Chris Cunningham

Interesting video about Chris Cunningham

Possibly the video with most visual reference to our video

 

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Cloud Tanks

Today I’ve been wrangling the mythical beast that is a cloud tank. Lots of research on these, and weirdly there’s little in the way of info out there. Thanks to Shanks FX though I had enough info to make it work.

First I began to look for a fish tank that would be good enough to use. I didn’t really want to spend too much on it as I wasn’t actually going to be using it again. Thankfully a friend had one they were no longer using. only issue was, it was a piece of crap.

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I cleaned it up and purchased various salt. I ended up using dead sea salt as I figure it makes things float in the sea pretty well… yeah. I also had a look at epsom salts and standard rock salt.

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I boiled two pans of water (about 4 litre) and added around 800g of salt. I then filled the newly cleaned tank with the water and let it settle for a few hours.

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I used a black velvet curtain behind the tank so that it didn’t reflect the light. Next, once the water had settled and cooled I had to fill the rest of the tank with fresh water. This is done by laying a plastic sheet (or bin liner in my case) on top of the salt water and gently filling the bag with fresh water. Once full you slide the bag under the fresh water so the two waters meet without mixing.

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Once this was done, I set up my camera and started to drop my liquids just beneath the surface. I used various types of liquid, but mainly condensed milk and food colouring.

It’s simpler than I thought it might be, but somewhat time consuming. If I wanted to have a clean tank every shot, I would have to boil more salt water… pretty laborious.

The only way out is through

A bit of research I’ve been doing.

Jeremy Michael Humphrey –  Do you hear what I hear, Do you see what I see? Looks at Violence within metal and rap videos and music. Khaidian’s lyrics are not violent per se, and neither is the imagery so far created. Unlike bands such as Cannibal Corpse who use horror imagery throughout both music, artwork and video. In fairness, they do view what they do in the same context as a horror film or novel. There is a tendency for Metal video to, more often than not, feature dark and violent imagery. I have no desire to tow the party line in so far as violence is concerned – Metal, although considered a violent sounding medium, doesn’t necessarily have to be visually so.

This also touches on Strand’s The Cinesthetic montage of music-video: Hearing the image and seeing the sound (2008), in which he suggests that video has an excellent ability to associate itself with types of sound. Therefore it may not just be a cultural thing, but also a form of synesthesia, the ability to perceive one sense as another. Perhaps dark imagery suits itself sonically to metal? Either way, it’s something that I’m drawn to.
excerpt from Why I (Still) Want my MTV – Kevin Williams
Hampton Press, 2003

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So gone are the days when MTV would be your only outlet for promotional video. Now there are a wealth of different opportunities to promote the band, as Donald Diefenbach (2009) mentions, the music video is essentially a commercial for the music. I would only partially agree with this now though as the music is now also a commercial, but for a lifestyle where you might become one with other people, buy merchandise and share a mutual interest (the band).

Video Production Techniques by Donald Diefenbach (2009)

Music videos must be easily consumable across a variety of platforms; TV, web, smartphone. Therefore the end result must have a clarity to it. As Diefenbach also notes, music video “offers a broad platform for experimentation”, but this might not always be wise in terms of accessibility of the medium. There have been a few excellent experimentations pushing the boundaries of music video, although they might only be doing so on a particular device. The Arcade Fire for example, designed an interactive video in HTML with their wilderness downtown project. And Bjork has also created a 360 interactive video for her song Stonemilker. Although it would be amazing to create something that breaks out of the box as much as these, I think this video will need to keep it’s head above water first of all. Make sure it’s of good enough quality to play across various platforms – 1080p, and ensure it’s clear enough to come across in smaller formats such as mobile devices.

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The Arcade Fire – Wilderness Downtown

Thematically speaking metal videos tend to centre around performance. There may be some form of narrative within, but as is explored in Carol Vernallis’ book, Experiencing music video: Aesthetics and cultural content, there is a challenge in presenting various elements in an equal manner. what is weighed as more important? performance or narrative? Also, because of the lack of any audio for the narrative, any characters within cannot be ‘heard’, there’s the chance that any story may be weak. As such there must be a concerted effort to make any narrative clear. All that said, it can usually be a great boon to some productions, focussing an idea rather than losing it.

Another element to bare in mind is the Harding Test, which measures your video for potential epileptic triggers. When submitting a video to most TV stations (such as Skuzz and Kerrang! TV) If it flags a large amount of problems a re-edit will need to take place. A massive waste of time and energy.