Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2012

Seeds: The process of making a music video Part 5...

Returning from a weeklong time-lapse shoot in Edinburgh to find the film shipment had arrived. Excellent.
I was wondering how that might turn out. Morco didn’t have as much stock as they thought they would. I thought I might have to scrounge the whole of the UK to come up with 150 rolls, but as it happens, Silverprint in London (my new best friends) had a ridiculous amount of Kodak stock to sell. I grabbed 100 rolls of Portra 400 and 50 rolls of Portra 160. (The unpredictable nature of the weather here had made me reconsider the idea of shooting all 400. There is a chance of being in full, raging sun with a couple of our locations, so I opted to be safe and cover myself with a bit of 160.) As long as I stick to a single stock per location, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Jack Quick from LomoLab, UK, has been most helpful in determining the post options that are best for the project. It turns out that their semi-automated process will produce a bigger, beefier file size and is also a bit …

Seeds: The process of making a music video Part 4...

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.” – Hunter S. Thompson

This new performance based video is much more technically challenging.

How do I have a synch sound performance piece from a camera whose frame rate is far from constant?
Kyle and I decided that synch would be less of an issue as long as it was mostly there. With the dreamy look of the camera as the film’s centrepiece we could forgive “perfect” synch for the overall look.

I’m getting excited about the challenge.

The next decision is about Film stock. The overall look of the film has to be natural looking and in colour. Kodak films have always seemed to me to be warmer toned and people friendly, whereas Fuji tend to be more on the cool end of the spectrum and a bit more contrasty.

Because of the varying exposure from frame to frame and the 100% outdoor locations, I need a stock that has wide latitude and a certain amount of forgiveness in regards to over and underexposure. That would be Kodak’s Portra 400.

How much film? 1 roll p…

Seeds: The process of making a music video Part 3...

Testing the LomoKino was a fun little excersize to figure out what the camera was capable of. The first roll was a bit of a disaster in post. The colour was way off and each frame had to be corrected by hand. The shakiness of the movie was due my own inability to perfectly select the individual frames. The camera test was basically a success. It revealed a hitch in the process though. Around 150 frames per roll meant that I would have to individually scan each one. The colour could be taken care of in the scanner menu under "Color Restoration". This worked for the other rolls.

Wet-scanning on the Epson Perfection V750 Pro has always been a time consuming process, but this was a bit more than I bargained for. By the end of the 4-roll test, I’d become a bit better at selecting the frames, but there’s still a bit of a shudder in the final films. This could be taken care of in post, however, by motion tracking stable objects in the frame. This would also be ridiculously time con…

Seeds: The process of making a music video Part 2...

I really enjoyed working with Kyle on his last album. The Echo Bloom project, Jamboree was one of the most fulfilling creative endeavours I’ve ever undertaken. Kyle is a great collaborator and at the same time willing to let me make creative leaps in my art to create amazing images. I’m excited to be able to shoot the first music video from his new album BLUE. The song is called Seeds. It’s about a couples’ longing to be together after death. It’s haunting and beautiful.

The original idea was using marionettes to act out the story of a man asking his wife to fill his pockets with seeds on the event of his death and bury him in the forest so that he would become one with the tree that will grow from him. He tells his wife to do the same, when her life comes to an end.

I planned to have Kyle come to the Isle of Bute to shoot the film. The stunning natural and dramatic settings would create the perfect backdrop.

Using a local puppeteer to make and use the marionettes was a natural fit. (Th…

Seeds: The process of making a music video Part 1...

The inspiration for this project came to me as I was falling asleep, wondering what I could do for Echo Bloom's upcoming music video. Making these projects different and interesting is always a challenge. I decided to approach this (as is typical for me) from a technical angle first. How could I shoot this to make it different?

Film, would, of course, be my first choice. Super-8 is always fun, and after some research, I found some resources in the UK to make this possible.

DSLR would be a non-starter for me simply because of the over abundance of material already out there. I thought that video in general wouldn’t work for the creation of an interesting look that I would want to create “out of the camera”, versus baking in a filtered “film-look” in post.

Super-8, initially, seemed like a great fit. It would be cost effective and easy to manage. The film, processing, and transfer could all be from The Widescreen Center in London. The Super-8 version of the music video would cost…