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Joseph Wallace directs new stop-motion music video for Sparks

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Following on from their previous animated music video Hippopotamus back in MarchSparks (aka Californian sibling music duo Ron and Russell Mael) have more recently collaborated with BAFTA-nominated UK puppet artist and animator Joseph Wallace who has directed the video for their latest single Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me),

Joseph, whose previous and similarly-stunning work includes the short film Natural Disaster as well as the James music video Dear John (with Peter Vácz), has made use of his distinct stop-motion puppetry skills to create “a stunning Parisian world in which Ron and Russell find themselves in pursuit of something beyond their grasp”.

I didn’t want to illustrate the song too literally as the lyrics were fairly clear and the sentiment was really strong for me, so I tried to create a metaphor that would almost visually score the music and hopefully enhance the meaning of the song. I’ve always had a great fondness for Paris and Parisian culture after having studied and worked there, so the video was a chance to explore that world and create something surreal and intriguing in which Ron and Russell could adventure. The brothers really trusted my vision for the piece and consequently gave me a great amount of creative freedom which meant I could create something as detailed and as synthesized with the music as possible in the time I had.

-Joseph Wallace, director

Joseph Wallace

The video was made in a mere six weeks, bringing the song to life visually with Joseph’s identifiable puppetmaking approach against cardboard environments and painted backgrounds, animated by Roos Mattaar, Aiden Whittam and Joseph himself.

Perfectly capturing the mood of the song Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me), the video is also a rapturous work of art in its own right. Perhaps Sparks’ best video ever.

– Ron and Russell Mael, Sparks

The song itself will appears on the duo’s upcoming album Hippopotamus, released September 8 via BMG.

See more of Joseph Wallace’s work at
Find Sparks online at

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