Memories of Tori Amos

Hi Everyone,

   It's been hectic down my end as always, juggling my work at Dynomite Productions alongside my freelance jobs and fiction-based dalliances - and trying to fit all that around domestic jobs such as cleaning out the guinea pigs (I have two now)! So I'm going to keep today's blog post brief, with two pieces of major news:

   1) The Night Owls extended cut edit is nearly finished (with a new video diary about that to be released soon).

   2) Stop/Eject is on the long list for a BAFTA nomination.

   Yes, you read number 2 right. How amazing is that news? For saying we weren't even nominated as 'best' anything during our time at Raindance, me and Neil weren't expecting to get this far! And it's so, so unlikely that we'll be nominated, but even being on the long list is such  an honour. Keep an eye on the film's Facebook page for more news as and when it happens.

   So, moving on to the purpose of today's blog post... 

   Last month I entered a short (15 second) film competition, to create a video for none other than the ethereal Tori Amos, and her recent song Weatherman. Here is my entry below:

   The themes for the video were 'nature and memories of love', and I wanted to give it a go for two reasons; Firstly, I've been wanting to make a film for a while based on the fact that almost everyone has a camera on them, and the ability to capture the moving image, 24-7. Which is why my entry uses a mix of mediums - HD, SD and even phone footage, all of which was blurred slightly and converted to 4:3 to give it a nostalgic feel (aided by the Lana del Rey-esque film burn transitions).

Hint of a cameo in Weatherman
   I even appear briefly in the video, in a section of 'phone footage' from my old Blackberry. This was footage of myself and my boyfriend, filmmaker and composer Edward Harvey, shot when been together less than two months (which is hard to believe, looking at how intense we seem in the footage!). That footage meant a lot to me, and I didn't really intend on releasing it, but it seemed fitting for this video, so in it went!

  Some of the standard-def footage is from one of my first cameras, and there's clips there from my early attempts at music videos. Which brings me to the second point as to why this competition was important to me; The first music video I ever shot, aged around 16/17 (I don't remember) was made for a Tori Amos song.

  The track was her cover of The Cure's Lovesong, and of course it was a fan-made piece rather than a commissioned one. It was shot in my high school, with an old school chum who appeared in all my early videos. I used the sepia setting rather than changing the
Screengrab from Lovesong
colours in post, which is something I'd never recommend doing these days, and it was exported as a heavily pixelated 4:3 SD video. And it didn't have a set narrative; was made up from various shots and images that I thought were 'pretty'. So some of it looks very immature now, but it's interesting to see how many motifs from that video have lasted with me over the years.

   I put that video online privately for storage reasons, and I don't mind showing it to you guys on request (although it's rather cringe-worthy these days!). But I doubt I'll ever release it. There's something else important I've learnt to do since shooting it; get release forms signed at all times!

   I never thought I'd get the opportunity to show that old video to Tori, even though I shot it for her as much as for me. So when I decided to use clips from my old work in this 15 second film competition, I jumped at the chance to use some shots from Lovesong (all the sepia bits in my above entry are from that).

  The competition closed on the 31st October, and I haven't heard anything from Tori's representatives (although Mercury Classics did share the video on Twitter). So I can only assume that I haven't won, but that's okay. I was just really happy to give it a go, and to have the chance to look through all that old footage! I also liked the finished result enough that I might expand on it, and use it for something else in the future. I already have an idea in mind, for when I get the time.

   Right, enough nostalgia. Back to work for me. I'll be in touch with you guys again when the new Night Owls video diary is released.



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