My friends Tucker Bennett and Zach Shipko made a feature length movie that chronicles the trials and tribulations of an art school student making his way through the world. The first thing you notice about “Why Are You Weird” is the outstandingly radical LoFi visual aesthetic. They went out of their way to bring audiences the best, most premium quality fuzz. Much of it was shot on VHS and edited using vintage equipment. It’s interesting that although everything in the movie is modern (cell phones, internet humor), is has this dreamy warm glow of timelessness. I give “Why Are You Weird” two thumbs way up plus extra bonus points for the original score by composer Van Diesel. The score includes MIDI renditions of early 2000s radio hits like “Thong Song” and “Crossroads” (also be sure to check out the song in the closing credits, which is one of the best pop songs I’ve heard in a while).

What’s cool about it for me personally is that I go to the same school, parks, and places that this movie was shot, and I think Tucker and Zach really captured this moment in time. Unless you’re in SFAI, or the Mission, or whatever, you might not appreciate how perfectly they captured life here and now, but they nailed it. I don’t know how relevant that would be to you if you’re not in San Francisco, or don’t plan to be, but if you’re curious, everything right here right now seems to have this brooding silliness about it that you can’t quite put your finger on, but comes across really well in this movie. I should also mention that you might also recognize some of the same people that helped me with my Love Dreams Love video. Actually I think almost everybody in my video is in this movie including the film makers (That’s Tucker in the wizard hat and moon mask, and Zach who smashes that adding machine after the solo).

It also got a really nice write up in Interview Magazine. The whole movie is spliced into 10 parts and is available on YouTube.

Posted: 11/24/2009 1:40 pm by Doc. Tags: , ,

I’ve got some random and cool news. My friend Dan B of VisualNoiz who works on a lot of high end video and commercials (and occasionally pretty super 8 music videos) was working on the new video for Animal Collective’s "In The Flowers", and I got to do a little work on it myself.

Posted: 11/20/2009 8:29 am by Doc. Tags:

This is a video made by some buds of mine Erlin Geffrard and Spencer Cunningham, they both wrote & recorded the song, then shot the video all in one week. They both totally nailed the warm LoFi vibe. Also in this video in the pink wig is friend Kelli Ryan who you might recognize from her smashing performance (get it… smashing) in my Love Dreams Love video. This is guaranteed to make you feel good. Try watching 5 times, it makes you feel 5 times as good.

Also check out some of Spencer’s other films. He’s done everything from documentaries to skate videos, all of which have that really warm dreamy LoFi aesthetic to them.

Posted: 11/04/2009 8:29 am by Doc. Tags: , ,

The debut Numbers Game video for “Love Dreams Love” on Vimeo.

Written and Directed by Doc.
Produced by Doc.
Photography Doc.
Editing & Post-Production Doc.
Music by Numbers Game.

The Dreamers: Tucker Bennett, Chris Corrente, Ray Lordi, Naomi Larrick, Kelli Ryan, Zach Shipko, Taeer Maymon, Eric Wilson, Jeff Lee, Orion Ananda, & Doc.

Numbers Game is: Doc (vocals, all instruments & production)

Extra special thanks to Tucker Bennett, Katie Sell, Erlin Geffrard, Joseph Michael, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Urban Ore Berkley for providing me with truck loads of junk on the cheap.

Right Click "Save As" To Download The Song.
It’s Yours. For Free. Enjoy!

Production notes: Shot entirely with a Canon GL1. The lo-fi effects were achieved by re-recording and re-shooting footage off of an old circuit bent VCR. It was shot entirely at the San Francisco Art Institute’s Studio 8 and in the Focus Media tree house.

I wanted to come up with a video that complements the lyrics and feel of the song. I didn’t want to act the song out in any way, but provide a sort of visual accompaniment. I think my lyrics in Love Dreams Love are pretty simple and to the point, so I also thought the video should be simple and to the point. I started by writing down the most obvious way to approach the project: "everybody feels alone and we’re neck deep in junk". I had a lot of ideas about the best way to visually express that. All of them were pretty complex, most of them were too complex for me to pull off, and none of them felt right. After a few days it literally came to me in a dream, "smashing stuff!". Although it’s ridiculously simple, I think it’s the best way to get the idea across. I find that in life you have to remove a lot of debris before you get to anything good, but since digging for something good is all anyone can do to occupy themselves, you might as well try.

The only other thing I wanted to say about this project is that making a song and a video can seem like a daunting task. Conventional wisdom will tell you that you need money, film experts, a record label, a recording studio, and industry people for moral support. You don’t! I would like to say to anyone out there who’s like me, this is just one more example of someone who did it for themselves, and you can too.

Apart from the smashing you see my friends doing, I did everything else on my own. I shot it, I directed it, edited it, I moved junk around, I cleaned up, and I even circuit bent a VCR for those lo-fi special effects. I did the music too. I sang, played guitar, bass, piano, drums, and all the synth stuff. The best part is that I didn’t have to wait for other band members to show up. I work usually late at night in a small apartment on my own time. I’m free to do what I want, how I want, and I’ve never been restricted or micromanaged by a record label. In case anybody has had any doubts, you really can do it yourself, and it’s easier than you think. Until just 10 years ago, you used to have to buy expensive equipment to do this stuff, but now all you need to be an autonomous one person media mogul is a pile of cheap computer components, maybe a guitar, and an idea. Go for it.

Posted: 09/09/2009 9:09 am by Doc. Tags: , , , , ,

Check out. My friend Jesse made this for the band Okie Dokie.

Posted: 08/24/2009 3:03 am by Doc. Tags: ,