[ back to Tom 7 Radar ]

m
u
s
i
c

v
i
d
e
o
Is it live... or is it Maxwell House? (18 Jan 2009 at 22:44)
#1: Steelers win, Superbowl here we come.

#2: Nels and I finished off a new song yesterday and recorded a music video with my new camera (secret project LOMH). It took me longer to put it together than it should have because of unreliable software, and this was frustrating to the max, but now it is ready:



As always, but moreso than usual, I recommend that you click through and watch in high resolution, or even download the original 1920x1080 file. I'm really excited about the quality of the video that this camera shoots, and once I get familiar with using it it's going to be even better.

This is a song about coffee delirium. It is a leading aggravating factor in accidental deaths among young professionals. I'm curious to know whether you understand the joke in the title—it's one of those ones that I think most people from my era and area should know, but I also suspect maybe not like when I dressed as Mikhail Gorbachev and nobody knew who that was.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Mike Kenny (c-66-30-254-149.hsd1.ma.comcast.net) – 01.18.09 23:11:37
quite nice! did you storyboard this ahead of time? looks good--i like the tableau style.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Tom 7 (h-67-100-132-53.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 01.18.09 23:18:04
Thanks! Only in my brain. The tableau reflects I think my photographic upbringing. Works for music videos, though.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Chris C (c-76-99-55-118.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 01.18.09 23:18:05
Holy crap, this is amazing. I adore the fruit face. The whole thing looks and sounds great. Is there an MP3?

I know you've said somewhere before, but what camera is it you have? The quality is impressive.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Mike Kenny (c-66-30-254-149.hsd1.ma.comcast.net) – 01.18.09 23:51:33
yes, works quite well!
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Tom 7 (h-67-100-132-53.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 01.18.09 23:59:46
Chris, thanks very much. I have an MP3 but I am too cranky at technology to finish it up today. I will post it soon.

Actually: This is my first video with my new camera, the Canon 5D mk II. The other ones were with the Canon HF100, which is a good camcorder, but this is a digital SLR that also shoots 1080p video through real lenses. (I used my three main lenses for this, the 100mm f/2.8 macro, the 50mm 1.4, and the 17-40 f/4L for the band shots, which actually I think came out pretty crummy.) It's what I've wanted for ages and I am so happy that it finally exists that I will suffer through insufferable crashy softwares to enjoy it.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Max (129.133.197.189) – 01.19.09 00:04:21
Excellent video!

P.S. I understand the joke in the title.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Cortney (pool-138-88-167-53.res.east.verizon.net) – 01.19.09 00:59:02
Fantastic!! :) I'm really impressed!
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
jcreed (66.207.132.40) – 01.19.09 08:55:24
Things I really enjoyed:

* quality of lip synch
* quality of video - did you add fake focal blur after or was it genuine during closeup of paper, for e.g.?
* Nels avoiding eye contact with camera except occasionally and then looking away apologetically
* Not a thing I enjoyed per se, but I think Memorex made floppy disks, too? That's where I seem to remember the brand name from anyway. I think I absorbed the slogan through the ambient ad-o-sphere without ever having seen it
* Magritte allusion. How did you do the floating apple fx??
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Anonymous (c-67-186-135-245.hsd1.ct.comcast.net) – 01.19.09 09:39:24
Excellent video. I would recommend a subtle bass track.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Tom 7 (h-67-100-132-46.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 01.19.09 10:40:37
Thanks Max, Cortney, Jason, and CT!

CT: I was thinking the same thing, that this song could use a bass track in it, but we recorded it in one take (!) and that was good luck and I wanted to get on to video making to keep up our velocity, so I didn't want to mess with it. Also, I don't know how I feel about recording songs with parts that we can't play live, since I think part of the idea of the band is to be live-capable, though if we get into videos then perhaps it's worth reconsidering.

J: Don't you remember me talking about this pretty much all year, that I had figured out why I hate sub-$15,000 video so much and how to fix it? The focal blur is a big part of that. It comes from using a large imaging area and large-aperture lenses. Still, I messed up in shooting a lot of this stuff because I didn't know what I was doing. (The white balance is particularly bad, and the exposure in the band shots too.) Next time will be even better quality.

