The Lighthouse Keeper

Sam Smith

Music Video

‘The Lighthouse Keeper’ directed by Sam Smith tells a renewed yet classic story of a sailor returning from the solitude of the sea to the warmth and safety of home at Christmas.

“Lighthouses remind me of Whitney Bay where my grandma and all my family live up north, and we’d go all the time. And I just have the most beautiful memories… I have always loved the lighthouse there. Also my grandma’s favourite movie she would watch with me was Pete’s Dragon. The woman in Pete’s Dragon lives in a lighthouse and her husband, who is a fisherman, has been lost at sea. And she works the lighthouse, to call him to her.” – Sam Smith



This heartwarming tale about love and home reminds us of classic children’s books- picturesque and resonating yet simple. With this in mind, we wanted to create Sam Smith’s narrative as if it were a picture book come to life.


To make this story feel human and intimate, we focused on making our illustration style very hand-drawn, jittery and imperfect with simple, minimal compositions in charcoal or pencil. The first half of the story would be drawn in black and white sequences to emulate the loneliness and cold weather of being alone at sea. As the narrative progresses, moments of colour begin to appear and these vignettes open up to larger scenes, filling up the emptiness of the screen.



Capitol Records / UMG

Directed By

Sam Smith

Animated By

Eva Li
Opal Liang
Billy Ryan
Patrick Santamaria
Andrew Yee
Chris Yee
Steffie Yee
Alexis Pepper Hernandez