The Wall-Nuts Interview with Peter Lowey (Save Me video)

Check out our interview with Peter Lowey, the brilliant animator for a Nut-fave “Save Me!”

Peter in his studio at work

Peter in his studio at work

Based in Melbourne, Piepants Animation produces “music videos, commercials, animated series, films and interactive entertainment.” Peter is the director and animator, working with all stages of production, including for the beautiful Save Me video. Watch it again if it’s been a while, and enjoy a little back-story on the making of this lovely clip!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/43656816″>Gotye – Save Me – official video</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/gotye”>Gotye</a&gt; on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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I would like to know what the hardest part is in making this type of animation? Is it all drawings or is it computer generated?-Denise

All my animation is drawn directly into the computer; I combined 2d animation with 3d animation in the music video which was a first for me.  It can sometimes be challenging to make the two styles mix together, but in this animation it seemed to all work together really well.

I think the hardest part is not the animation but the concept stage; I spend a crazy amount of time getting the idea right, and how it all should be structured together.

What inspired you to create the visuals of save me?-Johnathan

The music was the main inspiration for the visuals; I try to see what pops into my head from listening to the music over and over.  I also comb through many illustration art blogs on the net looking for images that might inspire the look or feel of the animation.  What I end up making at the end always looks different to what I originally thought it would look like at the beginning, and that’s a good thing.

Was it Wally’s idea to include the story of two “lovers” or was it your idea to follow the storyline in the lyrics?-Anne

Wally gave me complete freedom to come up with the concept for the Video, which I was really happy with, it’s really great when someone can trust you with how to interpret the visuals.  He told me what the song meant to him, and I took it from there.  

The original idea of mine was for the broken down man in the music video to get up and be searching for his heart lost in the mist. 

Even though it seemed obvious to make the animation a love story because of the lyrics, I was at first a bit reluctant to have the guy searching for his girl/soul mate because I’ve seen it so many times in animations that it ends up being a bit cheesy in my mind.  So I tried to avoid that originally, but then Wally messaged me saying that it needed that and he was so right!  It’s what the whole song is about.  So after a bit of idea nudging from Wally, it formed into what you see now.

If the video concept was indeed Wally’s idea, did Peter see it the same way or would he have done it differently?-Alicia

Other than the decision for the character to be searching for his soul mate rather than his heart, not much else was changed, After Wally’s suggestions, the rest of the music video seemed to fall into place and I can’t imagine doing it any differently.

Did you have other ideas for the “save me” video? If there was, what were they?-Heizel

 Only other idea for the video was for the man to be searching for his heart.  But other than that the original idea wasn’t much different from what you see now.  It was all pretty solid.

 I’d like to know how many times you listened to “Save Me” in order to get inspired!-Cris

Lots of times, I would put it on a constant loop on my mp3 player and go for walks, sometimes I would have to take a break from it, the initial idea of the squiggly man emotionally torn apart laying on the floor, came pretty quickly, it was thinking about how it all comes together with him and the girl that took time.

Who are his favorite artists?-Kate

I like Picassos work, his style is so appealing and Jean-Michel Basquait, I also like the simplicity of Charles Shultz Peanuts comics.  Other than that I’m kind of not that knowledgeable about other artists, I try not to be, I think being influenced too much by lots of other artists work can stop you from creating original work yourself.   You end up just copying others rather then find your own voice.

Next projects?-Vero

I have done a lot of Surreal and serious style animations lately; I’m looking forward to getting into more cartoony stuff.  I’m working on some little animation shorts involving a character called Alfred Skimmy at the moment.

I think the male character has some of Wally’s features, the green eyes, the teeth. Was that deliberate?-Lisa

Yes that was deliberate.  I put Wally’s eye color and even tried to put his mouth shape into the character, but the character is also vague enough that it can be anybody; the viewer can feel like the character.  

What was Wally’s pitch to you? What sold you on the idea to do this for Wally? Have ya’ll known each other before this?-April

I didn’t know Wally before, I think he saw a few of my animations that I had done previously and he must have been impressed.   The first time I saw a Gotye music video (and heard his music) was actually at an animation festival a few years ago when they were playing the ‘hearts a mess’ video.  Since then I’ve always been into his work, and when he contacted me to make ‘Save me’ I jumped at the opportunity right away!

Any future plans to collab with Wally again?-Juliette

I would love to work on another Gotye music vid.  I really like his music!

Thanks Peter!

You can check out Piepants Animation in all its glory at www.piepantsanimation.com!

7 thoughts on “The Wall-Nuts Interview with Peter Lowey (Save Me video)

  1. Pingback: Feelin’ ‘Bettah’ | The Wall — Nuts

  2. Thank you, Mr. Lowey, for taking the time to “chat” with us, to answer our questions with patience, and for better allowing us to access more of the backstory of how the video evolved. I love hearing about your own artistic pursuits, interests, and processes to find “your own voice”: thank you for sharing them with us. Best wishes!

  3. Wonderful interview, so many people to thank for everything.
    My fellow Wall-Nuts especially…and Mr. Lowey, THANK YOU!
    I should’ve asked a question now and I regret not doing so 😦
    But…I suppose all I wanted to ask has already been answered!
    I KNEW that the sweet character in the video of my favourite song was based on Wally…the eyes and mouth tell all.
    Beautiful. I don’t know what else to say…
    Good luck and best regards with your future projects!

  4. Thank you for answering our questions! This is a beautiful animation that conveys so much emotion. I enjoyed reading the background story of the clip. Looking forward to seeing more work from you.

  5. Thanks so much for making one of my favorite Gotye songs come alive in such a beautiful way, and for answering our questions so thoughtfully. Can’t wait to see the results of your future collaborations with Wally.

  6. Pingback: Break-Time Here We Come! | The Wall — Nuts

  7. It’s always interesting to know the story behind a music video, as much as the song’s background. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions
    and explaining your creative process that led to such a moving video. Best of luck on your next projects!

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