Chris Hopewell phases a cease movement video for The place Do The Kids Play?

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Cat Stevens & # 39; classic album Tea for the Tillerman. The album, which came out after a decade of war, protest and environmental disasters and contains the tracks Father & Son and Wild World, had a profound impact on popular culture. With his release, Cat Stevens became one of the most successful and influential singer-songwriters of the 1970s. Since then, the album has earned a place on numerous lists of the best albums of all time.

To mark the occasion, the artist – now known as Yusuf – is releasing a new version of Tea for the Tillerman, the 11 tracks of which will be reinterpreted for 2020. Created with producer of the original album, Paul Samwell-Smith, and guitarist Alun Davies, tea for Tillerman 2 was recorded in southern France and will be released on September 18.

This month, Yusuf gave a first look at the record with a new version of the track, Where Do The Children Play? – a poignant song that reflects the state of the planet and the need to protect it for future generations. With hints of oil pollution and urbanization, the song feels incredibly up to date amid an environmental crisis and growing awareness of the need to limit our impact on the natural world.

The title was released on June 12th along with a new video created by Black Dog Films, Jacknife and director Chris Hopewell, who created music videos for Radiohead, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and Run the Jewels.

Inspired by the message of the song and the characters on the cover of the album, Hopewell, Black Dog and Jacknife worked with Yusuf to create a breathtaking stop-motion story in a desolate wasteland.

The video was created from recycled and upcycled materials and plastic waste from the Welsh coast. "The song has a strong environmental message, so we wanted to make a video that reflects it, ”said Hopewell in a statement announcing the start of the video. "We decided to make the props and backdrops from recycled materials wherever possible to minimize the environmental impact of production."

Hopewell talks to CR about the creation of the film and says: “The story of the video was a collaboration between me and Yusuf [who created the cover of the album].. We discussed a couple of stories related to the characters and finally developed the plot we have now. It's very easy going and it's a pleasure to work with him.

"The inspiration for me was these very simple children's animations from the 1970s – especially Oliver Postgate," adds Hopewell. "The idea was to do something that was shot entirely in the camera, with very little post effects, and something that had a real old-school feel."

The decision to use recycled materials inspired Hopewell to create an ocean of found plastic that was collected on a beach in South Wales. "I loved the faded colors and patina of this bleached flotsam and jet sams," he explains. Around 90% of the materials presented in the project were recycled: “We We even built the podium from old scaffolding boards and reclaimed wood and bought used paint cans from the local sofa project. The stop motion animation process can create such waste, so it was really nice to be able to build this world with a load of old garbage that was going to landfill, ”says Hopewell.

The film was shot in a studio in Bristol's Old Market. "It was a six week shoot that took us until the beginning of the ban. The last few days of final editing were pretty weird as we all sat with masks and gloves apart. "

Hopewell hopes that the film will get people to think twice about their own behavior and choose a more thoughtful approach to consumption. "The message in the film is really quite simple. If we continue to produce waste as quickly as we do, we will face a catastrophe." We will literally drown in our own garbage. The fact that we were able to make this production using materials that were sent to landfill is really shocking! We collected ten Ikea sacks of plastic waste on a 2 km stretch of beach and hardly made a bump on the manure on the tidal line. I would like that Video for people to think about the legacy we leave for future generations – we really need to completely rethink how we consume now. "

While the backdrop is bleak, the film offers some charming moments and playful touches and ends more optimistically – which confirms the idea that it's not too late to make positive changes. The use of animation allowed Hopewell and Yusuf to convey a serious message with ease and humor – something that Hopewell believes is important to get people to connect with the film.

"An element of humor is important when dealing with environmental problems, as some people may feel shut down when they feel they are being addressed by “virtuous killjoys”. If you represent your case with humor, people are always more receptive, ”says Hopewell.

As the director emphasizes, animation has a universal appeal – and can prove to be a powerful tool for visualizing future scenarios or abstract concepts. "I think animation appeals to everyone…. It is a very universal medium in which dialogue is often not required. The picture says it all. "

Tea for Tillerman² will be released on UMC on September 18;