Monday, 18. August 2008 - 10:45 am
Which Robin “El Skid” Schmidt describes below, rather entertainingly…
Tracing Lines (Echo Label)
Prod co: Chrome Productions
Director: El Skid
Producer: Hannah Chandler/Robin Schmidt
DoP: Matt Cooke
Post: El Skid and Andy Needham
Commissioner: David Rowell
Watch: Quicktime movie
“El Skid” on making Feeder’s Tracing Lines video
“Feeder were looking to do something stripped down and cool, didn’t have much budget and were about to go ahead with another treatment (sorry to the director…). I got a call
from the commissioner to ask if I had any ideas, had this one up my sleeve, sent it over, and the next day I’m hired. And then I realise I have to actually make it.
“Stuart Gosling made a vid a few years back using three DV cameras set up to shoot three angles at the same time and I wanted to do something similar but green screen so we had lots of guitar arms sticking out at the same time.
“Feeder always seem to look really morose and sombre in their vids so we wanted to do something fun, where they looked like they were having a good time. And the guys are actually a good laugh. We shot three Sony EX1′s using the XDCam EX format, one on the right, one on the left and one in the middle. Just a regular green-screen shoot.
“Then the post. With all those takes, shot on Hi-Def, there was a massive amount of footage – and I was doing all the post myself on my own computer. Disaster. My computer’s way too slow and I just sat there swearing at it for hours while it tried to work out what I was asking it to do, crunching through keying hundreds of layers in the same shot.
“Finally the graphics card just gave up and started making noises like Harrier jump jet. I had to finish it off at a friend’s place. He’s a motion graphics artist and was bragging about how fast his machine was. We broke that one too, at three o clock in the morning, and then he started swearing at it and swearing at me for getting him involved.
“We used After Effects to comp it all together, which is a brilliant programme, but when you have 150 layers – all with names like Wide G F, WIde G L, WIde G R – you start to lose the plot really quickly.
“I’ve never felt like I’d bitten off way more than I could chew this badly before. I was just seeing layers, and stupid 3D camera moves, and every time you made a mistake it disrupted
everything that went before, so you had to start from the beginning again. Bit like linear editing except with 150 layers at a time.
“There are lots of references to old Feeder videos, like Buck Rogers and Come Back Around, but I just like the fact that all the technical stuff is technically wrong. The keying is crap, the grading had to be done on a laptop because everything else was broken, and everything’s just thrown on top of everything else (normally you edit the shots you want, but here I just put every take in the video). But somehow it all hangs together.”