Monday, February 4, 2008

soundtrack to my life



Here's something I've been thinking about since Blimpy posted a picture of where he listens to music...As a frustrated filmmaker I thought it would be nice to add some motion to it, and use the music as a soundtrack, if you will. I made up some rules for myself--1) It should be about a minute long; I'm not trying to make a music video, 2) no editing, limited camera movement, no manipulation of sound, One long shot, 3) I can't pick a song for effect, it has to be whatever we happen to be listening to at the time.

I chose the old film-school standby of a traveling shot from a car--clich├ęd, I know, but it happens to be where I most like to listen to music lately. So here it is, a ride through the bleak mid-winter countryside.

I'm hoping others will do this too, make your own rules.

15 comments:

goneforeign said...

STEENBECK: Amazing you did this, when I first came to northern California about a dozen years ago I used to take a regular drive on a very winding road through a beautiful hilly area covered in vineyards. I wanted to show my family in UK what it looked like so I had the thought also of doing exactly this, mine was to be a camera clamped to the sunroof and pointing forward with something like the Adagio from Mahler's 5th. Never did it, still don't have a video camera.
I have another story about a 1 minute film, maybe I'll post it a bit later on.

DarceysDad said...

Hi steenbeck.

Leaving aside the issue that I can't get yours to play at the moment - "We're sorry, this video is no longer available".

I'd been thinking similar thoughts myself. As well as the aforementioned car, my other usual 'listening space' is the unaccompanied half of the school walk for DarceysSis. The view's picturesque, and the light is like a natural filter at this time of year too. But I haven't done it as my camerawork almost certainly isn't up to the task.

Re your rules:
1. OK, I can do that.
2. Ha! K.I.S.S. Yes, I can do that.
3. How on earth do I do that? The camera's the camera, my music is mp3 player through earbuds. I'm not saying I'm thick - OK I am - but I have to re-read the instructions every time I want to add songs to the player.

I'll have a think ...

steenbeck said...

Darceysdad, it still plays for me, Hmmm. The music was just playing on the car stereo. I was actually thinking it would be hard to do this anywhere BUT in the car or maybe the room my computer is in unless you have a boombox on your shoulder. I don't have an iPod, but I was wondering if there's some way to go from an iPod to a camera. Seems unlikely, I guess. Rules were made to be broken...

Goneforeign, Do you have a digital camera? Because they frequently have the ability to take about a minute of video. And I'd like to hear your story of a one-minute film.

DarceysDad said...

@ steenbeck - your youtube has played for me now.

@ goneforeign - that reminds me of the drive from our friends old house just outside Santa Clara up'n'around the valley sides to the most amazing of party-time restaurants in the middle of nowhere. Fantastic garlic pasta, wonderful wine, and every so often the waiters would just chuck two sheets of 8x4 onto six milk crates to make a stage, and dance their hearts out to Prince CDs on a ghetto-blaster!

Pre-kids, that, of course. [sigh]

ejaydee said...

I think if you have a camera that has an 'audio in' feature, just plug one end into the ipod, the other in the camera, should work.
Good idea steenbeck, I'll try and come up with something like that, unfortunately there's no radio in the car I drive at the moment, so it would probably be still. By the way I hope you don't mind, but I checked out your YT channel. Did you star in your own films?

treefrogdemon said...

Fantastic! I've just made one too!

goneforeign said...

Steenbeck: Of course, hadn't thought of that though I never use it, I'll try. As usual the stories a bit long winded, I'll wait 'til this quiets down.
D/D; well next time you're in the neighborhood give me a call, I'll buy you a beer.
And I'll echo Ejay, miniplug to miniplug should work OK and you can get a splitter to monitor it also, plus I wondered which one was you also Ms Steenbeck.

steenbeck said...

Don't mind you checking out the YouTube channel, I've already clumsily revealed my secret identity a million times. And, no, I didn't star in any of them, so none of them are me. Although I wrote it, so they're all a little part of me.

goneforeign said...

Steenbeck: Just remembered one a friend made, it was 60 seconds. You know those little rough clay animal things that you cover with seeds and then water and they turn into shaggy sheep? One of my friends at film school did a film which he called "The Living Room", he sprayed the living room of his apartment with water dampening everything, walls, floor, furniture, the lot. Then he plastered everything with cress seeds; he mounted a 16mm camera with a motion control device that switched on the lights and exposed 2 frames every 10 minutes on top of the door with a wide angle lens that could see the entire room. Everyday he would mist the room and the seeds germinated. After a week the seedlings were about 2" tall. When the film was processed and projected at 24fps [normal speed] that event that had been filmed at 12 frames an hour was seen in 1 minute and it was amazing, the room starts out looking normal and then everything starts to twitch as the seedlings start to emerge and over a minute they grow and wave in the breeze and it really does become 'A living Room'

steenbeck said...

Sounds beautiful, Goneforeign, I'd love to see it. Was it B&W or color?

Abahachi said...

Just lovely. Several light years beyond my technical capabilities...

goneforeign said...

OK, Here's my 1 minute film story.
Well I went to UCLA film school in the '60's, we had to make a 60 second film, edited with music. I checked out a 16mm Arri with a macro lens, had no idea what I was going to do but it rained that night and the next morning there were dozens of snails in the backyard. I set the camera on a tripod and jammed a Gillette razor blade into the edge of a picnic table; I placed a snail on the surface of the blade and filmed it moving very slowly up and over to the other side of the blade, over the sharp edge! I filmed it in B/W very close up so that it filled the frame and made sure that it was all in sharp focus. I edited it to a piece of music which I can't recall to 60 seconds. When it was projected onto a full size movie screen for the student evaluations it looked fantastic and the tension was amazing.
I was co-teaching a Comparative Literature class at the time with Francis Ford's brother Augie, I told him about this little experiment of mine and how well it had worked out. A few years later I went to see the premiere of Francis's film 'Apocalypse Now' and in the opening sequence in the motel room in Saigon where a very young Martin Sheen is lying drunk with a voice over narration the narrator [Sheen] talks about a snail crawling over the edge of a razor blade! I couldn't believe my ears.
I don't know if Francis ever saw my film or if Augie told him about it or if it was all just coincidence but it was shown at an end of semester festival in a crowded full size theater and he had been a student there a couple of years earlier so it's possible that he came for the student films and the image stuck with him 'til he wrote Apocalypse.

steenbeck said...

Was the snail ok?

goneforeign said...

I meant to add the usual disclaimer that no animals were harmed in the making of this film! It was amazing that there was no harm, I didn't anticipate him going over the edge but he did it perfectly.

goneforeign said...

I meant to add the usual disclaimer that no animals were harmed in the making of this film! It was amazing that there was no harm, I didn't anticipate him going over the edge but he did it perfectly.