Ah, videos. They’re quickly becoming my (H) favorite thing to do, which is kind of ridiculous since we don’t have a video camera or software or even a slate to clap down and yell action with.
The idea for a video for the song “Hey, Little Sprout!” started some time after we were a part of our pal Victor Scott’s video for his song “Gotta Go,”* which, by the way, has won an award in Canada (this means our cat is better known than we are and we live with it… it’s cool). I wanted to make a video with a bunch of kids dancing, but thought that just hanging out at Peninsula Park asking kids if I could film them dancing seemed like a bad idea. So, instead, we asked a bunch of friends and family to shoot video/send pictures of their kids dancing. There’s only one video that I found on YouTube (of some kids dancing in Little Rock) that I asked the person if we could use it and they said yes, so we did.
Anyway, after doing the stop animation stuff for “Don’t Go Stop” and then seeing this video by Dennis Liu, a couple of things happened.
1. My working-class hackles went up. Macs are expensive** and no one who just has a computer at home can do that, so what are you trying to prove?***
2. I can just use the stuff on our PC to make a video. Right?
So there you go. A video is born.
As for the animation, that’s a bit trickier. I recorded myself dancing in the suit and tiger mask (homemade! I know it’s hard to tell) and thought it was a little boring. Since I had already done some MS Paint work on the intro, and had been watching some great Len Lye videos as well as some great Brakhage stuff (he’s from Kansas City, you know, and went to high school in Denver with Morton Subotnick and Larry Jordan) on the internet, I thought I’d just go ahead and create some more of that sort of animation–but horribly, amateurishly digital animation (I’m sure most filmmakers cringe at the prospect… sorry, y’all). This should have been the point where I knew a brilliant idea was a really bad one, but it wasn’t. Basically, I broke down the frames of the video with VirtualDub and placed the ones I wanted in MS Paint and went from there. Holy balls it took forever, which is OK since our video software crapped out (see *** below) and I waited on people to send me more stuff. It all worked out in the end.
Anyway, here’s “Hey, Little Sprout,” starring our nephews The Monk (Shelton) and The Bug (Eli).
* The original idea I had for our portion of the video was having our nephews dance to the song, but the song didn’t seem very kid friendly. That’s fine by us since it’s a great song, but that’s where the germ began. Also, Victor is goddamn awesome, go buy his albums.
** Yeah, it’s a problem I have. And, truthfully, it didn’t work as planned. And no offense to Liu or the Bird and the Bee, really, it was just a momentary thing.
***Turns out that moviemaker crapped out and wouldn’t let me make the video. Also turns out that after the first computer I bought was a Mac in the late 90s and being pissed because no one else in my circle of friends/family had one (making things like editing papers while visiting my parents in college impossible, among other things–I missed out on Napster for christ’s sake!) and finally just buying a PC (or, uh, PCs), we’re just getting a Mac for music and videos. Screw it. Oh, and this vid was put together on our friend dirtyhippyjoshmillard’s iBook, or whatever the hell it’s called, using iMovie. Thanks, Josh. Also, thanks, Bill, you dick.