Archive for the 'Video' Category

Gramophontastic Video Contest

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

  said the gramophone video contest, fan videos

Said the Gramophone has recently concluded their “Wonderful Video Contest In which people make films for their favourite songs”, and there are some great ones in there.

Yet another fine example of what creative people can do with a little encouragement, some basic equipment, and possibly an all-consuming lust for prizes.


DJ Wordy

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

China isn’t exactly well known around the world when it comes to turntablism. In fact they’re not even on the radar, which makes it all the more surprising for a world-class talent like DJ Wordy to emerge out of Beijing. A former guitarist, Wang Liang taught himself how to scratch by watching a pirated VCD of the 2000 DMC championship over and over again. Despite having only enough money to purchase one mixer, one turntable, and one record, DJ Wordy honed his skills over a period of six months to the point where he was able to perform in clubs. The internet played a huge part in his music education, it broaden his musical taste and allowed him to purchase vinyl which was nearly impossible to find in local music stores. His efforts paid off, Wordy claimed the top prize three years in a row at the China DMC Championships (2005-07). He is now regarded as a pioneering musician in China, and an educator to the rest of China about the art of scratch.

The VJs over at HaoBuHao created this extremely slick video of DJ Wordy’s 2007 DMC routine. Wordy is also offering his Pocket Dance Mix CD for free here.

Tracey Re-fragmented

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Canadian filmmaker Bruce Mcdonald is doing something unprecedented with his newest film. – He’s letting the public edit it.

Tracey Fragments, which stars Canada’s finest actress Ellen Page, is a borderline avant-garde art film with a highly stylized multi-screen aesthetic. In a recent interview on The Hour, Bruce spoke about how films fall into two categories: those that you should make and those that you shouldn’t. Tracey Fragments is definitely from the latter category. Take a look at the trailer to get a glimpse of the film’s visual insanity.

With so many perspectives and angles on the screen at once, the viewing process become much more involved. As a result of not being able to take in all the perspectives, viewers have to “edit” the film themselves by choosing which screens to watch, and when to watch them. This kind of thing happens on other “normal” films as well, but never to this extent.

But this is not Bruce’s novel idea. His idea is to let the audience literally edit the film. The project is called Tracey Re-fragmented. Through the use of a Creative Commons Licence (brainchild of the brilliant Lawrence Lessig), Bruce has made all the the footage he shot for the film available to the public and is letting them make their own cut. The score for the film, which was written by Broken Social Scene, and the dialogue script, is also available on the official website via Creative Commons. A contest will be held for the best cut. If you don’t have the energy to recut an entire film, you can submit a music video, a trailer, or a short. The winner of the contest will get a prize pack which includes Final Cut Studio 2 and they will have their movie/music video/trailer placed on The Tracey Fragments DVD.

Trent Reznor did a similar thing when he released the Garageband source files for his album With Teeth in 2005 and the subsequent Year Zero. But as far as I know, nobody has dared to try the idea with a feature film.

Bruce’s cut of the film plays in theatres on Nov. 2nd, 2007.

Skazka Skazok

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Tale of Tales (1978) is a special film. Among its many strengths, I’m particularly amazed by its unique visual style. It is quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Yuri Norstein animated the film by shooting images placed on glass planes stacked on top of each other. By doing so, he achieves the effect of giving 2 dimensional images a layered 3 dimensional depth. The clip provided above is one of my favorite moments in the film. In this scene, a petit and mysterious wolf explores the lawn of an abandoned home. You can clearly see the multiple layers of bushes, mist and falling leaves working together to create this stunning scene.

The story is quite ambiguous, images are laced with nuances of meaning, but nothing is ever explicitly clear. You are left with scattered meanings which can only be put together as you discover the film’s themes. Personally, I find that the film’s ambiguity is what makes Tale of Tales so engaging. It is the lack of explicit meaning that draws the viewer’s imagination. The more you think about the film, the more the film is able to affect you. While the beauty of the images mesmerizes you, the vagueness of the film will captivate your mind.

If you must, the film is available on a certain Youtube. But I highly recommend purchasing Yuri Norstein’s complete works dvd if you want to experience the true beauty of this film.