Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Wonder Years

Any of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I have recently gained am extremely healthy obsession with Super 8 Cinecams. I found my first one in a charity shop for a very reasonable £3. Bargain. I couldn't resist.

However, knowing that I really needed a slightly better model in order to do what I want with it. (The £3 model didn't record with sound), I scoured the wilds of ebay and found the lovely Chinon Direct Sound model that you saw at the top of this blog.

Getting packages in the post is... well it's one of life's greatest little graces. And when it arrived I literally ripped the very well wrapped package apart like a child at Christmas. (Child at Christmas shown below)

My intentions are to film bits and pieces of tour/road footage with it, as well as use it in some future music videos perhaps.
I just think that that old 70's saturated colour footage looked a lot more interesting than this super crispy high def stuff. It had more character and danger to it. Plus the fact that the amount of time you have per film cartridge is around 5 minutes. Meaning you cant just shoot loads and keep what you want, you have to be selective and take good shots.

I studied film production at art college, and relished using some of my knowledge when we shot the video for "Story..." but this is a much more attractive way to rekindle my interest for filmmaking processes. I always wanted one of these cameras back then, and now it's come full circle and I finally possess one. Anyway, hopefully we should have some sweet gritty looking footage of us on our upcoming tours to show you soon.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the look of Super 8 film, here's a short film I found on Youtube which has some really nice examples of the aesthetics of Super 8. It's called "The End of The Reel" and is ironically about how it's a dying medium. haha.

As a side note... Getting this camera, and the fact that it's a dying art highlights something strange to me. See, everyone seems to be heading towards more super clean digital imagery, more super clean digital sounding music etc etc. And while there is nothing wrong with this, I seem to be constantly drawn to travelling in the complete opposite direction. Odd that.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Plagiarism or intentional hat tip?

Ok so I was checking out some new music on my American iTunes account, and up there this week there is a free video to download. It's a song by Friendly Fires called "Skeleton Boy". Now, I haven't really previously listened to this band, but I've seen their name banded about, so I thought "Hey, I'll give them a shot."

After about 50 seconds of disco-electro dance-indie pop, I was subjected to the most incredible rip-off of a song I have heard... probably ever. I was literally dumfounded by the exact copy of the rythm and melody of the 1990's dance pop hit "You're Not Alone" by Olive.

How can they expect to get away with this? I mean, are they aware of this 'borrowing' of a top ten hit melody? And if so, to what ends have they gone to clear the rights to use it?

To me this is utter laziness on a grand scale. I actually think the first 49 seconds of their song is pretty good (if you like that sort of thing.), but to not even bother writing your own chorus, and to simply steal another one is a pretty poor show. Just changing some lyrics is not good enough kids!

Anyway, judge for yourself:


Sunday, 5 April 2009

Last night

Last night I had the great honor of looking through an old man's sketchbooks. That may sound like a strange honor to some, but to me, it's like someone trusting you with their diary.

There were hundreds of books varying in size, all filled with momentary pieces of time. It was quite amazing to look through them and find that some were annotated with their location, date etc. I recognized some of the places that were being represented, and realized that the quality of each sketch was very high.

Thin, delicate & thoroughly British lines flitting across the page. (Quite the opposite of the hard and thick lines that seem to be in much of my work.) And it really made me think. Why am I not drawing every available second of the day? Have I grown complacent, or am I simply less interested than I once was?

It's a scary thought to be steadily losing something that was, at a point, the single most important thing in my life. With this in mind, I resolve to set aside time to complete at least one drawing a week which I will upload to this page. Then at least there is some sort of accountability factor to remind me.

Anyway, I'm off now to paint some furniture.