Tuesday, 9 February 2010

found footage music video for "From Stardust to Sentience" by High Places

Hello dogshowhelloers! Have I got a treat for you today or what!

From Stardust to Sentience (video by Sam Mildner, song by High Places) from Sam Mildner on Vimeo.



I've been compiling an archive of "found" footage for quite a while now, and this is the first time I've made any of my experiments publicly viewable.

The idea to make a music video came about after I wanted to try cutting sympathetically to music. After this was decided it was a logical step to choose "From Stardust to Sentience" - aside from the fact that I love the song, it has a definite beat, musical variations, and a feeling of nostalgia, which suited the nature of the found footage.

In my original email to the band I outlined the following intentions for the video:

"As for the project, I'm using the title of the song as a key thematic element - however, I feel the song to be not only about the literal birth of the universe, but also consciousness, realization and growth.

As such I'm using joyous, lyrical images and cutting very sympathetically to the music - I hope to open with images of childhood and end with a couple walking off into a mountain range (although this is subject to change!)

The idea being that over the course of the song we have witnessed an individual's journey from (wait for it!) stardust to sentience. YEAH!!!

There's going to be lots of nostalgic childhood imagery, nature, images of flying and ascent, mountains and, of course, high places :-D "

As you will have no doubt seen by now, I stuck pretty close to the original plan, but changed the end section (the couple in the mountains) to the middle section of the song. I did this because it fit my understanding of that moment's emotional core, but also because it allowed me to end the video with the "snapshot" look at a man's life.

After collating the footage I knew that this would be the most affecting way to end the video, a bittersweet look back at life, but whilst still acknowledging that life goes on.

Since I've been working on this video pretty non-stop I don't really have any perspective yet, but I think I'm quite pleased with the result - hopefully you, and High Places, agree!

more exciting posts to come soon!

sam sam

PS. If you would like a better quality version of the video just send me an email :-D

PPS. If you like High Places, you should support them by visiting their blog and buying their albums! Here's some handy links!







Monday, 1 February 2010

animated life - heron tower

Hello again dogshowhello-ers! This is a project I was working on whilst I was working at St. Bart's hospital, and created as a flip book (with accompanying text pieces) for my London Film School application.

After having a bit of a rethink I've recreated it as an animated gif - time now loops for infinity, always cycling forwards and then backwards. I think this an interesting way to present this content on the internet, and I hope you do too.

Below the gif is the original explaination and though process behind the piece - perhaps I will one day present it as it was originally intended :-D

Heron Tower GIF Project

animation,art,bending time,dogshowhello,film,forwards and backwards,four dimensional travel,gif,heron tower

Original Project Outline


"Throughout my life I have always been fascinated with film, and in particular the way motion, and therefore life, can be captured in a series of still moments. Resurrection of this dead time was always a thrill to me, so much so that at the age of three my father came home to find his entire box of still photography film used up; on hesitantly paying to process these rolls of film my parents discovered hundreds of near identical pictures of my toys.



As it turns out I had attempted to infuse these objects of cheap plastic with the life I regularly gave them in my mind; on flicking through these photographs one could see the jerking beginnings of animated life – though primitive, there was a form of life on these photographs that couldn’t exist anywhere else except in my mind.



This knowledge of cinema’s ability to control both life and death, manipulate reality into impossible shapes and create entire tangible universes from the embers of imagination has never left me, and is a strong reason behind why I remain fascinated with film.



This Heron Tower art project is based around two things; daily routine and the power of juxtaposed images. As discussed, I have always been fascinated with the way a collection of still images can make conventional space-time logic malleable, and this project is the modern day incarnation of this wonder.



Film’s ability to animate the still is something I have explored in this project by melding it with thoughts of routine. This project came to me after I had recovered from a knee operation and had started walking four miles to, and from, work every day. On my walks to and from work I pass the Heron Tower building project near Liverpool Street station twice every day, and do so at almost exactly the same time each day.



Growing disillusioned with the everyday work routine I found myself feeling stuck in a rut; it was as if time wasn’t passing, but instead repeated the same pattern of events day after day. Heron Tower seemed to echo this thought – even though I walked past every day its building work never seemed to progress.



As an attempt to show that time most certainly was passing I took to standing on the same spot each day that I passed and taking a photo of the building – after amassing several photos I began to see the that time was most certainly going past. Looking at Heron Tower construct itself, and then destruct when flipped the other way, made me both happy and sad.



I was amazed at the way I had captured my own aspect of reality – for the moments I was looking at my real world flip book I was in control of time. Simultaneously however I also felt that this series of photos evoked a melancholic air; it’s tragic that we seldom notice time passing until it is gone, because we are so stuck in the minutia of our existences.



With this in mind I combined the project with a daily list of what foodstuffs I eat and at what time, in this way both the banal and the philosophical juxtapose and communicate the strange experience of working a 9-5 job. I find it fitting that after each identical day I am left with only these two articles proving the previous day actually occurred – I suppose sharing them is an attempt to hold onto this ‘lost’ time.



I hope to display the project as an art installation, but until then I ask that you watch this building tumble forward, then backwards, through time and experience the same feeling I felt when I was three years old and taking photos with my father’s camera."



I hope you found that interesting, sorry it's a lot of text!

sam sam