This month saw my first visit to the Natural History Museum since I was 10, several walks on Hampstead Heath, more and more and more collaboration with my good friends Tom Hyatt and Winterfalle, and some very bright autumnal sun. Too bad it’s all gone now. Check out more photos on my flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/toddmacdmedia
Gravity must surely exhibit the most successful use of 3D technology to date. It’s weightlessness puts the viewer slap bang in the middle of the void with viewpoints that pay as little attention to which way is up as the objects that float around the characters. Long takes that start from distance and conclude in extreme close ups via seamless and somewhat unmotivated routes. As a result this gives you the impression that the camera is probably just floating around up there as well. What you gain from the visual experience of Gravity though is slightly compromised by the weaker narrative path that it moves through in a more clunky and heavy fashion. The premise is simple: get back to Earth safely. This is the task of Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bulllcok) who is on her first ever space mission. A series of illogical alleys that Stone navigates leave you slightly frustrated and in some cases despairing plus the back story feels shoe horned in to accommodate the Hollywood form. Stone’s torturous and untethered time in space is difficult to watch for the duration, particularly because you feel yourself to be untethered up there with her.
This gallery marks a return to stills photography for me after a lengthy and unreasonable absence. The last time I uploaded a set of photos was over three years ago and despite still using a camera very often since then, I haven’t taken it as seriously as I could have. This is odd but I’ve rediscovered how much I enjoy it. Most of my snapping in recent times has been through my phone and onto my instagram. This is great because of its ease of use and that it’s so instantaneous but you can only do so much, and your shots will only look so good after a while. I have my friend Max to thank purely for invigorating me into it again. I keep all my photography on my Flickr site here. Click on one of the images to view in a fullscreen slideshow.
Sapho and Phao Production Stills, a set on Flickr.
Back in June I shot some production stills for an Illuminations shoot. The piece was an extract from a play by John Lyly called Sapho and Phao.
You can watch the full extract below.
Head over to shalt.org.uk to check out the full range of video resources they have available about Shakespearean London Theatres.
First up we have a video that I first watched once it won the Vimeo Awards Grand Prize in 2012. It really is one that delivers on repeat viewing and demonstrates the age old mantra that the simplest ideas are often the best. The Everynone team have a broad collection of similarly enticing videos on their website including Moments which I cannnot even begin to understand the approach to its execution. Once you start to get a feel for Everynone’s work, all of the films maintain the idea of simplicity but you begin to wonder how they all came together when the range of material required to achieve them is so vast. Truly great work.
Next up, Leonardo Dalessandri shows us his video postcard from Morocco. If, as his description suggests, this was made by him simply having a camera on him whilst on holiday, this is quite special. Some unbelievable cinematography here enhanced by an equally impressive edit.
Nothing says ‘good times’ better than the launch video for French creative influence agency Kids Love Jetlag made by Fred and Farid Group who both have very interesting websites. Kids Love Jetlag is the digital agency within the Fred and Farid Media Group based on Paris and Shanghai.
Through the Lens is a new series of videos that follows professional surfer Rob Machado as he returns to visit the people he has met throughout his career that have inspired him and shared his passion for surfing and the arts. In this episode, he spends time with San-Francisco based artist Jay Nelson and they work together in customising Rob’s van. Tyler Manson of Acne is the man behind the lens and I look forward to seeing his next instalment.
As an art form, the music video has to be one of the most open mediums to work with. I am fascinated by the creative freedom that music can give you as its visual interpretation can be so different for everyone who hears it. Alex Southam‘s own interpretation of ‘Hearts’ by Swedish indie band I Break Horses is a masterful matching of music and and visual. Although the narrative is no more than a journey, the images compliment the music perfectly and does exactly what any music video should endeavour to do, breath a new visual life into a song and take it to a further audience. You can see more of Alex Southam’s work here.
Posted in Inspiration | Tagged Acne Productions, Alex Southam, Everynone, everynone.com, Fred and Farid Group, Hearts, I Break Horses, Jay Nelson, Kids Love Jetlag, Leonardo Dalessandri, Moments, OOF, Rob Machado, Symmetry, Through The Lens, Tyler Manson, Watchtower of Morocco | Leave a Comment »
It’s all about in-camera techniques and masking tape this week starting with some beautiful footage of London in 1927 IN COLOUR!
Apparently it took a whole weekend to get this next shot right. Shot and Directed by Paul Greenhouse, the video for To The River by James Wallace & the Naked Light is a very simple one but very well executed.
I’m mad about ‘Making of’ videos and this one is a real gem. First, you need to watch the video they’re talking about here which is Wasting My Young Years by London Grammar. Also quite a simple idea but much harder to execute. The technique used in order to pull this off shows incredible ambition and dedication. A bucket of gold stars to Owen Silverwood and Dave Bullivant (Bison) who are the brains behind it all.
Sarah DiNardo loves masking tape. She loves it so much, she makes sculpture out of it!
Making these looks like it could be quite therapeutic and that seems partly why Sarah enjoys it so much. I might give it a go myself, though I doubt I’ll make anything half as interesting as her pieces!
Posted in Inspiration | Tagged Bison, Casaverde Pictures, Dave Bullivant, Gnarly Bay Productions, James Wallace & the Naked Light, London Grammar, London in 1927, Making of, Owen Silverwood, Paul Greenhouse, Sarah DiNardo, To The River, Wasting My Young Years, wearebison.com | Leave a Comment »
This week I have been shooting films a lot more than watching them and as I write this, I am sitting in the cafe of The Hepworth gallery in Wakefield preparing for another. We are here to document an afternoon of performance entitled The Ultimate Form by Linder Sterling. The event promises to be an exciting collaboration of creatives including award-winning choreographer Kenneth Tindall, dancers from Northern Ballet, original composition by Stuart McCallum of The Cinematic Orchestra and costumes by fashion designer Richard Nicoll. You can watch the Illuminations trailer for The Ultimate Form here.
Anyway, I hope to one day live by a lake. Melbourne based Betty Wants In just happened to have reminded me of this fact.
More and more now, short films online seem to represent exactly what the title of this next film suggests. Fragments of Time details Daniele Manoli‘s very own personal portrait of Hong Kong shot over a period of two years. What I love about this kind of filmmaking is its strength in evoking particular feelings and sense of place. There aren’t enough outlets for this kind of work to exist and thrive in so it’s always great to come across it online and be completely taken by it.
Daniele’s recent work includes an impressive project of short films each dedicated to a letter of the alphabet. Forget Sesame Street though this series has much more nostalgia, music, chaos, randomness, hallucinations and vomit! You can work your way through them all here, and it really is an epic journey! One of my favourites is Q.
Here’s one for the pyromaniac in me.
If you still haven’t been up to the top of the tallest building in the European Union then this next video should give you an idea about what you’re missing!
Although it’s not quite the same, it might make you think there’s now no need to go up it at all!
Posted in Inspiration | Tagged A View From the Shard, Betty Wants In, By The LAke, Daniele Manoli, Fire Drawing, Fragments of Time, Glithero, Hong Kong, Kenneth Tindall, Linder Sterling, Richard Nicoll, Sense of Place, Stuart McCallum, Tasmania, The Cinematic Orchestra, The Film Artist, The Hepworth Wakefield, The Ultimate Form | Leave a Comment »