Tag Archives: Vimeo

Music Mess


It’s that time of year again– Finals week!

Of course, with the screwy classes that I take, this usually means that there’s a lot more project-oriented work going on, and a lot less test-taking, compared to others. Last year, I had three studio/production classes, and the studio time almost killed me. I vowed never to let that happen again.

This year, I again have three studio/production classes, but with the added pressure of the Lisagor video project (now passed, of course). I don’t learn my lessons. I don’t have any more studio time, though– it’s all video production at this point.

I really like audio/video production. Usually I’m not a very nitpicky person, but I just can’t get enough of the little annoying things that make such production work a time-consuming mess, especially in audio, but that’s just because I’m better at that side of the puzzle. While I can edit a video well enough to present, I’m not great. I have no formal training whatsoever, and I just know there are things I could do in Final Cut to make my stuff better.

One of the things I enjoy most about audio (and audio to video) is scoring. The simple addition of music can turn a piece completely around– and therein lies the problem. The rule is that music is supposed to support the mood, not drive it. If you listen to the bare version of a piece and compare it to a scored version and the two are radically different, there’s a problem. Often, however, this is done as a cover-up for bad writing.

Poynter has a good article in its “Ethics” section about this. They even offer several videos to illustrate the difference a simple scoring decision can make:

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Another contributing factor to this issue is the problem of licensing. If your piece is going to be shown publically or gains significant popularity, you’re going to need ASCAP licensed music. And most people can’t afford that. Even some broadcast stations can’t afford that. Under Fair Use, you can get away with about 30 seconds of audio before the goonies from the record labels start coming after you. At that point, you’re in trouble. Shuffling though music 30 seconds at a time makes for pretty obnoxious video, though, and can run into this same mood-problem. Tricky stuff.

Of course, you can get by all of this by not using music (or writing your own), but that’s not as fun.

Speaking of music, here’s a little bit for all of you out there.

When I need to wake up after a late night, I used to blast the Fatboy Slim song in this first track, which is one of my favorites in recent memory.

Of course, either of the songs in this second track would get me up just as quickly.

I’ve never heard Marley and Eminem mashed together like they are in this final track.

PS– In eleven days, I’m going to be camping by myself at Camp Chick. That may or may not mean nothing to you.


Not Alt. Media 2


This is an even less alternative project than the last video I posted. This is the video I produced (with Kristen Thometz) for SPJ (the Society of Professional Journalists). They’re giving Fran Spielman, the City Hall reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times the Lisagor Journalism Award, which is essentially an award for lifetime achievement.

It was incredible making this video, as I got to shadow Fran for a day, as well as attend a press conference with the mayor, where I signed in on the media sheet, and was filming alongside the local TV stations. My camera, as much as I like it, felt very small next to those huge broadcast-bazookas.

I also got to interview the editor-in-chief of the Sun-Times for this, as you’ll see in the video. So now he knows my name, and hopefully will be impressed with the outcome of the project.

The coolest part of this, though, is that this video will be shown publicly at the awards ceremony on Friday, downtown. It’s going to follow a piece produced by ABC7 Chicago, and the audience will include real, important people from the Chicago mass-media community. This could open doors.

Anyway, here’s the final product. Since it’s so late, I’m not going to post any music today. Hopefully this will be interesting enough.

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Let me know what you think! I still have a day to make any last-minute changes.

Mish Mash


First of all, I want to explain the image above. It comes from the Honda World site when you type in a URL that doesn’t exist. But instead of a simple text explanation, they give you this wonderful sprite! I can’t tell if he’s bowing or sadly hanging his head, but I appreciate it either way. Good ol’Honda. Just another reason why I love ya.

Secondly, I want to share this video:

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As soon as it was finished, I could only sit in stunned silence as I realized how much I loved it. It’s like Fantasia on an acid trip. But with Kanye West at the end. Totally weird. Watch it again, just for kicks.

Think that wasn’t weird enough? Neither does he:

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Enough of that. Some music, instead.

Usually the Jackson 5 are the basis for some really incredible mashups. This first track isn’t like the rest, but it is charactaristically well-made. I made the mistake of listening to it with the volume on high, and realized that’s the only way to do it.

There’s more pop (both sample-wise and stylistically) in this second track, which is an excellent iteration of an “A vs. B PLUS” mashup (my own distinction).

I’ve been listening to Dan Deacon’s new album Bromst for a couple weeks now, and I was overjoyed to find that one of the songs was used in a mashup! And even more excited to hear that the vocal track it was mashed with is called “Stanky Leg!” Apparently “Stanky Leg” has been receiving some pretty negative reviews, but I think the result, tonight’s final track, is wonderful. It’s great too, since the Dan Deacon side gives you enough indie cred to make up for the vocals.

Enjoy! And I promise to get back to my ordinary updating schedule. Don’cha worry.



