Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Music Video - Burn The Negative "Smash and Grab" Art Direction Project

The Following Music Video is the Burn The Negative "Smash and Grab" music video that I participated in as Art Director.

please read the Article below this one for a more in-depth brakedown of my role and my experiance working for this project.

hope you like the Video!


Produced by: Owain Lacey
Directed by: Steve Wightman
Director of Photography: David McClenaghan
Art Director: Gordon Gray
Edited by: Gavin Cowen

Burn The Negative - "Smash and Grab" Music Video Art Direction

I was given the oppertunity to Art Direct a Performance Based Music Video for New-wave Electro pop-punk band: Burn The Negative with there song "Smash and Grab".

My Director wanted to capture the nostalgic 80's pop culture through Style, Overexposure, Strong Visual Colours and Abstractivity.

Group shot of BTN.

Overexposure was a very important element for the video. to achieve this I created a white room, using photographic paper, covering the walls and floor.

Overexposed headshot of Bass player.
Overexposed headshot of Lead Guitarist.
Overexposed headshot of synth/keys player.
Overexposed headshot of Lead Singer.
the element of Fashion was very important for the video in capturing that 80's style. To create this I toyed around with the use of Minimalism, contrasted with strong visual colours (the red of the jacket).
The use of contrasting colours and minimalism along with some interesting and fashionable cinematography help create that sence of style and Fashion.

Close-Up of Mic.
Group shot, utilising depth of field.
Red directly contrasting and highliting the minimal white.
Fashionable and stylistic Guitar pose cinematography.
The video being perfromanced based, usually doesnt convey any underlying meaning. In attempt to make this genre of music video more interesting for this piece I decided that the use of creative abstractivity through the use of prop selection and cinematography (basically filming through objects like glass to create a warped and abstract image).
Unfortunatly during filming most of the Abstract ideas were abandoned due to lack of time. what abstractivity remains reflect some of the simple elements of the Abstractivity I originaly intended.
filming though 35mm photographic film to create an interesting and moody image.
The TV was a requirement from my director, I like its conceptial element to it.
This was done by filming through a red lightbulb. I like its moody and more abstract effect.
Guitar Strings CU through the other side, creating an interesting and abstract use of cinematography.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Art Direction - Jersey Budd "Bright Soul" Music Video

We were given the opportunity to film a Music Video for singer/songwriter Jersey Budd. I was focused in making my role as Art Director more important. I really wanted to get my teeth stuck into the production. I wanted the production value to be better than my previous work and play an important role in the presentation of the Music Video.

I feel that I couldn't connect with the concept my Director finally rested on, in truth I hated it. I thought it was uninspiring and didn't represent the artists music and style one bit.

I was set the task to design and construct Two main sets. one being the main performance background, involving lots of pictures, for the story to unfold. The other set would be Jerseys Love interest's Bedroom.
The following pictures document my effort to construct the two main sets for the Music Video.

The "Love Interest's" Bedroom was easy to design and construct. The room had to be realistic, and seem like your average girl's bedroom.
Simple and basic structure of Girls bedroom.
I decided to liven up the Mise-en-scene with a deep purple paper for the center wall to give the room more depth and interest.
I felt that the space needed something more interesting than wallpaper. I wanted to make a window, as both a source of light, and simply to make the room more realistic and interesting.
The window was to be the main focal point of the room, as most windows are, it also helps towards tying the room together better.
The window acts as a warm source of light, complete with lamp to help set the mood. the bed and set dressings go together to help build the rooms presence.
Final photo of end result minus the television and Jersey Budd poster.

My second Set that I designed and constructed for this production was the main performance area.
This basically required a wall containing many different pictures. My attempts to help create the sense of nostalgia and a feeling of long lost love, led to me using a mixture of different styles and aged picture frames, which cluttered the wall space in an effort to create the sense that his nostalgic feelings, and love for this woman, cluttered his mind and was a great source for his troubles etc.
the following Pictures document the sets construction.

Basic wall structure to form the basis of the main performance area.
This was my choice in wallpaper. I liked its nostalgic connotations.Wallpaper fully covering the wall, organizing the picture frames in a cluttered pattern to fill the wall.
Setting the picture frames up to create the sense of clutter and style.
Final result. The pictures in white would be containing the live action scenes where the camera would travel into.

Final photo of both sets completed.

I feel that my role as the Art Director was unimpressive on my part. The production as a whole was a massive failure. I admit I was heavily unimpressed with the concept and overall idea of the production, however I was not prepared to let that influence my work. I feel that I done the best I could for the concept I was given, however, I also feel that the style did not compliment the song in any way shape or form. I feel that the final style doesn't represent the concept due to it being constantly changed throughout the production.

I first approached this production as a chance to really express myself both creatively and technically...

Unfortunately, as an Art Director, or Production Designer, your limited by your Directors creativity... which unfortunately hindered my hopes for this project from the offset.

