From Beverly Hills to Skipton, Collaboration in a Creative Bubble

Skipton climbed up a few rungs on the uber-cool credibility ladder this week, thanks to the local Digital Arts beacon Kettu Studios and it’s talented collective of our town residents in creating the animated video to Katy Perry’s latest hit single “Resilient”.

By Liz Smailes, Marketing & Communications Officer, Skipton BID

Katy Perry teams up with creative team in Skipton

During lockdown we saw a whole array of businesses who adapted their operations to support our community. Emerging out of lockdown, the results and successes of time allowed for creative endeavours are now coming to the fore. Whether it’s embarking on new projects, setting new goals or being creative, Skipton is sending a message that even a global pandemic can’t take us down.

Virpi Kettu in her creative studio for the set of Resilience at The High Corn Mill in Skipton

It’s therefore all the more fitting that the first work released from a Skipton creative studio is in collaboration with Katy Perry for her official music video titled “Resilient”, which is from her new album “Smile”. The timing couldn’t have been more topical.

Released on the August Bank Holiday Monday, the video tells the story of a cherry tree growing against the odds of life’s challenges, a metaphor for resilience and a reflection on Katy Perry’s interesting career.

The stop motion animation video was directed by USA based Aya Tanimura, commissioned by Hound Content production house and created by local Yorkshire based animator Virpi Kettu and her Kettu Studios collective of local and national artists.

Fans will be able to find a number of references to new songs and stages of Katy Perry’s personal life. The puppets were inspired by the simplicity of Japanese Kokeshi dolls, and were co- designed by Tanimura and Kettu and hand-made by model maker Matt J Yates.

Rolling Stone magazine‘s review of the new music video indicates the level of detail the creative team had to juggle with and be sensitive towards:

“The cute clip, directed by Aya Tanimura, follows the life cycle of a tree growing on a city block — from its start as a single seed in a bird’s droppings to a fully-grown plant. A whole cast of characters pass by the tree on its journey, including a struggling musician modeled after Perry, a local business owner, a pair of ants, a butterfly and a striped cat. The video contains numerous Easter eggs to various eras of Perry’s career and the challenges she’s faced, and there’s even a tongue-in-cheek reference to the infamous “plastic bag” line from Perry’s 2010 single “Firework” — see if you can spot it.”

The creative crew in Skipton, left to right, Jo Denison (camera & lighting), Virpi Kettu (animation and co-design) and Steffen Goeschel (edit & compositing)

The creative crew worked in isolation bubbles, filming at the water powered High Corn Mill in Skipton, North Yorkshire, for two months during the Covid-19 pandemic. Skipton’s well-known and respected artist Virpi Kettu, learned her trade working for “Wallace and Gromit” animation studio Aardman Animations and has created animation films for two decades. Her work includes commercials for brands like Dyson and H&M and music videos for bands such as Radiohead and Run The Jewels.

“The lockdown was an eerie time and a logistical challenge. We had to work in small isolated household groups. For some of the model makers the materials and concept drawings were posted to so they could work from home. We were connected via multiple daily video calls, texts and emails.The project kept a handful of talented creatives in work during this difficult time. But most of all it kept our spirits up, a true story of resilience.” – Virpi reflects.

As scene from Katy Perry’s music video Resilient

”Resilientanimated music video is part of the “The Smile Video Series” in YouTube previewing Katy Perry’s new album “Smile”, which was released on August 28.

Media Contact:
Virpi Kettu
Instagram: @kettustudios
FB: /kettustudios