep. 22, 2021


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A behind-the-scenes look at the making of "Featherweight" by Fleet Foxes from the album 'Shore'.

For the Fleet Foxes’ latest single “Featherweight,” Director Sean Pecknold crafted a world of struggle and hope brought to life using stop-motion animation and a multiplane camera. The evocative and visually striking film follows a young hawk as he struggles to fly with a broken wing, the successes and bitter failures that come from his attempt, and the second chances that life will sometimes offer – even when all seems lost.

The video premiered on September 21st at the GRAMMY Museum as part of a retrospective featuring Fleet Foxes’ music videos with a conversation between Sean and his brother, band frontman Robin Pecknold.

To bring “Featherweight” to life, Sean joined forces with noted Animator Eileen Kholheep (Robot Chicken, Anomalisa). “Eileen has an incredible attention to detail and ended up bringing the characters to life in a way I could never have done by myself,” notes Sean. Eileen was equally excited to work with Sean. "I've long admired the way he has been able to use animation to create complex and beautiful worlds in a deceptively simple and thoughtful way.” she adds.

The project also allowed Sean to continue his collaboration with another Sean – Toronto-based artist Sean Lewis, whose character designs and landscapes are fundamental to the world of the short film. “I first discovered the work of Sean Lewis when he illustrated one of the first Fleet Foxes t-shirts in 2008,” notes Pecknold. “We had a chance to team up in 2020 to create concept art for a feature length animation I’ve been working on. The experience on that project was so wonderful that I wanted to take the collaboration to the next level with the ‘Featherweight’ animation.”

“Featherweight” is not the first time Sean (Pecknold) has combined stop-motion animation with multiplane down-shooting for one of their music videos — the award-winning music video for “The Shrine / An Argument” also used a multi-plane camera. “I had seen the [multi-plane] technique in early Disney films like Bambi and Pinocchio, then later when I discovered Lotte Reiniger’s and Yuri Norstein’s films. I’m very drawn to the texture, depth-of-field and parallax inherent in the technique.” 

Watch the music video here.


Interviews Cinematographer: Keon Javanshir Footage: Sean Pecknold Additional Footage: Adi Goodrich Featuring: Eileen Kohlhepp Sean Pecknold, Sean Lewis, Cody O'Neill, Patrick Blanchard, Robin Pecknold, Edited by: Sarah Sheikh Bridge 

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