My resulting opinion of this production and the Music Video is that of remorse. I feel that my failure to produce something visually interesting, is a learning experience I wish I didn't have to go though, but I feel motivated to learn form this mistake and move on with my work.

As you will tell from viewing the video that the concept I had been given was changed, and replaced with a series of unattractive motion graphics, and questionable camera angles... Hope you like it...

Although I am not proud of my work in this production, I feel that it is important to learn form ones mistake and there fore I feel it is important to show you the video not just for the sake of it, but for me.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Ullswater Black & White Photography

The following photographs are the Black and White section of my Photography trip to Ullswater in the Lake District.

Through Black and White, I tried capturing my feelings at the time through texture, reflection, light and stillness.

Ullswater ferry.
Small empty jetties help to frame the picture nicely.
Solitary boat silently waiting.
Water capturing the reflection perfectly.
Misty hills rolling.

I was overwhelmed by Ullswater natural solitude, its tranquility. I have been raised in a seaside town all my life, where the water is constantly moving, it is such an alien sight to me, seeing a lake that is completely still, and reflecting the landscape perfectly.

Ullswater Colour Photography

Ullswater is such a magnificent place to go to capture amazing water reflection, The following photos were taken on a still and secluded mid February afternoon.

I've decided to brake this Trip into two different sections, one containing Colour Photography, and the other Black and White. This is because I feel that they both capture different moods, texture and meanings I hold for Ullswater, and are best seen separately.

I adore overcast sky's. they create a sense of solitude, that helps to compliment and amplify the colour of the landscape. I also really like the winter colours in such places like Ullswater. Perhaps its because I'm Scottish and am used boring weather, but I have a particular fondness towards moody lighting and sky's.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Home in the Snow.

In January 2010, I woke early one morning to find that it had snowed during the night. When I was younger I used to rush out, with my mother shouting at me to have my breakfast first, on my merry way building show men and throwing snowballs at girls. Sadly those days have passed, but still that morning I was filled with that same hesitation and excitement I had felt as a kid, I grabbed my camera and rushed outside to see what my snow covered town had for me.

Location: Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

No Good Deed

No Good Deed is a short film I worked on as Director of Photography, for my second year at University. I contributed in Art Direction, however it was based in realism so it didn't need any in-depth focus in the art department.

The short film is about everyday circumstances spiraling tragically out of control.

The following images are a storyboard selection of screenshots to give you the idea of my Camera work, and angles etc.

When filming the short film, time was definitely not of the essence, and sadly the video reflects that. There are some serious lighting problems, colour configuration is also an issue, and acting is stretched to say the least.
As Director of Photography for this film, I feel I let myself down. I feel the lighting is dirty and conflicts throughout the entire film. I should have filmed in more light. It is easier to make things darker in Edit, than make things lighter. unfortunately the end scene pays for my stupidity. I didn't light the scene the way I should have, which resorts it in being far too dark and grainy.

I feel that the short film lacks in imagination on both my part as the Director of Photography and in Concept/Story line.

Produced by: Dominic Moss
Written / Directed by: David McClenaghan
Director of Photography: Gordon Gray
Assistant Producer: Owain Lacey
Sound by: Gary Kane
Edited by: Lewis Abbott

Hope you Like it!

Robert Foxx - "Stormy Monday"

During my second year at University, I was given the opportunity to adopt the role of both Art Director and Director of Photography.
We produced a Music Video for Blues singer/songwriter Robert Foxx.
The main theme for the Music Video was Film Noir. I am a great fan and appreciate the art and film style of Film Noir. I saw this as a great opportunity to explore Film Noir in greater detail.

This was my first time as an Art Director, and played an important factor in developing my interest in Art Direction.
My other role for this project was Director of Photography. I saw this as a great opportunity to broaden my horizons with camera, and to help develop my photography.

The following images are a short mock-up storyboard of the music video and the events within.

This project was a great learning experience for me, and gave birth to my interest in Art Direction. Unfortunately, the Video didn't perform as well as I hoped. During the editing process it was reveled that the performance wasn't really true to the music, particularly towards the band miming. This and some other conflicting, and typically Student errors made the Video seem less than what we hoped for.
None the less there are some strong factors I like in the video. I feel the style is unique and contributes well to the video and there are some strong shots regarding the photography side of things.

Here are some of my Favorite shots I like in the Video.

Detective Investigating first crime scene.
Nice Close-Up of singer and really cool Microphone.
Close-Up of Guitar performance.
Detective investigating second crime scene.
Femme Fetal walking away from body lying in a dark alleyway.
Close-Up of Femme Fetal, Devious and attractive smile.

Below is the Music Video we produced whilst in second year at University. As you can tell, there are some issues within, from lighting, concept/story, performance etc.
I find it easier if you approach the video with an open mind, however the video does have its good points.

Producer/Director: Dominic Moss
Art Director/Director of Photography: Gordon Gray
Editor: Robert Smith
Camera Operator: David McClenaghan

I hope you like it!