Monday, 18 March 2013

Houdini Tonight @ Cable Street Electric

Working (at the day job) today but heading out to Limehouse to record Houdini live tonight at the launch for their new single Into The Woods. They are playing a set in Cable Street Electric and I'll be there to do one of my favourite things - video a kickass band up close and personal.

I'm off work tomorrow to finalise the Astralis video after spending close to 12 hours in that awful wooden chair on Saturday in a prolonged and satisfying edit (comfort notwithstanding) and with a bit of luck get the Houdini video assembled, exported and hosted online. That's the plan at least, but I do know that it only takes one hiccup to derail an edit for several hours, so cast a penny in the well and wish me luck.

If you're in London and want to start your week off with a bang then come and join us in Limehouse tonight.

The venue is Cable Street Electric (within the Cable Street Studios complex) and the nearest tube is Limehouse. Houdini will be on around 10pm.

Bring your own beer.

To get us in the swing of things, here's Houdini's video for Into The Woods. The clever bastards done did dis demselves. Enjoy!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

New editing suite and Astralis

My editing suite (small spare room with desk, darkness and - when God is smiling benevolently upon me - tea and biscuits) has been permanently repurposed and is no longer available for my editing needs.

In order to continue my work, I bought a cheap desk on gumtree and carried it home with Dee from an apartment about fifteen minutes walk away (fun fact - it becomes 25 minutes when carrying a desk while walking the dog) and I have relocated the computer to the bedroom, in what can only be designated as a nook between a monster wardrobe and the patio door to the garden (maybe this bedroom is supposed to be a dining room? Fuck it).

It is at this rickety desk I now sit, on a folding wooden garden chair that I had to de-muck and de-spider  thoroughly. On the plus side I can keep the back-breaking discomfort down as long as I constantly monitor my posture and I do have a hot cup of tea and a bacon bagel.

Right now I'm working through a backlog of Astralis footage trying to get the video ready for completion. New sample footage is coming in all the time and I've hit a bit of a wall with the editing because the codec of the video files means that the footage edits very slowly in Final Cut. Rendering 30 seconds of footage can take 30 minutes so I'm trying to seek a way around it. I'm running some exports of various footage to see if it works better. It's all putting quite a strain on the computer so there is not much I can do in the meantime except write this blog post. Or idly browse the net, but that's a death sentence to productivity.

I've only got the one day to get as much done as I can as I am at work for 8 hours on Sunday and filming a gig on Monday night. The good news is that the file conversion seems to be working. When it comes to codecs, file types and compression, it's all a strange voodoo as far as I can tell. I just cross my fingers and pray to the Lords of Kobol. I know that's not exactly a professional thing to say but I'll be the first to admit I have a lot to learn about that kinda thing. If all goes well you should be able to see Astralis in action very soon.


Well, this batch of files is going to need some time to export before I can continue. I wonder if Dee is up for another game of Carcassonne?

*blog update - she was up for a game and the video exports worked!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Filming with Houdini

On Monday 18th March I will be filming Houdini playing live. I really enjoy getting stuck in with live performance, moving around the throng of the crowd with the main camera to get nice close angles on the performers, with a camcorder set up on a tripod getting a good angle of the band and crowd to use as cover shots.

Sometimes I manage to convince someone to lend me a second camcorder so I can get two angles as cover which gives me a few more options when putting the final cut together. It's good to have more than you need when filming something live and unrepeatable.

Until the 18th I will continue to plug away at a new Astralis video. It was only yesterday that I finally got all the footage labelled, catalogued and inserted. So now I have my ball of clay, but I definitely don't have a sculpture just yet.

I'm still working with Final Cut Express as I haven't quite saved up enough for Final Cut Pro X yet. The difficult part will be the changeover, for simplicities sake I want to completely finalise all my projects with my current editing software before moving over. This means finishing Where's My Milk You Bastard and the Three Sided Football footage as well. The former is being polished up and added to on a weekly basis, the latter has been sadly sidelined while I wrestle other projects but should be receiving some attention soon.

Projects... so easy to start so hard to finish. Must be more disciplined.