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International Music Video Awards

Somehow, somehow... the first video I created with this re-brand has won an honourable mention at the International Music Video Awards!

Handoween originated with an orchestral soundtrack I had made when I was working in the lab, late one night. Inspired by the likes of Danny Elfman and all things gothic, I wanted to create something that was simple, delicate and creepy. I also wanted to make use of the new Theremin VST. In my typical heavy metal and punk rock roots, I knew I'd also end up including something heavy... this ended up being the chorus. The full throttle staccato strings cascading down while the sci-fi wailing bellows out like an Area-51 security alarm worked nicely for me.

For the "weird" I kept hearing a gospel feel in the mid section but couldn't get anything I was satisfied with. On taking a well earned break (one episode of Terrace House), I came back and improvised the organ section that you hear in the middle of the piece. I liked the slightly out of time, almost jankyness to it and left the instrument unedited.

There then, the track laid to rest, unused.

Fast forwarding to 2 weeks before Halloween, the itch to begin creating for the emo-christmas started to once again show it's yearly face. I remembered about the mad-scientist track I had laying dormant and began to conceptualise an idea that was firstly, cheap. Secondly, I could actually film by myself and thirdly, I could complete in a few hours. The idea of a giant hand came quickly (luckily) and I just ran with it. I wanted the hand to look like it was straight out of Beetlejuice and knew, deep down, that it would have to be stop-motion. Of course, I looked at every single way to replicate the effect without the need to go into that tedious medium. A colleague though, convinced me that with their help, stop-motion was the only way to go... that pesky creative!

And so be it. 4 hours, an achy wrist and a lot of satisfaction later. Yeah. I said it. We had our stop motion hand thanks to DragonFrame and a Panasonic GH5.

Two days later, we went into the studio to film the green screen section. The camera angles were simple enough to replicate and we had only shot a front and a side of the stop motion. My friend Dale's hand had its debut by providing the shadow a the start of the video, where's his BAFTA? The shadow was made by simply putting his hand in front of a 2k and taking it away before he burned himself.

In post, After Effects helped with the keying but, to be honest, I wasn't happy with the results. Even now. My (now cut) long frizzy-thin hair wasn't doing any favours! But, it is what it is! I replicated focus pulls with the simple technique of adding and removing gaussian blur onto the separate layers - and this for me is what sold the effect and added a huge amount of depth and scale to the piece.

A massive thanks to Aleks and Dale for all of their help! And a not-so-thanks to Aleks for convincing me to do stop-motion (I jest, of course).

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