Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Stitchthat is busy

stitchthat HQ is busy with 3 new promos on the go at once, new logo designs, and even a slight sniff at a proper website...which means new stuff soon!! we never caught up blogging the old work but meh...

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Hadouken! That Boy That Girl (college video 4) - Bob

A project at college called Creative Juices and a friends band called Hadouken! arrived at the same time to give me the perfect excuse to direct my first music video. Originally I had wanted to make a skate video section using photo cut-outs and desk objects. Tech deck obstacles with real people. So me and James went for a skate in the afternoon, then made this in the evening as a test to see what it would look like:

(click on picture to watch it)

It looked pretty rad, so I showed it to Nickdouken and asked if him and the rest of the band wanted to make a whole music video in that way, combined with Jamesdoukens' artwork. They said yes. First stop was to find a white room to film in so they had nice white borders once we cut them out. Studios are expensive, so we borrowed Martyns bedroom and James brought lots of painted hardboard and white gaffer that he had prepared the night before (with a broken arm!). Taa Daa! one white studio to shoot in for £20. This made martyn very happy and dance like a hamster.

There was just enough room to get Nicks drum kit in:

We had a pretty banging P.A system:

Pilau doing some guitar next to martyns wardrobe:

So from one bedroom to another, I setup an animation "studio" next to my bed...consisting of one cardboard box, one argos room lamp fitted to a clothes horse with gaffa tape, and boarded up windows to keep the light the same:

We cut out about 3000 of these:

The end result was finally finished about 3 months later, the initial animation only took 2 and abit weeks because of a college deadline (I got a B+), and then all the box stuff took ages cos I could hardly bring myself back to working on it after the 2 week slog.

(click on the picture to watch it)

By the time it was all finished the band had become abit of a myspace phenomenon, and the video made it to number 1 in the NME chart show on MTV2. The bands management also sorted out promotion for the video in NME which meant I had to do an interview over the phone with a guy in New York...it was strange.

Monday, 20 August 2007

College Years - Video 3 - Bob

This is a piece I worked on about the soopa doopa collective of artists. It got a C, I didnt think it was that bad...bit boring but oh well. I did the titles, timelapses and some camerawork. Warren and Tim edited. Mike did camera, James did.....just watch it till the end for the credits. Click on the image to watch, another slow loader, so kettle on.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

College Years - Video 2 - Bob

So the first year of college was pretty useless in terms of projects they set....news, gameshows...no thanks. 
But being 1 of about 15 people that knew what a lens was in the college, I got asked to dop a short film in the summer of '06. It was written/directed by a guy called Simon Mitchell and produced/edited by a guy called Charlie Miller. It helped that these were 2 of the safest guys on the course, and the most screws loose too. It was shot over 3 of the hottest days in Brighton ever. 
One hand-made camera mount, a camera running off a car battery, sunstroke, getting an actor to say communicative, and following a heard of uncooperative cows around a field later...this got made;

(Click image to view it...it takes a while to load, so go make a cuppa or whatever you like to do that takes 5 mins...)

I would write a synopsis but I still dont know what its about. A tutorial on how to shoot cows or something.
Simon won some kind of creative award for this and £1000 to write something new, wheres my slice playa?
Oh, and our camera was a bit broke so all the footage with something shiny in it has some stupid bling lens flare on it...thanks ravensbourne.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Rest In Peace Muffin Man - James

Off the back of the Kill The Arcade video, we were contacted by a guy called Aaron who seemed really willing to work on some stuff with us. He was a composer or musician or something along those lines, scoring soundtracks to TV adverts, but in his spare time he was working on this youth project in Harringay, North London. That area is really rich, except for this one estate called Campsbourne right in the middle of all the posh towns. Campsbourne is essentially a ghetto, it has been forgotten by the council and left to rot and decay, along with all the residents stuck there. On Friday 8th September 2006, one of the local kids died in a motorbike accident, and in the process his death managed to bring all of the residents together to form a sense of community, and force the council to take action and do something to help the forgotten youth in this area, to help them make something of themselves and break out of the ghetto. A project was devised where the council would fund them recording a hip hop track, and a video to go with it, which was then sent to Channel U, Trouble etc, and the kids got to see themselves on the TV. Here is the video we made:

