Earlier this year, unsigned singer Sivu and director Adam Powell made a mesmerising video for single Better Than Me using an MRI scanner at London's St Bart's Hospital. To celebrate the single's release next month, Sivu has released a short film revealing how the promo was made...
Better Man Than He features footage of Sivu singing into an MRI machine, which uses magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images of the body. The three-minute film offers a fascinating glimspe at the singer's brain, muscles and movements, with additional effects added in post production:
The video was released in January this year and has since received more than 600,000 views on YouTube. As Page explains in a new film on the making of the project, Powell, then his flatmate, suggested using an MRI scanner as a cheaper alternative to using costly cameras and filming equipment.
He contacted doctors Marc Miguel and Andrew Scott, who had spent a year researching how to capture moving images using MRI machines in an attempt to learn more about cleft palates and agreed to help make the film at St Bart's. As Miguel and Scott explain, Page was required to wear a large head covering, known as a coil, while inside the scanner, which allowed it to generate detailed images depicting 'slices' of his head.
It's an innovative technique - the video is allegedly the first to use real time MRI scans - and the result is visually striking. Since its release, Sivu has been signed to Atlantic Records, while Powell has since directed promos for The 1975 and Example. The film has also been screened in medical conferences and university lectures.
Better Man Than Me is released on September 29. Page's debut album, Something On High, is released in October.
While there are a multitude of festivals devoted to the business and ideas sides of advertising, its craft can fall a little by the wayside. Not at Ciclope Festival, however, which is entirely devoted to the celebration of ad craft. The latest edition of the festival takes place on November 6-7 in Berlin.
Ciclope Festival has been running since 2010 and for its first three years took place in Buenos Aires, before moving to Berlin in 2013. This year's event is the second to be held in the German capital, and will consist of a conference and networking events, as well as an awards ceremony, celebrating the best work in advertising craft this year.
Among those lined up to speak at this year's festival are Andreas Nilsson, the director behind the Volvo Trucks Epic Split commercial; Mike McGee, creative director at Framestore; and Guido Heffels, co-founder of Heimat ad agency. There will also be top creatives from agencies including Wieden + Kennedy, Droga5, Saatchi & Saatchi, 72andSunny, and many more taking part in the networking events. For a full list of guests and more info on attending the festival or entering the awards, visit ciclopefestival.com.
The Iron Throne room (image courtesy of Gemma Jackson)
In the September issue of CR, we speak to a range of people with inspiring and unusual jobs in the creative industries, from Kanye West's creative director to an animator on Guardians of the Galaxy. Here, Gemma Jackson, former production designer on HBO series Game of Thrones, outlines her experience of working on the show and offers some advice for recent graduates...
Based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones is set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos. The show is HBO's biggest hit, surpassing The Sopranos in viewing figures, and is allegedly the most widely pirated in the world. Much of the series is filmed in Northern Ireland, as well as Croatia and Malta, and features lavish sets and costume designs.
A production designer for television and film, Gemma Jackson worked on Game of Thrones' first three seasons and was awarded an Emmy for outstanding art direction and an Art Directors Guild Award for excellence in production design. Since leaving, she has returned to freelancing and is now working on a film about King Arthur.
Could you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be working on Game of Thrones?
I went to art school and studied painting before doing a postgraduate degree in theatre design. I worked in theatre for about nine years. Around 1980, I worked on a small political film with an all-female cast, and my film career began when I scored the job as art director on Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa [a 1986 neo-noir mystery about an ex-convict who becomes a driver for a female escort, starring Michael Cain, Bob Hoskins and Cathy Tyson].
Before Game of Thrones, I did another TV series with HBO, John Adams, which was very successful [the show won four Golden Globe Awards and 13 Emmys, one of which was awarded to Jackson]. HBO is very loyal to its staff, and I had made good friends there, so I suppose I was a natural choice for Game of Thrones … I still went through the usual process though, meeting with the director and discussing ideas.
Red Keep (image courtesy of Gemma Jackson)
The Sept (image courtesy of Gemma Jackson)
What made you want to become a production designer after studying painting?
I loved painting, but I didn’t feel I had the philosophical drive to become a painter. What I love about theatre, TV and film is the collaborative element, and the interpretative aspect of it. That, and the fact that every job is so different.
Could you describe the scope of your role on the show?
