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Lip syncing is nothing new. It’s the pleasant party version of karaoke, and it’s a trap many artists have fallen into. For Matthew Perren, it’s a three year long experiment and project. From the age of 15 to 18 he took a photo of himself, stop motion animation style, so that it appears he’s singing Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” It’s wonky looking, it’s weird, it’s brilliant, and mind bogglingly awesome.
The video looks like a flip book from a young animation fan, something you’d see from a high school friend as they drew on the corner of their 5-Star notebook. It’s obviously not a polished looking animation, as young Matthew didn’t use the myriad tools that the Laika animation studio does to ensure each frame matches the last, with only the slight nuanced changes made. It’s an art form, and Matthew has the knack to do great things.
In fact, I’d love to see a film done in this style. Mixing art with real people has had mixed results. A Scanner Darkly used cell shading to color in the film that was shot, and really was more of a showcase than a great film. More traditional combinations like Space Jam and Cool World were interesting. Nothing tops the king of cartoons and actors coming together, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? A film that works to this day, and a movie that includes one of film’s best baddies in Judge Doom. Even Christopher Lloyd loves that character.
An animated film done with still images, using the right tools, could be great. You could get the charm of Laika’s animation style, which is decidedly some of the most charming animation out there right now, and combine it with real images. It’s certainly a cost prohibitive task to take on, especially for a 90 minute film. Not to mention unnecessary in every way. But I can dream. Also, please get Ian McKellan to star but have his character be voiced by H. Jon Benjamin. Thanks.
Matthew’s lip syncing video is made more impressive as you get halfway through the video and notice that the age counter starts going backwards. He took two photos each day: one for going forward in time, and one going in reverse. So that the song ends right where it began, with Matthew at the age of 15. Not a bad little trick.
Of course, there’s always competition out there and I still enjoyed the hell out of Jimmy Fallon’s battle with Justin Timberlake and Joseph Gordon Levitt.