Muffin Man RIP

Kill The Arcade version 1.0 - James

The thing about filming bands live is that you dont have any control whatsoever. By the summer of 2006 i had got in to gigs by most of my favourite bands, by using my video camera. (Rancid came later in December, and was the best of them all!) However its hard because no matter how sober you stay, and how professional you present yourself, the fact of the matter is that the show must go on. You are simply a spectator, but with a video camera and an access all areas pass. My biggest annoyance is the lighting. Lighting at gigs is aways terrible. Always. Anyway i wanted to make real music videos, where i could direct the action, and control the look and feel of the video. So i made one. With £26 to hire a generator and a lot of help from Bob, we hooked up with a local band in an abandonned farm, and shot this:

Kill The Arcade

The College Years - Video 1 - Bob

College was a bit of a weird one for me...I've only just finished so haven't really had much time to reflect yet. Like, all the equipment was there, but the assignments we got set rarely interested me... Although I did leave with 5 bits of work that I'm pleased I made, and that I definitely learnt from. Come to think of it, of those 5 projects only 1 of them was a proper college set project, the rest were out of hours, not made to be marked by the drunk tutors...that kinda sums up my time in 'further education'. That and the 9k debt and the useless foundation degree I now have...

This is my first video blog of 5 from "the college years", this was definitely an extra curricular shoot. The lesson I learnt from this one was to just make stuff for a laugh if you feel like it, dont get caught up in technicalities and all those gubbins.
Shot and edited in about 3 hrs after sessioning some beers with my flat mate paul. We busted out the trusty JVC 1 chip and filmed each other pretending to shoot each other with whatever weapons we could imagine. Ridiculous facial expressions and some free sound effects later, we had made this...

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The Power Of Love - James

Back To The Future had a massive impact on my personality, i guess for many of my childhood years i simply wanted to be as cool as Marty Mcfly. I wanted to skate, play guitar in a band, and travel through time.

This video is a homage to one of the greatest movies ever made. Bob had recently got a rad new video camera, and the ability to use nice lenses on the front, so he hired us some lights from college and we shot this in Adam's attic.

The Power Of Love

New Video Camera - James

The day after i had my University Graduation film screening at the National Film Theatre in London, my Uncle Howard died of cancer. I was obviously very upset, emotional... confused... and somehow that afternoon i though it would be a good idea to walk into a bank and borrow £6800, to pay back over 5 years, with a stupid ammount of interest. I think when somebody close to you dies, you start looking at your own life very closely, and i took a good hard look at myself. I was just out of full time education for the first time in my life, but also just out of a 6 year relationship in which i was very restricted to what i was 'allowed' to do. Borrowing more money than i had ever known before and buying the video camera i had always dreamed of was the only thing i wanted to do with my life at that moment.

Over the next 2 or 3 months i spent all of that money on everything i thought would be nice to have in my kit bag. I dont regret doing it in the slighetst, as that camera kit has taken me to some pretty rad places over the last 2 years, given me some memories for life, and a strong foundation into what i wanted to do and who i wanted to be.

These are a couple of the earlier videos that were made with that camera:

Learning to Skate Again

Here you can see Bob and myself trying desperately to cling on to whatever was left of the skateboarding skills we had once perfected through so many dedicated hours. We were both guilty of not skating as much as we should have been in our old age, so in this video we just tried to keep things simple, knock out some old tricks, on a new camera with a new fish eye.

Zebrahead - Hello Tomorrow Live

This is a band called Zebrahead playing live. I was lucky enough to go on tour with them for a few days filming this. Of all the things i got to film on my new camera, i'd say the lyrics to this song are most fitting to what i was going through at the time... i guess.

Monday, 13 August 2007

University :S - James

I'm pretty sure I didn't really make the most of uni. Its true that you get out what you put in, and i just didnt put anything in, at all. I probably could have applied myself and maybe been something average or above average, but i guess i just wasnt feeling the whole vibe, at all. I'd rather just play in punk bands and go skating! who wouldnt?! It wasn't a complete waste of time though... I mean i met some awesome people and made some friends for life, those to particularly note are Barney (www.savagefilms.com) and Ross (www.rossshepherd.co.uk) . These guys were without doubt not only the two most talented people on the course, but the two nicest people on the course that i would be proud to call my buddies.

