Tuesday, 12 July 2011

AGK video makers Q+A 4

Here's another of the Yuck 'n Yum features on Central Station that reveal how you too can make the perfect AGK video:

AGK Video Makers Q and A -4

This Q and A is with Fear Wasabi, the makers of last year's runner up video. The amazing video is perfect inspiration for those of you in the middle of, or about to begin, Karaoke video making! But how did they make it?

Can you briefly explain the video that you made last year?

For last year's AGK competition, Fear Wasabi entered new territory by producing our first cover-version of a pre-existing song. The Pixies alt-rock classic Debaser drew inspiration from Dali and Bunuel's 1929 film Un Chien Andalou, and we were gripped by the notion of bringing this movement full circle (movie-to-music-to-musicvideo). Interpreting the song in a slower and more contemplative manner than the original, the video brought visuals with an intense, personal feeling, handwritten lyrics incorporated throughout, like fragments of lost love-letters. (Andy)

Fuck that, we're noise-terrorists. (Phil)

How did you decide upon your chosen track?

We think the idea came to Andy as he was eating fish and chips, but now that time has elapsed, none of us can say for sure. (Imogen)

How did you make it? What hardware /software did you use?

Guitar, violin, Microkorg, OHP, mountain bike, hacked Panasonic GH1 with some old Nikon MF lenses and a reverser ring, Macbook Joe and Final Cut Pro. (Imogen)

Did you use the actual song as a soundtrack or another version?

We recorded our own version of Debaser by the Pixies, in a slightly different style to the original.

Andy had been messing around with an acoustic version of the guitar riff from the song for a while anyway, so we just added some bass and Imogen doing a bit of violin... and some terrifying noise-violence in the background for that authentic Fear Wasabi flavour. I played the background synths on a Korg MicroKorg, with the analogue effect knobs suitably twisted, then Andy cut it all together in Pro Tools. There's not a huge amount of post-production involved in Fear Wasabi; we mostly just find ways to make really bizarre noises which make us go "cool!", then mash them all together. The song for the video was probably the first time we'd made a conscious effort to play the same thing twice. (Phil)

What technique did you use to add text?

Most of the text in our video was done using an old overhead projector. The lyrics were hand-written onto OHP sheets then beamed onto walls, the roof, umbrellas, our arms and faces, through the spokes of a bike wheel...by moving the OHP sheet or the target, it makes it look like the text is moving. We had been experimenting with using the OHP for live drawing and light effects during our gigs already. Some of the text was just written down (on paper, mobile phones, coffee cups, and again our arms and faces) and filmed through a strange kind of defective focus lens that Andy was obsessed with at that point... and there are bits in fridge-magnets and stuff like that. The rest of the text was sort of stop-motion animated or made out of time-lapses, or cut together from video in an odd way - so for instance at one point we shot a word written in salt (no, it's not cocaine, we're not that rock and or roll) which gets blown away, and we reversed the video so that the word sort of magically forms itself out of a load of dust. (Phil)

Did you perform the song on the night? How did it go?

Andy was the singer, and since he suddenly found out he was able to attend the AGK he kindly agreed to perform karaoke at the last minute. He performed with his essential style and quality, though he would have preferred to prepare something more interesting. So when we were invited to the Focus Left event at the Arches, Andy was keen to do something that reflected the quiet, contemplative feel of the song. He came up with a daring plan. (Imogen)

Dressed in our best "rawk" outfits (green wig, Hawaiian-shirt, sunglasses-indoors-at-night) Imogen and I took to the stage invoking the spirit of televised punk by miming our way through the song. When we reached its final chorus, we smashed our unfortunate guitar and violin into tiny pieces, I tore off my shirt to reveal the words FEAR WASABI smudged across me, and we sank to the ground to bemused applause. (Andy)

Did you have any technical problem making your video? How did you overcome this?

What some would call technical problems are what we see as the magic of Fear Wasabi. Even the bit where we had to dangle the microphone from the ceiling round the lightshade to get a decent recording of the violin, just gave us a sense of triumph over adversity. (Imogen)

Did you enlist any help?

Just each other, really. Although I do owe a debt of thanks to Steven Crichton for teaching me about the weird and wonderful world of DSLR-video. And the Pixies for writing the song...(Andy)

Are you entering again this year?

Maybe. Need to get back on the fish and chips and the inspiration will follow! (Imogen)

Any tips on how to make an AGK vid?

Felt-tips. Sorry, can't really help you. I'm still surprised we managed to get one done last year. (Andy)


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