When it started, we weren’t really sure how the show would grow or develop. It was a normal job, reading the script, interpreting what George had written, working out what the directors wanted and building up images and designs for each set. By the time I left, we had six huge stages and warehouses full of sets, and it’s getting bigger every year.
It was a large team; I worked with an art director, a decoration department, a wonderful construction manager, Tom Martin, and a huge amount of painters and plasterers. With each new series, we’d have a new set of things to design, as well as developing the worlds we’d already established.
What did you most enjoy about working on Game of Thrones?
I loved creating the contrast between each of the different worlds; it was very important to have a clear distinction between the North and South [northern regions are cold and wintry, while the south appears warm and exotic]. You could find influences for these different stages almost anywhere – with Castle Black, I was inspired by Tibetan buildings, high in the mountains, while King’s Landing had a much more Mediterranean feel to it.
One of the most challenging sets was Harrenhal [a fictional castle], which we built brick by brick in Bambridge. The Sept [a large building used for worship] was a huge one too. It was seven sided, which was important as the characters’ religion is the Faith of Seven, and we built a third of it. It was quite a job working out how to repeat the set, but it looked quite stunning in the end.
With others, we would refashion bits from old sets with new graphics, or dress existing structures. To create the Iron Islands, we dressed the harbour at Ballintoy, near Belfast, with mud and moss, as the harbour structure itself was perfect. For Craster’s Keep, [a small homestead in the wild north], we used huge logs and trees to build this beautiful set in the middle of the forest.
It was an extraordinary job, really, and I feel terribly proud of it. Being in Belfast, I loved walking past the docks and the sea and into these lavish worlds we’d created. I miss it a lot, but I think after three seasons, it was a good time for me to leave – as a freelancer, it’s the longest I’ve worked on anything and once I’d set up the look and the roots of the show, I felt it was time to move on and do something else.
Craster's Keep (image courtesy of Gemma Jackson)
And what advice do you have for people who want to work in production design?
You’ve got to have gall – you have to be able to deal with so many different people, and have a wonderful imagination, and I think you have to be quite fearless. Those qualities have to be inherent. Getting into this kind of work is very different now than when I started but today, I think you just need to get out there and do your own thing. Do small projects, student films, anything you can, and take every opportunity that’s available.
This year we've approached our graduate issue slightly differently. Covering the shows (and talent) on the blog, in print we decided to see just where a creative education can take you – from becoming production designer on Game of Thrones or Rihanna's creative director, to working as head of visual creative for Save the Children. The Shellsuit Zombie collective also present a guide to 'what next'; we explore what happens when advertising attempts to 'do good'; and, from new book TM, we finally get to the truth behind the creation of the Woolmark...
Opening the issue (and featuring on the cover and in Monograph), we look at artist Jim Lambie's new 100m long path in Glasgow designed to look like a shelf of records, and how it was made. Russ Coleman and Kirk Teasdale talk through how they constructed it from coloured concrete.
We also look at the controversy surrounding Penguin's new cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Stefan Sagmeister's recent take on creative types calling themselves "storytellers", and examine the Airbnb rebrand which, as Design Week's Angus Montogmery argues, could well become one of this year's landmark projects.
In the columns, Michael Evamy explores the trend for identities based on bespoke typefaces, potentially replacing logos altogether; while Daniel Benneworth-Gray looks at the way designers have been reprented on the big screen and decides that a Pixar animation might in fact give the closest approximation of what it feels like to work in the profession (it's not all like it is in Catwoman).
Shellsuit Zombie open our Grad Guide with a ten-point look at what the next stages might be for graduates who want to pursue a creative career...
... while our main graduate section looks at thinking beyond the agency or studio environment. We talk to six people with inspiring and unusual jobs and ask them how they got to be where they are today.
We start with Jess Crombie, head of visual creative at Save the Children...
... and then meet Gemma Jackson, production designer on Game of Thrones.
We also interview Clair Battison, senior preservation conservator at the Victoria & Albert Museum; Rachel Louis, arts participation manager at Vital Arts; and Brad Silby (below), Framestore lead animator on films such as Where the Wild Things Are and Guardians of the Galaxy...
... before talking to Simon Henwood (above), creative director for musicians such as Kanye West and Rihanna.
We also invite Grey ECD Nils Leonard and William Fowler, Headspace creative director and CR-columinst to a GoogleChat to debate what happens when advertising attempts to 'do good'; and feature an extract from TM, a new book looking at the history of 29 classic logos by CR's Mark Sinclair, which finally gets to the bottom of how the Woolmark logo came about in the mid-1960s.