I worked with Ross on pretty much everything i could, because i knew it would get me a better grade than working with anybody else, plus i'd have fun at the same time, and not produce some completely useless pretentious student wank that everybody else would come out with.

(I have lifted this info entirely from Ross' site because i'm mad lazy)

The Kingdom of Shadows

2005, Drama/Fantasy

Alex Jenkins is a lonely 8 year-old boy. One day, he discovers an old box which holds a doorway to the magical kingdom of shadows…

Format: 16mm
Length: 17mins
Screenings: The National Film & Television Theatre (Surrey Institute of Art & Design Screening, June 2005)
The 16th International Festival of Fantastic Films, Manchester (Manchester Evening News Cinema, 3 September 2005)
Novacon 35 (Official selection fantasy/science fiction films, November 2005)
Information TV (Ronke, 8.30pm, 14 November 2005)
Propeller TV (Film First, 10pm, 6 February 2006)

Alex Jenkins is a lonely 8 year-old boy. One day, he discovers an old box which holds a doorway to the magical kingdom of shadows. This is a world which exists purely of scenes from the Lumiere filmstrips. Alex explores the kingdom and encounters some of the eerie ghost-like figures who live there. After finding his way back home, Alex tries to convince his parents of the discovery, but his mother is reluctant to listen. Later, Alex's father visits the kingdom, but is inadvertently stranded there when his wife destroys the only door back to the real world.

Standing Down
2005, Drama/war

Tense stalemate between two soldiers. Or is it all a terrible misunderstanding?

Format: Digital
Length: 5mins
Screenings: Propeller TV (Film First, 10pm, 17 January and 6 February 2006),
Shortcutters TV (tbc, 2006)
The Shortcutters Festival, (The Canvas Club, London, 25 February 2006)
The Final Cut Film Festival (Ocean Rooms, Brighton, 17 May, 2006)

Two soldiers, one British, one German, face off on a battlefield during World War II. Although neither one can understand each other, the German seems intent on explaining something to the Brit. Stubborn, uncompromising and a fine example of the stiff upper lip, the Brit refuses to budge, even when it is revealed that the odds are stacked firmly against him.

The Right Impression
2005, Comedy

Tom tries desperately to maintain his smooth reputation in the office, on the eve of his big promotion.

Format: Digital
Length: 11mins
Screenings: Propeller TV (Film First, 10pm, December 23rd, 2005)

Tom, is a highflying business man heading for a big promotion. Things begin to go wrong for him when his plans to take his boss, Mr Robertson, out to the theatre do not work out. Not only has Tom lost the tickets, just minutes before Mr Robertson arrives, but cocky colleagues David and Sarah ridicule him as his smooth reputation is destroyed.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Onetaste Promo - Bob

I made this advert for Onetaste about a year ago, which was aired in an interval break for a show called Tastebuds. Its my first piece of work that got on the telly so I was well chuffed to do it. I drew a lot of influence from Inua's artwork/illustrations which are dam fine and sum up visually the Onetaste vibe. I also had the title sequence for the Tastebuds show that another guy had done, which had all these animated plants going and looked rad. So yeah, I basically tried to recreate a mix of the flyers and the title sequence....combined with live footage from the Onetaste nights, and this is what I got.
I only had 3 days to think of what to do and make it, and had to learn how to the vine animations on the job so Im quite pleased how it turned out, although looking at it now I can see all sorts I would change...

You should go check this Onetaste night out though, its proper good. The chips are massive too.

Slap On - James

Whilst trawling through every possible video file kicking about on my hard drive, i found this. Judging by the board, clothes, hairstyle, and memories of being driven everywhere by Harrison, meaning i wasn't yet old enough to drive, i have concluded that this must have been filmed before going to germany. Its not important in the grand scheme of influential moments, but it is bloody rad! Probably couldnt do this again if i tried:

Slap On (2000)

Getting into College - Bob

Although being a postman had its perks, a triplet of painful and annoying calamities on duty made me re-think my career prospects.

