Pearl Jam has shared a new video that offers a a behind-the-scenes look at how its animated clip for “Retrograde” came together in the middle of a global pandemic.
In the music video, released earlier this month, a man visits a fortune teller and sees a series of climate disasters across the world in her crystal ball. The members of Pearl Jam appear inside animated tarot cards, while the fortune teller is climate activist Greta Thunberg.
In the behind-the-scenes clip, director Josh Wakely says production had just begun when the pandemic forced everyone involved to self-isolate. Despite the circumstances, a team of animators around the world managed to assemble the video, transforming live-action video footage and real-life photos into an apocalyptic landscape.
Even the likeness of Thunberg was created from existing images of the 17-year-old activist, who did not appear in the video herself. Wakely said, “She never had to act a frame, but she provided that emotion I was looking for. It was a huge thrill to see an email in my inbox from her saying that she loved it.”
“Retrograde” appears on Pearl Jam’s most recent album, Gigaton, which was released in March. The band was supposed to embark on a spring tour in support of the LP, but COVID-19 forced the band to postpone the shows to a later date.