(v)
(v_i)
(version_industries)

65daysofstatic
silent running_112111


to accompany the release of 65daysofstatic’s new record, a rescoring of the 1972 science fiction film silent running, i have written a fairly in depth article that discusses the creation of the artwork. the article is the third in a series that i’ve written for the independent filmmaker project and you can read an excerpt of it here –

so a week passed, the hurricane was about to hit and i knew where i had to go with this. i chose not to run the idea by the band, mostly as I simply had no idea whether i could successfully pull it off any way. i?d never really drawn spaceships before and whilst i had an inkling of how i was going to do it, i truly expected a messy failure of some description to result from it. sitting down at my machine as people along the brooklyn waterfront were taping big Xs in their windows like hundreds of fox mulders with too many unanswered questions, i began to piece things together. all of the while i couldn?t stop repeating over and over what sara goldfarb says at the beginning of the film?requiem for a dream,?as her son is stealing her television to pay for drugs –

?this isn?t happening. and if it should be happening, it would be all right. so don?t worry, seymour. it?ll all work out. you?ll see already. in the end it?s all nice.?

by which i think my brain was saying that sometimes you have to trust there?s a reason for your motivations, because sometimes your subconscious is simply way ahead of you.

you can read the rest of the article here.

_category
blog, grafiks, news, , ,

fotos + essay, underscore magazine_102511


when 65daysofstatic were asked to write an article for issue 2 of underscore magazine, the magazine’s editors got in touch with us and asked that they might use some of the photographs we’d taken of the band whilst touring with them. we have since stayed in touch with the magazine, and were very kindly asked to pitch a story for issue 3, the fight issue.

we pitched three story ideas to them, one of which was a photo essay that i’d taken last christmas whilst visiting my grandparents in norfolk, england. they immediately took to the photos but asked that i accompany the shots with a small piece of writing, explaining my intentions with the shots. this soon developed into something much bigger than the intended couple of paragraphs, and swiftly started to take precedence as the driving force of the piece.

here’s excerpt from the essay –

at the end of the 1982 science fiction film blade runner, the replicant roy batty delivers a profound and lasting statement. he talks of the loss of experiences, memories and moments that occurs when someone dies. after all you certainly don?t just lose the person, you lose a completely unique perspective both on your life and the lives of countless others. an irreplaceable recording of details seemingly too obscure or trivial to write down or photograph.

quite how trivial is all relative of course. what of the tears no one saw quietly forming at the corner of the eyes that looked through the camera that photographed you being born? what of the rip in the dress on the person holding that camera, or the fight nine months before that caused that rip? the big scene. the making up. the kiss. the sex. trivial to some, but probably not to you.

you can read the rest of the essay here, and you can see the original set of photographs i took here.

nothing will compare to buying the issue, of course. this magazine is always has great articles, is printed on really nice paper stock and the overall design is pretty much impeccable. if you dig this sorta thing, by all means grab yourself a copy here.

_category
blog, grafiks, , , , , , ,

pavilion_101711


the website for the feature film PAVILION went live today, and along with it my second blog article for the IFP in which i discuss the process that went into making the site. we were also fortunate enough to be asked to handle the film’s posters and the credit sequences. the article discusses this and explains why our treatment on all fronts aimed to reflect the very minimal, atmospheric nature of the film.

here’s an excerpt –

my co-worker zach referred me once to a film (portrait of jason, 1967) where a man is sitting there smoking a cigarette for pretty much the entire film. that?s it. talking about this on the way to get lunch one day we agreed that in a film like that, where that?s all that happens, the small things turn into huge events. zach then stopped, scratched his head and thought for a moment, whispering to the air in front of him, ?what was it that happened in that one??. i stopped too, waited, and then finally he said ?ah yes, he ran out of gas on his lighter. huge deal!? we both laughed and then stepped inside?jimmy?s, our regular lunch joint.

so to reiterate,?pavilion?really is one of those exact films. it?s almost fair to say that if you blink or cough, you could miss the entire ?reveal? at the end of it. there are tiny fragmented shards of dialogue that tell you what?s happening whilst all the while you?re watching the most detached, beautiful and mesmerizing footage of kids feeling out the moments in those long, long, useless days of our youth. in fact what i said when i came back from the bathroom after tim had screened his movie for us was ?congratulations?. congratulations for capturing that feeling of the abstract, aimless ennui of what it was to be young, with almost no sense of responsibility at all.

you can read the rest of the article here.

