illustrations on a desk
Professor Victor Pinnock and a group of Hostos digital design and animation students are the creative talent behind the music video for musician Matt Dobkin’s song, “Organize.” 
The video was a year and a half in the making and a hands-on, collaborative effort between Pinnock, an adjunct in the Humanities department, and 11 students comprising Hostos Media Design Studios.
“It started with an independent group of [six] students, who helped storyboard the idea of the project while talking to the artist, Matt Dobkin,” explained Pinnock. “We wanted to make sure we had his vision in mind while at the same time creating something unique.”
The collective used Dobkin’s notes to create an animatic to guide their work. They utilized a combination of paper cutouts, stop motion, and motion graphics and the students sketched, inked, water-colored, and cut out the characters. The group initiated the first round of animation at the end of the Fall 2018 semester. After weeks of work and dozens of hours’ worth of animation, they presented the first draft to their client. A new group of students from Pinnock’s Digital Illustration class took up the project the following semester, helping to create new animation and background shots and polish each image individually.
“This process took almost a year, each image had to be polished individually, and it took hundreds of hours,” said Pinnock. “The song itself was an inspiration to get it done, and the thought of getting it done before the election was crucial.”
After adding the typography and motion graphics section and making multiple revisions, the collective presented the final product ahead of the 2020 presidential election. The video was uploaded to Dobkin’s YouTube channel in late October.
Dobkin, a creative director at the Metropolitan Opera, wrote the song just after the 2016 presidential election, and it is part of his “Six Songs of Protest” collection. The track was inspired by Gloria Steinem’s concept of community organizing to effect change and samples the presidential announcement speech made by Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to U.S. Congress and the first major-party Black candidate to make a bid for the U.S. presidency.
Dobkin thanked and congratulated “the talented and super-creative animation students of Hostos Design Studios” in his video description.
Watch the music video for “Organize” on Dobkin’s YouTube channel.