Without Punching Down

"Without Punching Down" is a music video, animated and directed by artist Donn Kinney, based on Caleb Luther's upbeat yet soulful song titled "Without Punching Down".
Set in a sci-fi post-apocalyptic world, the story unfolds in a human-free landscape, where sentient robots exist in harmony, offering aid and camaraderie to one another.
Both West Virginia natives, Donn Kinney and Caleb Luther, live and work in Logan County, WV. They aspire to collaborate on more projects together.

  • Donn Kinney
    Broken Records, Steve Saves the Universe, The Toys That Rescued Christmas
  • Caleb Luther
    Music written and performed by
    Performed with Meet Me in the Matinee from 2008 to 2018, Face Without a Name, The Worst Things About Me, Hate, Snowball, Lost Forever,
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Music Video
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 17, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    1,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Donn Kinney

  Donn Kinney grew up and attended school in Logan County, West Virginia. During his senior year of high school, he was awarded a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he graduated with high honors in 1993.

  Donn began his career working in puppetry, with his first art-related job in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 creature shop, painting, and repairing the animatronic turtle costumes. After Ninja Turtles, Donn worked on several national and international puppet projects, designing, building, and performing characters, including "The Fox Cubhouse," a co-production of the Jim Henson Company, Film Australia, WQED, and DIC Entertainment. During his work on the Cubhouse, Donn began to experiment with computer animation, creating a short film called "Broken Records" that played at SIGGRAPH 95 and a short film, "Steve Saves the Universe," that went on to be nominated for an award at the London Effects and Animation Festival.

  For the next nine years, Donn would do animation work on a variety of projects, ranging from a series of commercials for Singapore's M1 Telecommunications to animated elements for "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," as well as a full-length animated Christmas special, "The Toys that Rescued Christmas."

   In 2004, Donn took a break from animation to go back to his roots as a character sculptor. However, in 2021, he was approached by musician Caleb Luther to create a music video for the original song "Without Punching Down." Completing the project rekindled Donn's love of animation, and he is currently working on an untitled animated short film to be completed by 2026.

    Donn exhibits his art and sculpting work at conventions, teaches workshops, and displays his work at art exhibits throughout the US and Canada. He recently finished construction on a studio, which includes an expanded sculpting workshop, as well as classroom space where he teaches private sculpting, casting, and mold-making workshops for model makers and animation artists.

   You can check out Donn's latest photos and updates on his Instagram and YouTube pages:

• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/donn_kinneys_art

• YouTube: https://youtube.com/@donnkinney8945

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Back in 2004, I found myself disillusioned with animation due to the high costs of software and hardware, making it nearly impossible for independent artists such as myself to fully realize their creative visions. Consequently, I found myself stuck working only on conventional "commercial" projects that simply didn't ignite my passion.

Fast forward to the unexpected turn of events during the Covid lockdown in 2020. I discovered a glimmer of hope in the form of new open-source and free animation software, particularly Unreal Engine. Not only were these tools faster, but they also allowed artists like myself to shape our visions in a more creative and less restrictive way.

As I began playing around with these newfound resources, I started creating small animation tests and sharing them online. To my surprise, my work caught the attention of musician Caleb Luther, who was inspired by what he saw. He approached me with an exciting opportunity to animate a music video for him, albeit on an extremely tight budget and a mere five months to complete the project on my own.

Despite the challenges, the experience turned out to be one of the most emotionally rewarding projects I've ever worked on. Not only did it reignite my passion for animation, but it also opened doors to new opportunities.

Encouraged by the resulting work, I'm now working on an animated passion project, which I hope to complete by 2026.