Joy Division's Playmobil Video Is a 'Tribute' to Ian Curtis, Creator Says
It was no small feat for Germany's Dirk Roth to complete his stop-motion animation of Joy Division's legendary 1977 performance on 'John Peel: In Session Tonight.' While his Playmobil cast was certainly itsy bitsy, replicating the famous clip of the band playing their iconic song 'Transmission' proved to be enormous work.
Chris Mills, Getty Images Home Coming Films
"Altogether it took round about three weeks," Roth tells Spinner. "First step was to get the right Playmobil equipment and to build the studio. I shot 25 photos a second -- that spent the most of my time. To edit the photos and arrange the cuts, was the last step."
But the hours of manipulating tiny drum sticks and making sure Ian Curtis' plastic "body double" rocked in just the right manner was worth it for the director, who considers the project a homage to the late frontman.
"[I've listened to] Joy Division for more than 15 years. I love this band and Ian; it is a tribute to him."
Some viewers have gotten a kicked out of the fact that while Joy Division was ultra serious in the original video, Roth's version of 'Transmission' features Playmobil characters with wide grins painted across their wee faces. The irony was not lost on the director.
"First, I wanted to edit eyes and mouth on the computer -- you can see that in my making of [video] -- but later it occurred to me not to edit [the faces], because it is Playmobil -- and Playmobil people are always smiling."
Watch the Playmobil Version of Joy Division's 'Transmission' Video
So did Roth expect such a fuss over his clip?
"Egad! Definitely no," he says, noting that while he's not opposed to