Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gigs on Friday 1st Feb (Melbourne)

The two rad composers we have enlisted for Supermarket Musical Massacre are both playing gigs this Friday night.

Nat Bartsch, with the Nat Bartsch Trio, will be playing at EQ Bar on Southbank from 11pm-1am. Check out her myspace here and her trio's myspace here.

Oscar O'Bryan will be playing as part of funk/fusion outfit King Armadillo. They'll be playing from 11pm-2am at the Purple Emerald (Flinders Lane, between Swanston and Russell). Oscar may also be manning the decks before they start. Check out their website here.

We'll let you know more about these great musicians in future posts.

Common Freestyle Sermon

Maybe more people would go to church if the priests were really MCs?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Concept Artwork - Supermarket Musical Massacre

Yesterday Chris, Maia and Steph were working on rigging some basic paper models for Supermarket Musical Massacre. Many paper-cuts later, we managed to construct a very basic model of the main character, with split pins at pivot points. This will now be replicated digitally so we can begin movement trials. Here's a couple of pics of our leading lady at present:

Stay tuned - we'll keep you updated as character design progresses.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

SMM: Sponsorship Opportunities

D.I.Y Art Films' latest project, Supermarket Musical Massacre, is now open for sponsorship! We have some great packages available, including having a character in the film designed to look like you or someone you know!

(See to find out more or to sponsor us using Pay Pal!)

D.I.Y Art Films is an independent production house, and receives no government or studio funding. We are committed to producing fresh and original work, and pride ourselves in creating films that are entertaining, thought-provoking and professional. As the vast majority of our production budget is self-funded, we rely on generous donations and sponsorship to create high quality work.

We are currently offering four different sponsorship packages for both Individuals & Businesses. Every donation will receive a finished copy of the film and an invitation to the family and friends screening.

Donations of any amount: We appreciate all donations. A donation of any amount will get your name in the credits, a copy of the finished film, and an invitation to the family and friends screening. We thank you for your support.

Individual Option: For $50 AUD or more, put yourself or one of your friends in the film. We’ll design an all-singing, all-dancing character that looks like you or the nominated person. A great gift idea, or avenue for shameless self-promotion.

Business Option 1: For a donation of $100 AUD or above, your company’s logo will be listed prominently in the credits. Not only will you raise the profile of your business, but you will be supporting an award-winning group of young Australian artists with world-wide media exposure.

Business Option 2: From just $250 AUD, we will add your company's logo to a product, character’s outfit or other object featured in the film. Higher donations will receive more exposure. A great entrepreneurial opportunity that will associate your company with an award-winning group of fresh, talented young artists with world-wide media exposure.

We would greatly appreciate any support you can give us! Even a tiny donation will make a big difference to us!

Please view our sponsorship page to find out more or to sign up!

(Download our updated press release here.)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sirens, A Punk, Pumpkin Soup - Videos

I caught some pretty cool videos this morning, so I thought I'd share.

Dizzee Rascal - Sirens

I'm not the biggest Dizzee Rascal fan, but I found this video pretty interesting. I found the inclusion of the mounted hunters particularly provocative. For me, it triggered some thoughts about the police, violence, corruption, and minority/disenfranchised communities. Check it out and see what you think.

Vampire Weekend - A Punk

Really simple video. I dig the effect they achieved by recording the video at a slower speed and then speeding things up. Shows that you don't need a million dollar budget (or Pamela Anderson) to make a cool video.

Kate Nash - Pumpkin Soup

I can't say I really liked her singing that much (maybe a little too Lily Alen), but this is a fun, colourful video. And those cat(?) costumes are just straight wierd!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Animation 101

Today we got a few animation lessons from our good friend Dave Liu. We met Dave in our first year at Melbourne Uni, before he did the sensible thing and head over to the Film & TV school at Swinbure. Dave's had some great successes and now works doing a whole bunch of stuff in the industry.

Dave teaches us about After Effects

Dave has signed on as the digital animation consultant/supervisor for SMM. He is the king! (Check out his photography folio here.)

