Saturday, 24 April 2010

Early Shynola videos

Shynola in 2000: Chris Harding, Gideon Baws, Richard Kenworthy and Jason Groves. Gideon Baws sadly died in 2008, aged 33.

A collective formed by four animators who met each other at art school, Shynola are best known for their music videos, although they have also worked in adverts and film graphics (they provided animation for the 2005 version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). Their name, incidentally, comes from the expression "don't know shit from Shinola" - an American variation of "don't know your arse from your elbow", Shinola being a now-defunct brand of shoe polish.

Early on in their career Shynola were profiled in a 2000 episode of the Channel 4 series Mirrorball, from which most of the information in this post is taken.

After reading about the musical outfit UNKLE in a magazine, the animators wrote to band member James Lavelle offering to lend their talents. Lavelle responded by putting them in charge of the music video for the track Blazing Guns; I'm unable to find the year in which the video was released, but the song appeared on the 1998 album Psyence Fiction.

Following Blazing Guns, Lavelle's record label Mo' Wax entrusted Shynola with another music video, this time for Quannum's I Changed my Mind. The video was released in 2000.

Also in 2000 Shynola provided a video for Grooverider's On the Double. "The Grooverider project was really fulfilling all our sixteen year old dreams of robots and explosions and bang and boom", said Shynola. "We wanted to make it really over the top; we wanted to make it so that young boys would love it, you know, and big kids like us would love it."

Another of Shynola's projects from 2000 was the video for Morgan's Flying High - a total change of pace from the Grooverider promo.

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