Memorex did make computer data stuff for a while. I think they are owned by Sony now. One regret is that we didn't think to shoot a pastiche of that famous ad where the guy is sitting in the armchair getting blown away by sound quality.

The Magritte illusion was pretty easy. I stuck a small spoon into the apple and held the spoon in my mouth (Nels's idea). The wide lens shooting it exaggerates its size and apparent distance from my face.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Nels (gs5048.sp.cs.cmu.edu) – 01.19.09 10:52:55
Now we're really getting confused.

Memorex had crappy commercials with Ella Fitzgerald where she would sing, break a glass, and then the Memorex tape would also break a glass. I can't find the original, but this humorous commercial that came later in the series alludes to it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bkt8Dwzl6Sg

Maxell also made tapes (I think this is why I originally said, "Is it live or is it Maxwell," which you completed with "House.") They were the ones that had the awesome guy getting blown away by the awesome tapes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2WcBi9mu6A
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Tom 7 (h-67-100-132-46.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 01.19.09 11:48:01
Oops, you're right, I thought the awesome tapes guy was also Memorex. Still, it would have helped the mixed metaphor.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Brendan (pool-68-162-191-80.pitt.east.verizon.net) – 01.19.09 11:48:23
Well done! I particularly liked the feel of the moka pot shots (though perhaps partly because I'm a big fan of that underutilized-in-the-usa brewing technology). I think you may have pushed me over the edge and sold Canon another camera.

My understanding from something I saw online was that you can't do manual aperture control for video. Is it true, and did you manage to work around if so? (Seems like something that would drive you nuts).
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
effika (ip72-200-205-126.ok.ok.cox.net) – 01.19.09 11:52:50
The DVD-r's I have from Memorex still carry that slogan and a broken glass. I'm so glad they don't use those commercials anymore.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Tom 7 (h-67-100-132-46.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 01.19.09 16:04:31
Brendan: I don't know how to adjust the aperture. I don't know why it wouldn't be possible, I just figured I didn't understand yet. Maybe it isn't possible, which would be kind of a bummer. Maybe a firmware update will enable control. Since I'm always in manual focus for movies, if it becomes a problem it wouldn't be hard to grab some oldie manual lenses and mount converters on ebay. I hear those are a good deal anyway.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
jcreed (66.207.132.40) – 01.20.09 08:12:06
tom you should keep trying to make good music videos with hard work and a bit of luck you might one day be half as good as this dude
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9J65j2GNzw
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Sophia (c-65-96-221-97.hsd1.ma.comcast.net) – 01.20.09 14:01:02
Awww I love this video!
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Tom 7 (h-67-100-132-46.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 01.20.09 19:29:33
OMG, is that really real? Is this some kind of exploitative production company that indulges you to make your very own rock star music video for a thousand bucks?
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Chris Wass (ip70-190-115-184.ph.ph.cox.net) – 01.22.09 23:33:38
I really enjoyed the video! Man, you have so many talents!
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Tom 7 (h-69-3-248-26.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 01.23.09 00:33:31
Yay thanks!
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
fetjuel (cts219103098203.cts.ne.jp) – 01.27.09 03:03:46
I got the joke (I was born in September 1981), but I found myself confusing Maxell, Memorex, and Magnavox. Maxwell House is safely separate from those guys in my mind though.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
fetjuel (cts219103098203.cts.ne.jp) – 01.27.09 03:04:05
Also I liked your song and video.
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Adhesion (cpe-74-74-185-170.rochester.res.rr.com) – 01.28.09 10:12:15
Damn, that was excellent. Are you planning on making any more, maybe for older songs? Also, I hate to be a nag, but did you ever post those old SR&SR mp3s (Muse or vampires & Crunk)?
c
o
m
m
e
n
t
Tom 7 (h-69-3-248-26.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 01.28.09 18:25:14
Thanks fj!

Adhesion: This dir has everything we've recorded so far:

http://mp3.tom7.org/sickridiculous/

The plan is to do a couple more videos, yes. I have some planned for my solo musics, too. Stay tuned!
p
o
s
t

a

c
o
m
m
e
n
t
[ Tom 7 Radar  •  Tom 7 on Google+  •  on Twitter  •  on Facebook ]