Avett Brothers team with Asheville area puppeteer Hobey Ford for new video

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Here’s a beautiful new video to accompany The Avett Brothers tune Bring Your Love. For the video, the Avetts teamed up with one of the Asheville area’s most talented artists, Hobey Ford, who is known far and wide for his puppetry work. For the video, Ford features shadow puppetry. Local animator Robert Klein created 3D environments for the shadows.

The Avett Brothers are in Asheville today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday) for shows at the U.S. Cellular Center. Hopefully, this will help get you in the mood for the shows.

From the Avett Brothers on Ford, his puppetry and Bring Your Love:

We are really proud to share the video for “Bring Your Love To Me” today! This video was done by Hobey Ford using the ancient art of shadow puppetry. Hobey created each of the puppets from poster board – jointing them by attaching horizontal rods – sometimes five or more rods were held together like chopsticks. Some of the characters are represented by several different puppets; each feather on the soaring magpie puppet is jointed individually. The puppets are lit from behind a translucent screen so the shadows are visible. The puppets were operated and videoed in real-time.

From Hobey Ford, who refers to his daughter Sallie below. Sallie has her own band based out West called Sallie Ford and the Outside Sound. She’ll be playing the Grey Eagle on Nov. 18. From Hobey:

I chose the song Bring Your Love for its sweetness and and its underlying sadness. I am not sure what Seth Avett was writing about but this story came to mind. Years ago I lived with some Shoshoni folks and a friend’s wife was getting ready to deliver. He had collected Magpie feathers to hang on his new baby’s Summer Starnes cradle board…magpie medicine. That came to mind as the album is called Magpie and Dandelion.

I wanted to tell a story that showed the connection between animals and guardian spirits and a young woman who had lost a baby and was expecting a new one. I met the Avett Brothers through my daughter Sallie who was discovered by Seth Avett through their common friend Jeremy Okai Davis. When Sallie went on the eastern tour opening for them I was Sallie’s roadie and met the guys. Last year they asked me to build and perform skeleton marionettes for their video Another is Waiting. In the final shot of that video a broom sweeps away a little dead bird skeleton and that was probably the seed for this story.

The puppets were videoed without scenary which I later painted and we added digitally. The silhouettes were luma keyed and extracted and combined with the painted scenes. I had explored this a bit in Sallie’s music video Cage.

Robert Klein who edited Bring Your Love wanted to create a 3D environment for the shadows in After Effects and this was the result.

A big thank you to loyal reader Jen for the heads-up on this!

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Kimboronni November 1, 2014

    The video for Sallie’s Cage is a favorite of mine! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5QlF5qaLQs

  2. Elizabeth Garzarelli November 1, 2014

    Gorgeous! Such detail!

  3. Johnny Whiplash October 31, 2014

    I didn’t know what to expect though I’ve seen Ford’s work and know Robert is very talented. Then I watched and – wow. Beautiful pieces of art. Very moving.

  4. Doug Cegelis October 31, 2014

    Man oh man what a great song. These guys really tug at heartstrings. Can’t wait to see them tomorrow.


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