Rob Ulitski - 7th May 2021

Martyn Thomas directs an impressive animated promo for Dutch DJ and producer Sander van Dijck - aka San Holo. 

The visual for Black And White is made up of thousands of 2D rotoscoped frames, starts as a series of simplistic line drawings, before exploding into a succession of breathtaking collage images, packed full of texture and colour. 

A tremendous visual feat, the craftsmanship evident in each moment is awe-inspiring, and the concept as a whole reflects the yearning soundscapes in the track. And remarkably, Thomas completed the whole job to an eye-wateringly tight two-week deadline.


I knew I just had to draw like a madman - 300-400 frames a day.

"San Holo and the label team really liked some of my animation work and approached me with a brief for this music video. They wanted to capture the essence of San's lyric videos, while at the same time carving a new path for him visually.

"The deadline was a massive challenge for a hand-animated video - 14 days. The remote shoot for the video was actually the easiest part - San is Holland-based and the Bitbird team hooked up a remote shoot within 24 hours of our initial call. Thanks, Thorwald!

"The short timeline meant that I had to be strict with myself and make decisions quickly. Every creative idea had to be broken down to its raw process and then time-budgeted. If a frame couldn’t be drawn in under a minute, I had to find a better approach. In the end I knew I just had to draw like a madman - 300-400 frames a day.

"This informed much of the look of the video. I really enjoyed finding out what I could make by being purely instinctive about my line work and focussing on what details really matter.

"It was actually creatively freeing to know that whatever idea I had for each shot had to be a commitment as there was no time to go back and replace anything. This need for permanence made the whole digital process feel a lot more organic and closer to my roots as an artist."

PRO Credits


DirectorMartyn Thomas
ProducerMartyn Thomas
Director of PhotographyThorwald Van Den Akker
AnimatorMartyn Thomas
EditorMartyn Thomas
Director's RepresentationAlexa Haywood at Free Agent UK
LabelNinja Tune

Rob Ulitski - 7th May 2021

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