Tonda Ros is an award winning Los Angeles based cinematographer/director whose background in post production has enabled him to bring some remarkable ideas to his visual work. The animated video for "Back to the Stars" features Dingo, the star of "Little Sun", as he leaves Earth to explore space, visits friends from the past, and ultimately transcends into another universe and time. This was Tonda's first professional project where he was allowed to experiment with his unique animation style of simple composite images over lushly detailed backgrounds.
I met Tonda in February 2012 while interviewing about a dozen directors who pitched me ideas for a visual piece for the song. It was a very difficult decision making process as each person I met with presented me some very unique ideas, however there was something about Tonda's reel that stood out to me.
What really sealed the deal was when Tonda showed some of his personal work, which were clips outside of what he usually shared with people. Within that material he had created a very short animated clip, maybe 30 - 60 seconds long, of his dog Snuffy traveling through outer space. The moment I saw it I immediately lit up and knew this was the direction to go for the visual piece to accompany "Back to the Stars".
Honestly, I initially wanted to steer clear of any reference to astronauts as that ground had already covered in the clips for "Never Been to Athens" and "The Innocence of Time". Also telling a tale of a traveler's solitary journey had been presented in those same videos. So I talked with Tonda about the idea of having a group of dogs, with Dingo in the lead, gather for an incredible journey across the galaxy with the ultimate destination being the constellation of Canis Major.
Tonda worked on the "Back to the Stars" video tirelessly, literally without much time for anything else including sleep, for the entire month of March 2012. He poured his soul into the piece as he too could very much relate to the story we were telling since he had recently lost Snuffy whom he had for 17 wonderful years. Creating the video was just as cathartic an experience for him as creating the song was for me dealing with Dingo's loss. The rest of the cast is comprised of my current dogs Dubbo and Tooey, my good friend's dogs Lula and Rudy, plus two who had also passed away; my mom's dog Katie and Zack who was a good buddy to Dingo. In the end, this beautiful piece Tonda created is not only a wonderful tribute to Dingo, but wound up being the perfect way to introduce the concept of the "Little Sun" story.
"Tonda I can't thank you enough for creating such a wonderful piece for my song."
Purchase "Back to the Stars" on iTunes For more information on Alphanaut and the "Little Sun" album visit www.planetalphanaut.com