Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Eye 2.0

Ahoy mateys,

As mentioned in the last post, the original take of the eye close-up was too unstable to use, so I've had to rerecord it. I found this Joby adjustable tripod thing I have laying around, and arranged the most professional camera setup you've ever seen in your life:

(Yes, I took a snapshot of a camera. THAT MIGHT CAUSE A PARADOX OF SOME KIND.)

Reasoning behind this mess of a setup:

  • 3DS box to raise the camera to a reasonable height, so I don't have to damage my neck to catch the eye.
  • Tripod to avoid shaky cam, as previously mentioned.
  • Computer to playback the original clip, as reference for when to blink etc.
  • Plectrum wallet, broken mobile phone and loose change because I don't have enough pride to clear up to take a snapshot. 
So, what does it look like now? Compare the first version (up first) to the second version (1:19) - 

There are still some problems - there's still some unwanted movement, though this is down to my head rather than the camera (it's nearly impossible to keep my head still for a minute straight) and I do blink out of place at times (this is a problem with my eyes in general - they're more sensitive to light than they should be, to a point where every optician I've ever seen has had difficulties examining them as they close whenever they use their little torch thing...). I don't think that's too big of an issue though; in the original clip it looks like the eye movements were improvised to meet the comfort of the person in the shot, so if they rerecorded another take of it, it would probably have looked different.

Comfort, however, is not something I could describe the filming process as; the version in the video is probably the fifth/sixth take of this I did before I got something even close to usable as everything else was slightly out of frame - this means moving my eye somewhat in sync over and over and over and over and over etc.. I now have a headache. Fun.

I did find out a way of avoiding the out of frame issue after a while, though - remember how last year I made numerous jokes about how I like Apple products because they're shiny? Turns out the shininess has a practical use. In MPEG Streamclip, the viewer is black before the video is playing; I was able to see the reflection of the screen on the camera in this black box, which made it easier to line my eye up, before tapping space to start the playback.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Rendering. Again.

Here's a new problem which I have never, ever experienced before /sarcasm

The rendering is taking ages. What a surprise.

So yes, I'm working on the Porcelain recreation in Final Cut Pro. From today I've established that I need to redo the shot of my eye because it's too unstable to use; I need to find something to rest the camera on.

On the plus side, I have managed to get the lip-sync shot cropped and feathered and right now the thing looks like this:

(The original clip is underneath to help me with timing; will be replaced by my own eye clip once I've refilmed it).


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Porcelain Recreation - EYE

Update to show where I'm up to for the second video recreation:

I've decided to go for a recreation of Moby's Porcelain video as it seems fairly doable - this is the video in question:

I'm attacking the first minute of the video, which means there are two things which need filming - the close-up of an eye, and the vocal lip-sync.

So far I have the eye close-up filmed, and because I know everyone absolutely loves content of the not-text variety, have a screenshot!

Yes, this is my left eye, whilst the original video has a right eye. I will need to flip it in post production. I was originally going to film the right eye, though this filming required me to hold the camera close to my face, and I had the video playing on my computer in front of me. If I used my right eye, the camera would block the left eye so I wouldn't be able to see when I was meant to blink and when not to.

I intend to film the lip-sync part tomorrow after school. Once this is filmed, it will be a case of flipping the eye clip, rotating it slightly, cropping in closer on it, then overlaying the lip-sync clip. This will need cropping and feathering, which can be done in FCP.


  • My poor eyesight - It's hard enough trying to avoid naturally blinking whilst trying to film the close-up; but the fact that I have Arceus-knows-what problem with my eyes means that I find it hard to control what they're doing, so there are some minor hiccups in regards to timing. 
  • The return of shaky cam - This time it's due to difficult locations to film in as opposed to my general incompetence which we saw last year - I'm trying to hold the camera, watch the video and move my eye in time, which is somewhat difficult to do.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

"I Am... All of Me" song permission

As the final project will involve creating a music video for a song from scratch, I have started looking for songs I could potentially use (eventually dependent on audience feedback) for it.

One song I've had my eye on is "I Am... All of Me" by Crush 40 - both because it is an amazing song in itself and because the whole "good vs. evil" concept in the lyrics could offer some great opportunities for a video narrative.

After speaking with Jun Senoue (Crush 40 guitarist) on Twitter, he directed me to a page on the wavemaster website where I could email for permission ( I got this response:

They've gave the thumbs up on the condition that I acknowledge their permission when I post the song, which I am more than happy to do.

I have to say that these are some great people, having taken their time to respond to me even though I've had to write to them in English whilst they're based in Japan.


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Band name research

I need to decide on a band name for the final piece. This might take a while.

For the sake of of fueling some inspiration (because this time around bad McCartney II references won't be good enough) I'm going to have a look at the names of some rock bands I know of and see if any notable similarities stick out amongst them.

  • Crush 40: Because fanboyism. Crush 40 are fab. Their line-up consists of Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli, and their band name originates from Jun's love of the Crush soft drink, and Johnny's original belief that he would be old once he hit 40 years old. "Crush 40" sounds really cool, thus attracting the attention of teenagers/young adults.
  • Poison: Poison is dangerous; poison is scary. Therefore, "Poison" is cool.
  • Guns N' Roses: Guns are threatening, roses are not - this appears as a binary opposition, thus creating a conflict. Again, some would see this as cool (especially those of the teenage/young adult demographic).
  • Extreme: This is obviously going out of its way to be cool. TO THE EXTREME!
  • The Darkness: Based around the theme of something that is dark; and people tend to feel more threatened in the darkness. As with GnR, we can see this as being appealing to the previously mentioned demographic.
So, basically, it needs to sound cool. I now need to think of some names fitting the critera of "cool, somewhat threatening". Once I think of some examples of this, I will have to put them on Polldaddy and see what my potential audience thinks is the best. For the sake of realism it wouldn't be a good idea to open for suggestions, due to potential legal issues over ownership of the name.