Ah! It’s getting into crunch time with this project. I seriously have a shit ton of work to do. I can’t believe it’s about to be midterms already! Here’s my stress list:
Basically, it’ll be a week filled with cocaine. KIDDING. But seriously, the pressure is on and it’s time to get real serious and ignore sleep and food for the week. I already cancelled my plans for a sold out concert that was going to be at the Midland tonight… Sacrifices must be made! haha
Anyway, this is the progress I have so far for the first video for my Narrative class. I’ve put in a good amount of hours initially for the video shoot, as well as the editing, and song clipping/looping. Then, I spent the majority of the beginning of the video process learning how to use After Effects and have the elements appear according to my vision. The one thing I’m really worried about is timing and execution of the second video.
I was pretty behind on everything initially and I still wish I was further along, but that’s what I’ll be working really hard on this weekend and everything. Luckily this extension happened, I swear I live for those little surprise gifts of additional time to work on things.
I’m conveying the journey of life in relation to a days worth of events in a transitional sequence. The video shoot was from 4:30 AM til about 8:30 PM. We captured footage during three major times of the day to show the transient essence of the sun. I’ve listened to this song for years, and when Emmy told us about the project, this was the first song that came to mind for me. The reason why I chose to record the footage that I did was because the song always evoked this feeling of a journey through time for me. The warm tonal qualities of the melody brings forth this vision of the sun rising and falling and imagery of the world just passing by as we attempt to discover ourselves without the influence of the outer world.
In this first video, the narrative is stronger in the live footage with the motion graphics being a secondary accent element whereas my second video would be dependent more on the motion graphics to drive the story and the live video footage (if any) would be a secondary element/setting or textural element.
For this video, it features the song You – Gold Panda. He does this really awesome thing with his music where he speeds up and slows down samples from old records and various recordings of different actions as the basis for his melodies. For example, the percussion was a mix of a loop of maraca-like sounds from an old Mexican record and his own beatboxing on a Dictaphone. The beat of the song were fireworks sampled from an old celebratory Japanese field recording and if you slow down the sample, you can even hear the sound of kids laughing. He never uses any stock sounds so everything has this great organic and almost tactile quality to it even though there’s no real tactility.
I wanted to stay true to how he makes his video, so I didn’t want to use any stock imagery or visuals in my video. Everything is raw hand recorded and edited and all the illustrations were created on the spot. The video starts out as you embark on this journey early in the morning, capturing a couple small moments leading up to the actual action of moving. If you pay attention, you will see that the video starts off and jumps right into these quick snapshot glimpses of the in/outside of the car to show the journey towards a city. On the way there, we meet a hitchhiker needing a ride, so we picked him up (not a real hitchhiker, don’t worry). Then it moves forward to show a quick snapshot of having to perform maintenance on the car/car issues before showing the scene where we get some sustenance. Then you see us dropping him off at his intended destination after we’ve exchanged contact information. Suddenly we’re back on the road for a split second before we’ve arrived in the wilderness. You catch glimpses of us trekking through the woods and climbing rocks as the video slows down it’s pace and you finally get a head on (but still hazy) view of the main characters before the camera pans behind to show them looking out into the distance in the Golden Hour.
Yep. There’s a lot going on in that little clip. But there’s a genuine reason for everything. I’m a huge fan of metaphors and symbolism (maybe too much sometimes), but I am also pretty deeply into Literature so that may play a role in this. I wanted it to portray the journey of life right? Well, at the beginning there’s these little shots of things that you may not even think about as you go through the actions, focusing on the little details that are often neglected as we struggle to find our identities and go through life. The hitchhiker stands for the unexpected strangers you meet along the way in life and how you never know how you may or may not be affected by certain people and events (such as the car issues). Before dropping him off, we “exchanged numbers” to reinforce this concept unexpected relationships with those around us. Then you see the main characters back on the road to wherever they’re going. Then you see that you’re in the woods and the characters trek through the terrain and climb these rocks to a higher point, signaling the “end” of the journey of self discovery/identity through life.
This video was a collaboration with my talented photographer/videographer friend Justin Kellar (you should totally check out his site cause he’s got some amazing works and is also working on a short film of his own called Cory right now). I had approached him with the storyboards of the scenes/directions and general idea for my video 2 days before Labor Day. Him, being a total doll, agreed to working with me on this and was able to capture my vision with great clarity! He understood how I wanted to keep the main characters out of focus for the majority of the video and only have real clarity with that on the ending shots to symbolize that clarity of discovering oneself. He did some great handling of the camera to get the angles that I wanted, while also being creative and getting some clips from a perspective that I would’ve never thought of. I was definitely lucky that we have similar aesthetics and everything worked out beyond great.
I wish I had known about the option of making this a single 90 second video with just one song, prior to all the editing I did with the timing of the song and the clips that I eliminated (I had over 40GB of data for the Premiere File including all the imported footage!). Because I would’ve been able to extend the narration, not in terms of content but in terms of the footage and how much time I had to tell the story and play with the pacing of the piece. But that’s okay, because I had planned on doing the two videos and had a general idea of how I was going to execute it, so now I just gotta do it!
Let me know what you think in the comment box below! Alright back to work now.
“Bad Kids” – Black Lips