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BYU students work on Killers video starring Owen Wilson for charity
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A group of first-year animation students at Brigham Young University helped make actor Owen Wilson into a cartoon for a music video to accompany a new single from The Killers.

Proceeds from the band's holiday single "Christmas in L.A." will go to (RED), a charity founded by U2 singer Bono to fight AIDS in Africa.

The Killers have released Christmas songs for charity since 2006, and this year singer Brandon Flowers asked his friend Jared Hess, the BYU alum who directed "Napoleon Dynamite," to produce the video. Hess was busy, but suggested animation students could create it, according to a BYU news release.

With just three weeks to plan, shoot and edit the live-action animation video, program director Kelly Loosli couldn't take juniors and seniors off other group films in progress, so he turned to students who had been in the program for less than a semester and others who hadn't officially started yet.

"With the high-profile nature of the project and the value that it would bring to students, plus the chance to participate in raising money for charity, we just couldn't pass this up," Loosli said in a statement.

He called on a network of former students and classmates working in Los Angeles to pull together a crew to shoot the video in one day, including just three hours with Wilson, who donated his time through a relationship with Flowers. Wilson has starred in such films as "Interns," "Wedding Crashers" and "Midnight in Paris."

Portions were then meticulously converted into animation back in Provo. The project wrapped last week.

"Working on a Killers music video was pretty surreal, especially because the opportunity came in my first semester," student Josh Poulsen said in a statement. "It was a lot of work, and we put in some crazy-late hours. It was the funnest and most enthusiastic group I've ever worked with, and the process was exhausting."

lwhitehurst@sltrib.com

Twitter: @lwhitehurst

Charity • Students work long hours for weeks for "Christmas in LA" project.
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