Keir Dullea encounters a mysterious object, in a scenario reminiscent of the penultimate scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey that he appeared in over forty years ago.
For the 2001 : A Space Odessey fans that we probably all are, the faux trailer or commercial, Immersive Cocoon. This piece has been out for a while, but I recently came across the Making Of video. It really gives great perspective on not only how this was made, but the large amount of CG work that was done in the piece. Have a watch of Immersive Cocoon above, then the Making Of below.
With everyone heading to or already at SXSW this week and next, I thought this would be a good time to post about the location aware music apps that Bluebrain has been doing. They’ve already done one for The National Mall and Central Park ( Listen To The Light ), the new one The Violet Crown is based around Austin and SXSW. Basically it’s, as Bluebrain describes it, “a musical composition, available exclusively as a free iPhone app, that uses the phone’s built-in GPS to alter the music as the listener traverses the area – each street and intersection is tagged with various pockets of sound, turning the festival grounds into a musical ‘choose-your-own-adventure’.”
You can download the free app here through iTunes.
It’s a really cool concept and as of yet, I haven’t been able to try out the other versions from The National Mall or Central Park ( Listen To The Light ), The Violet Crown will be the first.
For those that can’t make it out to SXSW this year, I dug a little further to get some more of the background on The Violent Crown app and some process. Ryan Holladay of Bluebrain went over the technical info and he sent me a few screen grabs and a map from the programming end of things. He also did a breakdown of how it works, which I think is really interesting.
“What you are looking at in these shots is the app simulator running running on our desktop — this is a way that we can remotely test the music without having to be in Austin and simulate the experience of, say, walking from one block to another and hearing how the music changes. As you can see, there are many in a single area, often with so many overlapping that it’s difficult to tell visually where each of them are located. The crosshairs in the middle represent the location of the listener, the various circles indicate the size of the audio track and the colors the state the audio is in: Blue, as you probably guessed, is playing, while yellow is cued and red is disengaged.
Because, by design, the app basically has to be ready for whichever direction you move, what we have is a system that prepares the audio to be dropped in at any given point and at the correct interval by preloading audio in every direction within a certain proximity. So, for instance, if you were to begin walking from Frontage Rd towards Congress Ave, halfway up 4th Street it will have prepared the tracks waiting for you when you arrive at Red River Street. But, when you reach an intersection, the audio to your left and right is also waiting for in case you chose that direction. Once it’s realized you’ve moved on, it drops those tracks to save processing power until you turn around and re-approach.”
To see what it’s all about check out the Making Of video below, which gives you a detailed explanation of what it does and how they actually built the one for Central Park ( Listen To The Light ).
Andrew Huang’s full length version of Solipsist is now available to watch above. I posted a few weeks ago on the trailer, which I was astonished by alone, but now the full version is up. This piece is nothing short of astonishing from photography and post to sound design. I won’t say too much more, but I will say that you might want to close out of Photoshop for about 10 minutes and fullscreen this.
Also, for those that are interested, here’s the making of that’s equally as interesting.
Might be a little late to the internets on this one but I just ran across “Light” from David Parker at Sunday / Paper tonight. Such great imagery and haunting tone in this piece it feels like it’s pulled from a dream. I’ve always been drawn to subtle surreal 3D work, I really love how this is put together. The scenes and sound design work great for a late Sunday evening watch. You’ve got to check out the framing detail here, so watch it full screen and turn the scaling off. Check out more of the work and collaborative efforts of David Parker and Cole Schreiber over at Sunday / Paper.
Edit : I just watched it for the 5th time, it get’s better and better.
Edit Edit : If you like Zombies and amazing photography, watch their most recent film “Rest“.
“… the film is a non-narrative purely visual/audio experience designed to transport viewers through a hypnotic, dream-like experience.” – Anonymous on IMDB
This film looks like a playground for vision. The short excerpt description from IMDB sums up exactly what I love about the moving visual medium. Non-Narrative films, though rare, have some of the most amazing visual concepts and I think this film, Solipsist by Andrew Huang, will be nothing short of great and stir up a lot for us visual artists and designers.
