The Videotones – mashup video album project

This was a personal project with Eric Kleptones of The Kleptones eventually creating a ‘video mashup album’ or long video mix of his Uptime/Downtime albums. We’re collaborating with several other video mashup artists, but here are my additions to the project – initially released on Vimeo and Youtube, my videos been DJ’d around the world as part of the Kleptones live show, including sets at Glastonbury in the Silent Disco, and my these videos have been seen many thousands of times online (two of the videos have 10,000 and 11,000 views each at time of writing).

Also ‘Correspondence’ was screened as part of a film/art festival called ‘rip it up, mash it up, stick it up’ at Studio75.

You can see all the submissions so far over at Vimeo or the YouTube channel.

“Son, she said, have I got a little story for you”

First is Correspondence – more of a filmic editing affair, with the idea of a psychedelic spiritual desert journey – the twanging guitars and Neil Young’s trippy plaintive vocal obviously recalling Paris, Texas and such acid westerns as El Topo (here as ‘the king’) and Walkabout.

I came back to it more recently with the addition of Enter the Void for a darker (literally) ending and realised I’d created a meta narrative. Not just the intentional narrative reflecting a spiritual shamanic/afterlife journey and the (quite sad in retrospect) Ian Dury vocals suggesting reincarnation – but also a sad story about sibling relationships (‘someone and someone’), across the lines of age and time, through the bones of childhood and loss.
In this sense the single line taken from Pearl Jam’s Alive quoted above seemed totally apt, as does the whisperings (from the grave?) of:

‘Behind every word there is something I am trying to tell you…’.

Happy accidents were the eagle bit with the screaming guitar and the inclusion of Harry Dean Stanton – I didn’t know before I settled on Paris, Texas the spoken word vocals from the middle of the track are actually from his reading of ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ – it’s one of my favourite bits as ‘was I speaking?’ fits so well with the non-speaking Travis and his brother. This was edited purely in Premiere CS, and is a good example of my editing ‘style’.

Then next is Welcome Back – the first video of the project, using film, music videos and After Effects CS (keying, TV effects, titling, deletion/masking/recreation of existing film, motion tracking, comping) and Premiere CS to change the very nature of the surface of the film – in this case Day of the Locust matching the ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ and ‘Welcome to the show’ themes – watch those words 😉

Second is Stay, an ambient piece edited in Premiere CS, titles in After Effects CS, using Koyaaniqatsi and Powers of Ten, amongst other small > large education programs, to create an ecological message not totally in the song, but suggested by the opening words:

Third so far is ‘Mad Groove’ – an anti-TV tract using Network, but also Pleasantville, Poltergeist, Stay Tuned and others, using TV effects, masking, compositing and motion tracking in After Effects to make the footage appear across different films – this is closest my video mashup work has come to my degree work – full circle! Probably the most work-intensive of my personal videos, so far.

The next ‘Brightness & Contrast’ is in a similar fashion, again using the linking theme of television which I devised for the DVD that actually didn’t happen (not all the videos were finished), but this time using subvertisements from Adbusters and other places to critique consumer culture and television mass-media.

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