Vácz, a Hungarian director based in Berlin, first directed a video for James in 2014. When the band released their new album earlier this year, lead singer Tim Booth contacted Vácz for a second collaboration.
Booth explained the song lyrics to Vácz, and the pair Skyped to brainstorm ideas together.
"As I was searching for visual ideas to tell the story of a couple's unusual separation I found an earlier drawing that I made of myself where my arm is turning into a tree branch," Vácz told Dezeen.
"Then the whole story started to build around that transformation which became a new metaphor of what the song was about."
The songs lyrics are written from the point of a fictional break up letter, in which the writer explains that they have to leave a long distance relationship behind to give themselves room to grow.
"I wanted to find a different way to express the essence of this feeling," said Vácz. "Then came the idea of the boy being seduced and then poisoned by a beautiful mutant flower which turns him into a tree – having to leave his girlfriend alone."
The director used 2D computer animation for the sketch-like sections of the film depicting hallucination, but the majority of the music video was made with real puppets, sets and lights.
"I love to work with stop-motion because there are many ways to create effects manually with simple tools and a bit of creativity," he said. "While a 3D artist works for days or weeks to create an artistically authentic fire or smoke using computer generated particles, I can put a piece of orange roving wool in the set and turn it into a beautiful fire."
"Or put some blue ones near in front of the camera lens where it's out of focus and create the feeling of a smoky or foggy place," the director added.
Dear John is out now on BMG, and is available to purchase through iTunes.