Beer Spot

A few months back, I once again teamed up with videographer Paul Arcus, to produce a series of promotional spots for a popular beer label based in Melbourne Australia.
We were commissioned to shoot and edit a handful of videos that promoted the brewery, the magic of yeast, and the philosophy behind the beer’s uniqueness. We shot the entire video around the scenic surroundings of Healsville and were very pleased with the outcome.
Here is a short introduction to the series.

Shillington College Ident

I just came off a small animation gig for a 30 second spot for international graphic design school, Shillington College.
The client required a basic stop motion ident, to appear at the end of the commercial. The college’s logo needed to be presented in a ‘papercraft’ style, and follow the company’s design guidelines.

Here is the finished product:

Shillington College 30s Spot (5d Mk3 RAW) from Commoner Films on Vimeo.

Pixelvisionary

I recently returned from a 5-week hiatus in New York City.
I was supposed to be on holiday, but circumstances led me to embark on a number of small projects while in the big apple. Most significant, was my pairing with a 1987 Pxl-2000 video camera. In my frenzied love for the camera, I quickly retrofitted the unit using parts sourced in and around NYC. The result was the Frankenstein monster below…

For those of you unfamiliar to the Pxl-2000 video camera, here’s a short summary….
Manufactured by Fisher Price in 1987, the Pixelvision was a one-off product aimed at taking the toy company in a new direction.
Despite turning out a tiny 120 x 90 black and white image, the most unusual characteristic of the camera is the fact it records to audio cassette tape. That’s right, video to AUDIO CASSETTE!
With one track on the magnetic tape reserved for video, and the other; Mono audio, it manages to produce a beautiful analogue-enriched b&w image with fuzz, distortion, and a hell of a lot of character.

Aside from using the camera to shoot vision for the documentation of an Estonian contemporary arts festival (see post below), I also managed to get three small vignette documentaries in the can. Each 5-minute documentary follows a personal story told by a character I crossed paths with while in New York.

With any luck, I will have the first vignette in the series, ready in a fortnight.

Here are a few pics extracted from the vision:

BIOEST 2013

Talk about wonderfully random commitments!
I actually spent most of my final 2 weeks in New York City documenting the 2013 festival for contemporary Estonian art called ‘BIOEST’.
‘BIOEST’ focuses on the promotion of a handful of Estonian artists, with their works appearing across NYC, over a period of 14 days. This year’s program introduced a new generation of Estonian creatives, and spanned six events.

At the time I was shooting alongside professional Estonian documentary filmmaker, Piibe Kolka, and had the task of collecting footage to a trusty Pixelvision Pxl-2000. This unique camera gives a gorgeously low-fi image which they were keen to explore, and so it quickly became my tool of trade in New York. A day didn’t pass where I wasn’t swinging it around somewhere in the burrows.
The short documentary we were shooting covered the festival in it’s entirety, and will be published some time in the next month.

An introduction to BIOEST, which was produced prior to my involvement can be viewed here:

BIOEST 2013 from Karin Laansoo on Vimeo.

I must ashamedly admit I had very little knowledge of Estonian art and culture prior to this project, but it quickly became a topic of fascination for me. I wouldn’t be surprised if I soon find myself wandering the beautiful streets of Tallinn, with Pixelvision in hand!

Peking Duk – ‘Feels like’

My latest project as producer had it’s launch today. I’m very pleased to see it quickly gaining traffic online. You can check it out here.

Peking Duk have been lucky to score a spot on the recent line up for The Big Day out. Much of the clip’s character and art design are being used in the launch of the album, which is pretty cool to see.

More posts on the project below…

Out of the office…

About two weeks ago I rather spontaneously decided to book four weeks holiday in NYC, and now here I am loving the warm weather and grimey streets of one of the nicest cities I’ve been to.

I must admit I’ve never been one to deal well with being away from work life, so I’ve quickly thrown my weak jet lagged self into assisting an old Brazillian mate of 17 years. Andre Feliciano, or ‘Jardinero’, is currently preparing for two art shows here in New York City. Of late, his work has begun to gain momentum in the art world, and it’s not hard to see why.

The Gardener (english translation of Jardinero), dedicates his works to the notion of nature, form, and memory through the photo image. Working within a number of mediums, he produces works which frequently feature the shape of a simple camera – his stamp, if you will.

