Fleet Foxes delights fans with new animated video ‘Featherweight’

Popular American band Fleet Foxes shared a new animation video for their latest single Featherweight from their fourth studio album, Shore which has garnered over 125 million global streams till date. The video depicts a world of struggle and hope is brought to life using stop-motion animation and a multiplane camera. 

Featherweight is the tenth video directed by the band frontman Robin Pecknold’s brother and longtime visual collaborator Sean Pecknold. He has chosen medium shifts dynamically between claymation, stop-frame animation and live action, his point of view remains singularly engaging. Employing analog filmmaking techniques, he creates stories that evoke universal emotions, whether his characters are lonely shapes, people, creatures or objects.

“Robin and I grew up together, watching a lot of the same movies and animations,” Sean said. He further added, “So, I think we are able to collaborate in a way that is very trusting and intuitive. We are connected on a similar wavelength”.

The evocative and visually striking film chronicles 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.

To bring the amazing world of Featherweight to life, Sean collaborated 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,” Sean said. 

Pecknold previously combined stop-motion animation with multiplane down-shooting on the video for Fleet Foxes’ 2011 number The Shrine / An Argument. He was inspired by the multiplane technique seen in early Disney films like Bambi and Pinocchio. He revealed he is very drawn to the texture, depth-of-field and parallax inherent in the technique.

Production was facilitated by Dropbox, which enabled the team to easily share files during the five months Featherweight was in production.