Have a look at the rest of Andrew Huang‘s work at his site, he’s got some pretty incredible and imaginative moving visual work.
Shooting at 2000fps never gets old. A few months ago I had the opportunity to work with the Olympus iSpeed 3 from Jordy Klein. The iSpeed 3 is a high speed camera that can shoot up to 2000fps at 1280 x 720. It will actually shoot 1280 x 1024 if you want it to but most of us are looking for 16:9, 2:1 or 2:35:1 ratios. I won’t go into too much technical detail, but I’ll respond to any questions about the camera in the comments. It has an on-board CDU (Controller Display Unit) which acts as a monitor and control. Phantom cameras have been using something similar as well, but it’s great to see the progress. This feature is big for high-speed cameras because it means you can be more mobile. It used to be, and still is, that you control these types of cameras via a laptop or desktop computer, the CDU changes that. One other feature of the iSpeed 3 is that it saves to compact flash cards, which we all have. It’ll save uncompressed and a fairly compressed AVI file, as options. The uncompressed file is really high quality for use in post, but takes about 30 minutes to save to the CF, not good for swift production. It was fun to have a camera like this to use on my own for a bit rather than a quick production. However, it was a little overwhelming with the time constraint I had it in to think of stuff to shoot. The most interesting thing, and I don’t think I’m giving away any secrets here was driving around downtown and shooting out the window. Since it’s such a high frame rate you get dolly type shot with people almost frozen in time. I’d like to try that down the road more. Mostly, the things that look the best are the most ridiculous things like breaking something or water.
Shoot anything with water and it’s instantly magical.
Big thanks to Jordy Klein Film and Video, if you need rental equipment definitely check out his site or give him a call. Also thanks to all my friends that subjected themselves to all the random stuff I was egging them on to do.
I’ve posted the few pieces I’ve shot with the camera. The first one up top is a reel of everything I shot in the short time. There’s a bunch more footage, but it’d be dreadfully long if I edited it all together. Hopefully next year I’ll get to test another one.
Be sure to check out Tycho’s tour in 2012, there will be a bunch of footage that I shot with this camera used in the visuals.
Turn down the lights, fire up the projector and light a candle if that’s your style…here’s my picks for the Top 15 Music Videos Of 2011. I tried to encompass a lot of image styles and music in this list. There’s all types of directors and production scales ranging from Canon 7D equipped bare bones budgets to freaking Michel Gondry shooting stop motion on a Bolex (or so I read). I think that’s what’s crazy and great about being a director and designer in this time. If you want to, you have access to pretty much everything (visually speaking) if you put time into it. Hopefully some directors, DPs and photographers are inspired by this, it was a good year for the moving image and I suspect it to only get better and more creative in 2012. Hope you all dig the list and if you make it through each video all the way through, no skipping…you can rule out any form of attention deficit disorder.
I haven’t listed any of these in a rank, only because they’re all good at specific things. However, if I had to pick one favorite, it’d be Eric Epstein’s magically haunting work for Memory Tapes.
Here’s a beautiful 3 part vignette shot by director Riley Blakeway of Taj Burrow and friends in Fiji. Filming in a place like this, with surfers of this caliber, you’d expect it to look great and it does. Riley goes a little further to make it something else with the color and grain work, which I really appreciate. All three pieces have a great organic film-like grain and the color grading is spot. A feeling and look that you can’t just do with a plug-in.
When I first watched it, I was convinced this was 16mm and maybe super 8mm in spots. Here’s the kicker, “All of the surf vision was shot with the EX1.” says Blakeway. He also added that intros and outros were super 8mm. The camera is the Sony PMW-EX1, a type of camera that is similar to what a lot of us were used to shooting with before the Canon DSLR days. Not a 5D, 60D or even a RED Epic, which is great to see. I’ll try not to get into the technical too much on this, because it’s simply well shot, well edited and graded. His attention to detail is great on these, well done Riley.