ADAM BIZANSKI is a self-taught animator and director who has created music videos for the likes of The Shins, Foals and Wolf Parade. On top of that he’s got himself an expansive commercial portfolio, filming ads for The Observer, Orange and Huggies, to name a few, and now he’s branching out into films. Adam tells slanted mansion how he got where he is and where he’s going.
Since I can remember I’ve always been creative. It started with sculpting and moved to animation when I took an extra course in communications and computers. My teacher introduced me to animation and I liked the promise of taking my sculptures and making them move.
Aside from my initial high school course I’ve never had any formal training. People are aware of this but I’ve only heard good things from people mentioning it, never bad. I actually planned to study animation but I started getting offered work and some of the places I’d like to have studied at invited me to do guest lectures – so it became pretty clear that bridge had gone.
I began working on music videos when I was in the Israeli army. The opportunity came up when a friend of ours started recording records. He saw the short film I’d made in school and asked if I’d make one for him. That was on my 20th birthday, I was very drunk, said sure and it just happened. I worked on it at weekends when I was back home in Haifa from serving in northern Israel.
When my time in the army was up I moved to Tel Aviv. It’s the only real city in Israel. I like the thought of walking outside at 3am and seeing people on the street that are pretty much your age having fun and you know if you strike conversation there’s a very good chance that you’ll have things in common.
I had a huge stroke of luck when I sent the music video I made for my friend to The Shins. It was when they were still small, somewhere after the second album and before Garden State. I guess if I’d sent it to them after that I probably wouldn’t have got a reply but they were so kind.
I love music videos. I used to watch them all the time on TV and knew every shot. Now when I go on YouTube to watch some horrible video from the 90s I actually know what’s coming up.
I stepped away from animation because I wanted to work quicker and more dynamically. I realised the videos I really like and am inspired by are all shot in live action. I took baby steps, starting with a commercial I shot for Huggies that was meant to be stop-motion but eventually we did it with puppets.
It’s very difficult to make a living doing music videos. I started with one in Israel and then the Huggies commercial and more opportunities started rolling from there. When I started out I liked working alone but working on commercials there’s a major time pressure. So now it’s about finding the right people to work with, that you trust and know will do a much better job than you are able to.
A weird turn of events led me to making a short film. It was for an ad agency promoting beer then I did another and this is the direction I’d like to go in now. I still love music videos but my passion has changed to shorter and longer narrative films.
Interview: Siobhan Frost
Words by: Lily Howes
Wolf Parade directed by Adam Bizanski on behalf of Joyrider Films Ltd.