Been working on my live brief for a client these past two days, as we agreed the start of March as a deadline date. It was 80% done, with just small niggling jobs that needed tweaking on the video. These niggling jobs have turned into larger jobs than I expected, but I’m glad I’ve rationed enough time to manage to sort them out. Timing on the video has been the worst to sort out, as my mac often ran out of ram space when trying to pre-render parts. It’s been frustrating indeed, but so worth it - I’m so pleased with the final piece. I just need to do a full-res render of it now, which I can hopefully do at Soup tomorrow whilst having a wander around the carnival.
Went down to Soup today over dinner to discuss the Dennis & Lois brief. I only expected the meeting to last about half an hour, but that quickly turned in to 2 hours!
I knew that Mat & Mark had 80 hours worth of audio and footage of Dennis & Lois, but I hadn’t realised they’d been collecting it over a period of 6 years & so the subject is something they’re close to. This brief is something that they’ve wanted to do for a while & will initially start off as an experiment. The initial idea is still there - to produce a website, with all the documentary style footage on, so that other creatives, or indeed anyone, could produce their own video response to the footage. Discussion however was based mostly around how the website would be set up, as the idea is to get whoever is viewing the website to not be influenced by the creators suggestions of what to watch. The viewer is encouraged to find their own pathway through the videos. They had Pete a web developer in from ‘down the hall!’ & he’s going to look into how possible this would be.
There’s no timeframes set in stone as of yet. The website has been created, but it’s obviously just a blank page right now. I suggested that I get the logo sorted as soon as possible, so it can be put up along with a still & teaser audio. I’ll aim to have that done within the next few weeks. As for my video, hoping to get a teaser 10-15 seconds done by the end of March. Nothing totally set in stone yet, but they’re brief outlines I’m going to work to.
…what my nmp brief is is by using this quite classic example. Here the makers, Josh Raskin & Jerry Levitan, have taken the dialogue from a John Lennon interview & visually interpreted it. The illustrations within this are wonderful - I’ve posted about this before, so I won’t say too much about it again. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a lovely little watch!
Video: Previously posted up some Badly Drawn Boy album covers by Andy Votel, which really inspired me for the video I’m going to make. They’re incredibly detailed, the style would really suit D&L’s stories & reflect their numerous, quirky possessions. Another style I’d really like to try is the use of toys to depict the narrative, something along the lines of the Talk Talk advert (posted). D&L are avid toy collectors, so this could look really nice - I’ve got an old doll’s house & some of my brothers old toys are in the attic somewhere.
In terms of what I’ve been looking at for the identity: As this is the nmp, I don’t want to rush into anything & have started off by trying things by hand. I’ve started off by looking into band logos, things that they have in common & what would possibly suit D&L. Having done this, I realised something more hand-drawn could suit D&L quite well. The thing about fusing New York & Manchester keeps ringing in my mind though & Tash suggested looking at some old New York clubs & doing something with these - there’s some great typography knocking around to be inspired by. Here’s a lovely example that Tash pointed me to:
Also started to note down quirky little things that the couple mention in their stories - these range from license plates to thunderbirds pasta, so there’s much more research & other things to look at. These are all initial thoughts anyway, still lots of experiments to get through before I start to finalise anything.
I’ve recently been doing a brief for Soup - as Soup is a collective I’ve become to want to work with when I finish uni, I decided to ask them if I could do a brief for/with them for my nmp. They’ve been collecting footage from a couple called Dennis & Lois, documenting their stories about how they know almost every band in punk/rock & the ties that they have through this to the Manchester music scene. The idea was to collate all this footage onto a website & to invite creatives to make a visual interpretation of the pieces of dialogue. The website will appeal to both creatives & music fans alike.
The brief is to create one of the first videos that will be put on the website. The piece I have chosen comes from Dennis, talking about the first time he & Lois met Frank Sidebottom and he tried to explain football to them. I believe a few other people are working on this brief as well with different dialogues, so the website should have a couple of videos on when it’s launched in (hopefully) May time. To keep part of the brief to myself, I suggested that the site needed an identity and idents to tie all the uploaded videos together. Depending on how heavily I experiment, I may also develop a typeface for the website if I have enough time.
I have come to realise that I really have a passion for motion, so what better way to finish uni by doing a brief on an area you’re particularly passionate about. This brief is like a double passion for me, because I’m really in to music as well, so to do a motion piece based on a couple really in to their music….just brilliant!
Some nmp research here; having talked to Mat from Soup about my nmp, he mentioned that they wanted to fuse New York with Manchester for this brief. I mentioned this to Tash the other day & she suggested looking at some iconic New York clubs & I’ve come across this one called Arlene’s Grocery. Put up the website because it’s rather unusual for a club website - they’ve obviously really played on the grocery shop idea & it’s worked well. It’s certainly stood out to me more than all of the other websites I’ve been looking through. The Ramon & Dylan poster shown on the page is rather lovely too!
After Tash kindly provided me with the Badly Drawn Boy album artist’s name, Andy Votel, I’ve stumbled upon an online print shop selling his prints…and what beautiful prints they are! I’m a lover of really bold simple images, so these prints are right up my street. Some prints however still show the versatility in his work; one shows a comic book look & others show some ornate hand drawn type.
In fact, check out the whole site! Seriously considering buying the Superman vector portrait…
I’ve already done two of these, so here’s my final 3. These range from achievable, to an absolute dream job.
Doodledomotion: I’ve been looking at this company quite recently & keep an eye on them on Facebook for updates. They specialise in motion (as the name suggests!) creating animation or creative motion pieces for TV. Having looked at their portfolio of work (& admittedly, using some as inspiration!) I would have loved to work on every brief they’ve covered (see photo 1). This has the potential to become an achievable aspiration as I’ve allowed my passion for motion to flourish in recent side projects and the nmp to build up this area of my portfolio. The next step would be to approach them either with a bit of work or to ask for a placement!
