When House of Marley recruited PSYOP to reinterpret Bob Marley’s ideals alongside the elegant Get Together Bluetooth Speaker, the character animator-turned-filmmaker looked to his love for dance hall videos and Japanese anime for inspiration. “For The Get Together I wanted to characterize the affect of music and how a good vibe can multiply from person to suddenly a whole block party.” Scored to Major Lazer’s “Watch Out For This (Bumaye),” Ding handed out the bamboo-constructed speaker and captured the infectious free spirit of Jamaica take hold of those around him. After checking out the short film above be sure to read through our full interview with the director below.
Can you introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Gerald Ding I am a Director at Psyop in New York and live in the Lower East Side with my wife and our French Bulldog, his name is Bob.
How did you get into filmmaking?
I started as a character animator and was so focussed on owning a series of shots as my part for a project. To me that was like my first chance at being a storyteller, but I wanted to tell the whole story in my own way and not just a piece of it.
What was the goal behind your video? What was your inspiration?
A lot of times in advertising when there’s a product, brands usually characterize what they’re selling and try to give it a personality. For The Get Together I wanted to characterize the affect of music and how a good vibe can multiply from from person to suddenly a whole block party. I really loved Dance Hall videos and Japanese Anime so I mashed them together this time.
How does House of Marley differ from other brands?
Almost every brand, especially in the beginning, tries to build content for what they’re selling while Marley House is built on the spirit of Bob Marley and Reggae music culture.
What are you most excited about your relationship with House of Marley?
I’m proud that I got to collaborate with Gabe and Tracey, friends I’ve known for years but never had a chance to work with, and on a project that visually encompasses many of my favorite things.
When you were approached about the project, what was the direction given and then how did you approach your execution/interpretation?
The creative brief was very open and trusting, they wanted to know how I’d interpret Bob Marley’s ideals without making him as the focus, and how do we portray one becoming many. I know that Psyop was in this mix since were known for a certain visual storytelling and look, but I wanted push this idea I’ve had going on in my head and see how it’d actually look like.
How influential has music been in your creative evolution?
I love the match cut style in Major Lazer’s Get Free video it’s awesome, so is the song to. When I imagined the 3 stories I wanted to show, nothing else seemed to work so perfectly as Major Lazer did, so we edited with “Watch Out For This (Bumaye)” and couldn’t imagine anything else.
How different is film directing from strictly animating?
It’s a different kind of trust when you’re working with your artists and crew but the storytelling aspect is the same to me. In film I’m collaborating with cinematographers and actors and other crew members that are going to give me a performance that may or may not turn out the way I saw it in my mind. It’s a different kind of collaboration that becomes something different or even better than I imagined it in the beginning. This could be the same for animation also but outcome is much more refined and honed in, basically each frame can be manipulated and I have complete control if there’s enough time
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