Very rarely have I met someone who can dedicate constant focus to detail and clarity. It’s been a joy to witness first hand. I’m sure I’ve been little help as an assistant thanks to my sleep-deprived body, but I’ve sure had a lot of fun!

Promo for Peking Duk – ‘Feels Like’

A little teaser for the music video we made… the real deal is on its way.

Another one bites the dust!

No, that’s not Freddy Mercury’s long lost son you’re looking at. It’s Graeme Flynn, the charismatic star of a brand-spanking new music video we finished shooting this Sunday.

The video was co-directed by filmmakers Jeff Johnson and Max Miller, and focuses on the life of a dorky, dance-obsessed, twenty-something.

A promo clip for the music video can be viewed here (with more to come) :

Shot using the Arri Alexa, the project was DOP’d by Melbourne cinematographer, Ed Goldner. The shots were looking incredible, and I’m very excited to see edited product. Ed was just one of an all-star cast and crew of 27, which included 12 ridiculously impressive dancers who were over 55 years old.

I won’t go into any boring details of the shoot, but I would like to highlight just how magical the experience was. The glamour, the grime, the schedule – everything fell into place. I have never worked on a production that has gone so seamlessly to plan, without a hiccup to mention! This was undoubtedly helped by the fact I had such a talented cast and crew, who were above and beyond professional.

The footage is currently moving it’s way through post-production, with the final product ready for release by the end of August.

Producer – Thomas Kinsman
Directors – Max Miller & Jeff Johnson
DOP – Ed Goldner
1st AD – Mish Graham
Gaffer – Patrick Neff
Grip – Austin Haigh
Steadycam – Glenn Clayton
Art┬áDepartment – Greg Young
Choreographer – Brendan Ford
Makeup / Hair – Victoria Lennard
Talent – Graeme Flynn
Dancers – BJ Dance

And the beat goes on!

I’ve just embarked on two more projects… I’ll be producing a couple of music videos over the next few months, so things are about to get that little bit busier. Both projects are currently in the preproduction phase, with one to be shot at the beginning of August, and the other in late October. I’m very thrilled to be involved, because the bands are great artists. I can see us all having a lot of fun working on these videos. More to come…

‘Thoughts into the wind’ – A human stop-motion experience…

A few weeks back I worked on a small project called ‘Thoughts into the wind’ for artist and close friend, Allyn Laing. I was there coaching the actor through her movements, as the art piece had to be shot at 2 frames per second, and thus required incredibly slow action from the talent. When played back at 25 frames per second, the film achieves a somewhat animated / stop-motion look. ‘Thoughts into the wind’ was shot using an ARRI Alexa and Nikon D800.

Thoughts into the wind from Allyn Laing on Vimeo.

‘We Love Beer’

Here’s the finished product for the Little Creatures promo video that Paul and I put together…

The client was after an entertaining video that documented their involvement in this year’s ‘Good Beer Week’ in Melbourne. We chose to do this by focusing on the human element in the story – of Little Creatures beer ambassador, Dave Myers, who’s love for his job is only matched by his love for craft beer.

It was hard slog, as we had to provide a quick turn around from shooting to edit, but we’re particularly happy with the result. I had an absolute blast on the project and I’m really looking forward to working with these guys again.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off for a well deserved beer!

Beer, glorious beer…

Just finished up a three day shoot with Melbourne videography extraordinaire, Paul Arcus. The project is for Little Creatures, and had us covering three events which the label took part in during ‘Good Beer Week’ in Melbourne. Today we were at the Melbourne Exhibition Building for ‘The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular’. It was an amazing sight: great food, music, and hordes of ‘hopheads’ mulling about, sipping on samples of the craftiest beer Australia has to offer. Can’t really say much else yet, except that it has been a hell of a lot of fun, and I’m really looking forward to knuckling down into the edit.

My Shortlist Promo Animation

I recently completed a little animation with the help of incredibly talented Melbourne artist, Blake Raidal. The 30 second clip promotes a new online recruitment agency called MyShortlist.net, and was created using After Effects, Photoshop, and Viz Artist.
The brief from the client was to create an animated advertisement that was dynamic, fast paced, polished, and delivered a clear visual message that complimented the voice-over.

GodWolf – ‘Alone’ Music Video

I’ve recently been producer on a music video. A 2-day shoot, shot using the Red Epic. See post below for more info.
Very happy with the results.