In Crit, Rick Poynor finds much to pore over at this year's Rencontres D'Arles festival of photography...
... while Sarah Snaith reports back from a new exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion dedicated to the work of US designer, Ivan Chermayeff. At the back, Paul Belford talks through a deceptively simple-looking print ad for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
This issue's Monograph features some behind the scenes images of the creation of Jim Lambie's concrete path in Glasgow, with photographs of the process taken by Kirk Teasdale. The new issue is available to buy now. To subscribe to CR, go here.
Bombay Bicycle Club's hypnotic visuals for their recent tour made for a sensory-stimulating show, and they stood-out as the new experiential players at major festivals this summer including dreamy Suffolk weekender Latitude and the hedonistic paradise of Glastonbury. We talk to filmmaker Anna Ginsburg and video designer Adam Young about what it took to create the impressive stage aesthetic and why intensifying the audience's live show tingle is so important.
As part of the tour for Bombay Bicycle Club's latest, critically acclaimed 2014 album, So Long, See You Tomorrow, Ginsburg and Young, in collaboration with the band and lighting designer Squib Swain, created a series of hand-drawn looping images for 12 tracks.
Conversations began in part with the album cover (see below), which was designed by London studio La Boca, and inspired by the work of nineteenth century photographer and stop-motion pioneer Eadweard Muybridge, and his work using a zoopraxiscope - a device created in 1879 for motion-picture projection. In particular the band were struck by Muybridge's walking man cycle, which inspired the album artwork (and also features in the video for Alright Now), depicting a male and a female walking in concentric circles under the moon and sun.
"We thought this kind of ties in with the theme of loops there's a lot of cycles in the lyrics and the lyrical themes. It just worked." says vocalist Jack Steadman in a video on their website. "We started to base our artwork on animation. The front cover itself can be animated if you spin it around. It was only natural that we were going to try to incorporate that into our live show."
Ginsburg, who studied traditional animation at Edinburgh College of Art, had previously worked on three music videos for the band, adding hand-drawn elements to live action in Luna and Carry Me, and creating a BAFTA-winning stop-motion video for How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep. And Young studied lighting design at Central School of Speech and Drama, but soon realised he was more interested in video design, working mainly in theatre and opera since, with this project being his first departure into tour visuals.
"We turned up to their studio one day with books and pages and various different things and went through what would and wouldn't be possible. We had listened to the album, and they had sent a short brief with the type of thing they wanted to get across with the visual side of their tour," explains Young. "There was definitely the brief that it should look hand-drawn and shouldn't look like it was easy to produce on a computer. It should feel like a lot of time and effort has gone into making it, and shouldn't just feel like normal touring graphics. It should have some heart and meaning to it."
(Work in progress images)
Although it was the first time the duo had worked together, Ginsburg and Young's skills complimented each other perfectly. "It was a great collaboration, as he's got this real technical knowhow in terms of understanding how the projections will work, and because I'm so traditional, sometimes my process can be quite crazy impossible in terms of time. So once I'd figured out an animated loop, he'd often find ways of making it last longer in terms of content," Ginsburg says.
Alongside the duo, a small team of four illustrators helped to produce several thousands of images that made up hundreds of loops. These were drawn directly into Photoshop using Wacom Graphics Tablets, and created using the same Photoshop brush and line weight, with careful attention paid to stylistically match all the drawings so they appeared to be from the same hand, with Ginsburg directing and working on specific loops that required more design such as Feel, which features a snake charmer's snake, linking in with the old Bollywood song sampled in the track.
Young used Adobe After Effects for the animation process, which was almost plug-in free, and created the animations in seven circular disk templates that could be used for individual animations or as one long screen.
From storyboarding to final results, the project took an intense six weeks, with the team primarily working from studio based under a railway arch in Hoxton. Part of the process was ensuring one unified design direction, and creating bespoke content that fitted the themes and feelings of each track, which spanned from psychedelic morphing animals to dancing figures, to narrative based sections and even the band members' faces.
"We set ourselves design rules before we even started thinking about the ideas. It's something that we do quite a lot in theatre, to try to make a show look uniform across three hours, rather than lots of random ideas," Young explains. "We ended up with a very narrow colour palette, inspired by the album cover. And as much as it's going to be displayed on a digital form, we tried to pick colours that don't look too 'digital', to fit in with the hand-drawn organic feel."
