"If you're going to multiply propositions needlessly, you're going to need good teeth"
October 18, 2002
Spaceman Rag

I've uploaded Spaceman Rag which is the first complete film that Alex Spencer and I made at his cottage.

This was made the day after our concept album and before the exhaustion really had a chance fully to take hold.

I remember the two of us walking around in a daze all day trying to find some creative project that would capture our imagination.

We made various half-hearted attempts to shoot some random "zany madcap" footage. Alex's impression of a tree was probably the only bright spot in that venture. I do hope it finds its way into another project some day.

Finally we decided to animate lawn furnature. We were staring at his deck, and I asked Alex if his DV camera did stop motion, and he said, "No. It does everything except stop motion."

Then a minute or two later, Alex had worked out that the still photo feature of his DV camera reliably extended a still frame photo into into six seconds of DV footage. So if some enterprising soul was preapared to spend an enormous amount of time in post-production extracting the single frame from each six-second clip, then yes Alex's camera would actually do stop motion after all.

So suddenly, we had a plot, an idea and the technology to carry it all out. And only about an hour of sunlight left in the day. By the time we were finished shooting, it was quite dark. If you look at the finished film, you probably won't notice it, but the final few shots of the have been brightened up considerably by Alex in post-production to compensate for the failing light.

With all of our footage safely in the can, we made our way back into the cottage for cocoa and biscuits. Or something. And while Alex painstakingly extracted single frames from hundreds of clips, I learned how to write ragtime music. And in the process I discovered that I've always wanted to write a rag. This tune is not a proper rag - it's just the same 24 bars repeated over and over again with varied instrumentation. But some day, I will try again...

Posted by michael at October 18, 2002 03:30 PM



Quality philosophy since 1986