Saturday, June 4, 2011

Inspiration: Mark Romanek's Music Video

Some really incredible concepts and strong imagery here. Apparently Tarsem Singh's "The Cell" was largely inspired by these.

Madonna - Bedtime Story

NIN - Closer

NIN - And All That Could Have Been
This one is actually a video re-mash of the NIN's The Perfect Drug video. I like this better than the original.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Concept: Garden

This concept came to me in a dream sometime a few years back, and as soon as I woke up I picked up my acoustic guitar and figured it out and recorded it. Here's the original recording from 2009, recorded on my MacBook via the built-in microphone so the quality is really terrible, but you can hear the birth of the melodic idea.

Original Recording on Acoustic Guitar (2/12/2009)

In my dream I saw myself walking around in a garden that was hovering over a lake. It had giant plants and flowers, and in the middle of the garden was a tree made up entirely of my own hands. I had also drawn a picture of this and blogged about it back then.

Playing Tree (2/2009)

Recently, I re-recorded the same melody on my electric tuned in standard A, and here it can be heard much clearly. This will be the basis for the whole track. I intend to make this a slow, ambient piece for most part of it and recreate feel of the dream. And then towards the end have a surprising, heavy distorted guitar riff. The visuals will also follow the same pattern. Most part of it will be set in a garden like space with the protagonist hovering/walking around and exploring the garden and its life forms. And towards the end, there will be a drastic change, I'm not sure what this change will be, but I'm working on it.

Recorded on electric guitar (5/2011)

Inspiration: The Lovely Bones

The imagery of heaven and after life in this movie are surreal and beautiful. Very painterly and dream-like. Some scenes are embellished with symbolic and metaphorical elements supporting the story where the events from the real world affects the world of the dead. Simply breathtaking!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Visual Reference: Aurora Borealis Time-lapse by Tromsø

The interaction between the clouds and the auroras are simply amazing!

Sandy Skoglund

Sandy Skoglund creates surreal and painterly images with beautifully lit minimal sets and characters. Often playing with juxtaposition go brightly colored objects and pale, earthy environments.

Lighting Reference Video: White Winter Hymnal

Video directed by Sean Pecknold

After beginning to look at the use of dioramas for sets, we've been discussing the idea of the light on the set sort of constantly changing like from night to day, which reminded me of this video. The shifting of the light and shadow as well as the combination of the use of camera is rather beautifully done.

Baraka - Ron Fricke

"Without words, cameras show us the world, with an emphasis not on "where," but on "what's there." It begins with morning, natural landscapes and people at prayer: volcanoes, water falls, veldts, and forests; several hundred monks do a monkey chant. Indigenous peoples apply body paint; whole villages dance. The film moves to destruction of nature via logging, blasting, and strip mining. Images of poverty, rapid urban life, and factories give way to war, concentration camps, and mass graves. Ancient ruins come into view, and then a sacred river where pilgrims bathe and funeral pyres burn. Prayer and nature return. A monk rings a huge bell; stars wheel across the sky."

Set Design Reference: Jonah Samson's Dioramas

Jonah Samson makes miniature dioramas. The sets and the lighting are very interesting. I really like how he makes these small objects look real and large.

More cool dioramas (by other artists) at FuckYeahDioramas

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What's coming up next?

Now that Empyrean is complete, we're working on full music video album. There will be about 4-5 tracks on it. Total length of about 30-40 minutes. 'Empyrean' will be one of piece on it. Our hope is that this album - "Forbidden Circle" will be surreal, eerie and beautiful and will be ready sometime in Spring 2012. Quite a few awesome musicians have agreed to do some guest work on the album. More coming soon.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Empyrean Video

It's done!

We'll soon release a limited copy DVD with the video and some goodies, and a poster.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Flower Bloom Composition/Camera Reference

The subtle camera move and the chromatic aberration creates such a surreal space

Here the slow backgrounds that are completely out of focus create an interesting image, while in the foreground the flower blooms. Makes it look very real, and plausible yet has some surreal qualities.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Music Ambient layers

I've added in the ambient layers of the track. Most of the ambient string sounds were designed with NI Kore Player. There's also a few tracks of my voice here and there creating the choir like.

This also features the bass played by Brandon. I've edited his performance here and there just a little to make them sit more tightly over the kick.

Next, I'm going to rent out a 7 string guitar from a the local guitar shop and re-track all the guitars.

Dance cues

The motion in the dance sequence is going to reflect the motion in the guitar's melody. The melody is basically playing over a 4/4 time signature but going in and out of phase with the up and down beats. The dance will reflect this.

I've created a motion cue for both the dancers. These motion cues (ting and ding sounds panned left and right) will act as a "force" which causes them to change their pose.

This way their motions will be somewhat independent and organized in time, and my hope is that it reduces the visual chaos of that scene a little, and will reinforce the rhythmic structure of the music via visual, motion coherence.

Improved design

The makeup really fell apart in the shoot we did last week for the dance scene. So we're redesigned the characters. Instead of bald caps, we'll just comb the hair up with gel and hairnets to create tendril like structures attaching them to the white tube from above.

Lotus Shader

Here are some progress pictures of the Lotus shader that Ariel is working on.

He's also going to re-model the petals so that he can UV-unwrap them.