Hella Gems | Original Music Blog

What a Shot

February 19th, 2009 by

Poodleface – What a Shot – video (mp4 download)
Watch this video on YouTube

My attempts at cobbling together a song for this week’s Hellagem were unsuccessful, so I decided instead to revisit a piece I originally composed for the 2007 Atlanta Laptop Battle preliminaries.

I waited so long to finally release this because it truly is a B-side as far as Poodleface videos go… I am really pleased with the sleazy saxophone feel of it combined with using the sound effects in an interesting way, but by and large there is far too much padding in this one as I tried to make it work in the 2:00 framework (this was the upper limit of performances in the preliminaries, which is why Custom Made is also almost exactly 2 minutes).

This was the video I played first, and there was a very clear reason I did so… in the 2006 Battles (where Custom Made was born) I had taken the notion of using the laptop as a performance instrument literally, making videos that utilized the screen. At the time, the judges felt I was violating the spirit of the event by not doing live manipulation, so I did not win a single round. I actually agree with this in retrospect, I gleefully remained ignorant in order to do precisely what I wanted to do, interpreting the rules as I saw fit. Sometimes you have to do that and accept the consequences that may follow.

So, getting back to the original point, rather than completely abandon video, I decided to thumb my nose at the event slightly, so to speak, by continuing to do videos while manipulating the instrumentation with a MIDI controller. The last line of the video being “They saw my power, no way they’re gonna dog me this year” was meant to be a literal statement to how I felt about how my previous experience with the event had gone down. Again, in retrospect, I understand everyone’s processes, and the 300,000 views for “Custom Made” on YouTube have been their own brand of vindication, but I figured you guys might want to know the background of this video.

My tools for making these videos is a combination of Sony Vegas and Ableton Live. Briefly, a temporary music track is first created in Ableton using the videos within the session as a guideline of how I will utilize them, then once the tempo and structure is set I export this to Vegas to do the actual video manipulation, finally returning to Live for the final audio mixdown. Then the whole thing is rendered in Vegas.

My manipulation of this video yesterday was limited to making the poodleface do crazy zooms at the end. I left it as flawed as it is, also knowing that if I started editing it again the whole thing might just fall to pieces.

Anyway, at some point in the future I’ll go a little deeper into creative decisions that are made in the process of making these. For now enjoy this golden poodleface oldie.

3 Responses to “What a Shot”

  1. Kelly G

    Cool. I Hadn’t seen it.

  2. Mike

    Good video!
    What you don’t know is that I’ve watched Custom Made 299,000 times. That’s about 415 days of non-stop viewing.

    For more repeated glass breaking action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArQCkbP07Ao

  3. gojirra

    Great job, custom made is still one of the greatest things on youtube though.

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