Tuesday, 11. September 2012 - 4:58 pm
Alden Volney, director of two cool videos for PLUGS, applies an extreme version of his retro-lofi animation style for Villagers’ The Waves – with a video based around the image of an oscilloscope, followed by so much solarisation, flashing and jarringly vibrant colours it could well have set some kind of Harding Test fail rate record. And epilepsy sufferers should probably steer clear from the online version. But by the climax of the song, when Villagers’ gentle style has made way for an intense cacophony, it all makes sense.
“As The Waves was such a departure from the Villagers’ previous records, we had steer away as far as we could from the feel of their other videos,” says Alden. “It was a bit too obvious, visually speaking, to represent actual sea waves in the video, so I started toying with oscillator waveforms (square, sin, sawtooth etc…). I ran Conor’s image through an oscillator-emulating plugin and programmed it to react to the beat of the song. I started running a lot of different visuals through that oscillator plugin, and also used the Rutt Etra Video Synthesizer for some parts.
“The hardest part, I suppose, was trying to visually match the violence of the end of the song. The song covers a large specter of different intensities so i had to be careful not to go over the top, in the beginning and keep cinematic ammunition for the “all hell breaks loose” part, in the end. The retro-futuristic aspect acts as some kind of ironic underlining of the themes of the song…Natural disasters and existential distress are matters to be approached ironically, in my opinion. I think it’s too redundant to just get sad about the human meaninglessness.
“The video was made in about three weeks, which is very little time for a five minute video containing a lot of animated elements, but the rush of the deadline, and the fear that you won’t be able to meet it, seems to turn on the ‘survival mode’ in the artistic brain…”
Director: Alden Volney
Producer: Adam Farley
Prod co: Riff Raff Films
Commissioner: John Moule