_category
blog, code, grafiks, news, , , , , , ,

big black delta –
bbdlp1_101211

bbd_lp_reissue_750

the above cover of the new big black delta album has existed in one form or another for a year or more. aside from the protomen act II logo, this is the longest we’ve had to sit on something and let it mature. it has therefore had to suffer being discarded a few times and consequently being heaved back onto the table for repair. this is largely because we were nervous and didn’t trust that the visual came close to the power of the music. thus we kept searching for a way to express that, and consequently found ourselves staring at this piece again and again, realizing it was the closest we’d ever come.

the idea behind this cover was essentially two-fold –

first up whilst the EP depicted elements passing through space toward something, the LP we felt should be emblematic of the place they were all headed – the core or nucleus sucking everything in. this way we had a story of sorts, both visually and conceptually. conceptually because, as with most EPs, the songs were tested out and then some found their final resting place on the LP.

secondly we wanted something that gave you the sense of being in a minute, inner-space, just as much as the more obvious, vast, outer-space setting the artwork appeared to depict at first glance. we wanted it to feel like the genesis of an idea, or the microscopic core of the beginnings of an erruption, as much as a planetoid or huge cataclysm in space. you see we were into the idea that jonathan bates’ first band, mellowdrone, had had an album cover with a man clutching his head as it exploded, and that subsequently this record was perhaps illustrating the inside of that same head. the nucleus of the eruption, be it psychological or physical, that lead to the head exploding. the assumption being that both images, for us, represented the state the band was in, the lyrics and the overall tone.

whilst big black delta is very much a more personal, solo musical endeavor for jon, mellowdrone saw him very much more in a band environment, in more of a democracy and also dealing with a sense of disenfranchisement. so the angry bear album cover was an external view of the result of a certain psychology, and the BBDLP1 cover?is a depiction therefore, also, of something more personal, from somewhere more unique to just jon.

beyond the hand-drawn elements themselves the cover was also treated with a level of distressing and texture. the reason for this is that the music itself was treated in a similar fashion. jon deliberately kept certain glitches and errors that happened in the processing or compression of each track in order to give it a more freeform and ‘fuck it’ attitude. so in turn we effectively threw the record on the floor at a UFO convention and let everyone stampede across it as they made their way from bob lazar’s talk on alien spaceship reverse engineering over to the preview screenings of the next series of ancient aliens.

so what next? well jon is of course working on new music and we’re already working on new artwork. as jim carroll says in the basketball diaries “come on, reggie, you know this game never ends.”

stay tuned.

_category
blog, grafiks, news, , , , , , , , , ,

steve jobs 1955 – 2011_100611


“this was a very typical time. i was single. all you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo, you know, and that?s what i had.”

steve, at home, 1982.

_category
blog, ,

caspar vs. IFP_091411


caspar has been invited to write a monthly blog for the independent film project.?the first article went live on monday and it’s on the subject of trust.?here is an excerpt –

in terms of the work i do for version industries, i have a healthy obsession with narrative and pathos, and feel that one should inherently lead to the other if you?re going to win the trust of your audience, whatever the medium. for this very reason i try wherever possible to tell a story with each project, be it a website, a record cover, a poster or a music video. i don?t mean a ?story? in the ?fashion magazine? sense, i mean a story with characters, scenes, events and climaxes. now of course it doesn?t have to be a sad story to be a good story, but without a sense of pathos somewhere along the line, you won?t glean any real loyalty for your work. take the funniest film you?ve ever seen and there?ll be a moment of sadness sitting right at the heart of it, and whether you like it or not it?s that moment that grounds everything else. why? because sadness feels more true than happiness. we might only recollect the happy memories and we certainly don?t have much memory of pain, but it?s a fact that it?s the sad moments that help us lower our defenses, bring us together and help us trust each other. trust being fundamental if you are an artist trying to earn the respect of your peers and garner support from your audience. it?s trust that leads them to follow your progress and consequently support for your next piece of work, be that financially or other.

you can read the rest of the article here.

