Categories
8mm video

Picnic | Ken & Kath in Bedford

This was the start of my 8mm project, the first one that I put together and wrote some music for. I chose this one for its simplicity and peacefulness. This film is made using of footage from two films made around a family picnic at Dunstable Downs, and a visit from Ken & Kath to Bedford Embankment. Both films were very short and enable a simple AB structure based on the contrasting imagery. The video was simply edited together using Final Cut, with no effects or visual trickery.

The soundtrack was pretty much created in one sitting. Some arpeggios were established using some analog synth patches, a few chords layed down, and then the structure was improvised live alongside the video using Ableton. When I first started creating these mini scores, or soundtracks, I think I envisaged that they would all be as simple as this, by one thing leads to another and you have some pretty complex tracks and arrangements going on…

When I move on the phase 2(!) of this project, I think I’ll reflect on this and go right back to basics. Watch this space!

A little background to my 8mm Film Project

Whilst taking a look around Castle Road Bargain Alley, a local aladdin’s cave, I noticed a shoebox on the floor. Curiosity got the better of me so I took a closer look. Inside were a collection of 8mm home movies from the 1960’s. I was intrigued by the titles, so bought them and had the footage processed. I’ve begun to utilise this found footage as a visual source and inspiration for my music.

Some of these are heavily processed and almost music video in style. Some of them have light editing and FX in order to add some style and motion to the footage, and some of them are untouched, and used simply and inspiration for music.

This cinefilm was digitised by Cinenostalgia.

Categories
8mm video

Water Ski-ing / St Osyth Lake 1962

This film is made using of footage from two films made around St Osyth Lake in Essex. Both films were similar in nature so I took footage from both films, mostly focussing on the water skiing footage.

The video was simply edited together using Final Cut to create a rough edit, and then processed using Resolume Avenue, to mirror the footage, as well as brightening up the colours.

The soundtrack was specifically composed for the video and went through a number of edits and reworkings before I was happy with the end result. (To be honest this probably went through about 6 months of edits and updates!) I began improvising using some melodic lines and rhythmic patterns in Ableton, before putting together an arrangement. I then rebuilt this arrangement in Logic, but using a range of synthesiser parts, almost chiptune in nature, to give an electronic edge.

A little background to my 8mm Film Project

Whilst taking a look around Castle Road Bargain Alley, a local aladdin’s cave, I noticed a shoebox on the floor. Curiosity got the better of me so I took a closer look. Inside were a collection of 8mm home movies from the 1960’s. I was intrigued by the titles, so bought them and had the footage processed. I’ve begun to utilise this found footage as a visual source and inspiration for my music.

Some of these are heavily processed and almost music video in style. Some of them have light editing and FX in order to add some style and motion to the footage, and some of them are untouched, and used simply and inspiration for music.

This cinefilm was digitised by Cinenostalgia.

Categories
8mm video

Rail Crash / Pullman

Rail Crash

This was the film that spiked my interest when I found it in a shoe box, with a collection of other family movies. Google wasn’t too helpful in discovering the background on this, although a Facebook conversation with somebody with insider knowledge has helped piece together the back story. The train in question was number 43121 (for all you train enthusiasts out there), which had derailed itself and some wagons north of Bedford Station, blocking the station entrance and some sidings. The event is documented here under the 1962 heading.

There’s other footage also from around Bedford Station in my edit, including footage of the Midland Pullman, which gave it’s name to the track (and artwork) from my Railwave album.

My Video

I decided to use this footage in an edited form, and processed using the VJ software package Resolume. The clips are structured and edited taking footage from two cine reels (Rail Crash & London & Bedford 1963), before being processed using RGB animation effects in Resolume to give some extra movement to the footage. The soundtrack was specifically composed for the video and went through a number of edits and reworkings before I was happy with the end result. I started improvising using some chord effects in Ableton, with orchestral sounds being used, creating an effect almost like the layered textures used by Steve Reich in Different Trains. I then recreated this arrangement in Logic, but using a range of synthesiser parts, almost chiptune in nature, to give an electronic edge. The version in the video below is not quite the finished audio track, you can listen to that here.

The Original unedited footage…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRasOu_BUQ0

A little background to my 8mm Film Project

Whilst taking a look around Castle Road Bargain Alley, a local aladdin’s cave, I noticed a shoebox on the floor. Curiosity got the better of me so I took a closer look. Inside were a collection of 8mm home movies from the 1960’s. I was intrigued by the titles, so bought them and had the footage processed. I’ve begun to utilise this found footage as a visual source and inspiration for my music.

Some of these are heavily processed and almost music video in style. Some of them have light editing and FX in order to add some style and motion to the footage, and some of them are untouched, and used simply and inspiration for music.

This cinefilm was digitised by Cinenostalgia.

Categories
8mm video

Visit to Holland 1964

Visit to Holland 1964

Before Easyjet and Ryanair flying was fun, and much more adventurous. A trip to the tulip fields of Amsterdam would have been verging on exotic to most people in the UK!

This film captures a trip to Holland in 1964. The footage shows Golden Viscount, a Channel Airways plane flying from Southend, probably to Rotterdam. We continue with a visit to tulip fields, shots of traditional Dutch dancing, The Madurodam model village and a trip on the canals in Amsterdam. My Nan used to go on trips like these (mostly for the duty free fags)…

The video is unedited, the music track mostly written in Ableton Live. I purposefully went for a very mellow, laidback feel with a sparse production. Let the music flow…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTD26qXiVRs

A little background to my 8mm Film Project

Whilst taking a look around Castle Road Bargain Alley, a local aladdin’s cave, I noticed a shoebox on the floor. Curiosity got the better of me so I took a closer look. Inside were a collection of 8mm home movies from the 1960’s. I was intrigued by the titles, so bought them and had the footage processed. I’ve begun to utilise this found footage as a visual source and inspiration for my music.

Some of these are heavily processed and almost music video in style. Some of them have light editing and FX in order to add some style and motion to the footage, and some of them are untouched, and used simply and inspiration for music.

This cinefilm was digitised by Cinenostalgia.

Categories
8mm video

Jaywick 1962

Jaywick 1962

This video captures a family from Bedford visiting a holiday home in Jaywick in 1962, and exploring the surrounding area. Jaywick is a fascinating place, originally built in the 1930’s as a holiday destination for the people of London, it’s now regarded as one of the most deprived places in Britain. Jaywick suffered from serious decline in the 1980’s, partly due to the closure of Butlins in Clacton, as well as due to decades of neglect and harsh planning rules imposed by the local authority. It’s now hit rock bottom, and the goto subject for Channel 5 poverty porn and Daily Mail articles about the poorest place in Britain.

This track was written with the former version of Jaywick in mind. It’s structure was mostly improvised in Ableton with arpeggiators and analog synth plugins used to create a melodic, ambient, soundscape feel. One all the arpeggios and chord progressions were programmed the arrangement was improvised alongside the video using an Akai APC40.

A little background to my 8mm project…

Whilst taking a look around Castle Road Bargain Alley, a local aladdin’s cave, I noticed a shoebox on the floor. Curiosity got the better of me so I took a closer look. Inside were a collection of 8mm home movies from the 1960’s. I was intrigued by the titles, so bought them and had the footage processed. I’ve begun to utilise this found footage as a visual source and inspiration for my music.

Some of these are heavily processed and almost music video in style. Some of them have light editing and FX in order to add some style and motion to the footage, and some of them are untouched, and used simply as inspiration for music.

This cinefilm was digitised by Cinenostalgia.