I’m not sure why we didn’t mention it here while it was “current”, but we did talk about Radiohead’s recent webcast of their album In Rainbows on CDMusic. Even if you’re not in to Radiohead it’s worth watching, as it brings a beautifully varied, personal, low-budget aesthetic to one of the biggest bankers in modern music, it completely changed how I identify with the album. As mentioned in the CDMusic comments, I’m historically a huge Radiohead fan, but have found myself drifting away from their music over the last couple of albums. I paid money for In Rainbows (even though I didn’t have to), listened to it once or twice and then forgot about it, but the Scotch Mist videos made me re-examine the entire album, and it finally clicked for me.

All of this preamble is by way of introducing Adam Buxton, a British filmmaker who says he “helped out” on the webcast, but is billed #2 in the introductory credits to the piece, so it seems he was doing a little more than making coffee.

Adam seems to have a reasonably deep “cult” career in the UK scene. His youtube channel has plenty of funny, clever filmmaking, and Scotch Mist is utterly superb. It’s reminded me that you don’t need loads of gear and the best quality, low-noise, high-bokeh, high-resolution footage to make compelling video. These elements can help, but what really matters is the content and feel you’re delivering to the audience, if you’ve got that right then nobody will care that you’ve forced their favourite band to wear shiny silver bike helmets:

Adam’s blog has plenty of interesting tidbits and behind the scenes information from a whole range of projects, well worth a look. The “Faust Arp” video (above) is particularly interesting, using aforementioned cameras mounted on helmets.

The Helmet Cam is something I made a couple of years ago to shoot some bits for my comedy night. It’s a mini surveillance camera mounted on the front of a bicycle helmet which makes the head of the wearer appear stationary while everything around them slides around nauseatingly. It’s a technique that’s been used a lot (Martin Scorcese and Peter Gabriel spring to mind), but it always occurred to me that the bike helmet version might be good for some kind of music video. When I found out we were doing the Radiohead webcast I got to work making 5 new ‘units’ for the band. A bike helmet is ideal for mounting the camera because you can strap it on tight enough for it not to wobble too much, but it has the downside of making you look like a bit of a prat so I was concerned that a band like Radiohead might be uncomfortable with that.

(Read more…)

And tangentially, I received an email last night from one of the Vixid guys informing me that their VJX16-4 had been used by Deepvisual for Radiohead’s more recent live webcast. I’ve been working hard on editing up the Vixid video Peter and I shot in Perth last month. The 16-4 really is an incredible piece of hardware, and there really isn’t much information out there about it. This will change.

  • Darren Landrum

    Interesting that Adam Buxton would come up in this context. To me, he's the comedian I've seen on "Never Mind the Buzzcocks" and "Have I Got News For You". British celebrities are so different from American ones. They have real skills and talents.

  • http://www.lightborne.co.uk Lightborne

    I agree with Darren, I was very surprised to see Adam's name popping up on CDM. For me he's one half of one of the funniest comedy acts of the last ten years and co-perpetrator of The Adam and Joe Show. I hadn't heard anything about him for a while there, but then recently I noticed he presented last years BUG which is a British event that showcases recent innovative music videos. Also his partner in the creation of the Scotch Mist business seems to be Garth Jennings AKA one half of Hammer & Tongs – some very innovative music video producers indeed (think Blur's Coffee & TV) who've crossed over to feature filmmaking (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). Also, being a child of the Eighties myself, I'm looking forward to their new film Son of Rambow – check out the film's website where a bunch of graphic design types have have squoze all their eighties nostalgia, like the brisyling pimples of adolescent acne, onto little pages that appear on your screen. You can too! http://sonoframbow-workingtitle.com/

  • http://www.lightborne.co.uk Lightborne

    Also Adam's presenting this years BUG too, which is happening on the 31st of January

  • mike

    darren – like jade goody for example? :)

  • mike

    I'm a big adam and joe fan. adam's stuff is well funny – do a search for his "pavemon" pokemon remix… also adam and joe are on bbc 6 music talking entertaining bollocks every week, you can listen any time on the bbc radio website.

  • Darren Landrum

    Well, Jade Goody isn't really well-received anymore. :-P Yes, you have some like Tara Parker-Tompkinson who are celebrities for the sake of being celebrities, but on the whole, most of the comedians and actors I like all had previous lives doing skilled things, and they bring that with them. Dara O'Briain is a good example.

  • Darren Landrum

    I'm an American living in Port Huron, Michigan, by the way. I've never been outside of my country except to Canada. It's my dream to travel the world someday.

  • nobbystylus

    The adam and joe show is still one of the best geeky comedy progs ever..

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