DrawingGeneral Art

A Music Video Made By You

Johnny Cash died in 2003, but his music hasn’t stopped. Neither have his music videos, for that matter, thanks to the Johnny Cash Project, which invites web citizens like you and me to draw a single frame for a new music video of Ain’t No Grave. These frames then combine into a mind-melting full-length video that both unites the disparate images into one moving image and retains each design’s unique signature as your eyes fly over the footage.

The way they achieve this seemingly impossible final product is by filming the video ahead of time (it doesn’t seem to use the original video for the song, but instead includes clips from it and others) and presenting the contributor with three single frames they can choose from to use as their template. A custom drawing tool lets the contributor trace over the images and add their own flair to create what the site calls a “unique and personal portrait of Johnny.”

The video is in a finished condition, but the site is still accepting contributions, as it selects from numerous pieces for each frame (you can even watch the video with just pointillism frames or just realistic frames, for instance). Every one of you should go contribute! In the meantime, here are a few of the coolest frames I found:

Valentin from Faulquemont, France
Wood Simmons from Madison, Mississippi
Zach Reddy from Mesa, Arizona

Did you contribute? Show us your image in the comments!

(Thanks to commenter Kroot for the tip!)

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

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  1. It was back in 2003 that he died? o_O Feels like it was yesterday. On an unrelated note, this reminds me: Chris Marker died yesterday, not that many people care about that but thought i’d do my duty and relay this info somewhere.

    Anyway, lovely project. Thanks for showing it to us!

  2. Smash- I keep visiting that project because it’s so compelling, and well, it’s a tribute that Johnny Cash deserves. Thanks for this wonderful post!

    Rempetis- I care that Chris Marker died. La Jetée is a favorite film of mine. I’m writing from the future. He’s in the Wednesday Quickies.

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