Light Years Out

Light Years Out

I recently worked on a video with Lee Ranaldo for his new song with Raül Refree: Light Years Out. Lee edited the video, I gave him over 50 takes to work with. All of the video was processed in real time of one or another clips that were shot by Fred Riedel and Anna Bogaciovas. The concept was to stick with processing Lee's head lip-syncing.

Lee and I overlapped at Binghamton University and we had some mutual friends that were sometimes putting us in the same room. Of course I was always a fan of his work, his band in Binghamton, Sonic Youth, and now his solo work. If you haven't had a chance, go see Fred Riedel's documentary: Hello Hello Hello : Lee Ranaldo : Electric Trim. This collaboration was quickly really comfortable and it forced me to turn on the studio a few times.

You can see a good deal of use of the Rutt-Etra in this, however everything was typically sent through one of my keyers for layering and or color. I did start with some straight RE takes but we quickly decided to stick with processed RE. I also found GoPro is not a good camera to shoot RE with. Toward the end I stuck with the new soft-edge keyer combined with my HSV modules for color. I was very happy with the keyer, it turned out the gain on the comparator stage was just fine. I did use the colorizer but only on one clip. Mabye it needs more tuning, but i find the colorizer a tempermental beast, and for some reason I am only liking non-diode mix mode, maybe I'll have to add that final amplifier stage David suggested. The shot with the colorful background used the sequencer going between maybe keyer colorized buffer and a rescan of the same. At first the sequence was more complicated with 4 steps but I simplified it to just 2 steps before setting it down. Other than that I stayed away from the sequencer, though I did vc the normal reverse on the keyer on some takes (another sequencer like effect) that we ended up rejecting). 

Early on my buffer died. I ended up using the Panasonic WJ-MX50A instead, pre-processed with a Jones input amp to output amp just to set levels and mix in some waveforms in the pedestal. The MX-50A has a nice buffer even if it's just one frame with no key level. Before this I tended to use the MX-50 upstream of the RE to pre-process it's video, but it's really nice downstream as well. I moved between RE and no RE takes, I tired to keep it simple and was drawn to the takes using external keys.

Of the over 50 takes Lee used a small number, which was to be expected, and it left some interesting work on the cutting room floor, some of which could be pieces on their own. Toward the end I got into exactly lining up RE modulated video with the buffered shots. I also tended to modulate height instead of vertical, after this I think I will go back to vertical as you RE types know that height goes through 0 and it's why you get that twisting onthe left. I think I started with height as I like going through 0, but I ended up not using the patch in that way. At the start I told Lee to have all the source video shot over black, but when the first material came back from Anna over white it was a nice challenge which gave us some interesting results. Hold onto the accidents.