Music Video – Pip Mountjoy, Your Skeleton.

In many ways, my second music video is similar to my first. It uses the same technique of speeding up pictures to create a living animation (such is my paranoia that my digital camera and program always makes my normal footage look awful). They both use the geography and landscape of a particular area to emphasise the music and lyrics. The main difference comes from the music naturally needing different aspects to be brought out. Whereas Nadine Carina’s was a floating, ambiguous piece of music, Pip Mountjoy’s Your Skeleton is far more fixed, paired down song. Your Skeleton conjures some dark images but they didn’t need bringing out. With that in mind, the video should hopefully looks like a cross between a stop-motion film and a moving Polaroid image.

Instead, focus was put onto defining Pip’s sound through colours and location so I ventured up to a Druid temple near where she lives in the Yorkshire Dales called The Bivouac to shoot the video. Sharpness is not something I can really achieve in these videos for a number of reasons. My camera is not designed predominately for filming, my software is cheap and not designed to make anything look decent (tip for those looking to edit videos creatively, avoid any program by Magix) and YouTube isn’t a platform that naturally supports the video files as it’s a very delicate form which is easily degraded. It often distorts and pixelates my videos, especially with this technique and there’s sadly little I can do without investing in more software I simply cannot afford.

However, I’m still happy with the video. Pip’s song (and whole EP) is a wonderfully evocative slice of folk, ripe to be put with visuals. Another song of hers, November 64, is just asking for a story-type video though sadly my technology limits me too much to attempt such a project at this time. One improved aspect of this video is that far less of the video footage is from actual recorded video and 95% of it is in fact made of photographs. The technique is extremely tricky to get right when it comes to syncing with vocals but, with Pip’s song, with exception to some of the lyrically acrobatic verses, the vocals have been a lot easier to align correctly to purely animated footage.

My next project is moving away from digital (I said this last time but a few other projects turned up that required it) hopefully for good outside of commercial work (which may die itself if I don’t sort out my camera and software). When I see music videos for other local artists by local music video makers (always in digital), I always feel partly envious of how glossy they look (down purely to their technology). Though some elements of live performance are of course inevitable in a music video, it’s something I personally want to get away from as it just screams of the inverse ratio between quality of equipment and quality of ideas. In 8mm (the format I’ll hopefully be shooting on in the future) there is no choice but to innovate and be creative; two aspects that are vital to music videos but two aspects so readily ignored at the moment. I hope then, that I have been true to Pip and her music by making her a video through a technique with more parallels with her musical genre than a more typical video maker would have done.





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