Saturday, 18 September 2010

Computer - dead.

My iMac has passed away.
Long live the new shiny 27" iMac which we bought to replace it. I love Final Cut, so I wanted to get another iMac, and I managed to plump up for the 27" model, which is fucking huge. When working with video the bigger screen allows you to see more, especially with the Final Cut layout. That's my justification. Plus when we get our new place I'm hoping to set up a spare room with the iMac in that can double as an entertainment suite. Plus Dee didn't need much persuading to get the bigger one! It's so shiny!!!!!!

shiny shiny

Now, I'm not made of money, far from it. Living in London isn't cheap and I'm not earning a lot. But we'd always agreed to upgrade our iMac every five years and the time was almost upon us... then the old one died. Plus Dee works as a scientific researcher for UCL, and I work for a university, so either of us are able to get a 10% discount on Apple machines as we work in education.

It's obscene how nice this machine is. I can't get enough of it.

Working on a new video at the moment for another band. This one is very different to what I have done before, no narrative or story, the music has no lyrics and is a sublime dark dance/dubstep/ambient/electronic song and I'm going to construct a video of abstract shots that progress along a theme with visible colours and shapes and images working in time to the music, so it's going to be something that should hopefully work with the song. Or be totally shit. This is all new for me, the previous videos have had an easy narrative that helped me structure the shots, but this time it's going to be a lot more freeflowing. The more freedom you have on a project, the harder it is, barriers and limitations can be a good thing, they can help you focus. So I'm setting myself some limitations in this video to help keep me centered, and to (hopefully) stop me disappearing into a cloud of directionless pretension.

A lot of videos from this genre feature kaleidoscope effects, mirroring effects done in post, and stock footage. I'm going to try to avoid using these myself, and although I like the idea of working with stock footage, I feel like I want to be more involved in the process, so I'm shooting all my own video of skies and cities and lakes and forests. It feels good to be getting out there and building up a library of these shots. I bought a mini tripod so I can travel easy and get some footage, as everything I've recorded so far is just too shaky and disappointing, especially the shots that are supposed to be smooth. I'm off now on a trip to the woods to get some footage. I'm taking this video very slowly. I've been dipping in and out of it for months, but now that Half A Glass is (so very nearly) finished I can devote myself to it. I don't want to rush it, and the things I want to do with the editing will take some time too, so I'm doing some more practice with keyframing and colour correction. I hope the video works, but it could fail completely. I won't know until I'm finished! This is my first attempt at anything like this, an experiment basically, and I'm still a total fucking greenhorn with video directing, so this could end up being a mis-step, especially as I have so little experience working with effects and footage, which so many music video directors are amazing at. Ah well, learn by doing! That's what this is all about! The band are really cool about it though, and are giving me free reign to explore. I love the song too, which is a definite bonus. You may notice me being secretive about this project, I'll spill more when I've finished :-)

The mini tripod is cool, it is versatile and the legs and body can all be extended like a regular tripod, but it fits in a rucksack which my full size tripod certainly doesn't. It came packaged in a massive cardboard box and I almost swore at the postman when I saw him holding it, but it was just some russian doll style packaging and the actual tripod is very svelte and petite. I'm looking forward to using it.

Half A Glass is still being finished off and I should be able to show you the video soon. It's rough, but it's okay!

Well, I'm off to film some blades of grass and clouds and shit! Dee is blasting the Velvet Underground and the sun is shining. I feel good! Shame I have to work tomorrow. I think I'll bring the camera, there's some interesting rooms and motifs in the building I work in. It was built in the 1850s and used to be the public records office, it is an impressive building with lots of old nooks and crannies and books and trannies. Well, no trannies. Not YET. A good place to get some more of my own "stock footage".

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