The insane process behind creating The Shins’ new video from 5,566 hand-cut stickers

The latest film clip from The Shins is a work of genius.

The Shins

The new Shins video was made using 5,566 stickers, hand cut from 4,868 frames and animated by sticking them down on top of each other at 40 locations.

The video, created by directing duo Lamar + Nik, was initially filmed on a white backdrop, edited appropriately and printed out to create 5,566 stickers from over 4,000 frames. Each sticker was individually cut by hand then stacked on top of each other and animated while being shot in a range of locations – over 40 in total.

Chatting to It’s Nice That one half of the duo, Jesse Lamar High, explained the process:

“We always had this idea of a sticker trail being animated, but the surroundings remaining live-action. We hadn’t seen it before, and there’s something really fun about taking mundane things and making them exciting. Plus it’s accessible to everyone. It’s almost as if you and your friends are going around one day putting stickers in unexpected places.”

Lamar + Nik are known for their outlandish concepts, particularly those that are super labour-intensive and meticulous.

Their video for Samantha Crain’s Never Going Back involved hand-cutting almost 4,000 frames of edited video, laying those cut frames out in a circular line, then filming them all in a single take, which was later sped up to match the tempo of the song. Check out the insane process here.

The Shins video followed a similar process, whereby the footage was shot first, then edited for approval from their label (as any changes from there on in would be very hard),  then each frame was printed and cut out to be animated.

“We had to shoot the band as quick as possibly because they were on tour and still are actually,” the duo told Directors Notes. “So what wound up happening is we just got as much coverage as we could of every band member. Later we edited what we thought would make a good base video without stickers. From there we made a scene for each of the clips in the video. Before the shoot we didn’t have the scenes in mind because we had to get the edit signed off by the label. We couldn’t really plan the scenes before the label said the base edit was okay. After the edit was locked we just looked at the footage and imagined what scenes could match their performance.”

The came the cutting…

“We began cutting immediately,” Lamar told It’s Nice That. “Nik’s brother, mum, girlfriend and dad all helped cut stickers out, but for the most part it was just us cutting away.”

The 5,000 + stickers were hand cut, numbered and separated into stacks for each scene. Then Lamar and Nik took five bags a day to a location (over 40 were used in total) and stuck the stickers down in sequence.

“For the most part it was just the both of us doing the actual stop motion filming because it’s so time consuming. The checkers scenes alone took eight hours. We arrived at the location at 6pm and left at 3am. Other than that, there were no real challenges besides being outside in 90 degree weather for the outside bits.”

The whole thing sounds like a goddamn challenge to us.

Check out the video below.

[via It’s Nice That / Directors Notes]