"Heart Orb Bone" is a music video I created for the titular track of Snakeskin's 2021 record, Heart Orb Bone. Inspired by the Baby Einstein video series from the 1990s and early 2000's, it depicts lead singer Shanna Polley trapped in a strange setting surrounded by toys and objects that all have an eerie smiley face on them. There is a sense that something bad has happened, and, upon seeing an image of the Shanekskin band at the end of the video, Shanna comes to some realization that something is wrong, only to be transformed into a smiling toy herself. This video is part of the Heart Orb Bone Triptych, the visual album for Heart Orb Bone, which tells a loose, impressionistic story that will continue with the next Snakeskin release.
One of my favorite things about the video is Shanna's performance. She gave a compellingly numb performance based on the direction to appear baby-like or only semi-conscious. By the end she "wakes up" -- only for the world around her to consume her and replace her with a doppleganger of some kind. For this effect, I composited Shanna onto a background which is torn apart using an effect I programmed in After Effects. The effect is similar to the Earthbound Battle Backgrounds effect I programmed.
Shanna and I collected each of the toys and objects ourselves, selecting from objects in our own home, things we made just for the video, and toys we sourced just for this project. The objects were filmed on a motorized dolly on a small set I created to mimic the kinetic movement of the films made for the Baby Einstein series. The face placed on each object is almost always done as a special effect. In some cases, I had to remove an existing face on an object and replace it with the new face, which I tracked in with After Effects. Below is a collection of stills of the objects I chose for the film.