March 12, 2021
Sometime in 2018 I worked on a music video for Mac Miller’s Come Back to Earth. This was prior to his passing.
“What’s been most surprising about this entire experience is the numerous amount of fans that have tattood the character, in all sorts of manifestations, onto themselves”
The story for the video goes something like this: A creative partner of 20+ years, Eric Tilford (who I eventually co-directed the Good News music & tribute video with), showed Mac a video we made some years back. The video showcased a “diver” character falling/floating past all kinds of symbolic objects deep in the ocean. It was a reflective and medatative experience which we used to call an “ambient” video back in the mid 00’s. Mac was immediately drawn to the central character - a somewhat retro-future deep sea diver, in a stout, hard shell of a suit, with light emitting from its eyes. The character was designed by prolific designer/illustrator Todd Hippensteel, who was part of our group of creatives at the time and a good friend to this day. Eric redesigned and directed this completely new version of the experience for Mac. I offered art-direction and production support, and it was animated by Tim Clapham at Luxx, an animation studio based in Sydney, Australia. You can see the full-length music video on YouTube here.
Eventually Mac wanted a version of the character as his avatar, which is used across his social media to this day. I worked with Hippensteel to develop it into a one-color graphic. What’s been most surprising about this entire experience is the numerous amount of fans that have tattood the character, in all sorts of manifestations, onto themselves - a testimant to Mac’s seminal influence upon, and lasting importance to, his listeners. A small selection of them is laid out in the above collage.