London-based director and animator Abbie Stephens‘ latest work is the culmination of hours spent meticulously cutting and assembling printed images to create a compelling narrative of animated reality.

Stephens, who has created videos for the likes of Nike, Playstation, and MTV,  has applied her artistry to Manchester dance duo Loose Fit‘s video for Table Beggar. Using a technique that involved cutting out the image of a man from thousands of pages of paper, Stephens has turned the negative space that process created into the story about a man who struggles to exist. When time collapses and forces a pile of layered images into a single, overlapping shot, the man is no longer visible, a shadow of his presence remaining only through the cut-outs.

While the final video tells one story, the behind-the-scenes clip tells that of the video’s creation, which included a repetitive schedule of filming, editing, printing, drawing, cutting, and reassembling. In a world overwhelmed with CGI and 3D, Stephens has created deep meaning using relatively simple means, resulting in a work that forces us to notice what isn’t there.