The Man Of Michigan Steals Our Hearts

Sufjan Stevens

Thursday 17 January 2008
The Forum, Melbourne

There’s barely enough time to order another Corona and lemon between sets when Sufjan Stevens and his band appear onstage. It’s still early – only 9PM – and maybe it’s just me, but the lack of build-up is surprising. I’m used to long, impatient waits as processions of beefy roadies lay cable, plug amps and dead-pan their way through unintentionally comical mic checks. It’s a time-honoured tradition for the concert hall to become a rowdy, energetic waiting room and the bigger the artist, the longer the wait. Sufjan is A-list indie royalty, so I was expecting a torturous build-up of at least sixty minutes.

Instead, here he is, bounding across the stage and taking up position amongst his nine-piece accompaniment. There’s no ego on display. And in a way it makes sense: for all his eccentricities, Sufjan is down-to-earth and self-effacing and all those other adjectives that describe otherwise normal people that happen to get famous and are enormously talented.

You might expect someone else, going by the excessively long titles of some of his songs. But there’s not an ounce of pretence on his wispy frame; no ironic posturing, no cooler-than-thou hipsterism. In a way, Sufjan is more like the naïve cover art found on his albums: all unaffected charm and honest enthusiasm. When he clips a pair of large, papier-mâché wings to his back and joins a performer mid-set to dance with an electric hula-hoop, somehow it’s endearing; you cheer along and clap, you don’t roll your eyes.

There’s a genteel restraint to him, too, that carries over in his voice. Between songs he tells anecdotes about his childhood in Michigan and gives some insight into his neuroses. “I was afraid of a lot of things, as a kid. I was afraid of birds, I was afraid of trees…” he goes on, adding such fears as woollen sweaters and wasps to the mix. The anecdote leads into song – in this case, “All The Trees Of The Field…” – and a few other songs have references to childhood in some form, including “The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades…” which is performed exquisitely, with lilt and poignancy.

Some songs are quietly devastating – like the sparse and aching “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” to which Sufjan plays guitar over piano accompaniment – and others are vibrant, life-affirming: the euphoric pop of “Chicago” and the joyous first movement of “Come On! Feel The Illinoise!” are particularly uplifting. Sufjan’s music jumps across genres, textures and sounds – and the concert reflects this, with dramatic shifts in mood and tempo: from intimate acoustic to orchestral dance beat. The energy of the gig is restless and inventive, with extended codas developed into full-fledged sound experiments that descend into vocalised wailing and minor-key dissonance.

The band doesn’t get carried away by improvisation, though: a mid-song jam session breaks out during “Come On! Feel The Illinoise!” and is pulled back on track to a slower tempo, the vocal harmonies are crisp and tight, and Sufjan sings through cupped hands into the mic for the song’s second movement, lending his voice a tremor and reverb even more mournful than the recorded version:

I cried myself to sleep last night / And the ghost of Carl, he approached my window…

Behind the band, a collage of video footage is thrown onto a screen. Sometimes, the juxtaposition of abstract images and music is merely pleasant; a fancy music visualizer that builds to the sounds played on stage. During “All The Trees…” a young boy (Sufjan?) plays in a field of tall grass in grainy Super 8 footage, faux-home video style. The footage lends a slight menace to the song, a menace that is always lurking around the edges of Sufjan’s music, softly insistent.

Religious themes frequent the narratives of his songs and though he doesn’t preach, Sufjan can make music a moving, spiritual experience. Throughout the two-hour set, the crowd is hushed and reverent – only breaking their silence with the kind of ecstatic applause usually reserved for urging on an encore. It’s not just the gratification of a long drought broken by rain – this is Sufjan’s first Australian tour – it’s the sheer joy of hearing beautiful music. The band sounds amazingly bright and clear, each component is isolated and hangs in the air: the vocal harmonies sit atop powerful layers of guitar chord and drums; you can break down the brass ensemble and listen to each instrument individually. The gig’s acoustics do great justice to the recorded experience of Sufjan’s music.

