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“A whole bunch of this is definitely improv, so we’re just kind of testing things out as we go,” Brendan Angelides—better known as electronic music producer Eskmo—says to the 30 or so people gathered at Downtown Los Angeles’ MAMA Gallery on a recent Sunday afternoon.

He’s talking about the music video for his single “Mind of War,” which is being filmed live today by Academy Award-nominated stop motion editor and animator Dillon Markey, best known for his work on Adult Swim’s raunchy and often morbidly hilarious sketch comedy show Robot Chicken.

On his hand, Markey wears a tool of his own invention—a glove that goes up his forearm and makes him look a little like the Iron Man of animation. The glove isn’t new. Created by Nintendo in 1989, the “Power Glove” was meant to be a controller accessory for video games. The product largely failed because it was imprecise and hard to use.

Markey, however, has repurposed the retro gear, rigging it to serve as a new type of controller. Instead of controlling a character in a game, however, he’s controlling his animation software.

“I remember thinking, carrying this USB-attached numeric keypad all around the stage with me, ‘Why don’t I just have this on my arm?’” he says in Playing with Power, a short documentary on his invention.

Usually Markey works with inanimate objects, but today he is capturing Eskmo himself. Angelides is dressed head-to-toe in black and wearing a large, army-green overcoat and camouflage makeup. Frame by frame, Markey directs him to hold up various props, moving them and Angelides into precise positions.

“How about we spin it around and turn it into a feather?” Markey asks Angelides about the gong mallet he’s been holding up for the last few hundred frames.

After every new frame is shot, a monitor to the right replays the progress of the video so far. It takes over two hours to get halfway through the three-minute song. Every 50 stop motion frames is only two seconds.

At one point, Angelides and Markey give those watching a chance to get in on the process. Before the shoot, they told those interested in jumping in to wear all black or all white. Several people showed up ready to participate, all dressed in head-to-toe black. “It’s Los Angeles, so everybody wore black,” Angelides quips.

The extras are instructed to walk slowly across the shoot area, as the stop motion makes them look like they’re moving much faster. Still, all 10 or so people got through in 53 frames—447 frames shy of what Markey needed for the segment. The project is a time-intensive effort to be sure, but for its creators, the process is worth it.

“Mind of War” is an upbeat, genre-defiant track featuring catchy, melodic phrases and ear-pleasing rhythms, and it matches well with the feel of stop motion animation. Angelides thinks so, too. “My old videos from like, four years ago, were very CGI-heavy, so I wanted to do something different.” While exploring options, he found Markey, and everything fell into place.

Angelides’ new album, Sol—out on March 3 via Apollo Records—will be his first release since 2013’s Terra EP and is a similar departure from his previous work. “My last album was more monotone,” he says. “Sound design focused and emotionally protected. I strove for more on this one.”

Halfway through the shoot, Markey and Angelides take a break for food and water—and so Angelides can loosen up a bit after standing completely still for almost two hours. Markey goes back through the photos and remarks about how well everything has turned out so far, especially with the crowd participation.

As day turns to evening and the crowds begin to thin, it’s clear Markey and Angelides still have a long night ahead of them. When all is said and done, the shoot will have lasted 15 hours. With the sheer amount of time, creativity, artistry and technology being put into it, however, one gets the sense that the final product will be worth the effort.

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