Last fall, I received a call from my cousin, asking me if I wanted to make a music video for a song from his upcoming album: The Beginning and End of War. I was honored he would think of me and intrigued with the project. It seemed like it would be challenging and exciting, and it sure was both.
I started out by listening to the music and mulling over possible storylines. I always try to show some sort of transformation through my use of materials, and I wanted the story to reflect that. So I came up with a man jumping out of an airplane, parachuting into a dead tree, growing wings, and in the process of his own transformation, bringing transformation and life to the tree as well. Dave's musical concept was the Civil War, but due to the airplane sounds within the song, I went with early airplane history. At the start of every good project is research:
And lots of unsightly brainstorming and sketching:
Having used a variety of trash in my previous projects, I was excited to tackle newspapers as a unifying material and visual for this project. I could pull from Civil War Era creative commons images for some of the background imagery. I like that newspapers tell lots of stories, and here they are adding to the story I was creating. Thanks to Nancy for providing me with lots of newspapers to use: you are a hero of print media.
I started making the characters and bits and pieces I would need to photograph:
Over the course of making, I developed a serious case of paper-mache´ thumb. Don't worry, it cleared up with an intense application of lava soap.
Once I had all the pieces, I needed to photograph them against a neutral background. So I had fun putting together a mini-lighting set up in my little room.
Then I brought my pictures into Photoshop and did some serious background deletion.
Finally, I put all my bits and pieces into After Effects to make it move! Which was a process unto itself. Lots of adjusting, and re-adjusting, and just-re-ad-ing. You can see the final version on the "things that move" portion of my website, or at this link: https://vimeo.com/88316511. I hope you enjoy it! Please feel free to share it around.
Rebecca Joy Mohrlang
I like to make art from trash and discarded items. Follow along if you are interested.