A brilliantly rendered superheroine takes back her power in the animated music video for Jorja Smith x Popcaan’s “Come Over.” Directed by Amber Grace Johnson of Object & Animal with animation direction by Future Power Station of Friends Electric, the co-production is a wholly modern tale illustrated in a hyper-future way.
Amber Grace Johnson, who is known for her inventive storytelling and youthful spirit, collaborated with London-based creative studio Future Power Station to create a sultry narrative teeming with sci-fi realness. Johnson explains that when all production froze due to COVID, Jorja Smith reached out to her with the track. Little did she know it was a lifelong dream of Johnson’s to create an anime-inspired piece, being a fan of Ghibli, Satoshi Kon, Aeon Flux, Wicked City and other classics of the genre.
Johnson says, “The best part was that production limits in animation are somewhat non-existent (except of course for how much time you have and resources). But in terms of actions, it felt infinite.”
Set in a neon-drenched cityscape, the visuals for “Come Over” pop with color and action. As Johnson explains, “I wanted an airborne scene, a hover motorbike, and a fight scene of an undefeated Jorja killing off a fleet of slimy, artificial club fuckboys on a dystopian sun planet using her hair as her weapon. Naturally my script evolved into ideas only my imagination could dream up. We were lucky to have the opportunity to work with Future Power Station, who brought the vision to life and exceeded expectations.”
The feeling is mutual on behalf of Future Power Station. “It’s not often that all the ingredients line up to produce the perfect prescription, but in April we had the perfect storm of coolness land in our laps.”
“One of the best artists out there bar none? Check. One of the best new directors on the scene who wanted to work with little old us? Check. A cyber-punk fuelled homage to classic 90’s anime full of jetbikes, bone crunching fights and a swaggering attitude screaming out to be made? Check, Check, Check.”
With everything in place, the team blazed through the next 12 weeks. Eschewing the usual quick-fix solutions that you see all too often in 2d animation, Future Power Station worked old-school, drawing everything frame by frame by frame with a healthy dose of more contemporary techniques for that final slickness.
Geoff Parsons, a member of Future Power Station, delivers a final shout out to his fellow animators and concept artists, saying, “These guys are some of the best in the world and humble beyond belief. And finally a massive props to Amber, firstly for trusting us with this project, and then trusting in us to bring her vision to life. Not often you get to say this, but there were no egos in the mix on this one.”