‘This Is America’ Music Video Recreated With 80s Mac Computers Will Wow You

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Image by pinot and featured with permission

Donald Glover, who also goes by the alias Childish Gambino in the music sphere, caught the world's attention with his song, This is America. Not only is it an incredible earworm, but its quirky music video also offers a sobering peek at how the most glaring issues are disregarded. To date, its YouTube video has amassed over 300 million views since its release on 5 May.

Indonesia-born, NYC-based animator Wahyu Ichwandardi—known as ‘pinot' on social media—has spent the past month working on a recreation of the viral video using some unusual modes: old Macintosh computers from the 1980s.

Ichwandardi illustrated Glover's elaborate, storytelling dance moves using the retro ‘MacPaint' software on the Macintosh 128K, and then animated his using ‘MacroMind VideoWork' on the Macintosh SE.

“‘MacPaint' doesn't have layers for onion skin drawing,” he reminded. “But at least it has copy [and] paste.”

For references, he studied the dance tutorial of Sherrie Silver, who choreographed the original video. “Every pixel matters,” he added.

In addition to painstakingly illustrating every tiny step, the artist said he grappled with having to picture the angles of limbs that were out of frame. For instance, in a particular sequence where the rapper's feet were out of shot, Ichwandardi had to decide where they “land, spin [and] stop.”

The full animation is still in the works. In his most recent update, Ichwandardi said that he had completed 375 frames.

See the intricate process behind Wahyu Ichwandardi's This is America remake and follow the animator on Instagram and Twitter to watch the project unravel.

In progress: Capturing Donald Glover dance in This Is America video. Using Macintosh SE computer, MacPaint software & MacroMind software. Currently: 375 frames.

A post shared by Pinot W. Ichwandardi (@pinot) on Jul 4, 2018 at 4:18pm PDT

Trying to capture Donald Glover's motion in MacPaint. pic.twitter.com/gL7JErrJpN

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) June 9, 2018

MacPaint doesn't have layers for onion skin drawing. But at least it has copy paste o/ pic.twitter.com/97fKtf0FFX

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) June 10, 2018

Every single pixel matters. And dances. pic.twitter.com/dEf6ScbzQh

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) June 11, 2018

Close enough ???? pic.twitter.com/pJrj5uD8FP

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) June 12, 2018

Time-lapse on MacPaint. pic.twitter.com/V3KQC8plj2

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) June 14, 2018

Synchronizing the first 15 seconds. pic.twitter.com/fhofEeSWzy

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) June 18, 2018

Don't catch you slippin' up
Look what I'm whippin' up
(high res bitmap) pic.twitter.com/ZfUXT5lMJb

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) June 19, 2018

The dancing pixels | music by @iamdicess pic.twitter.com/HN3XoQ3K15

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) June 25, 2018

Close enuff ???? pic.twitter.com/Pht8nrnVFW

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) June 29, 2018

Pixel art machines:
– Drawing tool: Macintosh 128K + MacPaint
– Animation too: Macintosh SE + MacroMind VideoWork
– Both connected with LocalTalk pic.twitter.com/h19c8fWFKO

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) June 29, 2018

The sequence. #pixelart pic.twitter.com/rhWLNqf1d2

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) July 3, 2018

One of the challenge for traditional motion capture: need to create the motion based on the suggestion. In this part, Donald's feet are out frame. Need to suggest where his feet land, spin & stop. pic.twitter.com/FiVh1chmUl

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) July 3, 2018

In case you want to create a flipbook animation, go ahead and print the sequence. pic.twitter.com/DBMF3hHQdp

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) July 4, 2018

So far so good. I think. ???? pic.twitter.com/EJvvIpjYqZ

— Wahyu Ichwandardi (@pinot) July 6, 2018

[Videos and images by pinot and featured with permission]

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