Sinead Harnett 'She Ain't Me'


Director Zaiba's description of her vision:
The video was about capturing an insight into Sinead's world, just a normal girl hanging out in her bedroom from day to night. I wanted a mood that felt personal and intimate. This was then highlighted by the animation. I wanted this to feel innocent, primitive and bold and I felt the nature of doing this animation for real as camera less animation (a technique pioneered by the incredible Norman McLaren) would capture an insight and honesty that matches the emotion of the track.

All animation done by hand directly onto 35mm film. BTS pics below.


We began by shooting on 35mm film. We almost had an entirely female crew too. Which was great. Why does this not happen more please!?

The film was then scanned and made digital so we could edit it. The day to night timelapse was fun to capture too. I wanted a 7 second timelapse which meant I needed 175 frames. With the help of the awesome DP Katie Swain who designed the lighting to replicate that feeling of daylight changing to nighttime. While nearly all the crew plus the commissioner James Hackett were allocated control over different lights to gradually dim down and up over the 3 minutes we took to execute this effect. We shot 1 frame per sec and ended with 180 frames.

Once edited I then worked with an animator to create a digital animatic to give us an indication of what some of the animation might look like on the footage. Thanks Daniel Murtha!

We then graded the film and then had the film reprinted back on to 35mm negs which we sent to our animator. Enter the very talented and highly skilled, Em Cooper.

I'm not sure anything could have prepared us for the delicate execution of painting directly on to exposed film! Experienced as she was Em had still never painted directly on to the negs. Em then had to design her own contraption to allow her to go back and forth on the reel. She also ended up using coloured pens instead of paint as she could be more precise on the film and the colours were better.

For the initial previews Em took photos on her SLR through a magnify glass which she then collated in an editing programme to make a small preview quicktime. It was quite exhilarating seeing the first preview and watching the concept become tangible. If you look carefully we switch between 25fps and 12.5fps animation and live action at 25fps. As it would have been even more time consuming doing 25fps animation on all clips. But I think this really adds to the charm.

We had 3 rolls of negs for our animator. She only used one and what you see is the one master reel with painted frames. This reel of film is a work of art in it's own right. When the final animated clip was complete the final scan was a crucial step to seeing if it would all work.

Finally once re-scanned I was surprised by how well the colours came out. We then had minimal tweaking in the final grade for delivery.

A huge thank you to everyone who believed and made this very unusual project happen.

Sinead Harnett Credits

Director – Zaiba Jabbar

Production Company - Partizan

Executive Producer – Claire Stubbs

Producer – Douglas Cox

Director of Photography – Katie Swain

Editor – Sam Neal

Art Director – Ruth Crawford

Animation – Em Cooper -

Production Manager – Simona Boulding

1st Assistant Director – Cordelia Hardy

Runner – Katie Denman

Runner - Aaron Blanks

Driver – Dimitri Topalov

1st Assistant Camera – Hilda Sealey

Clapper Loader – Nick Thursby

Gaffer – Steve Cortie

Electrician – Michael Parsons

Art Assistant – Victor Jakubski

Stylist – Nell Kalonji

Assistant Stylist – Rosie

Makeup – Charlotte Reid

Hair – Oliver Wood

Choreographer – Ida May

Commisioner – James Hackett

Assistant Editor – Aurelien Boisson

Animatic – Daniel Murtha -

Colourist – Marty McCullen

Special thanks – Amy Armstrong, Ella Lynch, Jon Mealing, Suzi Sims, David Webb,

Andrew Alexander & Julian Culme-Seymore