We've all heard a picture is worth a thousand words. So how much is a music video created entirely out of still photos worth?
Yes, you read that correctly.
Mexico City-based Indie band The Plastics Revolution created a music video for their song, Invasión, using only still photos taken on Instagram, the popular photo sharing app that lets you create stunning images directly through your smartphone.
"The use of Instagram - it's something some people don't believe in as a social media tool or as a photography application, but I think this project shows if you really use something you can really get something out of it," said Julio Gudino, who does guitar and lead vocals for The Plastics Revolution.
"The initial idea came because I really like Instagram. I think it's a way to be creative all the time," said Perez. "No matter if you're going to the grocery store or the park with your friends, there's always a way to be creative."
Gudino said the six members of the band, who are also close friends, wanted to work with a photographer they personally knew well.
"We met Arturo in 2009 and last year we started talking about a collaboration together," said Gudino. "The idea to use Instagram was totally his idea. He was really excited with the idea since the beginning and insisted we start working on it."
Perez described it as "a total eureka moment."
The Production Process
To save money, the band worked long-distance to produce the video. Perez shot the photos in San Francisco on a high end SLR camera and then imported the photos onto his computer and eventually onto his iPhone. Then each photo was sent through Instagram to add various filters and edits. Finally, the photos were streamed and edited together to produce the stop-motion cinema effect.
"Literally, until I finished it I didn't think we were going to do it. It was a lot of work, more work than I anticipated," said Perez. "We took over 45,000 photos and going through 45,000 photos to tell a story is a nightmare."
What made the process more challenging was creating the video spanning miles and miles of distance.
"We actually never sat down with Arturo. We emailed, Skype and called," said Gudino. "We needed to start processing the pictures - downloading them, uploading them and sending them back to him [Perez] in San Francisco."
The video took five months to produce, using 1,905 still photos to create an aesthetically pleasing stop-motion music video.
Perez said each photo went through a seven-step process from when it was shot to when it was uploaded to the final product.
"It was a passion project I worked on every night since June," said Perez. "But the whole collaboration was a total team effort."
Aside from photography, Perez also works as a writer and director in the Bay Area. In what he calls his "'day job," Perez works as a creative director for Swirl in San Francisco.
The band members first met Perez in 2009 when he shot their music video Day of Light. Perez was working for La Blogotheque, a music blog based in Paris, at the time. Since then the band and Perez have remained friends.
Now the question lingers: Will Instagam music videos be an insta-trend?
Perez thinks so.
"People love video, so I think it's the next step," said Perez. "Instagram would have to adapt and make it easier for people. Right now it's too much work and no sane person would do it."