Picture Drift: Gotye “Hearts a Mess”


Picture Drift busts out some highly stylized, Tim Burton-esque animation for Gotye’s “Hearts a Mess” music video. The song’s loping beat is echoed nicely in the lanky gait of the video’s characters, and the ambiance of the time-lapsed environment extends Gotye’s spacey, sparse sonic landscapes.

I need to get down to Australia. Maybe my perspective is skewed, but Melbourne and Sydney seem to be crawling with talented studios. I’ve also heard that the Land Down Under is one of the most livable places on earth, with beautiful weather and friendly people to boot.

Thanks for the tip, Brett!

About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



ummm…not much work in melbourne, justin. lots in sydney.
but even so, the scene is quite slump-ey…really fun projects like this is PROBABLY (i’m guessing) pays very little so small studios do struggle to balance bread and butter work that pays the bills with cool work that nourishes the soul. Am sure its like that EVERYWHERE else, but here its even more so..

Unless I’m wrong..Picture Drift guys? care to comment?


oh but i forgot to say…Melbourne roxxxxxx…

Paul Ducco

Absolutely. I’m a Melbourne resident. If anyone has projects like this they need extra hands on, keep my details on file, I’d love to be part of such a team without having to sell my soul to Sydney. :)


Yeah, there aren’t many big players in Melbourne. Although there are more in Sydney, you really do have to be extreamely talented and somewhat lucky to find a good full-time role. Although I think in a way the shortage of bigger jobs and positions are probably why we have a few studios that produce really exceptional work on smaller budgets, there is usually a concentration of great designers, directors and animators behind each job.


most folks dont do full time gigs in sydney. I have seen amazing talents who keep themselves pure and not do full time roles…getting lots of work still, though..
And yes i
have sold my soul to sydney *bows head in shame at Paul D*

But some of my friends reckon the lack of paid good work in melbourne is because lots of talented folks do work for free. In a way its like a double-edged sword : that’s why the quality is so good, cuz it’s pro-bono!

ali m

yeah melbourne and sometimes even sydney too are great places to live in, but mograph wise it’s a pretty tough state of affairs in comaprison to the states. Im still relatively new to melbourne (hey Jon & paul :)) and from what ive seen so far, it seems that there just arent that many projects around that you would be happy to add to your reel.

I agree with Jon on the concentration of talent on each job too, there’s some amazing people in this ciy and it shows.


what an awesome video, and even more so, that music is so rad…

it’s not available in the US!!! GRRRRRRR! ME WANT!


Wow. The character design is interesting. I mean… design of the whole world in this piece is perfect. It suites the music very well.


What a gorgeous little video, so sparse and laid back. And I love the part with the megaphone as a horn. Nice one.

Anthony Massingham

Unfortunately I’m a poor Brisbane Resident, I’m also just a student, so not yet in the “biz” as it were, I’m planning the move down to melbourne or sydney at some point after I’ve finished my degree, but I know there are a few studios up here in brisbane – though not many. Maybe they’re Hiding ?

As to the clip, the character animation and design is great, I see the Tim Burton similarity. I love the combination of the stop motion and the 3d though, it gives it this sort of disconnected feel. I actually went out and bought the album today – based solely on this filmclip. So I guess it did its job, right ?


Yes Anthony, it really did its job. i can’t get the song outta my head.
if you want to get into mograph scene, best to move to Sydney…I sold my soul out due to the same reason : lack of work in Melbourne…although my heart is still very much in melbourne and would want to return home one day when the industry’s picked up a bit..just waiting for Americans to buy our Film Studios at Docklands…Paramount!!!! COME ON!!! buy buy!!


Nice one Brendan, and all the others, awesome clip worth all those pixel hours.

Pat D.C.

Don’t worry Lilian your not the only one whos sold their soul for work and moved form Melbourne to Sydney ;)


Shut up Pat! You don’t count.

Pat D.C.

Lol – DOn’t make me come down there to Melbourne Jon.


pitty about the music. too generic and anoyingly repetetive, no message, no theme, no relativity, unless you a care-free upper middle class citizen living in comfort. much more viewable without volume. i found myself very keenly watching it until about 1 min, then found myself scrubbing to see if i can find a more interesting bit. really nice characters and all, but watching them walk for 3min plus is not gonna cut it in my book. no transistions, no reveals, except for the planet which was cool. nice colors. nice design. overall, good sensability, but i would have kept this idea for something shorter, ot matched to a song with more meaning.

ali m

Are you certain you’re talking about the right song/video?

I really enjoy the sillouhette treatments, they had me going back to rewatch.

Anthony Massingham

THA_DON, you’d absolutely hate the full version of the song though. It has a lot more repetition in it, this is the single version. I think the visuals matched the thematic and conceptual elements in the music perfectly. But each to their own, right ?


I agree with Don. I found it generic.. repetive.. but hey thumbs up for the effort.


Yes Pat. you beat me to that!!

Paul Ducco

interesting discussion. who’d a though there were so many Australian here.

one thing that does irk me a bit about the clip – and interesting it hasn’t been mentioned – is the use of the artists face as the main character.

Pat D.C.

I only beat you by a month or so Lilian – have you found a good place for coffee yet here in Sydney?


I fell in love with this song a while ago and was waiting for a clip to emerge somewhere. About bloody time! :P

Spot on design and motion – it captured the mood quite well. Definitely a clip I can watch many times over and still enjoy.

I can understand how the song can be considered quite repetitive and mundane. I would recommend giving the entire album a listen – this particular track is merely 1 part of quite an accomplished album. (Sorry to be off-topic)


i wanna go to melbourne !! i wanna work there. been there once .. for studies . the culture’s great ! cant wait to go there .. any recommended studios there ?


Don’t come to Melbourne. It’s way too overcrowded with talented people. Leave some work for the little guys please…

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