Producing a Music Video

For the past two weeks I have been frantically producing a music video for Melbourne band, ‘GodWolf’.
We were allocated a very limited amount of time for pre-production, as the band requested the clip be ready for the release of their EP on March 29. However, it all came together relatively smoothly, with a cast and crew of 12, and an ambitious concept. Shooting took place over two days on a large white cyc wall at a studio in Dandenong, and was shot using a Red Epic.

Producer – Thomas Kinsman
Director – Max Miller
Cinematographer – Allyn Laing
1st AD – Yasmin Shevki
Talent – Joe Kosky & Sophie Wright
Camera Ast – Dale Woodrow, Janelle Low, Christiaan Boni
Grip – Austin Haigh
Art Dept – Genevieve Shrayer
Makeup – Emma D

The clip’s concept centers around the idea that two people can share the same space without ever ‘being together’. The concept is explored through the story of a girl and a boy, both coexisting in one room, but without ever knowing of each other’s existence due to their centre of gravity being pulled in opposite directions.
Confused? I certainly was when I read the first paragraph of the treatment, but I can assure you the clip will make perfect sense when you see it…



Janelle Low, 2013

The launch of GodWolf’s EP will take place at Ding Dong lounge in Melbourne’s CBD on March 29 @ 19:30.

‘Dead Heart of The City’ Short Film Shoot

I just came off a short film shoot for local Melbourne filmmaker, Max Miller. The film’s narrative follows the turbulent disintegration of a relationship between two twenty-somethings (played by local actors, Spencer Scholz & Rain Fuller). A last minute addition to the crew, I was invited to the production as 1st Assistant Director, and despite my late arrival to the project, walked out of it satisfied with all I’d contributed. I had a lot of fun, and also came away having met a fantastic new bunch of passionate and hard-working guys and girls.

Image courtesy of Figure09

Update

It’s been a while since I last posted an update, but I am happy to say I’ve since kept busy on a handful of new projects. More to come…

Cartoon from the New Yorker by PC Vey.

The SBSB

Last week I sat down with Max to cut a promotional trailer for collaborative live-art project ‘The Stream / The Boat / The Shore / The Bridge’. The experience will be running on the Yarra River as a part of the 2012 Next Wave festival in Melbourne. According to the artists, the project explores notions of perspective, expression, connections, and decision-making. ‘The Stream / The Boat / The Shore / The Bridge’ featured recently in an article published in The Age. The trailer can be viewed below:

imagraphicartist blog

I just started a new blog off the back of a newly discovered enjoyment – drawing posters.
Currently taking requests…
imagraphicartist.tumblr.com

Below is an example of my work.

‘There Was A Man’ – Animation on toilet paper

I started this short animation a while back, but only managed to put the finishing touches on it last week.
Each frame was hand drawn on a square of toilet paper using a Sharpie, then scanned on a green sheet ready for compositing in After Effects.
I wish I could give you some backstory to the poem, but like most written by anonymous poets, I guess it’ll have to remain a mystery.
Enjoy.

‘Kappa’

Last weekend I spent some time acting in a short for long-time friend David Jackson. From what I’m told, the 5 min Pleasant Productions film is an abstract ode to shared accommodation and David Lynch. Enjoy!

 

‘Three Questions’ – a short documentary.

A Max Milne, Thomas Kinsman, Adam Hunt, and Harry Aronsten collaboration. Recommended viewing in fullscreen mode, and with headphones.

Post-production complete!

This Sunday I was enthused to see through the completion of a short documentary I edited called ‘Three Questions’.
The collaborative project took several months to forge, with it’s sound mix and colour grade finally coming together this weekend. Melbourne post wiz Harry Aronsten from Pine Fresh Media recently came on board as colourist on the project, and put a final spit and polish to the pictures. Adam Hunt somehow managed to impress us even more, by showing up with an evocative sound mix and ambient score which really blew both myself and the documentary’s director, Max, out of the water. Weeks after I handed over the final edit, I think I reacted very differently to watching the project in it’s final form. It was both a relief and a shock to see how the marriage of refined audio and pictures, can elevate a film’s overall conviction and coherence, so significantly. It honestly felt as though I was watching a different film.
‘Three Questions’ will be screening at a number of short film festivals in the coming months.
Thanks to Max Milne (Director), Adam Hunt (Sound), and Harry Aronsten (Colourist).