Another rule involved the looping matching the music: "It linked nicely into the Muybridge style of 12 frame loop cycles, with everything looping over 12, 16, or 14 frames throughout the show," says Young.
And another restricted content to people and nature over inanimate objects or patterns: "There's so many tour graphics that are just swirly patterns - we were trying to make it about something real and trying to get across real emotions," he says. "You see a lot of shows that have really generic video, with a big LED wall and stock video content that's vaguely been arranged in time with the music. But I think people are turning their backs on that now, and starting to pay for bespoke content that actually means something relevant to the band and the music, rather than something that can be cheaply purchased off the shelf."
"I don't think abstract stuff is completely lost, but I think listening is the key," says Ginsburg. "If you're going to do something abstract make it really lyrically or rhythmically synced to the track. If it's just random, it's like wallpaper, or a screensaver - there's no point."
The resulting visuals are synced to perfection, played live using Timecode, so the music on stage corresponds with what the audience see and hear. It is this audio-visual, multi-sensory live experience that more and more musicians and their collaborative creatives are starting to experiment with, adding in another sensory layer to the performance, in hope of intensifying the live show euphoria felt by the audience.
"I think its going to become expected, the norm, that when you buy a ticket to a tour, you expect a certain level of visual stimulation. You could say it's a bit of a curse, because you don't want to be distracted from live musicians. But at the same time, if it's used well, it can heighten emotional reactions, or stimulate them,"says Ginsburg. "In a climate where we are used to having visual stimulation all the time, via the internet or via YouTube, our attention spans are getting shorter too. And you're more likely to make money from touring than record sales now, so the prices of tours are going up, and in turn our expectations are going to go up."
"We are going to see more and more of it. When someone pays to go to a festival or a gig, they are expecting more than the just seeing the band performing - they are expecting a full show," says Young. "It largely comes down to money, and bands being willing to put money into their shows - to initially produce something that people will want to come and see, and I think it's going to become increasingly important."
Ginsburg says this is the biggest budget she has ever had for a project, and recognises a continual shift towards money being spent on live shows rather than music videos. "To be honest I don't see budgets for music videos increasing ever again - it's going to be about being ingenious and economic when directing music videos. People will be more willing to pump resources into tour visuals, because its what makes money," says Ginsburg. "I think there's always going to be a place for music video. But instead of making one stand-out viral video, artists are now more inclined to want everything they put on YouTube to have visual content, so quality might go down. But I think quality of live shows will increase."
It's is often the sense of a 'visual hyperreality' that wows the audience - where real and simulated elements merge, and artists push the boundaries of the live experience. "Personally I love Beyoncé, and her absolute commitment to the design idea, and seeing it through to the extreme," says Young, referencing her performance for 2011 MTV Awards using interactive projection and strict choreography. "It's artists like that who buy into the idea so whole heartedly that they will shape an entire show around it."
"I'd love to do the visuals for something super crazy like MIA or Dizzy Rascal or someone who takes risks visually - an artist who doesn't take themselves too seriously, because you could do some really out-there stuff," says Ginsburg.
So as budgets and priorities change, so too does the way we consume and share our experiences of music. Long gone is the era of MTV, and the visual emphasis has shifted towards the audience's experience being a key element for a musician's success - whether a live encounter or through sharing the spectacle.
"There's that other layer to the live shows - the more people get out their phones because they think its worthy of filming, the more promotion you get," says Ginsburg. "On the [non-festival] tour, the visuals come in half way though the set, there a little sleeping man that rises with dandelions either side of him, and as he appears, at that moment, a sea of iPhones appeared. Normally, I just watch my work on a tiny screen - just that so many people are interested, it was a cool moment," says Ginsburg.
"I think it's part of it - after the shows it you search Twitter or Instagram, its full of pictures of the band with projection," says Young. "It's a nice feeling that people have noticed it and think of it being part of the show and part of the Bombay Bicycle Club experience that they've seen that night."
Favorites for the duo include Home by Now, depicting a female figure dancing, which was one of the animations that had been through several changes from a clubby dancing vibe to Victorian women twirling with parasols and back again (initial sketches and final animation shown above).
