Categories
Chicago Design

‘Be a Light’ Video and Screen Prints

A few months ago, I was in the shower listening to the news, and I heard something about the Biden campaign talking about being “a light in the darkness.”

I was immediately reminded of the song ‘Be a Light’ by my good friend Jess Godwin.

This song has always stuck out to me as one of Jess’s most powerful songs, and it was the one that wound up being licensed and featured on the TV show ‘Dance Moms,’ which garnered Jess a lot of attention and a new audience. I threw it on and listened to it right then.

The lyrics struck me hard. Themes of conflict and division, hate, and frustration. It was originally released in 2012, but it felt like it was speaking about today. I could instantly see a montage of protests in the streets fitting perfectly to the song. So I gave Jess a call and—just weeks before her wedding—pitched her on the idea of revisiting the track as part of a ‘Get out the vote’ effort and letting me do a screen print and video to accompany it.

Knowing her time was limited, she was reluctant but got excited about the idea. We talked about changing the track somehow and making it exclusively available on Bandcamp as a ‘Name your price’ with all the money going to ‘My Block, My Hood, My City’ a Chicago based charity that seeks to provide underprivileged youth with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhood. She was on board and reached out to her friend, the amazing JC Brooks to join her.

And well, here we are. Jess worked with Yuri Lysoivanov to rework the track, and it turned out incredible. With less than a week to the election, the video came a little later than I would have liked, but I’m immensely proud of it, and it was a delight to work with Jess and JC to create something so personal to each of us.

I sincerely hope you’ll take a look. It is an emotional rollercoaster ride but a true labor of love. I don’t fancy myself to be a director/editor. Still, I do enjoy getting to express myself in video from time to time, and the feedback among those who have watched it has been overwhelmingly positive.

Purchase the song

Purchase the screenprint

Watch the video

Categories
Pop Culture

Why is NBC dimming 30 Rock?

I cannot be the only person who has noticed this: For some reason, 30 Rock’s scenes are being aired at approximately half the brightness of other programming, or even the shows own title sequences. The issue can be seen clearly in every episode of Season 5 on Hulu.com as well as NBC.com. It is not present on Season 4 or any other show on Hulu.

Here is a screenshot from last week’s episode of 30 Rock – ‘Plan B’:

Compare that to a screenshot from last week’s episode of The Office – ‘Garage Sale’:

30 Rock looks very dark and lacks contrast.

Now here are the histograms for each image:

30 Rock – ‘Plan B’

The Office – ‘Garage Sale’

If you’re not familiar, a luminance histogram measures tone in an image from pure black (on the left) to pure white (on the right). The mountains and valleys you see in the meter represent the concentration of that tone. As you can see, the histogram from The Office has bits of data from end to end, but the one from 30 Rock is solely concentrated from the black point to the middle, meaning there is no brightness data in the second half of the spectrum.

Now here is what the picture looks like when we fix the histogram.

Better, right?

The thing is, it appears to be intentional because, as I mentioned before, the issue is not present in the shows title sequences (and select cut-away sequences).

So, why is NBC doing this? It’s already well established that the show does its best to shoot on Tina’s right side not to showcase her facial scar (which is oddly mirrored in the show’s title sequence) and many TV shows used to use soft focus lenses to hide the blemishes of its actors.

Is this dimming of the footage an attempt to hide the looks of aging stars Fey and Baldwin? Is it just a very weird, but completely consistent, mistake? Or is there some other less apparent reason I’m missing?

Categories
Chicago Pop Culture Theatre

Lady Laday

I’m posting this here on my site as I think you should check it out. On Friday I got the opportunity to help die in the making of a short film. Without further BS:

A contest entry submitted by the fine folks of lowcarbcomedy.com to be in the DVD release of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.

 

Categories
General Technology

Digging up old stuff…

Submitted for your approval (or disapproval) a music video I made for “Magnetic North” a Less Than Jake song in 2002 before YouTube and making your own video was all the rage. This was one of my first experiments with Final Cut Pro and video editing in general. Warning in advanced the whole thing is shot with a handheld camera and is very jerky. I just found this on my harddrive and figured I should post it for posterity’s sake. Unfortunately I appear to have lost the source project.

Enjoy and thanks for watching!

Categories
Technology

Spotless Effects on Eternal Sunshine

I already put this on my del.ico.us, but I figured it needed more attention because it was that damn good. More rotoscoping and compositing! I’m sure you’re thrilled, oh fictitious reader.

Special Effects house Buzz Imaging shows off how it made the effects used in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The clip showcases some incredible 3D modeling, rotoscoping and compositing work and makes it almost look easy. Don’t be fooled, this sort of thing takes days, weeks even months to get right. But it’s still incredible.

(Via Daring Fireball)