"Hang on to the Night"

Created August 2016

Directed & designed by Lisa Hanawalt

Lead animator: Nicole Stafford

Compositing: Lisa Hanawalt

Additional animation: Abby Magno, Elizabeth McMahill, Valentin Stoll, Lucas Durkheim


Video Stills



When I first heard the song "Hang on to the Night," I immediately thought of this horse character I painted a few years ago. I'd been thinking about writing a story about her putting stars in the sky every night and summoning nighttime creatures. 

I quickly thumbnailed a narrative for the video:

Then I spent a few weeks creating a rough animatic, putting sketches together in Photoshop and After Effects. Here's a peek at that:

After this, I was joined by Nicole Stafford, who animated the final video. She also helped organize the project and break it down shot-by-shot (and answered a LOT of my late night keyframing questions)!

Here's a still of Nicole's animation, on a background layout:

And here's the final image, after I composited animation into my background and added camera movement/keyframing/light effects/etc.

This was one of my favorite things I've ever worked on (and I'm still not sick of this song - it rules)!!