Animation Alums Work with Jack Black

By | June 28, 2023

Not everyone can say they produced a music video for actor and comedian Jack Black, but that’s exactly what four Daemen University alums did. 

Black and Kyle Gass, the comedy rock duo known as Tenacious D, dropped the official music “Video Games” last month with the help of animation grads Jack Gato ‘20, Geoff Roberts ‘20, Lucas Santos ‘19, and Anthony Syracuse ‘18.

So how did the collaboration happen?

Gato had been working with a YouTube animator and content creator who was approached by Jack about the music video. From there, Gato was added to the project and enlisted the help of Roberts, Santos, and Syracuse.

“Getting to work on a project that you know will have a lot of eyes on it is exciting,” Santos said. “But what is even better is working together with your old classmates.”

Some of their responsibilities included creating 3D models, rigging characters, and oversight of all asset creation and rendering for the video, which is an ode to video games and the stories these games tell. 

When “Video Games” was released, Black took to Instagram and posted, “The time has come! We are pleased to share with you ‘Video Games.’ We had a lot of fun creating this one. We hope you enjoy it too.”

“Getting a chance like this to be part of a Tenacious D music video is pretty crazy and can seem so pie in the sky,” added Roberts. “But really, I think it mostly comes down to putting good stuff out into the world. Any Daemen Animation students who might doubt themselves, I just want to say make the art that you love to make and surround yourselves with likeminded people. You might be surprised on what can happen!”

While the Daemen alums didn’t get to meet Black, they said being a part of the experience more than made up for it.

“Video Games” has been viewed 23 million times so far on YouTube.