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wave machines

31 Dec


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Wave Machines video codec wrecking

December 31, 2012 | By | No Comments

I recently helped director Jack Whiteley on his music video for electro-pop band Wave Machines, doing an interesting little job as part of the post-production process on new single ‘I Hold Loneliness’. The video explores the use of digital and analogue trickery (much of it provided by Venya Krutikov) to colour, distort and animate the band members faces. Jack asked me to create some codec glitch effects for one short section of song during the breakdown.

Although I’ve run a workshop exploring the principles of codec wrecking, I’ve only used it once before as part of my own work, in the final sequence to my Noah’s Ark film. It is an odd process for a video-maker to work with, as it is a precision operation that yields surprising results. The particular compression and keyframe surgery do not easily anticipate the final outcome. In addition, the effects are dramatic, and yet no filters or fx plugins are used – just a couple of compression tools. It’s nice to work away from the FCP timeline and play with the material itself. I used ffmpeg and avidemux to produce several different treatments of the original sequence of singer Tim for Jack to include before his final post. The video below shows the original rough edit sequence, followed by 3 treatments fro the codec wrecking process.

If you want to know how to play with codecs, then you can follow this cracking tutorial series (note – if you’re using OS Lion, then you will likely need updated versions of FFmpeg and avidemux).


02 May


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WIYRT#06 – Baptism

May 2, 2010 | By | No Comments

At the beginning of April I went down to London again to film the next installment of Mercy‘s ‘Wave If You’re Really There’ production in St Leonard’s church. This was the 6th in the series and this event took the theme of Baptism. Cue lots of fantastic watery projections on the church ceiling and also some bizarre performances devised by Karen Mcleod. This video has a bit of behind the scenes chat with the artists involved. You can also check out a trailer for the evening here.

28 Dec


Wave If You're Really There #05 – trailer

December 28, 2009 | By |

Some highlights from the last ‘Wave If You’re Really There’ event.

08 Dec


"it seems we think in tiny drops…"

December 8, 2009 | By |

My favourite lyric above from the title track from the album from which this event takes its name, ‘Wave If You’re Really There’ has become a kind of rallying call for creatives in Liverpool under the steering of Mercy Corps and their friends the Wave Machines. Their 4 events last year took place in St Brides church and gathered some of the best folk musicians, pop groups, performances artists, installation artists and poets to create a carefully orchestrated themed evening of delights for the audience, dutifully arranged in rows of pews (well, to begin with at least).

Last weekend was the first time the experiment had been exported, and saw a large group of collaborators and familiar faces transported down to London to install the the first of two capitol-based events (themed ‘marriage’) in St Leonards Church in Shoreditch. I went down to document the show, which its fair to say, turned out fantastic. Everyone worked really hard to set it up over 2 days, lending helping hands wherever needed; creativity abounded through the artistic direction of Scott Spencer and the Mercy crew and their collaborators, and all way lit in fantastic reactive colours by lighting guru known only as Guy. The performers (Karen McLeod, John Smith, Nathan Jones, Luke Kennard, Homework, Post War Years, and of course Wave Machines) all gave their best. It really felt very special indeed. Especially when John Smith did his folk cover of ‘Not Over Yet’.

More people than can be mentioned here contributed to the event, so I’ll simply leave these photos by John O’Shea to sum up the beauty of the evening. I’ll post the videos as they go through my patented topntail process.

13 Apr


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'The Bell' – Nathan Jones and Wave Machines

April 13, 2009 | By | No Comments

Another video that has been sitting quietly for a year. This one is a document of the first Mercy party at St Brides church, Liverpool in June 2008. Poet Nathan Jones collaborated with Wave Machines in creating this performance entitled ‘The Bell’

22 Dec


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"No cameras allowed into the gallery at any time"

December 22, 2008 | By | No Comments

On Saturday I took part in an event at Tate Liverpool, run by the boys from Mercy. The day was simply called ‘The Making’, and together with several illustrators and graphic artists, a band and a poet, that is just what we did. We created a space, developed a rough ethos of overlapping and feedback, and spent the day simply making stuff in that space in front of the public. For my part I worked with film-maker Stuart Lancely to created a multi-camera / multi-projector feedback machine I called ‘The Videodrome’, which was intended to give a sense of things being interconnected and constantly representing each other.


The idea for the Videodrome came from initially being asked to ‘film’ the event, and from my unease that people seem to constantly need a record of a performance rather than just let it happen. If it is not recorded at all, did it ever actually take place? I feel in someways the recording of the performance becomes more important than the thing itself. Videodrome attempted to project the event back upon itself, making the act of recording part of the performance. This video shows a performance of ‘The Bell’ by Nathan Jones and Wave Machines. I decided not to record any performance or take any pictures of the day, but simply work with live feed, though inevitably it was photographed and filmed by others. I include Tim Brunsden‘s excellent video here in order to prove that an event did happen.

17 Mar


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Nathan Jones and Wave Machines – 'The Barman'

March 17, 2008 | By | No Comments

Video document from my one-shot video project, ‘The Shoot Out Project’, as performed by Mercy poet Nathan Jones and Liverpool band Wave Machines at the Bluecoat opening weekend. The single-shot aproach is something I’ve been working with for a while now, but is perhaps best shown in the work of Vincent Moon and the Take Away Shows.