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Dolly Said No To Elvis

2018 // Action, Musical, Music Video, Digital 2D, Stop Motion


Dir: Heather Colbert

What is the film about?

Official Music video for Dolly Said No to Elvis by Mark Nevin.

This is the true story of Dolly Parton refusing to part with her song I Will Always Love You when Colonel Tom Parker wanted to take 50% of the royalties if Elvis recorded it! Luckily she later said yes to someone rather special…

It is a story of female confidence, self belief and general badass-ery!

What influenced it?

I had very recently participated in a workshop in Budapest, run by stopmotion heroes Joseph Wallace and Péter Vácz. It was an incredible learning experience and I brought as much of that knowledge as I could into this new video. I have always been fascinated by the tactility of materials on film, I grew up with The Clangers and Bagpuss, and always loved watching how the beautiful textures with their natural imperfections moved. I had taken my first steps with this idea in my graduation film, Courage to Make a Fool, but this workshop taught me how to use the advantages of texture in a more professional way.

A little background information...

I was commissioned by Mark Nevin to make the film to accompany the release of his EP.
I was drawn to Mark’s enthusiasm that this could be a song in praise of, and celebrating female strength, through this true story of Dolly Parton. When I listened to the track at the beginning of the project, I could see a really interesting shift of power and control throughout the ‘argument’ in the song and I decided the idea of size of the puppets could portray this idea of feeling powerful/powerless. I used this as an opportunity to think bigger than my last commission, and try more ambitious staging, actions and emotions.

How was the film made?

It was made with a lot of love and not a lot of time! I set up a kind of studio in my Grandma’s dining room and spent every day working on it (save Christmas day!) until it was finished. The best principle I took away from the workshop was the fact you can create a scene in front of the lens, and it doesn’t matter what it looks like from any other angle! So I had a selection of mountains, trees and rocks, and put them to work in various guises, to hopefully expand the world Dolly was inhabiting beyond the dining table she was set up on!

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