"It was one of the tracks that we wanted to do something playful with. We had this Beyoncé thing happening and made it really silly," says Ginsburg. "Some of the visuals are trying to communicate that euphoric, generally laid-back ambience that's so characteristic of Bombay Bicycle Club. But this is the only one I've heard with a slightly hip-hop beat so we thought it would be funny."
Carry Me was another favourite, often used as the finale, with dancing figures and faces in black and white, flashing to match the extensive build up of strobing. It is moments like this and other simple techniques like animating stars falling at speed, that intensify the audience's experience. There was certainly something pretty epic about this as the sun went down at Latitude - the timing was just right, and the skin-tingling energy spread from screen and stage, out across the field.
"There's something spectacular about festivals," says Ginsburg. "There was a moment when I saw the show at Glastonbury, and during Home By Now there was a laugh. It was a career highlight for me - hearing people actually react and being able to hear their reaction to your work on that kind of scale was really cool."
These are the type of visuals that work particularly well in a festival setting. The fact that they 'mean something' as the duo describe, seems to encourage a stronger connection between the audience and the band. Maybe it's the heady atmosphere, the throng of a massive crowd, when eyes are wider and ears more eager - the environment melds perfectly with audio-visual delights on this scale.
Inspiration images: (top row:) Eadweard Muybridge; (second row:) Suehiro Maruo Molg H; Johannes Kepler; (thrid row:) Katie Scott; (bottom row:) From The Japanese Popstars Let Go video; Luke Pearson.
George Pearson's 1914 production of A Study in Scarlet was the first film to feature Sherlock Holmes – but it hasn't been seen in generations. Now, the Museum of London and the BFI are hoping the public can help track it down, in time for the museum's forthcoming exhibition on the much-loved detective...
Earlier this year another of Pearson's films, Love, Life and Laughter (1923) was rediscovered by EYE, the Dutch film archive. The director's A Study in Scarlet was the first film Pearson made for the Samuelson Manufacturing Company – it even featured one of the firm's employees, James Bragington, who, while not a professional actor, certainly looked every bit the part (below).
The silent film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story concerns a fictional murder which takes place on Brigham Young's trek across America with his Mormon followers. According to the Museum of London, the film was shot at Worton Hall studios and on location at Cheddar Gorge in Somerset and Southport Sands in Merseyside, which stood in for the Rocky Mountains and the Utah plains.
It is currently one of the oldest films on the BFI's 75 Most Wanted list.
"Every archivist dreams of finding lost films," says Bryony Dixon, curator of Silent Film at the BFI National Archive.
"But this is a film of great importance. Sherlock Holmes is internationally renowned as a great detective. It would be wonderfully appropriate if a super-sleuth could help us celebrate the centenary of this film with a chance to see it."
If any CR blog readers have information on the missing film, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or use the hashtag #FindSherlock on Twitter.
Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die opens on October 17 at the Museum of London and runs until April 12 2015. More at museumoflondon.org.uk.
CR's pick of current and upcoming exhibitions, design events and creative activities including Beacons Festival in Yorkshire; Jeremy Deller in Bristol; Lucy Sparrow's Corner Shop in London; illustrator Tom Frost and 3D paper artist Sarah Bridgland at Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Chicago Design Museum's first show in their new home, Starts/Speculations; and Antoine de Galbert's Le mur in Paris...
Beacons Festival Heslaker Farm, Skipton 7-10 August 2014
The lovely Beacons Festival returns this weekend to the glorious rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales, drawing creative folk from around the country to enjoy another joyous weekend of music and art.
Joining Jon Hopkins, British Sea Power, Daughter, East India Youth, XXYYXX, Toy and a whole lot more from the music line-up, there's plenty of arts and culture alongside. Dawsons Arthouse returns, with a programme curated by independent Leeds book store and gallery Village, bringing together creatives from a variety of disciplines, including Olio Studio, Last Straw Collective, Preston is my Paris and Mates. There'll be exhibitions, Q&As, film screenings, and workshops including sign painting, screen-printing, zine making and street photography.
The Print Project also return with the chance to screenprint your own Beacons poster, plus have your portrait drawn in the Artomatic illustration photobooth. Keep an eye out for experimental audio-visual work Arborescent using ‘graphic scores'; outdoor visuals and projections from AV specialists Lumen; and other art installations and indie design stalls around the site.
Click here to check out our round-up from last year. It's set to be another magic weekend for party-goers and families alike. Day passes (which include a night's camping) and weekend tickets are still available here.