‘A Kaleidoscope of Noise’

On Saturday night, I journeyed out to Revolt in Kensington, to film a bunch of the impressive performances that made up the micro sound-art festival ‘Circle Jerk’.
The visceral event took place over the course of 6 hours, and contained approximately 30 sets from some of Melbourne’s most prolific and innovative contemporary sound artists, performing on two dedicated performance areas – one of which contained more than 100 speakers.
The night was an absolute ball-tearing success, and despite the unfortunate scheduling of the Meredith music festival on the same weekend, there was a surprisingly large turnout for the show.
Hats off to the curators.

48 Hours in Lockdown. . .

I’ve been in lock-down for the past 48 hours. The last two days have been spent with Adam Hunt and Max Milne, in creative isolation, as we carefully put together the crux of what will certainly become the final cut of the ‘Three Questions’ documentary.

Working out of Adam’s fantastic little backyard studio in Preston, our goal going into the weekend was to bring coherency and form to an immense set of interviews which provide many explanations for fundamental human questions.
It was our mission to discover and explore the connections that exist between common ideas pertaining to God, Death, and Home – to expose the similarities that exist between many different every-day cultural beliefs and concepts.
Kind of voluminous stuff to address, don’t you think? In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s the most challenging premise I’ve ever had to survey – for that very reason. Where do you start when dealing with something like that? Well, I think now it is safe to say that the answer was to find the simplest method for relating to a character, and use that as the pathway. We focused on the stories they told. And so, three stories have become the crux for each question / answer.

Honestly, I feel like I have been wrenched into a phenomenal investigation surrounding what means to be human. Collaborating with others on this investigation has made it all the more pleasurable – Which I think is funny considering how often I attribute the meaning of life to the collectivist notion ‘work, be with, have purpose’. I guess it’s my own answer to the big questions. . . and if you boil it down, it’s really not so different to anyone else’s.
It’s been a very enjoyable journey so far, and I’ve relished the challenges and ideas the project has presented.
I also had an amazing time collaborating with Max and Adam – two very talented artists in their own right, and I have come away from the weekend feeling completely exhausted and immensely satisfied.

I will now be spending the next week putting the finishing touches on the project’s final edit.

You can see a trailer for the film here: http://pool.abc.net.au/media/three-questions

Adam Hunt is currently curating a sound exhibition called ‘Circle Jerk’, as part of the ‘What is Music Festival’ on December 10th. Details on the show can be found here: http://circlejerk.com.au/about

Mega Delta Force 9 – The VHS Trailer

I just posted a new video in the gallery. The video is a faux trailer for a film called ‘Mega Delta Force 9′, and was a little collaboration between Seamus Duffy and myself. As you can probably see, we had a lot of fun with the project, and I owe a big thanks to Justin Gibson, Ben Capp, Max Milne, Bec Hulme, and Jamie-Lee O’Shae for helping out.

Shot on both the Canon 5D and a H-16 REX-5 16mm Bolex, our aim was to present a work that reflects many low-budget ozploitation films of the late 70s and early 80s. At first I was a bit apprehensive about the marriage of film and HD, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to treat the high-res video, so that it sat comfortably beside the 16mm film footage. HD certainly has come a long way in the last decade.

New Project

I recently begun editing a 10 min documentary for talented photographer and visionary Max Milne (maxmilne.com.au). The project focuses on three fundamental questions relating to spirituality, religion, and death. As broad as the topic sounds, it appears as though Max has managed to collect some fascinating and coherent responses from a diverse slice of the public pie. Each talking head presents a curious perspective on fundamental questions as old as thought itself. After some deliberation regarding mac and pc cross-compatibility, Max and I have chosen to cut the project using Premiere.

This will be the first project in seven years I have edited using Premiere (a program I’d long since abandoned). As such, I’m kind of keen to freshen up on my knowledge of Premiere, and determine if/what improvements have been made to a program I cut my teeth on. Excited to be a part of the project!

First Post

Here is my first post, in what will hopefully be a consistent blog that keeps you up to date with the obscure, interesting, mundane, and inspiring.

I wasn’t really sure what to post first, but eventually decided on putting up a frame from a short animation I’ve been working on. As you can see in the pic, the frames are hand-drawn on single squares of toilet paper, which are then scanned on a green background – ready for key and composition in After Effects.

I’ll post the short film in the video gallery when it’s completed.