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Clockwork: An Introduction

COW Blogs : Sterling_76's Blog : Clockwork: An Introduction

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When does awesome become a nightmare?

So, there I was. Just over a year left to graduate with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Most of my friends knew that I was really into the film classes and artist video classes I was/had taken. A friend and his bandmates asked me if I'd be willing make a music video for them. Quick background info: at the time, I just turned 29; the youngest guy in the band was in his mid-30s; and, none of them had ever seen my video projects.

The lead singer/drummer said if I wanted to have a shot of a dead squirrel, like the one his 10 year old daughter pointed out to him, for the 4:17 long track (m:ss) would be really cool. I asked for other ideas. Here's the awesome part: I was told I could do whatever I want. And, whenever I get it done, they'd throw me a party.

At first, I thought it was a good deal. I was perfecting my starving artist role in society, so a free party, in payment for something I'd like to do, was pretty cool.

Being the silly person that I am, I forgot Murphy's Laws of Video: whenever you agree on a deadline, add a few more days to that, unless your computer crashes mid-render; then, you're hosed. I was offered the project in Sept, told the band I should have something polished by Feb. Definitely doable. But, I had forgotten about the 14 credits I was enrolled in when I took the "job."

Luckily for me, Adobe Production Studio was coming out. I told the band about it and how I could do this and that and blah blah blah. They bought it. I told them it would take me a while to learn Premiere and After Effects (I was using Vegas before), and I would have to figure out a way convert the stuff I had done from Vegas to Premiere or AE. They were fine with that.

So, I get a pass for the Spring semester. I then enroll full-time for the summer and fall semesters so I can finally graduate. It was getting kinda creepy being 30 and hanging out with 18-20 year olds. The music video was definitely on the back burner, now.

Fast forward (ooh! 3 months!) to a week ago. It turns out my friend in the band is opening up a street art inspired or themed gallery and have a cafe/bar reserved for two or three weeks during Madison's Art Fair on the Square while he still looks for a suitable gallery space. His band is also having a CD release party during this as well. Guess what question I was asked. "So, Sterling. How's that video coming along? What's it going to look like?"

Here's my plan for the look and feel of the video: get a handful of A Scanner Darkly and a handful of Sin City. Toss them in a blender. Empty the contents onto an aluminum pie pan. Microwave the mixture on the pan for the maximum length of time before the microwave explodes.

This is all possible to get done. I hope. I have from now till the beginning of July to get it done. July 13th at the very latest. But, I also work 3rd shift at a large format print production facility, and I'm still trying to figure out a good set of hours to sleep. Why can't the days be 29 hours long? I'd be set!

If you couldn't tell from the title and rambling, I'm making a music video called "Clockwork". I have 3 months to get it done. I have no budget. I'm going to try to make it in HD (suicidal?). Luckily, I don't have to worry about actors. I'm going to animate a lot of it and use myself as the model, for now.

This is just one of two or three blog series I'm starting here. I'll use this blog for a way to document my progress for myself and so others can learn from my mistakes. You should have caught the first one already: when you plate is over-full now, don't immediately ask for seconds and dessert ... you might just get it.

I've re-read this after I've got some sleep to see if it makes more sense. Smile


It Blends!
by Sterling_76

My personal favorite Will It Blend is the video camera. Sadly, they had to take down "Video Camera Part 2: The Return" due to undisclosed circumstances.

As far as the story of the video goes, the song tells most of the story. It is a bit disturbing and Tool-like if you take the lyrics as a visual cue like I'm planning on doing. It describes a person's decline in sanity and hope until they seek "salvation".

In addition to above-mentioned styles, I'm also inspired by the videos that Adam Jones of Tool made for the band (

, Sober, Aenema, Stinkfist, Hush) and the artwork in James O'Barr's The Crow.

Will it Blend!
by Tim Wilson

The Will it Blend video of a baseball in a blender is amazing. I'm definitely looking for a way to fit it into my blog too.

I agree with your point, Filip. Better to get advice than make a mess on purpose...although I'm loving your image, Sterling, of emptying out the blended goo onto an aluminum plate, and putting into a microwave until it explodes.

Creativty that blows up. Sweetness.

Will it blend ?
by Filip Vandueren
They're a grunge-y band (I gather from your site) and they don't want to be in their own video ? Points for them ! 
Here's my plan for the look and feel of the video: get a handful of A Scanner Darkly and a handful of Sin City. Toss them in a blender. Empty the contents onto an aluminum pie pan. Microwave the mixture on the pan for the maximum length of time before the microwave explodes.

I hope the result won't look like what you see on "Will it blend ?" I really think you should think about the story you want to tell before committing to a look.

Is the look the story ? Was it in Sin City or ASD ?

The idea is everything, I'm sure I don't have to point you to "

" to convince you how a wellexecuted idea beats a million-dollar video

So, keep us posted, and ask around on the forums !

Good luck. 

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