Jeremy Deller: English Magic Bristol Museum & Art Gallery Until 21 Sep
Previously exhibited as part of the Venice Biennale exhibition last year, and following a stint at Walthamstow's William Morris Gallery, Deller's English Magic comes to Bristol. Mixing large-scale murals, installations, drawings, photographs, film and historical elements, the exhibition explores the artist's interest in the nature of English culture, from politics to Ziggy Stardust.
Deller also works with each venue to present the exhibition in a way that is specific to that space, with Bristol including paintings of the 1831 Bristol Riots by William James Miller and a display of taxidermy. After Bristol, the show will tour to Turner Contempory in Margate (11 Oct - 11 Jan).
Lucy Sparrow's Cornershop 19 Wellington Row, London E2 7BB Until 31 Aug
Over 4,000 felt versions of grocery items fill this formally derelict shop in Bethnal Green - sweets, fish fingers, cigarettes, toilet roll, newspapers, condoms, ice lollies and more, even the till and functioning pricing have all been hand-sewn by Sparrow over the last seven months.
Everything is for sale, (but stays in the store for the month), and workshops run alongside, including fluffy drinks cans and stitched crisp making - click here for dates..
Starts/Speculations: Graphic Design in Chicago Past and Future Chicago Design Museum Until 30 Sep
Having recently relocated to a new permanent home this June (after a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign), the Chicago Design Museum celebrates 100 years of design activity in Chicago with the first exhibition in the Block Thirty Seven space.
The show aims to be "an anthology of work from Chicago's graphic design legacy and a glimpse into how the tools we use to design and communicate could evolve and influence our interactions in the future". Archival pieces come from AIGA, Bauhaus Chicago Foundation Archives, and many others, plus a variety of new work from emerging design studios.
The Wild Collection by Tom Frost and Drawing with Paper with Sarah Bridgland Yorkshire Sculpture Park Tom Frost until 7 Sep Sarah Bridgland 13 Sep
There's always some lovely stuff to see and do at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in every season. Currently in Garden Gallery there's work from illustrator Tom Frost, with The Wild Collection, inspired by YSP's historic landscape and varied wildlife. The show includes collectors cards, school charts and specimen matchboxes, plus a limited edition screenprint, Ram Brand (above left), created especially for YSP.
Next month, join artist Sarah Bridgland for a workshop on 3D collages (above right), with shapes, objects and textures inspired by YSP gathered after a stroll around the park (below).
Le mur (The wall) La Maison Rouge - Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris Until 21 Sep
As part of its tenth anniversary more than 1,200 works from founder Antione de Galbert's private collection are being presented in a 3m high, 200m long ribbon around the walls of the foundation.
A computer programme was used to curate the show, with the size and inventory number as data, with paintings, videos, sculptures, sketches and anything that can be hung collected together in one vast unending frieze. The unconventional presentation, mixing the likes of Anders Petersen, Eadweard Muybridge, Gilbert & George, Jan Fabre, Hans Bellmer, Jochen Gerner and many more, aims to "raise questions about the actual art of collecting, hanging, storing and showing art".
Awkward dancing, creepy breathing and just plain weird antics from Bowie, Jagger and Presley to name a few... We chat with the man behind the magic of Musicless Musicvideos, YouTube sensation Mario Wienerroither.
Stripped of their original audio and remixed with reimagined sound effects and noises corresponding to the action, Wienerroither transforms classic pop music videos into ridiculous scenes where bands and musicians appear like strange, drunk people who you'd avoid in the street.
Occasionally uncomfortable but always humorous to watch, Wienerroither's editing somehow mutates any sense of cool, into try-hard, jarring spasms and awkward squeaky footsteps, accompanied by bizarre human grunts, sneezes, slurps and giggles.
It all started back in 1997, with a trailer for Men In Black. "Back in the 90s before university, I experimented a lot, making trailers, music videos and movies all without music and computer game trailers with new sound," he says.
After university, he came back to experimenting after seeing Queen's I Want to Break Free on TV with the sound muted. His final musicless version plays on the domestic element of the action, and is even more surreal than the original.
Narrative and location variation are important when it comes to choosing videos for the Musicless project - elements that help him to achieve more obscure results, where ambient sounds and actions are sharply cut. The musician's performance is also key, with any cool or edgy vibe quickly turning into something more ominous or simply laughable.
