Cello and vocals drive the melody in Unpolished Pearl, a gothic pop song accompanied by a stunning animated video in which the band members are caught up in a surreal world of bell jars and octopus arms. I caught up with the Beatrix Players to find out how this ambitious project came together.
The Beatrix Players formed two years ago and features Amy White (lead singer), Jess Kennedy (piano and vocals), Amanda Alvarez (cello and vocals) and David Alvarez (double bass and vocals). Unpolished Pearl was the first song that Amy and Jess wrote together, with the dark lyrics a cry for help to realise one’s potential or remain forever an ‘unpolished pearl’, set in deliberate contrast to an upbeat melody and driving rhythm. It was this song that sparked the imagination of Versus, a small design and animation studio based in East London, and led them to approach the Beatrix Players.
It all began one autumn eve in a lovely little coffee shop in Covent Garden. Tucked away at the back, Beatrix Players met Adrianna Gomez & Ana Carolina B, a.k.a. the masterminds behind what is now the video to the track, Unpolished Pearl. Not entirely sure what to expect, the band were completely taken aback when greeted with story boards and illustrations of burning pianos, cracked crowns and sea creatures. Amy: ‘I remember sipping on my mint tea, thinking crikey, these guys really believe in us to have put such time into understanding the song.‘ Not long after, the ideas grew and so did the production team.
Final storyboards were presented to the band and the studio booked for Christmas 2011. The video was then shot during just one day, in front of a ‘green’ screen. With clear direction from Adrianna, we were led to imagine ourselves in a ‘Beatrix World’, to be subsequently created by the animation team. Many months later, and after countless hours spent creating the animation, the final outcome is quite unique. Produced on a shoe-string budget, it was made possible by a strong belief in the project, and a coming together of many talents and ideas.
The Beatrix Players can currently to be found gigging around London, ahead of a single launch in the new year.
Direction & Animation: VERSUS
Producer: Ana Carolina Bernardo
Cinematography: Jorge Ojeda
Lighting: Sonia Rodríguez Serrano
Styling & Costume Design: Natalie Oldham
Styling Assistant: Ana Belén Cortes
Makeup: Camila del Monte
Hair: Adrianna Veal & Accessories: Pristine Smut.
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