Official music video for “Don’t Go Little Doe” by Philadelphia-based band Miss Cantaloupe.

In a calm autumn forest, a doe chases after a speedy lightning bug. On the journey, she hops over a muddy swamp, awakening an angry swamp monster who begins to follow her. She soon spots the swamp monster on her tail, but finds herself caught at a raging waterfall. Unsure if she can leap across the ravine, she must act fast or meet an unwelcome fate.

Director’s Vision for ‘Don’t Go Little Doe’

Developing and producing the music video for Don’t Go Little Doe was a labor of love done over the course of 2 years during the pandemic. The film was created using stop-motion animation, and contains over 3,600 photographs of hand-sculpted sets, characters, and visual effects. It’s a classic, one-of-a-kind process that can create either extremely charming or deeply disturbing imagery, which was a perfect blend for Miss Cantaloupe’s tale of the natural world.

As an independent animator, I often find myself wearing many different hats over the course of a production. For this particular project, I played all the major roles, which became a wonderful opportunity for me to understand the nuances of each. Even though the responsibilities of the art, camera, and lighting departments are so vastly different, they all have the same goal of defining the emotionality of a scene. Being able to experiment in each of these spaces, I discovered where one department lacks in shaping the feeling, the others can excel.

For set construction, leaves, twigs, and rocks were littered throughout the world to create a sense that, although fantastic, this place is really real, sitting in front of a camera, and waiting to be captured. Coffee grounds added tons of texture to the dirt, tinted mirrors and saran wrap translated into moving water, and paper cut out leaves were hand placed and glued to add pops of color.

Miss Cantaloupe’s song was inherently cinematic, and already had a world locked within itself. I would not have been able to work on a project for such a long time if it didn’t bring me so much joy and energy. There’s a point when repeatedly doing something, whether it’s chipping away at a sculpture each day or crafting a fluid motion frame by frame, when some animal instinct seems to take over. The work no longer feels like work, but pure play– that is the real magic.