Categories
photography

First Roll with a Holga 120 CFN

I was really grateful to receive from Darren Rose Photography a Holga 120 CFN camera. For those that don’t know, this is a quirky, plastic, almost toy camera made in Hong Kong and now discontinued. Due to its plastic lens, minimal controls and not very well sealed enclosure, it can generate some interesting results. It allows you to overlay shots, and partly move on the film to generate some interesting effects. It’s a lot of fun to play with!

The camera uses medium format film, allowing a higher resolution than 35mm photography, although with a lo-fi approach to taking pictures, an interesting paradox…

Here are pictures from my first reel, taken using black & white film and featuring Bedford Embankment, Priory Marina, and our old man Border Terrier, Solo…

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

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.