Official video I directed and animated for the track 'Maneki Neko' by French electronic artist Miss Kittin. Inspired by Akira, Chris Cunningham's 'Come On My Selector' video and Hello Kitty, I ended up creating a bizarre story about a secret society of cat scientists who are trying to resurrect their fallen political leader 'Maneki Neko'. The cats gather a number of lucky charms required for the revival process; including a female mouse, who happens to be our hero's girlfriend. Our hero attempts to rescue his girlfriend... with unexpected results.
Some original concept sketches for the characters and scene ideas. It started off a lot more elaborate with more characters and settings, but I had to refocus and prioritize things because of time.
With character designs, I like to keep things very minimal and focus on shapes and essential characteristics. I'll often draw a character idea over and over, as fast as I can to figure out what works and what is unnecessary. You never know when you will capture that perfect doodle.
I love the idea of having innocent cartoon characters smoking and carrying automatic weapons. I wish I could have pushed that idea further. Maybe something I will come back to with another project...
To get more of a comic book effect, I incorporated different panel sizes for various shots. This also helped me save time, as there was less artwork that needed to be drawn!
After a number of tests, this was the first shot I completed. It set the Manga/Anime tone (including cheapo low frame rate animation style) for the rest of the video. I built up a small library of stock benday dots and swooshy action lines that I reused on practically every shot.