This post was originally posted on the smsd blog, click here to view.
Martin (screen3/Dronesclub) and I have been talking about re-staring the smsd project for a good while now. Probably a fair few years if we’re honest, but other things have got in the way up until now. We couldn’t just let if slip away though - it was too good a concept.
As we’ve both now moved cities since the original smsd series, (which started back in 2005) we’ve adapted the rules. I’m now in Bristol (Paul) in the S.W. of the UK and Mart is in Toronto, Canada, so pretty far removed from being just a London Tube journey away.
We’ve decided to use the distance creatively. Our aim is to record a video each month from each of our home cities. I will record audio and video in Bristol and Martin will record in Toronto. Each time Mart will create the music track from the audio sources and then I will edit the video (now DSLR) footage over the music track.
(all the pictures in this posting are from the new smsd project)
The old rules for audio production largely stand:
- Make a music track from the audio gathered on camera during a single shooting session.
- Other than electronic drum loops, the only sounds that are allowed are those captured during filming. (eg if you want a bass riff, make it from a motorbike revving) Audio of instruments/ voice captured while filming are OK, so long as they aren’t staged.
We’re adding an additional rule to the originals. We’ve scale synched OS maps of Bristol and Toronto with both being anchored to their central railway stations (Bristol’s Temple Meads and Toronto’s Union Railway Station).
I started the ball rolling last Tuesday on a very sunny and fresh autumn morning heading from Bristol Temple Meads as my entry point into the new project (smsd_BrisTo Part 1b). During recording I GPS logged my 5 mile route and then gave Mart the starting point for his first Toronto video by plotting my GPS coordinates onto the scale synched OS maps. Having our start points indirectly chosen by the others movements 1000’s of miles away adds a quirky bit of chaos to the whole thing.
The filming rules are pretty straight forward:
- Shoot on one single day. Start location will be determined by the previous film*. Audio and picture are to be recorded simultaneously. Record at a maximum of 3 locations. 20 clips at each location max.
- Natural lighting only.
- No staging of actions.
- Audio should then be stripped out and shipped to Martin for music production.
(expect a hearty mix of urban grit and colourful personality)
For Part 1t, Mart will start at my end coordinates, then will be free to roam as he wishes and in turn, his end point will dictate where I start for Bristol leg part 2b.
The concept is pretty out there, but with the original smsd we found that having certain parameters that were pre-determined was an interesting way of working. Sometimes not having to make too many choices and be impulsive within the constraints of your environment helps your ideas thrive.
(is this lady singing or shouting? You’ll have to wait to find out)
The rail station starting point fitted in nicely as a segway refrence to the London Underground location dictator in the original smsd.
(Bristol Temple Meads station on a sunny October morning)
We’ve decided not to film on super8 film this time round. Super8 is something very, very special and was formative to my early film making, but since 2005 the cost has sky rocketed and it’s difficult to get film stock processed quickly. We’ll be filming on DSLR and mobile phones depending on the mood. I’ve got a collection of my dad’s old vintage SLR glass from his Praktica camera from the 1980’s. With a M42 to Canon EF-mount adaptor it works a treat and gives pictures a really interesting look.
(assorted vintage Praktica SLR glass)
smsd_BrisTo Part 1b should be ready in the next couple of weeks. Until then, the 3 parts of the original series can be seen in the post below.