1st incident: 4 a.m crash
Each morning I would hop on my little red bike and cycle down a nice long hill to get picked up by the nice red van. Unfortunately on 1 particularly dozey morning I got my bag stuck on the front tyre as I came hurtling down the hill. While trying to dislodge my red bag I took my eyes off the road for a split second, looked up, saw curb, turned handle bars, ate shit. I lay writhing in pain in the middle of the road with friction burns on my knees and road rash on my palms. It was like being 9 years old again, but no dad to pick me up.

2nd incident: twin dog attack
Some people! I mean...some people! I was delivering post to one particually rich tosser in Chislehurst (theres alot of rich tossers in Chisle, but this one was extra tosser) and his two evil piece of crap runt dogs were giving it lungs at the gate. He had noticed this and had come out in his rich tosser white bath robe, but instead of getting rid of his dogs he waited 10ft away by his doorway. There was no way I was going in, but this didnt stop the twin dogs leaning through the gate and giving me a nice bite on the ankles. So I threw the post at the guys medallion dressed chest and swore at his dogs. Customer service is my middle name.

3rd incident: I lost my keys
I think this one took the biscuit on annoyingness. As a postman, you become quite protective over your bike, they all have their own quirks so you become quite attached to them. So its common to lock your back wheel each time you let it out your sight. After getting dropped off by the van, sorting out my bags, I went to unlock my back wheel...which requires keys...no keys and 2 hrs of carrying the heaviest bike in the world around, loaded with the heaviest bag of post in the world, in the heaviest rain in the world, I found a guy that had some bolt cutters and he set me free, free as a bird...

Anyways...the point is, I had enough of being a postman. So I asked James to get a camera out from his college and I shot this little video clip thing. It was the first time I had used a manual camcorder, but its just like photography innit, so it werent too bad. Although I did hit the camera into James' head while doing the headphone shot. The video is supposed to be about how your imagination runs wild while you wack on some headphones and go for stroll. According to this video I imagine reading Vice magazine in churches, riding trains, go skateboarding and drive really small cars... This somehow got me into college, which Ive pinned down to the last shot, it was genius then and its genius now. Thanks for doing this James.

Yeah Right - James

Theres no denying it, Girl's Yeah Right video, and the Hot Chocolate tour, both directed by Spike Jonze, had a big part to play in influencing me to make movies, crossing skateboard roots with real creative techinques and that, rather than just your standard skate section.... a bunch of your best tricks edited together with a song wacked over the top...

I have no idea which one of these i made first, probably this one actually:

Theres not much to explain really... we used to skate a lot of undercover spots, sheltered from the rain, and take in, or build our own boxes and rails and that. They were there one minute, gone the next without a trace, before the office workers started work the next day, parking their cars where we had been skating for hours the night before. Its strange how much enjoyment we would get from a dry, smooth car park, something that the office workers probably dont regard as anything else than somewhere to get out of their car and walk into work withough getting wet. Supersmooth we love you. (Note, didnt even bother with tripod for the second one, just rocked it handheld.)

Invisible Skateboard Rail

Here is a video made probably in the winter of my last year at uni. It was an experiment for a 'real' film i was planning for uni, nothing to do with skateboarding at all, but using the same technique as you can see here. Ultimately the 'real' film got scrapped, but the skateboard film lives on. The majority of the photos on my bedroom wall were actually there before being used for the video, but i obviously planted the ones that are used for the transitions from photo to video. This video makes me all nostalgic about the good old days, especially sunday sessions:


Sunday, 5 August 2007

Getting it all a bit Chronny - James

Well. I guess where it all started for me would be the Surrey Heathens. Its really hard to actually explain what the Surrey Heathens actually was, which is strange considering its something i dedicated so much time to. I cant even really remember how it all started, who contacted who and for what purpose, but one moment we were skating outside the council offices every day, and the next, we were inside, in official meetings with council members. Its a shame i dont even have any photographic evidence to tell a story in pictures. I had pictures, once, but digital files of photos seem to have a habbit of getting lost, as hard drives crash and get wiped. I'm not really bitter that i no longer have photographs, i guess i would have kept some safe if it really meant that much to me, maybe printed one and framed it.... but it's not really that important to be honest.

