Today’s quick video – a looping clip of driving along a highway in Seoul. My PhD supervisor Stephen Gage calls this type of thing a ‘finger exercise’, I assume because it’s like practicing scales on a piano – it’s one of many playful, small things that helps you work out ideas for larger projects.
I took this video on the way from the airport to my accommodation in Seoul in 2016. I was messing around with a camera I’d loaned (A Canon C100, if I recall). The footage isn’t remarkable, but you do get to see part of the city looming in the distance and the huge river. I just wanted to make it loop, nothing special – just to play with video a little, and make a quick accompanying sound bed.
The longest loop I could make is just short of the original clips’ length, 33 seconds and 9 frames, with the looping part coming from the van that overtakes. The hue of the video shifts throughout, from pinks and reds through to purples and blues and back. It also has a 12-bar sound bed I made quickly:
This is my quick video for the day, shot whilst walking from Rotterdam Centraal station to Delftsepoort (an office building). The subject is fairly mundane, but there are a few layers of square video on top of each other, and another clapping soundtrack made quickly.
I actually made two versions of this video, one with a regular offset:
And one that uses a 2-frame offset per layer to recreate a ‘wavy’ special effect from the 70s. I remember seeing this sort of effect in old music videos as a kid, back when I was glued to music television:
One thing I like about the original video is the way that it’s abstracted a completely mundane journey, yet maintains the rhythm of my walking. The stills of the escalator are perhaps my favourite part:
But then again, the flooring, which seems to be particular to Dutch train stations, also looks more dramatic than usual:
As does the utterly mundane pavement found on all streets near here:
This is a video I made a while but forgot to put online! An extremely foggy day, under a bridge near my house. Looking back at it now, it’s a bit more stress-inducing than I think it needs to be, mostly because I was trying to do the opposite of the slowness that I felt the video wanted to be edited into. I guess I should have gone the other way. Still, it’s nice to have the perspective of hindsight sometimes.
This is a quick doodle-video to play around with composition and looping. The source video was shot on Tottenham Court Road on a sunny day in 2014 (see here); this version tries to lean into the strange and playful composition of the original, adding a clappy/clicky soundtrack and the idea that walking on the street is a form of game.
A very quick video edit today, compiled from some footage I shot a few years ago whilst flying over northern Canada. Not a great video, but I wanted to play with the stark textures of the snow and rocks, creating a slow-moving wallpaper. There are a few things I’d like to fix (that crack on the right hand side for starters), but the aim of this task is to make something quickly and post it, rather than aiming for perfection, so here we go.
Maintaining my streak of making quick videos on a near-daily basis, here are two videos of impossible journeys on the Chicago L-train. Shot in 2016, now spliced into infinite (and impossible) loops in 2022.
The first features ‘transition moments’ from one place to another:
This is the quick film I should have made yesterday – very quick and simple, a looping set of wires – but instead spent too long fiddling around with layers and composition, etc. Shot on the same journey, it’s just slowed down, inverted, layered footage of the wires going past.
I set students the task of making short, daily films all the time, but I rarely post my own. Hoping to do more from now on.
This was a quick attempt at a video which is obviously an artificially constructed image, but that holds together if you watch it for a while.
I set myself the challenge of shooting and editing a video on a 25-minute train journey. I failed my challenge as I got too into the editing and had to shut my laptop quickly in the station, but finished it over lunch. The film is composed of segments of the same shot spliced together, looped, and overlaid, alongside a very quick soundtrack in GarageBand (so quickly edited that the noises that come on with the white fence only do it the first time).
In retrospect, this is based on a work I saw when I was 18, about a train journey, that has stuck with me ever since. It was in a gallery in Melbourne, and featured still shots of a train which updated vertical slice by vertical slice, each about 50 pixels wide, from the left to right on the screen, to make a composite film. Funny how those formative moments stick with you – what was one item in a gallery has become something I come back to time and again.
Anyway, hoping to do more small challenges like this in the future.
Before I start this post, I just want to point out that I’m not a particular fan of emojis. I don’t use them that much, but I am curious to see how this strange fragment of culture evolves. Emojis are folded into the Unicode set by a consortium of representatives of largely California-based technology companies, who shape what we can and can’t represent with little symbols on our phones. The emojis are specified by the Unicode Consortium, then the icons we see on our devices are designed by software companies – so that on my iPhone, the emojis are designed by Apple, yet on my PC they’re designed by Microsoft (hence cross-platform changes in appearance).
In 2017 I started making videos with every emoji available on an Apple device. That was 2718 symbols, and the video looked like this:
I recently re-scraped the available emojis – now there are 3962. A good deal of these are variations of the same symbol, but with differing skin tones. The best way to represent this seemed to be as an explosion: