Vol. 2, Issue #12 July 6th - July 19th, 2007

Mind of Matthew
By: Adrian Fallwell

As early as ten years old, Matthew Kaney started tinkering with stop-frame animation and video, but in the past few years he has started taking it more seriously, and at eighteen years old, he’s already produced an impressive body of quality animations and music videos.

His stop-frame animations include some great claymation shorts, and most notably a four minute Lego music video for “Weird Al” Yankavic’s fast-paced song, Hardware Store. A friend sent a link of the video to WeirdAl.com, and they posted it on the site. The video cuts to a different scene every second or two, with figures dancing around the hardware store with various tools, choreographed like a big-production musical. A barrage of interesting techniques, styles, and camera angels flash by one after another. My first thought was, “My God, how long did it take to make this thing?” Matthew admitted he worked on it off and on for almost a year.

For the past couple of years, Matthew started using Flash to create animations, one of the first of which was a music video for his friends, The Black Tie Event, for a song titled “Give Me Peace”. The video and music induce images of life’s daily grind flying by with questions of death and where it is all leading. Again, cut after cut syncs with the driving beat, and designful, thought provoking scenes lay out with the lyrics of the song to tell the story.

For his next music video, Matthew approached The Black Tie Event with a different concept of doing an animation that looks like it’s all done with markers in a notebook. I liked this video so much, it is why I decided to do an article on Matthew. Composed in Flash and set to the song, “Hot Times”, the simple black marker look on notebook paper merges and transfigures into different images, from band members singing or playing instruments into lines that bounce and vibrate to the beat. One guy plays guitar, a quick zoom out, and we come out of the eye of another member singing. The shot quickly zooms in and fades into a cymbal being hit several times, highlighting the cymbal in the song, which then dissapears and giant block letters appear with the lyric, “BABY”, which is then encircled with a black ribbon, or tie if you will. All of that happens in less than ten seconds.

After seeing the “Give Me Peace” video, the Norman band, Subatomic Pieces, commisioned Matthew to do a video for their song “Probe”. Starting with an amusement park theme, Matthew created a Flash animation which carries a young boy from one ride to the next with a floaty, dream-like quality to it. Said Chris Harris of Subatomic Pieces, "Matthew reminded me that the best creative tool that any of us can have is our imagination. It was just the kind of kick in the pants that I needed. Matthew is really great!"

Of course, all of this is just the beginning of this young man’s career. He’s not even out of high-school yet. You can see some of these videos at NONzine.com/video, and even more stuff at Matthew’s web site, mindofmatthew.com. We will also be doing an online interview with Matthew on this week’s NONcast, live on toginet.com from 2-3pm Friday, with encore shows throughout the week.

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