This seems to be the only remaining photograph of the Surrey Heathens:

Viewpoint A:
The Surrey Heathens was a council funded organisation, set up in an attempt to rope in the youth and make the council appear 'hip' and 'cool' in the eyes of local parents and and the groups of skateboarders that would terrorise the streets of Camberley, annoying the residents with their noise and constructions of skate ramps and boxes. The council's idea was to promise the local scene a top notch 'extreme sports' facility, in exchange for the local skaters putting many hours into attending meetings about the development of the area. It was also an attempt for the council to try and be as cool and youth friendly as the council in Farnborough, who already had the Farnborough Massive, and had raised £120 grand for a new skatepark. Surrey Heath wanted a piece of this youth respect.

Viewpoint B:
The Surrey Heathens was a group of close friends, who regularaly skateboarded in Camberley, and were offered the chance to form an official council backed organistaion, and recognition for the hardship that was no good spots in the area, with funding available to put on events, and fill the local sports centre with ramps to skate during the cold dark christmas holidays.

I guess i used the Surrey Heathens as my first real excuse to make videos just for the fun of it, rather than for uni..... no wait, we made videos before then.... check this mad old school footage that Bob and I filmed in Germany.... I'm especially feeling the garms i'm rocking.

Skating in Germany circa 2001

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Where it started for me - Bob

Heres a collection of the first videos I edited. Shot on a cheap 1-chip camera I bought when I was 17. All done just cos I had nothing better to do. Skating is well fun.

The Rad Shredders

Skating edited for fun, Intro animated to learn something new.

Concept: Guy with a bald head and a bad walk is strolling along and finds a video on the floor. He picks it up and before his eyes the video box comes alive, animating in his hands. He takes the video back to his 'Tv Room' (???) and watches 'The Rad Shredders' skate infamous spots such as 'double curb', 'the underground', and 'the apocalyptic church' .

Made about 3 years ago before I had even thought about going to Uni and doing this video stuff 'for real'....and dam, it shows. It was a creation out of boredom. Having returned from Australia and moving into my brothers hallway while I 'found my feet', I had time to kill, and lots of it. Not using a computer other than email for about a year I felt like learning something new and liked the look of rotoscoping. About a 1000 frames drawn with a dodgy mouse later I had a pretty stupid intro, featuring my first voice over debut, and an early indulgence with 'nu-rave colours'. It was the first time I've ever done animation thats not stop-motion, and probably the last. I went on to become a postman and the most tired person ever.

Oz Video

Made same sort of time as 'The Rad Shredders', so I could remember how good it is to skate in Australia and show my friends that couldnt make it this time round. When I'm rolling in all the lottery money I'm going to win this is the first country I'm heading for.

Weird Backward Skating Video

Another one killing time on the dole, before postie days. Its backwards and has music on it...how clever am I.

Hope you enjoy them all. Dont take em seriously or nothing, they're the equivalent of a video doodle...just scribbling, learning stuff.


Monday, 30 July 2007

We dont smile for the camera.

Hello and welcome to the Stitchthat blog - a place for us to unload our heads and show people what we do, how we do, and.....who we do?
Stitchthat wasn't a planned thing, its just growing naturally...and we like it that way. We're a group of friends that share an interest in photography, film, art, animation and illustration and like to make stuff for fun and to relieve boredom. Originally brought together through a love of skateboarding in their teens, we grew down together, brothers from different mothers...and spent many days building stuff, painting stuff, breaking stuff and skating stuff. Living in a suburban town with nothing to do, we got pretty good at making our own fun, and in a roundabout way it fueled our creativity.
There are 3 core heads in the Stitchthat collective, but we like to get about abit on our own too...like cheap whores. 
These 3 heads are; 

James - A skinny white emo with big melons (the skate variety). If you could get a movie director (big budget) and a punk band (small budget) and squish them together...add some Gondry esque inventiveness and mold it into an average size human, so as not to scare off the children, then you would have our Jim.

Martyn - A cornish fella, godly in appearence, skates fast and hurts fast. Originally a painter, illustrator, and animator, he is a creative time bomb waiting to go off when he combines his mediums. 

Bob - A bit of a dark horse. Adapts himself to different creative techniques, classically trained in broadcast and film, yet always wanting to make some crazy animation with...well anything. A repressed shopaholic and a pretty dam good photographer to boot. A good director for someone with no direction.