Own company/collective: This is something I have had my heart set on for quite some time. Having attended Robert’s lectures on the money side, I don’t really fear that as I’m really organised - especially when it comes to money. I always wanted to start small, perhaps selling something on Etsy, which I have plans to do over summer if possible. I’ve come to realise however, it’s not something I could do on my own. Having said that, I would really have to get along with whoever I set it up with & not be afraid to tell them their idea isn’t working. I’ve grown in confidence to begin to think about this more seriously as my friend has recently set up her own business & seems to be doing rather well. So well, that hopefully her & her partner will be seeing their designs in shops very soon! Having seen so many people do it successfully, I can’t see why it wouldn’t be an achievable goal.
Films: This one is not really going to be that concise, but I would love to work on anything to do with films, be it the intricate details within the mise-en-scene or the opening title sequence. I thrive on being a perfectionist, so to work on small details within the mise-en-scene of a film (like all the books shown in the introduction of Se7en, or the make believe branding when a character sets up their own company) would be something I’d thoroughly enjoy. Also, to do the opening title sequences of a film would be amazing. A particular favourite of mine is the opening titles for Catch Me If You Can. The animators, Olivier Kuntzel and Florence Deygas, who are both graphic designers, collaborate on most of their work & set up their own production company called Add A Dog. Just goes to show you that these two setting up a business together & collaborating produced one of the most famous & influential film title sequences.
There’s two people that I think are actually living my fantasy job & that’s these guys:
For me, that would be my fantasy job - being in a band. Just being able to stand in front of all those people, hearing them sing the words that you’ve written. Guy Garvey probably has the slight upper hand in fantasy job status, considering he’s wrote a song which has joined the ranks of ‘Hey Jude’ & yet he can still get a tram from Bury into town without being pestered (much). I cannot even begin to explain how much I’d love this job. I would of course be able to keep the graphics up by creating the band’s identity, artwork & videos, as I would not want to totally abandon my other love!
I know this will always be a fantasy because a) cats within a hundred miles scream when I try to sing & b) standing in front of hundreds of thousands of people would leave me in a quivering heap upon the floor. I’ve also tried to be in a band before. We broke up. Musical differences. That, and the guitarist threw a blunt object at my head for playing the introduction to Shakermaker once too often.
Now, before I totally train wreck this post, this fantasy job does have an element of reality to it. I’d love to be involved with designing festival graphics and/or videos for a band or even the motion videos that play when a band is on. I guess I’ve got one foot on the ladder with this doing some work for Soup, as they’ve done just that for Elbow. Plus, my outside brief is a music video, so it puts me in good stead towards making this fantasy job a realistic dream.
Just a little site I’ve been trawling around for some inspiration. I’ve been keeping a small book to gather lovely little things I’ve seen & jot down my initial brief ideas. Definitely rooted myself in to doing a motion piece for my fmp; I’ve thought about where I wanted to work when I’ve graduated & a little motion graphics company would suit me down to the ground.
With the briefs I’ve come up with, they don’t totally abandon the communication side of graphics, they will require some form of rebranding/logo/advertising within them (well obviously a motion piece still communicates…but you catch my drift!) As well as this, I’ve broken them all down into either daily projects, or weekly projects - I know I’ll go off the scent if I spend 15 weeks on one thing. I know my mind. It likes to wander.
Got half my little black book filled & I’m going down to Soup tomorrow to have a chat with them, to see if any of my ideas fit in with any work they’ve got on & if they can link in any way. Doing a separate brief along side them at the moment & I love it. They’re a great company & have produced some fantastic work with/for people who I personally admire. Check them out: http://www.soupcollective.co.uk/
Just spotted this on Twitter & had to put it up on here because it’s along the lines of what I’ve been thinking about for my fmp. I liked the idea of visualising something everyday, possibly by using simple illustrator based animations (as I tend to default to Photoshop) to build up my illustrator skills.
Anyway, the link shows the hours of videos that are uploaded to Youtube every second & what that equates to. I think it’s done on html 5, but it’s just brilliant - lovely idea. Getting the cogs in motion for my fmp…
Finally got my dissertation draft done & dusted yesterday. Good news it’s done…not so good news - it’s over 8000 words. Apparently, I like to talk. Whether or not the content is good is another story entirely. Suppose it’s better to cut down than to add!
Relieved it’s done though now, on to more exciting work!
It would have been better if I could put here that my dissertation was finished, but it’s not. I have however managed to re-draft what I’ve already written, so I’ll essentially be submitting a second draft, which I’m chuffed about. Intro & chapter 2 is completely finished, with half of 1 and 3 to go, so it’s getting there. Hand in is the 24th anyway, so it’ll be done before then.
Received a lovely phone call from Mark from Soup today concerning my outside brief, just having a catch up where I was up to. I’m basically making a video, but I can’t really say much more. I sent the client a taster video before christmas & it went down really well, however because of an anticipated Spring-time release, I’ll have to change the colour scheme slightly - but it’s nothing too major. I thought I’d need to have it finished by the end of January, but due to things being pushed back, I’ve got until mid-feb to get it completed, so I’ll really be able to make a really good job of it. Hopefully be setting up a little private sort of Tumblr soon to submit to, then get direct feedback from the client (Tash, Mark said we can get you a password for it so you can keep a beady eye on it also ;) but hopefully the finished product should be up here in March sometime. I’ve pretty much got full reign of what I’m producing but it was lovely to hear that I could just pop down to the studio or get in touch if I had any problems. I’m excited to really get on with this now & do it justice. It’s a nice break from the relentless, dry dissertation reading/writing.