Screenshot: I Was Always Talking

Sam Kogon clearly wanted something unusual for the music video of “I Was Always Talking,” his moody, down-in-the-mouth “friend breakup” duet with folk-rocker Frankie Cosmos. And he definitely got it, thanks to Hotdog Sandwich, a filmmaking duo consisting of Malcolm Rizzuto and Spencer Garrison. Hotdog Sandwich created a four-minute animated sci-fi film in which Cosmos’ character is apparently an alien living among humans, disguising her appearance with a wig. Kogon must suspect something is up, though, when he catches Cosmos levitating. Alas, she is beamed aboard a flying saucer and whisked away (crying, no less) to a distant, harsh-looking world in another part of the universe, leaving Kogon dejected and alone on Earth. “Ex-lovers torn apart by starscape,” says an alien observer, whose strange speech has been helpfully translated via subtitles. “Now human boy alone eternity. Human boy write song about the infinite sad.” Ah, yes, it’s the classic story, only with a sci-fi twist. It’s like Close Encounters Of The Desperately Sad Kind.

Actually, Close Encounters is just one of the spiritual inspirations for the video, along with Fantastic Planet, The Man Who Fell To Earth, and even Starship Troopers. (A couple of soldiers from that film pop up here, their guns blazing.) Rizzuto and Garrison explain the origins of the video at The Creators Project:

The idea was seeded after Kogon and Hotdog Sandwich established a mutual understanding that aliens exist. After hammering out a rough narrative and a list of science fiction movies they wanted to reference, Hotdog Sandwich started working on the animation with a super freeform approach.

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Although Kogon and Hotdog Sandwich based the video on their mutual belief in aliens, “I Was Always Talking” works quite nicely as a metaphor as well. When a relationship ends, for whatever reason, it does sometimes feel like the other person is several galaxies away.