Back for the First Time

In the future, I'm going to focus my posts more towards certain categories, such as, "DIY Filmmaker Resources", "People I'd Like to Meet", "How to Become a Cinematographer(my best guesses)", and "Great Sequences". Etc, etc, etc. For this post, a smattering of things, simply for the sake of getting back in the saddle and getting something up.

Shit, where to begin...

The Cinematography Mailing List

One of my favorite recent discoveries is the Cinematography Mailing List. It's an email list where cinematographers, young and old, post questions and other cinematographers answers them. In depth. Often to a scientific degree. It seems a lot of us young cats claim to want to be cinematographers and DP's but alas, from the mouths of babes. Subscribing to the CML is an insight into the thought processes and technical skills needed to be REAL cinematographer, not just some wet-eared yokel with an HDSLR.

From their website:

"The Cinematography Mailing List, CML, was started by Geoff Boyle in 1996 so that 60 Cinematographers could talk about work. We now have 20 lists, with a total of over 16,000 members, 9 lists with more than 4,000 members and 10 with over 2,500 members. Over 42 million messages were sent out in the last year with a successful delivery rate of over 99%."

Check it out. One of the best free resources for cinematography. I really dig the format. To me, the fact that it's emailed makes it super-digestable and has an almost 'Word of the Day'-like effect.

Low-Budget Music Videos

Been talking to some different groups and musicians around town lately about doing some videos lo-no-budget so I've been doing some research.

Here are some of my favorites:

Sia, "Buttons"

So freaking cool. Just found out about Sia. Her videos are weird, strange, and pretty neat. This one is my favorite because I'm a sucker for artful repetition. It's one shot(not one take, mind you, but one camera setup - one shot)and the props for the video consist of scotch tape, c-47s (ha, film term, omg - "clothespins" to normal folk), a condom, many types of stockings and pantyhose, and, of course, Sia(she crazy). Also, props for the 'Glamour Shots'-esque background. Song's pretty durned catchy as well. Quality thinking man's Pop Music. Big ups.

Sia | Buttons (Music Video)


Weezer, "Say It Ain't So"

This square-format wonder actually comes to us from the days of Standard Def(shudder; @ the format, not the time period), those days of yore. Before iPhones, when reality TV was really just a show called The Real World.

I may have been a pre-teen in those golden years of American pop-culture but I still lived them. God damn, did I live them.

Anyway, this video looks like nothing special to the untrained viewer. Just another "band playing their hit song in their practice space video. At first glance, it's visually not much - it's Weezer playing sweet, beautiful alt-rock in a garage(the garage they practiced in around that time) and then there's a gratuitous slo-mo hacky-sacking during the guitar solo. The whole video looks like someone shot it with a Canon 7D. However, they didn't have those back in the day.

So this video looks like nothing special but, if, like me, you appreciate the finer things in life, like fleeting moments of an awesome young superband's humanity(exhibits A, B, and C: band members ironic faux-seriousness, the drummer's polite smile at the pause before the beginning of the 2nd verse, and Rivers' juicebox at the end, among many others) edited into a eloquently composed and shot music video, then you understand how great this little sequence-of-images-set-to-song is.

If you're interested, this video was directed by Sophie Muller, who had been shooting videos for at least 13 years before this video. She cut her teeth shooting videos for Sade and the Eurythmics, and later shot a lot of No Doubt's videos. She's still working today, I believe.

I'm planning on doing a "People I'd Like to Meet" category of posts for this blog. Yup, she definitely qualifies.

Anyway, one last thing before the embed. Did you guys know that Ric Ocasek of The Cars fame produced "Say It Ain't So"? Me neither, but it's true. Epic.

I could go on and on about this video. I love it so much.

Legally, I can't marry it. Too bad.

Good for you guys, though. Watch.

One more. Another "blast from the past" from when I was still a wee lad, "still in shortpants", as they say.

Blur, "Song 2"

Another 90's gem. Which, coincidentally, was also directed by Ms. Muller. Weird. Just found that out researching her video as I write this.. Apparently, I'm a big fan. Huh, cool.

What I like about the video:

A lot of the same things I liked about the Weezer video. The expertly-composed, gorgeous static shots and the perfect cuts between those shots. The whimsicality of the video. According to Wikipedia, the song was intended as a playful jab at the American Grunge-Rock genre.

And, during the chorus, the slo-mo slamming into the walls, hard light sources cutting on and off and then wind machine and contribute to a glorious visual assault of badassery. 

 Time for bed. End post. 


 Oh, and fuck Vevo. I don't have to be happy(or even indifferent) about being advertised to every time I want  to watch an old  video. And any company owning that much of an era's content can't be a good thing.