“White Winter Hymnal” by Sean Pecknold “White Winter Hymnal” by Sean Pecknold
Music Videos

“White Winter Hymnal” by Sean Pecknold

White Winter Hymnal

“White Winter Hymnal,” directed by Sean Pecknold, is a stop motion music video for Seattle-based Fleet Foxes. While I enjoy slickly crafted computer animation as much as the next person, there’s something especially refreshing nowadays about seeing a rough-around-the-edges piece of stop motion in which the artist’s hand can be felt in every frame.

  • GhaleonQ

    Easy publicity in: have an artistic sibling!

    Still, I like Fleet Foxes and love the video. The 2 fit together spectacularly.

  • ” there’s something especially refreshing nowadays about seeing a rough-around-the-edges piece of stop motion in which the artist’s hand can be felt in every frame.


  • Chuck R.

    I like the animation. I love the song. (Reminds me a bit of the Scottish band Trashcan Sinatras.) Like a lot of animated videos referenced here, I’m not sure the visuals go perfectly with the music. It looks like a film with it’s dialogue off and music turned up over it. It’s more effective when there’s less human movement, i.e. the mushrooms sprouting or the man watching the sky.

    BTW, not just “nowadays”. I think stop-mo has always been refreshing. From King Kong and Harryhausen to Nick Park and Henry Selick. We’ve never been oversaturated with it, and no matter how tightly or how crudely it’s done, it’s always amazing to see real props under real lights spring to life.

  • R.J. Laaksonen

    Where does the term “stop motion animation” come from? What is the motion that is stopped? The motion of the camera after each frame of film is exposed? All animation is creating motion using individually created still images. When were words stop motion first used when describing animation of puppets and other three-dimensional objects? I think I have seen the term in the ‘sixties if not earlier.

  • Jason

    Speaking of Nick Park, whatever happened to him? He was so hot so long ago, yet he’s sort of faded away…

  • The phrase “stop motion” is a bit of a paradox, as “stop” and “motion” imply two different things, don’t they? The irony is that when you watch a stop-motion sequence, in reality you are not looking at motion at all. You are looking at a series of rapidly progressing still images where everything has “stopped” moving. Yet the fact that they are rapidly progressing gives the illusion that there is motion. The other motion you don’t see is the work that it takes to get each “stopped” image to become what it is. Within one second of stop-motion animation there lies several minutes or hours between frames, of an invisible person touching the puppet, but that is nowhere to be seen.

    The other possible origin of the term comes from the way the medium was discovered in the first place. The trick was to shoot motion, stop the camera, change something in the scene, and start shooting again.
    Eventually this trick led to the idea of moving objects and only capturing one frame of film between movements, and “stop-motion” photography was born. It’s also referred to as “stop-frame, stop-action, stop animation” or just “Claymation.”

    Nick Park is still with Aardman working on another 1/2 hour Wallace & Gromit short film.

  • Chuck R.

    “Claymation” is certainly not a synonym for stop motion. I believe it was a brand name coined by Will Vinton to describe his personal clay technique (shared by Aardman, George Pal and others) Ray Harryhausen did a similar thing with “Dynomation” even though he pretty much took O’Brien’s bag of tricks and expanded it. Don’t ask me why stop-motion animators have this penchant for branding their techniques. Maybe it’s because they work more independently.

    Wikipedia has a nice article on stop-motion:

  • Correct, Will Vinton coined the term ‘Claymation’ for his work…but due to its popularity, the term often gets used by people as a blanket term for stop-motion, even if the puppets aren’t made of clay. Most non-animation people when they hear the word ‘stop-motion’ get confused, until you say ‘Claymation’ then they go “aaahhhh….doesn’t that take a long time?”

    All of these different terms for the medium (Vinton’s “Claymation”, Harryhausen’s “Dynamation”, Rankin-Bass “Animagic”, George Pal’s “Puppetoons”) was due to the fact that in America at least, the word ANIMATION was directly associated with hand-drawn cartoons. Since stop-motion was a different technique not seen as often, different words were coined to market it and differentiate it, because audiences didn’t think of it as ‘animation’ in the same way.

  • DanO

    If I’m not mistaken, I think Nick Park is working on another full length feature with Wallace & Grommit. I read he was severely disappointed with the way things turned out in his arrangement to make films with Dreamworks, so they parted ways. There’s no loss there as long as Nick is still making films. Hell, he has more Academy Awards by himself than the entire Dreamworks studio has won.

  • doug holverson

    I liked the use of a magneto out an old crank telephone as the “magic machine”. I haven’t seen one of those for years.

  • As soon as that crank was turned I was blown away. Just incredibly beautiful work.