Nearly two months ago now we worked on a video for an up and coming artist – Lil Trigarow Swag – who recorded a rap with two mates over Wiz Khalifa’s “Black & Yellow”.
The experience has been an interesting one – the Producer pulled together a team of people (including ourselves) who saw an opportunity to create something interesting in support of a good cause – creativity and passion! Trig and his two mates – the twins, V.I.C and Daley – recorded their version hunched over a tape deck in their dorm rooms and woke up the next morning to txts and messages praising them for their efforts. The Producer of the project – a former MAGS student – heard the track and sought out a team to put a music video together.
We’re still cracking away behind the scenes here! We’ve attached two of our team blogs to pixelati.com: I’m posting my personal stuff on my own blog called “the interactivist anarchitect” at damiencaine.pixelati.com and Tom, programmer extraordinaire, is posting his technical musings on tommulgrew.pixelati.com. Check ’em out and subscribe to the RSS feeds for much goodness!
I’ll be updating my personal blog more than this one; it’ll be full of general ramblings about games, music and movies I like as well as personal insights from my work in various fields.
We’re still working in the music scene – we’ve got an all-weekend video edit on at the moment! – and I’m constantly reminded how awesome it is to be able to witness the development of some incredible talent up close and personal. Talent like the three-man pop-rock powerhouse shown here: Crescendo Mafia. I have a bit more to say on the interactivist about this great new New Zealand band – check it out if you like this video!
In February of this year we embarked on an ambitious video project for Illegal Musik – the making of twomusic videos for the J Williams song “You Got Me” featuring NZ’s prominent rap icon, Scribe. The first video would be traditional 2D – the second would be a first in NZ: the first all live 3D music video.
This was a first for all involved on many levels (Pixelati, 3D Live and Illegal Musik) – and we put it together in only eight days. We also edited and graded the 2D video within three days of the shoot so the time pressures on this project led to extra stress and drama that nevertheless contributed to a very interesting and unforgettable experience : ).
The Location – K Road Ballroom & Pull Bar
Once we’d decided to go ahead with the combined 2D and 3D project – only eight days out from the day we needed to shoot the video – the pressure was on to find a location that gave us a number of options settings-wise. Teresa, the manager of the K Road Ballrooms, was extremely accommodating and smoothed the way for us at this difficult time by giving us full access and allowing us to make minor ‘tweaks’ and adjustments for the shoot.
If you haven’t been to the K Road Ballroom before, make sure to head along to 214 K Road and check out the spacious location! Besides the main pool room (the primary set for the video) there is also the snazzy Pull Bar out the back – a setting we used for shots that can be seen in the 3D video.
There was also a great concrete alleyway downstairs which served as a perfect spot for an urban backing for Scribe’s verse.
To top it all off, K Road Ballroom has its own pizza-maker extraordinaire who provided us with an excellent meal at the end of the day – if nothing else, make sure to head along there and try their pizzas – I’ve been back a few times already ; ).
We made a video for DJCXL of Illegal Musik. Matt Meikle was the DP for the shoot and worked under crazy conditions and produced amazing results. He’s DPing our current project with Illegal Musik.
Thanks to everyone who helped out under the most potentially stressful conditions – Frith, our amazing Camera Assist; Spencer, NZ lighting legend; Teri, Luke and everyone else on the cast and crew!
Special thanks go out to Grace from Red Bull (who kindly hung in there for us while the shoot went on without power… : ), the immortal Andrew Brown, colourist extraordinaire ; ) and Trinette and the other immensely accommodating team at Toybox <— click that link – they have an amazing showreel!
Our next video is going to be lots of fun – we’re shooting today… (more soon!)
Favourite link of the week is ThruYOU – in which an enterprising chap from Israel called Kutiman mashes Youtube clips together to create great music (there’s a personal fave embedded below). If you click through to the Youtube vids themselves you can see all the individual videos that make up the song in the information panel to the right of each clip. Well worth checking out!
Available in full on Youtube is the 26 minute animated short film “The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello“. With a sepia silhouetty aesthetic and a cinematic gravity from the start, this little film tells a creepy tale with style!
And finally, a compelling argument for David Fincher’s Fight Club being based on Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes – Ed Norton is Calvin and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) is his imaginary friend, Hobbes… Oh, and Marla is Susie Derkins reborn. Go and read! You will soon be convinced of Fincher’s homage ; ).
At the end of last year we caught DJCXL on his Tuesday night radio show on BaseFM. He laid down a 2 hour mix with live freestyling from MC Bling in the last half hour – too good to miss.
The great thing about BaseFM is their mix show format that values the creative: DJs play for two hours from their own record collections – Base don’t dictate prescribed playlists, so what you get is fresh music from people who care. No more high rotate sledgehammer numbness!
This Pixelati-produced clip from November 08 was captured at Zen bar in Auckland for the final Shake dance party of the year. It’s a showcase of the skill of various members of the Prestige Dance Crew alongside shots of the general public boogeying on down to DJCXL on the turntable.
New Zealand’s dance scene in general has advanced a great deal in the last few years – in fact, we ran into an old friend at Starbucks in Aotea Square last night while filming the Danger Balls video blog: he used to be a 3D modeller and is now a swing dancer extraordinaire. He’s a member of NZ’s School of Swing Dance – Jitterbugs (Big ups Aiden!). Creative people never cease to amaze me with their diverse interests : ).
The mix on this soundtrack was put together by DJCXL.
Turksta over on Scratchdat.com has posted a mint two-part “appreciation” post about NZ’s DJCXL – he talks about the influence CXL has had on other DJs and the quality of his skills as a turntablist and mixmaker. In Part One he links to a Pixelati-made vid of old (as shot by our man in J-pan – the Haksta) with CXL in the practice room laying out his routine from the 2004 DMC comps.
Hip Hop Freestyling is the art of improvisational poetics – writing poetry “on the spot”. The thing about freestyling, though, is that you don’t have the luxury of freeform or avant garde delivery (not if you want to be known as a competent freestyler anyway xD) – you have to think quickly, be on time and you have to rhyme (for the most part).
A few weeks ago Pixelati caught Palestinian-born New Zealand MC MC Bling (aka Imagine This) dropping a twenty minute freestyle on DJCXL’s radio show for BaseFM. The performance was part of a longer video article on DJCXL’s radio show “The Champ Is Here” (which we’ll be uploading soon). An edited version of the clip below appears in the forthcoming video but we thought we’d release this longer version to showcase Bling’s impressive freestyle skills.