ezra was right music video abstract grandbrothers 2D hand-drawn contrast optic minimalist

ezra was



Current music videos rely mainly on figuration. The music video focuses in most cases on real shooting and no longer risk to innovate by offering original graphics solutions. Artists produce their clips solely for commercial purposes to be broadcast and shared as many times as possible. The return on investment blinds most producers abandoning the artistic side of the music video.

If the current musical context undermines any non-figurative intention in music videos; the minimalist aesthetic, and its conceptual attractions, raise the interest of personal interpretation in a music video.

My approach is to put an artistic and conceptual touch in this musical world become a lucrative business and also to focus on the minimalist vocabulary and its implementation as part of a music video.


Taken from Grandbrothers debut album 'Dilation'

Out Now.

Listen to the album on Spotify: hyperurl.co/99jqvj

VINYL: hyperurl.co/0qni9n

CD: hyperurl.co/m3qg7y

MP3: hyperurl.co/jbznyb

Directed and animated by Thomas CHARIER.


PARIS ~ 2018



Grandbrothers is the nickname behind which two young German musicians ~ Erol SARP and Lukas VOGEL ~ operate. This duo is represented by FILM recordings and City Slang.

The strange title Ezra Was Right requires attention. This melodious piano composition, with its progressive tempo, plays on feelings. At first listen, these feelings are very ambiguous.

The complexity of this classic and modern blend does not categorize or even accurately describe Grandbrothers' work. Nevertheless their works are close to classical compositions and rhythmic jazz. The sound universe is in between and leaves a lot of freedom in their musical performance.

  • ~ our music is really hard to describe ~



The main concept of Ezra Was Right is to reduce a graphic style to its purest and simplest form, while keeping the viewer's attention. Forcing him to interpret negative spaces and break them with several graphical ruptures.

ezra was right abstract waves 2D hand-drawn contrast optic minimalist

The void is usually illustrated by a solid black color. Black may seem unfriendly in its coldness and inanimate appearance. However this color has the advantage of returning a feeling of calm and inertia. Spatial ambiguity is characterized by its imperturbable appearance and allows to propagate sensations without altering them.


Also this simplification of the decor is important in the setting up of the graphic composition. The contrast of forms and colors, between the abstract elements and the emptiness, facilitates the hierarchisation of the actions that operate in the space.

My strategy seeks to introduce into the music industry, the emotion that provokes visual interpretation in the viewer. Like a field of stars or clouds in the sky; what captivates and amazes is the infinite number of forms that the viewer can imagine.

  • ~ sit back, breath deep, and drift away ~


Spatial ambiguity turns out to be a graphic strategy impacting by the emotions it sends back. The use of a plain black background maintains the symbolism of the dream and hypnotizes by its purity. Spatial ambiguity, combined with monochrome animations, produces a poetic melancholy that few musical clips can enjoy.


The abstract forms refer us to a mixture of concrete images which is specific to each one, it is a personal interpretation. These forms evoke past experiences that are both emotional and graphic.

Invisible and imperceptible distances create a feeling of lightness. The infinite fall, in this illusion of grandeur, generates a perpetual interrogation of the viewer on its current position in space and thus its place in the work.


The minimalist video disturbs the viewer's senses through the use of optical illusions and spatiotemporal transformation techniques. The absence of vanishing points and lines of perspective is one example, it reinforces the overall uncertainty of the work.

The radical simplification of an animated structure against a black background allows an infinite number of interpretations and stimulates the viewer's imagination.



The film cutout presented itself as the crucial stage of the project. This storyboard consists of a hundred shots, it is here in simplified version.

The plan value variations make it possible to bring an interest even when emptying. These changes also contribute to the establishment of spatial ambiguity.



A note spreads on the surface of the water. The name of the duo and the title appear diegetically with the spread of notes on the piano. The rain begins to fall gradually revealing the maritime scenery and its different aspects. The rain is waking up the ocean.

A bell falls into the abyss until it hits the ground. The impact produces a shock wave on the surface and sings the waves. Water holes are formed and gradually bring back various debris from a shipwreck. A boat wreck, made of wood, is reconstructed by a succession of notes on the piano.

The various elements of the boat, floats, anchor, rope, steering wheel, and wooden planks, come alive with a magical process. The boat is rebuilt. The bar of the ship finally reaches the surface and disappears from the waves leaving a mystery on the continuation of the reconstruction.



Oskar FISCHINGER, Hans RICHTER, Walter RUTTMANN, Viking EGGELING, and Norman MCLAREN are visuals artists who inspired me in my design process. Their non figurative approach in rupture with conventional filmmakers and their intention of lyrical abstraction enthused me.

The combination of traditional 2D animations and a 3D environment is not a first. However, this mix allows for a multi-level creative approach and non-linear workflow.



The spatial ambiguity surprises, makes you think and invites the observer to imagine beyond what the clip suggests to him. The minimalist video emphasizes the poetic and adventurous aspect of abstract narrative. Uncertainty affects the sensitivity of each viewer.

Emptiness allows one to disconnect from the real, by proposing a subjective universe free from any representation. Each viewer has his own experience and his own graphic visions. The loss of spatial reference maintains the unheard, lyrical character of abstract art. As a one person project it was a tough and challenging experience. A self creative direction can be hard to focus when production spans several years.

During the production I attended secretly several Grandbrothers concerts allowing me to motivate myself to continue the adventure but also to find inspiration.

Their show is just as stunning as their musical universe.