Unlimited Time Only is the creative duo behind a brilliant music video for Chocolate Hills, a recent mellow release from Khruangbin and Leon Bridges. The video runs with a theme introduced in the track’s title, using the 1976 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder (the true Willy Wonka in this author’s opinion) as a visual starting point. Meanwhile, the members of Khruangbin have been turned into the children with golden tickets from the film.
The creative duo explains that the narrative, costuming and demise of each character are all linked closely to the 1976 film; other inspirations have been pulled from more surprising references. “Our character designs were heavily inspired by a 1968 issue of Avant Garde magazine, which features paintings by Richard Linder,” Cady Buche and Travis Barron of Unlimited Time Only tell us. “The proportions he used when painting people are otherworldly and we wanted to play with that in our own way.” When building landscapes, the duo turned to the animated film Fantastic Planet. “We also studied Yellow Submarine, not so much for style but for character movement.”
Another extremely niche but brilliant source material is Jurassic Park, specifically the animated scene on “dino DNA”. You’ll have noticed that a lot of these inspirations come from the period between 1960 and the 90s; the music video looks at first to double down on nostalgic aesthetics, although its animators have approached things a little differently. “We try to look beyond the tropes of that era and find things that are more timeless. We hope our style sits in its own time bubble. Strangely new and oddly familiar.”
As for the mix between live-action and animation in the piece, Unlimited Time Only says that the stylistic choice was actually made out of necessity. “Distance was a big issue,” Cady and Travis explain. “Leon was available to shoot, but the members of Khruangbin couldn’t be in the same place at the same time. Creating tiny animated characters for each of them was an easy solution for that – and it was just fun to do!” The final work combines the duo’s wealth of experience with video collage with a unique new narrative.