I almost failed to post anything today, since I’ve been overwhelmed with the task of writing a website for a class of mine. Unfortunately, the results are somewhat underwhelming– I’ve not worked with many systems, but “Website Tonight” is a particularly poorly made page-designer. Next time I’ll advocate using Google.

Anyway, since my time is limited, I’ll just share something wonderful that I’d found over the weekend. It’s a series of videos from Jossie Malis, made entirely from Flash. While Flash is most often used for website animations, Malis shows that it can also be made to create something wonderful:

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Make sure to check out his other work at Malis’ Vimeo channel as well. Except the weird music video. (See? Creative people use Vimeo.)

Instead of individual mashups tonight, here’s a schweet mashup mix CD.

Make sure to watch those videos!

Not Alt. Media


While this blog is supposedly about alternative media and whatnot, I had a pleasant little experience as a member of the mainstream media. I didn’t think of myself in that way until I was called out on it, but it’s true– writing for an institutionalized paper, even if it’s a student one like The Phoenix, is writing for a mainstream media outlet.

I suppose I should elaborate. Andrew Card, the former Chief of Staff for George W. Bush, came to Loyola to speak, at the behest of the College Republicans. The Phoenix gave me the story, and I was able to interview the man face-to-face. We differ politically, but he was very polite and well-spoken, and we got along well. It was interesting to interview someone who is more famous that I’ll ever (probably) be, though.

Here’s the video that I put together for the paper’s website:

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He actually pointed me out as a “member of the media” in front of the crowd, but not in a bad way. It just reminded me that even in college, it’s possible to have journalistic credibility. Which is a good thing.

The connection between Card and this first track is a bit long to explain, but it has to do with the Queen of England.

This second track has Queen in it, but it’s not the same kind.

I’m not even going to try to make a connection on this last track— I just like it.


More Making-Of


If you haven’t heard me say it before, Vimeo is really a great video-hosting site. If I spend a few minutes surfing YouTube, I’ll most likely end up watching things like this, but on Vimeo, I often find videos that are simply much more interesting.

Part of the draw of Vimeo, I think, is the design aesthetic of the site, but another thing is that it’s not YouTube. YouTube can just seem so… Average. Mediochre. That’s a big part of why I don’t use it. Will I lose some hits on my videos that way? Probably. But I’d rather have Vimeo-users see my work anyway, as snobby as that sounds.

Admittedly, I didn’t find the following video by surfing Vimeo itself– I found it via Kitsune Noir. But the fact that it was hosted on Vimeo in the first place should say something. Anyway, it’s a cool look into how an art installation was made. One of the things that I really like about it is how the installation seems to evolve while the artist (Cody Hudson) is working on it. He seems to come back to it and embellish it through time. That may be just a trick for the camera to make it seem like he was doing more, but I like it better my way.

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The scoring for the piece is pretty cool too. Also, notice how the hanging light fixture moves at one point– I can’t see what happened, but I can’t imagine what hit it.

Speaking of scoring, here’s tonight’s music.

All the way from 2005, this first track is something of a throwback. But it sounds incredible. The Blackstreet vocal track reminds me of Feed The Animals, too, which just goes to show Girl Talk’s influence.

For a pretty simple A vs. B mashup, this second track sounds perfect.

I’m not a Korn fan. But this final track sounds great with them. Maybe they just need to be mashed, for me to like them.

Papercraft 3


Today’s post will be much more of a “show, not tell” entry. I was browsing, this evening, as I often do, the Vimeo HD Gallery page. It’s a great place to go if you’ve got a little time to kill, since the stuff that’s featured is usually pretty interesting. A lot of the movies are little more than camera games, but they’re still neat to watch.

One of the movies I came across (at the time that I’m posting this, it’s moved up to the number one position) was this wonderful bit of papercraft stop motion.

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It was funded by Adobe as a showcase for their Creative Suite 4, and I’m glad to see that corporate sponsorship of the arts hasn’t died out completely, these days. It’s interesting to see how it’s dried up, though, notably on some of my favorite Public Radio podcasts– though I’m not too sad to see the Budweiser commercials go, it’s not good news for the producers.

Anyway, instead of just presenting one cool video I found, this post has a bonus extra. I love to see how art is made, epecially since I’m largely self-taught, and I do things in an impressively inefficient manner. A notable aspect of this papercraft video is how clean it looks, which is made possible by the techniques they used to cut out their pieces. Apparently, eyeballing all your cuts is inferior to computer-designed templates… Take a look:

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That may not inspire you to necessarily go out and make a video like this yourselves, but it’s certainly cool to see how it’s done, should you get the itch.

Here’s the music.

I admit, I was sold on this first track by the first few seconds it was playing. Though they say not to judge a book by it’s cover, I think I was justified in my choice here.

A part of me thinks I posted this second track before, but I my spotty records indicate otherwise… It’s good, anyway.

It’s a shame that this final track is a bit bit-rate-burbly. It’s really well put together, otherwise, and is a nice example of a songwriting-style mashup done well.