They’re at it again, this rag tag team of musicians are bringing the noise with their latest video, OPERATIONS. This video dives head first into DIY culture (Do-it-yourself), and sticks to the old saying, “Fuck it, we’re doing it now!” I don’t know if that’s really an old saying but I can tell you there were definitely a few F bombs dropped during the filming.
The black and white video, just under 5 minutes, is a intimate look at the band. From the stage set up to the location, the filming of this video could not have been more bare bones. “Keep it simple, I want it that way” is what I remember John Reddick, guitar and vocalist of Skulrot saying prior to filming.
This sort of renegade filming stays true to the punk rock esthetics and DIY culture. Cinematographers such as Spike Lee, and films like Salt of The Earth made this kind of work possible, reminding us that the only limitations are the ones that we impose on ourselves.
Operations was filmed with a single HD camera and edited using Light Works, a la Quentin Tarantino. The raw truth of this is that we are living in an age of open source media, and the ability to broadcast is available in a way that was unheard up even 20 years ago. This mass communication ability has allowed for musicians and other artisans to extend their reach, to build their audience and even stay connected with them in a more personal way– long after the festival has ended, the video has been screened or the band has packed up and is back on the road.
Video may have killed the radio star, but it also gave birth to a revolutionary form of communication, visual media, The ability to say exactly what you mean, and to show exactly what you want to show. From rogue journalism, to festival coverage and music videos, indeed this is a great time to be a cinematographer.
There are different approaches to the visual arts The 13th Floor Art Collective highlighted the importance of visual media this past month as members took to the road to present at South by Southwest in Austin (SXSW). Not only did the entourage of troubadours document their trip to Austin but also hosted a screening of their media once they arrived. This was their PSA. The 13th Floor Art Collective is already known locally for their production involving art installations, festival coverage, and numerous musical acts, but SXSW was definitely about the visual media. Kudos to the 13th Floor Art Collective media crew and a special thanks to Win Within Sangha.
Art collectives are not the only ones utilizing visual media, social media networks like Vampire Freaks (a New York based music site), make use of the visual medium to introduce their roster of bands to their members. Users of VampireFreaks.com such as Morticia Anna Garcia aka Batz, regularly post updates about the bands that will be featuring at her monthly goth and deathrock themed event Sanctum Sanctorum– the infamous 45 Grave has just been confirmed for Saturday May 30th. For more information about the venue contact Jermus Corpus.Through video hosting sites like Youtube, Vimeo and Daily Motion, (and to a lesser extent, Instagram) people are able to connect in ways that text based sites don’t. Forums are great but with digital video distribution there is a broader sensory experience involved. Similar to photography light plays an important role within film and video. Video (motion pictures, as they once called ’em) however, goes a step further and brings audio into play, setting the mood or tone to a piece– a foundation within early cinema.
All of this said, pick up your own video camera, and take to the streets; head to the forest; record your next skate session; or document your latest romp in le boudoir (consensually of course). When you’re done edit it, there are a few editing programs worth getting to know, as of lately I’m getting a handle on Premiere, but I’ve also worked with Final Cut, as well as reel to reel on VHS– yes, I’ve been recording & editing for a hot minute. While you’re editing, be sure to add your favorite track, sites like soundcloud and reverbnation, are home to dozens of musicians. Write a few messages, contact a few friends and maybe you might find someone who’ll let you use a track or two for your own video. Have fun!
If you have your own video content that you’d like to share, please leave it as a message in the comment section below. Need an editor, or cinematographer for your own projects, call 323.592.7649 for a free consultation.