_category
blog, news, , , , , ,

the brooklyn brothers beat the best_081911


our talk at the IFP?labs in tribeca, new york yielded some unexpected but very welcome results – several film makers approached us to assist them with ways to promote their films. one of the first was writer / director and actor ryan o’nan. he was about to send his new film the brooklyn brothers beat the best to the toronto film festival. the above poster is one of a few elements we worked work him and his production team to put together for the festival.

the film is ryan’s ode to john hughes trains, planes and automobiles?(and stars some classic 80s movie alumni) and we created a poster to try to reflect that whilst offering it’s own more beat-up, make-shift aesthetic. it’s the story of a lovelorn musician trying to get a band together and perhaps rekindle a little self-respect along the way. due to these musical themes within the film we also helped design a series of other elements which will be revealed by the film’s production team along the way.

this is our first proper feature film poster and we’re very excited and thankful to have been ushered into this new world by such great and talented people. speaking of which, we should also add that the film also stars ‘tappy’ from requiem for a dream, ‘kevin’ from st. elmo’s fire and ‘keoki’ from party monster. if you know who those characters are then you’ll be as stoked as we were to see it for the first time. needless to say, working with ryan and his team has been a real pleasure and a great learning experience and we’re excited to say that we are already hard at work on posters for another film. stay tuned for the fruits of those labours soon.

_category
blog, grafiks, news, , , , , ,

makeup and vanity set –
never let go_080711


working with makeup and vanity set continues to be a very exciting, fluid and rewarding process. we will never take for granted the fact that we get to work so directly with such an exciting, cinematically driven collective of musicians down there in nashville, tennessee. MAVS and the protomen continue to challenge and inspire, and this project was no different.

that said, when MAVS first approached us for this project we had a lot going on and so he was forced to go elsewhere. however when that didn’t pan out as planned, he offered us another shot at it. by this point we’d had a chance to listen to the record a great deal and lament on the fact that the job was no longer ours. this of course meant that the moment we got given the reins again everything came together very quickly. the work was done in 2-3 days and proved to be a rather cathartic and emotional experience for all involved. both MAVS and i had been through intense personal experiences around this time and listening to the record now whilst looking at the cover, it clearly expresses both of our desires to keep searching for an answer no matter how dark things got.

beyond the obvious emotional understanding, we’d been informed that it was to be a cassette only release and that MAVS was keen to echo a visual from the VHS era of home entertainment. old enough to have lived through a great portion of the VHS and cassette era, we understood how this record would sound when fans heard it and very much where it was coming from in terms of cinematic narrative. the decision to in some way make it photographic and involve some sort of backlit misty scene came very quickly, and was undeniably influenced by our shared love for shows from that era like?twin peaks and the x-files. so it was then a matter of building that out with a combination of photographic elements and a series of photoshop brushes and textures. finally, the typography came about as a result of wanting something elegant and not too clich?, but that would also feel a little like film credits.

it goes without saying but we can’t express just how fantastic the music is on this record. it’s powerfully cinematic and takes you back into a world made mysterious by not just the technologies used to create and record it, but also by the melodies and the concepts behind them.

stream the record here and by all means buy a copy of if you dig it. it’s only $6 on mp3, or $15 if you want the cassette version.

_category
grafiks, news, , , , , , , , , , ,

the gregory brothers_061311

once again we could not be more grateful to topspin. they have put us in touch with an eclectic range of radical artists with whom we’ve had the most exciting and rewarding relationships. the gregory brothers, better known as the auto-tune the news guys, are no exception. a month or so ago they walked into our studio and told us they needed a new website. they then hit the road and we sent them our ideas as they criss-crossed the country on the youtube tour. the trick was to combine their already burgeoning aesthetic with a number of new levels of functionality. their old site had been pretty much built entirely by them using dreamweaver and they were understandably into something that would be a little easier to update. needless to say, but the process was a breeze and often funny too.

as the project went on we of course became more and more familiar with their work. aside from the classic auto-tune videos that we’ve all seen, it was very apparent that they were a talented 4 piece band in their own right. not only are they capable of making a hilarious youtube videos but they’ve got an album’s worth of solid, self-proclaimed?folk ‘n’ roll jams. hit up the music store on the new site to check some of them out. they just got back from playing bonnaroo festival and i’m sure will be announcing more tour dates soon. seriously, go. they’re fantastic people and their show is seriously unique.


gregorybrothers.com

_category
blog, code, grafiks, news, , , , , , , ,

web design handbook_061211


a while back we were asked by loft publications in barcelona, spain, to have some of our work featured in a web design handbook that they were putting together. the book is now out and available from amazon here.

a huge thanks to paz diman and all at loft publications for the invitation. we’re very honoured.

_category
blog, news, , ,