I’m not sure why we didn’t mention it here while it was “current”, but we did talk about Radiohead’s recent webcast of their album In Rainbows on CDMusic. Even if you’re not in to Radiohead it’s worth watching, as it brings a beautifully varied, personal, low-budget aesthetic to one of the biggest bankers in modern music, it completely changed how I identify with the album. As mentioned in the CDMusic comments, I’m historically a huge Radiohead fan, but have found myself drifting away from their music over the last couple of albums. I paid money for In Rainbows (even though I didn’t have to), listened to it once or twice and then forgot about it, but the Scotch Mist videos made me re-examine the entire album, and it finally clicked for me.
All of this preamble is by way of introducing Adam Buxton, a British filmmaker who says he “helped out” on the webcast, but is billed #2 in the introductory credits to the piece, so it seems he was doing a little more than making coffee.
Adam seems to have a reasonably deep “cult” career in the UK scene. His youtube channel has plenty of funny, clever filmmaking, and Scotch Mist is utterly superb. It’s reminded me that you don’t need loads of gear and the best quality, low-noise, high-bokeh, high-resolution footage to make compelling video. These elements can help, but what really matters is the content and feel you’re delivering to the audience, if you’ve got that right then nobody will care that you’ve forced their favourite band to wear shiny silver bike helmets:
Adam’s blog has plenty of interesting tidbits and behind the scenes information from a whole range of projects, well worth a look. The “Faust Arp” video (above) is particularly interesting, using aforementioned cameras mounted on helmets.
The Helmet Cam is something I made a couple of years ago to shoot some bits for my comedy night. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a mini surveillance camera mounted on the front of a bicycle helmet which makes the head of the wearer appear stationary while everything around them slides around nauseatingly. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a technique thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been used a lot (Martin Scorcese and Peter Gabriel spring to mind), but it always occurred to me that the bike helmet version might be good for some kind of music video. When I found out we were doing the Radiohead webcast I got to work making 5 new Ã¢â‚¬ËœunitsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ for the band. A bike helmet is ideal for mounting the camera because you can strap it on tight enough for it not to wobble too much, but it has the downside of making you look like a bit of a prat so I was concerned that a band like Radiohead might be uncomfortable with that.
And tangentially, I received an email last night from one of the Vixid guys informing me that their VJX16-4 had been used by Deepvisual for Radiohead’s more recent live webcast. I’ve been working hard on editing up the Vixid video Peter and I shot in Perth last month. The 16-4 really is an incredible piece of hardware, and there really isn’t much information out there about it. This will change.