Check out Prodigy vocalist Keith Flint's flailing body with added signature sneezing in Breathe and Firestarter; Elvis Presley's aggressive on the spot scuffling and giggling in Blue Suede Shoes; and Bowie and Jagger - two serious dudes - completely losing it in Dancing in the Street, grunting and sidestepping as though they are in some kind of dodgy workout video.
Almost all of the sound effects are created by Wienerroither himself, working from a personal sound library that he has created over the last few years. When recording outside he uses a Tascam DR-100 field recorder, and in the studio he has a range of instruments, but says that the most important aspect is the editing software (Cakewalk Sonar) and various audio plugins.
"As soon I have the sounds on my computer the real creative work begins (since I record every sound several times and have to sort everything out), then I watch the video, and decide which sounds may fit best," he says. "There's always more than 200 single sample snippets per project, with multiple sound effect plugins running simultaneously over them."
Aside from the musicless projects, Wienerroither also produces sound design and music for films, ads, computer games and bands (through his company Digitalofen Audiobakery). And he's also recently been working on a new Silentless Movies project, adding sound and bits of dialogue to silent films.
"With Nosferatu I wanted to start this new Silentless Movies project. Since almost no-one watches silent movies anymore, I thought this would be a good way to make them somehow attractive for a younger audience again," he says. "My first one would have been a Charlie Chaplin movie, which I finished three months ago, but I couldn't get the permission to broadcast it as Chaplin's movies may only be accompanied by the full symphonic score and nothing else."
Response on YouTube to his work has been pretty immense so far, with many of the videos hitting over 1.5m views each, snd some only having been up for a month or so. But he's yet to hear from anyone featured so far: "It's a pity, but no. I hope they aren't offended," he says.
Daniel Wolfe has been off directing feature films lately, with his first feature Catch Me Daddy premiering at the Cannes Film Festival this year. But Wolfe originally cut his teeth in music videos for the likes of Plan B and he returns to the genre triumphantly this week, with a compelling short film for Paolo Nutini's new track Iron Sky.
Running at almost nine minutes long, Wolfe's film requires more dedication than your usual pop promo but in return for our time we are rewarded with a beautifully shot if bleak vision of the future, where people suffer agonies and addictions but are occasionally able to dance. Get watching people.
Credits: Director: Daniel Wolfe Production company: Somesuch&Co.
Incase you still haven't got your hands on the August issue of Creative Review - a CGI special - and you fancy some extra videos and exclusive images on the side, remember you can also get it on the iPad. You'll find all the print mag content and monograph, plus a whole lot more in Hi Res, our showcase gallery section, and CRTV, with some amazing moving image work, from interviews to animations to short documentaries and more...
The Features section of this month's issue includes designer Carl Burgess making a case for digital imagemaking as an antidote to our nostalgic obsession with the handmade; a look at Worship, a film for UNKLE by Warren du Preez, Nick Thornton Jones and the team at VFX house Glassworks, which pushes digital techniques to the limits (above right); photographer Giles Revell who uses hi-tech processes to re-present traditional artistic subjects; and self-taught 3D artist Ben Koppell (below left).
Plus, Disobedient Objects at the V&A; Digital Revolution at the Barbican (above right); Folk Art at Tate Britain; the history of RCA's Ark magazine; AKQA's Nick Turner on Google's new Material Design guidelines, and more...
In Hi Res you'll find posters from the Graphic Advocacy show (below left); unseen images from the Bowie / Duffy collaborative photo shoots (above left); Monotype full stops from the archives as part of the Century exhibition; photos playing with fakery and narrative from Joan Fontcuberta's Stranger Than Fiction show (above right); new work from illustrator Shaun Mills (below right); A Portrait of Hackney by photographer Zed Nelson, and highlights from Broomberg & Chanarin's Divine Violence exhibition.
CRTV includes an interview with typographer Erik Spiekermann; a behind-the-scenes look at Mikey Please's remarkable Marilyn Myller animation, plus the full film (below right); Stephan Jose's documentary about The Artisan Press; The Putter by Shaun Bloodworth, a portrait of one of the few remaining scissor manufacturers in the world (below left); Doug Hindson's Frisson, a tense, award-winning short about thrills; the Sandman as part of Stella Artois's Perfectionists series; and a selection of new CGI shorts from Supinfocom Arles 3D Animation School.