I think this integration is where the future of the music industry lies. Previously the model was to save up money and art, to take it somewhere secret for a long time, then eventually release a monolithic product – an album or a live show – and hope people identify with that. I feel the future of music and video is smaller, incremental works. Gathering fans steadily, through free, easily accessible releases in whatever media and networks are available, rather than holding out for the giant fanfare of an album or tour, which has a single shot at success.
Which is why I shot the Bridge Sessions with Edward Guglielmino. We spent a couple of hours – considerably less time than I wasted last year discussing CD packaging options or album revenue shares, and created something which lets people identify what we’re doing, to become fans, and to join our journey as artists. Because it’s a piece of art, some people will love it, some will think it’s boring, or terrible. If it was an album we’d spent a year making, those latter reactions would be a tragedy, but we only spent a couple of hours, which means we have another chance to turn those people into fans next week.
I say “studio” above, as like the rest of these pieces it wasn’t shot or produced in what would traditionally be recognizable as a studio. Shot in my screening room, I used stage blacks instead of a green screen to keep the shoot simple and compact, tiny low powered LED lights from Ikea, and recorded the video to hard drive in Onlocation to obviate capture time.
The shoot itself took about 2 hours. This was followed by 3 hours of fast editing in Vegas‘ efficient workflow, and then transferred to After Effects for around 8-10 hours of post-production. To keep production, preview and render times down I steered clear of keying, noise-reduction and other processor-intensive effects, instead focussing on the quickest techniques I could find to produce the video I had in my head. Despite having up to 20 layers of HD and SD video on screen at various times, the project only took 2 hours to render at 1920×1080, 25FPS (After Effects CS3, Windows Vista 32bit, 2.4GHz, Quad-core, 4GB ram).
I’d be happy with the results even if they were the culmination of weeks of planning and an expensive shoot, but the fact that this was produced in about a day’s work has me overjoyed. I’ve spent more time planning some shoots than this project took from start to finish, and we’re already moving on to the next track from the album.
There is one more phase of the Fail With Me project though, which will encompass another issue I discussed 6 months ago but have been yet to put into practice: Releasing music video “Stems”. We will be releasing both audio and video stems for this track, under a creative commons license.
This is an important issue to CDM, and I think to the visualist world, so I’d like to know how you think this kind of release should go, how to make it most useful and open for you. What video formats should it use, how will the media and resources be organized, and how should it be distributed? I have my own ideas on how this might work, but I’d like to hear from you first. What should the next phase of remixable video look like?