Emotionally, the experience is strangely rewarding and though I cannot claim to be any closer to deciphering his often opaque lyrics, the concert brings me closer to an appreciation for the spirit of Sufjan’s music. It is of a world governed by natural beauty and wonderment, of memory, guilt and anxiety – but ultimately one of joy in the present moment and hope for the future. I thoroughly enjoyed the present visitation of this winged messenger and I look forward to his future return.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Robots: Recording Session

Today Chris hit up the (makeshift) studio with jazz pianist/producer Nathan Liow and trumpeter Oscar O'Bryan. Nathan and Oscar laid down some great jazz improv for an experimental film / music video that D.I.Y Art Films is set to release in the second half of the year.

Nathan Liow is in his final year at the VCE school of jazz and has performed in clubs around Melbourne. In addition to his work as a jazz performer, Nathan also works as an electronic producer and has gained a great deal of success and recognition over the last few years. Most recently he won the Triple J Bloc Party remix competition. (Check him out on myspace, and on the Triple J unearthed site.)

Nathan rockin out

Long-time D.I.Y Art collaborator, Oscar O'Bryan, has performed extensively around Melbourne as both a trumpeter and DJ. He has played in venues including the Hi-Fi Bar, the Corner Hotel, Manchester Ln, and the Crown Palladium. He is one sixth of the funk/fusion outfit King Armadillo and also performs in various jazz outfits. (Check out the King Armadillo website, designed by D.I.Y Art’s Chris.)

Oscar doing some pro toolin'

Today’s session took place in the music centre of Melbourne High School (Oscar & Chris’ old school). D.I.Y Art associate, and King Armadillo keyboardist, Peter Dumsday did us a big favour and hooked us up with some free space. As you can see it wasn’t quite a professional studio, but it was perfect for what we needed.

The studio setup

D.I.Y Art associate Peter Dumsday

Nathan & Oscar doing some quality sound proofing, D.I.Y style…

The finished product

At this stage the project’s official name is still undecided so for now we’re calling it “Robots” (which will definitely not be the final release name!). The score features three different parts - including jazz, hip-hop, and electronic influences. Each section of the score will be accompanied by a different style of animation. At this stage the visuals are set to include painted animation, animation based on a photomontage environment, and silhouette animation. Chris & Nathan have already been collaborating for a few months, and have made good progress with the second and third sections of the score.

Recordings from today’s session will be used for the first section of the score/film. The accompanying animation is set to look a bit like this:

The session went very smoothly and Nathan & Oscar came up with some really quality material.

Chris trying to get pro tools working and Nathan having a rest. Yeah, we were all pretty tired.

Oscar amused himself between takes by taking photos like these.

Check back for more updates on the “robots” film. We’ll keep you posted with audio samples, sketches and animation tests as we progress through the production.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shoot the Runner Video

This isn't anything new, but I caught this Kasabian video again this morning and was reminded what a quality video it is. A great example of rotoscoping done right. Simple, stylish, rocking.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

D.I.Y Art is in pre-production!

Following the success of their last film “Fraught” (Winner: Best Australian Film at the 2007 Melbourne International Animation Festival), the D.I.Y ART Films crew are currently working on an exciting new film: “Supermarket Musical Massacre: The Feel-Good Homicide of the Century!” If you're interested in getting involved, sponsoring the film, or finding out more, click here to download a short press release. Stay tuned for more updates.

Self Edge X Imperial

San Fransisco premium denim retailer, Self Edge, has teamed up with Australia's own Imperial Brand Clothing to create a limited run jean styled after Heidi Slimane's famous Dior Homme 19cm cut. The collaboration jeans are available in indigo (100 pairs) and black (25 pairs). Both colours use 14oz japanese selvedge denim.

The jeans will be available online from January 17, 5pm (San Fransisco time). The jeans cost US $310 a pair, international shipping is free.

They might sound pricey, but compared to Diors they're actually a very good deal. Dior 19cm jeans (when available) retail for AU $400+. Not only are the imperials cheaper by at least AU $50, but they are also made from a higher quality denim (standard Dior 19cms are produced from non-selvedge denim that is not known for its quality/durability). So if you can afford it, go nuts people! These are some serious jeans.

For more info see: