Interview: Danny Perez and Animal Collective's Panda Bear

This past weekend the Hopscotch Music Festival took place in downtown Raleigh.  Approximately 120 bands covering a variety of music genres hit the numerous festival venues to perform concerts every evening, while special events and activities took place during the day.  One such event was a screening of ODDSAC, a new film directed by Danny Perez with the collaboration of the band Animal Collective.  Described as a "visual album," the film is an experimental mindbender with a combination of live-action vignettes and digital pattern and light manipulation.  Let me put it this way: by the time it was over, I felt like I had done a few hits of LSD and my spirit-being was occupying the dimensional space between my chair and the Twilight Zone.

After the screening, I got a chance to sit down with Perez one-on-one to discuss the film.  We were joined by one of the founding members of Animal Collective, Noah Lennox, who goes by the stage name Panda Bear.  Danny was outgoing and very open to talking about the movie.  Noah, in contrast, was a bit quieter and seemed shy.  But once we started talking it was obvious they both had a lot to say about the project and what went into making such a trippy film.

A fair warning: I am not nearly as knowledgeable about music as I am about film.  Though I had heard of Animal Collective, I was not intimately familiar with their work, and went into the interview with only a general knowledge of their style.  That's why the vast majority of the questions are about the film and the process of making it.  Sorry, music lovers - if you're looking for an interview done by a super fan who knows all the ins and outs of Animal Collective's discography, you won't find it here.  That said, it wasn't a terrible interview, and I certainly had fun doing it.

The interview is available in both audio and written form.  If you'd like to hear the audio, check out Episode #115 of MovieChatter.  If you'd prefer to read a transcription, the entire thing has been published over at CaryCitizen.

Finally, if you want an idea of what ODDSAC is like, you can check out its website.  Or just watch the clip below.