Archive for the 'music' Category

Waterloo 360 for Mamma Mia

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Universal Pictures just released a 360 music video I directed last year for the movie franchise Mamma Mia.

What an awesome challenge. When you watch a contemporary musical you will experience a lot of cuts, one every few seconds, and coverage and closeups and all that. So cast members that are not dancers don’t have to memorize an entire sequence, they’re just doing it move by move. In this case, we shot an entire two and a half minute long dance choreography around a moving camera as a one take. The piece was filmed with no cuts and the camera was recording in all directions. Absolutely nothing could go wrong anywhere at all.

Prior to shooting I met in Shepperton Studios near London with the film producers, and they introduced me to Anthony Van Laast, the film choreographer, as well as his team, and a specialized camera crew from the film. Together we designed a 360 dance number based on the original choreography from the movie, and a camera motion path in relation to the dancers, so that the camera’s vantage point felt exactly like that of a person walking on set while surrounded by everyone else. The choreographers were absolutely world class. And the dancers understood 360 staging immediately, because that’s what they do. It’s close enough to their training. For the actors, to switch from a cinematic style to a more theatrical one, staying in character and dancing the entire sequence, it was a real challenge. But as you will be able to see, they did it. They pulled it off.

Because it’s a dance piece, I felt depth and gravity were key, so we made sure to get the best stereoscopic 360 capture available today, and we made sure the floor was featured properly, because dancers’ movements are grounded in the floor. This is always a challenge in 360 stereoscopic 3D. We were fortunate enough to get a Yi Halo camera —compatible with the Google Jump automatic stitching software— had just come out, so we used it for the first time on this shoot which was obviously an additional challenge. But it’s the first camera in existence that that gives you high quality stitch-less full dome stereoscopic video In 360°. Before this camera we would have to film Panoramas with holes on top and bottom, and patch-in the floor later. You can imagine how that would be a problem when you have all these dancers’ feet all over the dance floor.

If you can, please experience this video using a Oculus Go or something similar. The desktop and mobile versions you can watch on your computer screen, tablet or phone won’t do it enough justice and I’m so proud of it. I think it’s really fun.

Run the Jewels Crown is out

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

A few months ago I produced a VR music video with my friends at Wevr for the hip-hop duo Run the Jewels. I’m proud to announce that The New York Times just dropped it in their nytvr mobile app.

Here is an insightful article written by @djabatt on the importance of matching hip-hop with virtual reality.

360° Premiere: Run The Jewels's "Crown"

Run The Jewels keeps pushing boundaries with their 360° video for "Crown," premiering on The New York Times's virtual-reality app.Check out the full video from Killer Mike GTO and EL-P:

Posted by The New York Times on Thursday, March 10, 2016


Coastline Apparition – Old Habits

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

I just finished my first music video. I shot it last Summer in West LA for the band Coastline Apparition with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Black Magic Pocket camera. I color graded and cut it in DaVinci Resolve and finished it in Adobe After Effects.

The piece features Swedish model Chloe Cole trying to find a future in a place that has a lot to offer but wont give anything away. This seemed to be a perfectly appropriate subject matter to frame the song with a visual narrative, and it gave Chloe a canvas to perform a fictional character that was close enough to her real self.

WEDIDIT VR House Party

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

@Djabatt and I just shot our first virtual reality video with the LA based DJ collective WEDIDIT. Inspired by the Boiler Room videos they had already been putting up un YouTube, they wanted to perform during a small private party that we would capture in VR to share with their fans.

It was a huge learning experience since VR video forces you to toss all the preconceptions you have about filmmaking. It’s just a completely different film. Instead of the carefully directed frame provided by traditional cinema, VR basically gives the camera back to the audience, and allows them to explore the scene at will. This interactive feature forces you to explore the content rather than just viewing it. It’s like being in the scene rather than watching it in a screen. The challenge becomes to find the right balance between this new agency to explore at will and the progression of events that weaves the story together. It’s all about delivering the important events without it mattering what you were looking at. You might miss the protagonist’s emotional expression while a key event unfolds around you, but you will learn something else about this event while we make sure you definitely register that it happened, as well as the impact it has to the rest of the story.

Think for example about a sport event with two opponents, like a boxing fight. Or it could be a tennis match or a basketball game. It doesn’t matter. If you’re one of the people that likes to witness these confrontations live, you’re aware that you might miss the decisive moment of the knockout punch that defines the outcome of this simple binary drama. Perhaps you were looking at some other people in the audience, or trying to get a vendor to refill your cup with beer when the fight abruptly came to a conclusion, but you will not miss the fact that it happened, and you will know that somebody won and somebody lost, and you will know how the crowd feels about it. Missing the key detail didn’t make you miss on the drama, and you will remember that you were there when it happened.

After some deliberation with the WEDIDIT guys, we decided to anchor the progression of the story using their music performances in combination with a set of clearly differentiated things to do while hanging out in any of the rooms in the house. We set up cameras in the stage next to the DJ booth, and in the the kitchen next to a chef that cooked all night with a flame thrower. We set up a chill room in the living room and an activity table with games and fluorescent art supplies in the dining room. And we hired a few incognito fake partiers to make sure something interesting would happen everywhere and people would circulate around the whole house. Then we shot for a few hours and the rest will be history once we figure out how to edit and post produce this stuff 😀



Records, cassettes and my childhood memories are back

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Thanks to the guys from Rest in Haste, who have invited me to illustrate their cassette and record covers with my drawings, I have renewed my interest on two cultural artifacts from my childhood that are experiencing a renaissance in music today: records and cassettes. It turns out that the relatively primitive technologies and processes required to produce and distribute music and other sound-based media using records and cassettes offer a viable —and affordable— alternative to the digital formats and distribution channels that have become the mainstream standard over the last decade. It turns out a garage band can afford to produce a 100 cassette edition or a 500 record edition for very little money, and these precious items are welcome in local venues.

To me, visiting a local record store and listening to some tapes and records while I talk to other people in the store is a more effective strategy to discover new musicians that I like. I have been finding some of my favorite music this way, and I am completely positive I would have never found any of it from my friends playlists, or any of my social media feeds, or from amazon or itunes or spotify recommendations. My musical life would not know about Boris, Oake, Thee Oh Sees, Oneida, Blonde Red Head, Harassor, Author-Punisher, and The Elevator Drops, just to mention a few of them.

Of course, I had to get a record player and a cassette player again. I haven’t had any of those since I got my hands on a CD player/burner. I was quick to abandon the fragile vinyl and the magnetic tape as soon as a “better” playback/recording alternative came about. Ironically, CDs faced the same fate at the hands of the web, hard drives and mobile phones. I havent really had used a CD in probably ten years. I have a hunch even CDs are going to face some kind of resurgence within the next few years, and VHS tapes too!

Note: I have a flickr album where I collect all kinds of high-res images in connection to my work with Rest in Haste. The cassette sleeves and promotional posters for The Realistic Sounds of Rest in Haste were printed by Kudla Press in the Czech republic using a Risograph printer.



9k-4 copy

9kd copy 2