Posts Tagged ‘Video’

SpinTunes Round 4 song reviews

November 23, 2010
Doc, I have these dreams about being chased....

Did you know there was an LP cover contest as well? (Thanks Dave)

I’m writing this review before coordinating my vote with Allan Morgan – since we together only get one vote, I’m only 50% of the official tally. But here goes my quick impressions of the 4th Round songs. The first 4 are in the running to win, the rest are shadows by previous contestants. Boffo Yux Dudes did three shadows this round – I’ll post them up later.

Zarni De Wet – The Bleeding Effect ( Assassin’s Creed)
Zarni takes this piano ballad about a schizophrenic killer and shoots out a mood of death and destruction. It’s not quite clear if the song is from the unstable Desmond’s point of view or Subject 16’s – perhaps both – but it’s still powerful stuff.

Mitchell Adam Johnson – In Another Castle (Super Mario Bros)
Mitchell writes from the view of a princess that keeps putting herself in danger, so she’ll feel the thrill of being rescued. Good use of video sound fx and samples of the game. Nice touch with ‘If you didn’t show, I’d die’ literally and figuratively.

Rebecca Brickley – Where I Am (Carmen SanDiego)
Rebecca turned this jazzy number into a humorous tweak on the game ‘Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego’. I can almost see Rockapella doing backup for her on this one. Witty lyrics make this one a winner. Enjoyed the Get/Silhouette rhymes and the baiting of the Chief to find her. Teasing or a challenge there? Actually, Both.

Chris Cogott – In Bright Falls (Alan Wake)
Chris brings a Surf guitar and 60’s beat to the tale of A. Wake and his quest to find sanity and his lost wife in Bright Falls. I had to research the game – he did a great job with the details. Enjoyed the musical tags and Beatles hooks to the song, including the Paperback Writer homage at the end.

Charlie McCarron – The Pac-Man Duet
A fun romp where Pac and Ms. Pac Man sing about meeting together. I like how Charlie and Nicole’s voices work well together in this one. Wish it was a little longer, but the ghosts had other plans.

Mark Humble – I’m Q*Bert, Babe

Mark slipped into a soulful vibe with his one. I expected Barry White to sneak up on the speakers. Loved the SFX mixed in to the storyline, as well as rhyming Pizza with Nietzsche. Total win.

Brian Gray – Hard To Get (Shadow) (Donkey Kong)
Upbeat, bouncy and fun. I liked the swing feel and harmonies, along with the witty wordplay.  Having the large simian use the princess as bait to catch the Mario of his dreams was a clever hook. Turning it into a homoerotic Shakespeare themed love story was a level above the rest.

JoAnn Abbott – Go For The Eyes (Boo from Baldur’s Gate)
Joann  (and Caleb) waltz into this song about Baldur’s Gate and Minsc’s Miniature Giant Space Hampster (™), Boo. The title refers to the favorite attack of said rodent. I liked the witty storyline and baroque feel.

David Ritter – Pitfall! (Shadow) (Pitfall)
David brings up the original Atari 2600 game Pitfall and runs with it through dangers and swinging vines. Turning it into a slow ballad with guitar and piano was an interesting choice for an action game.

Caleb Hines – The Writing On The Wall (Portal)
Caleb’s take on Portal with Joann singing lead . Interesting take on the game, with lots of insider hints and a nod to JoCo.  I’d have my cake and eat it too… if it wasn’t a lie to begin with. Nice job on this one.

Governing Dynamics – One Four One (Roach) (Shadow) Gary “Roach” Sanderson from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Travis sets a mood for this song with droning grunge guitar and drums about a black ops team that deals with the struggle of war, and relentless killing all around him. He hit the right notes in getting the tone of the game across. War is hell, but this is magic.

Inverse T. Clown – I’m Tops (Shadow) (TopMan from MegaMan)
ITC takes the wimpiest boss from the classic game and imbues him with an ego the size of New Jersey. Bouncy synth and 8 Bit Drums keep the tune rolling until it’s inevitable demise. I liked the fact he refuses to admit ‘Top Man’ is for his weapons instead of an elite status in his own mind.

I saw a lot of thought and planning in this round of songs – didn’t expect the depth and levels in such simple games, but people found them and brought them out. I’ll post the BYD songs here later this week, but you can listen to them and vote at the Spintunes site. Enjoy!

The Ballad of Henry Pym – in HD!

August 12, 2010

The Boffo Yux Dudes have been writing music for the new SpinTunes songwriting contest – our first song was this little ditty about our favorite SuperHero, Ant-Man.

We made a little video for it in HD – it’s 1080p if you really want to blow the sucker up on You Tube.

Bully for You!

Hey! Don't forget about me! I Helped!

Special thanks to Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull, for help in acquiring the scans and also perusing the lyrics so we have the true essence of who ‘Hank Pym’ really is.

Lowbrow humor beats thought provoking material every time.

July 11, 2008

Belch Soda – The Beach House –  Plum Island, MA 1991


I remember one weekend Mark Haskins came visiting the beach house – One of the things I’d subject my friends to when they arrived was to do some skit or bit on video, which we’d eventually edit to tape for the TV show. This one was cursed from the beginning. (more…)

How not to create a music video – Part 2

April 22, 2008



Well – it was more to surprise the band – since it was one of the demo tapes they has sent me… I liked the early demo version of ‘Never Want to Live on Venus’ – the later version was missing something. So I started trying to do something with it.. but I didn’t have much in the way of video from the band left from the first video.. and it wouldn’t have matched up with the vocals in any case.

So I decided to sing it. Actually, lip sync it. 

A friend at Needham, David Steiner, had done some silly videos, using the ‘chinigan’ technique. Basically, you turn the camera upside down, do a close up of the chin, and you have an odd looking mouth/face combo. I took this to extremes with circle wipes to represent planets, multiple exposures, and several cameras shooting televisions while zooming in and out on footage. Remember, this is linear editing in 1992 – the only computer used was a camera shooting the screensaver on a Macintosh II for the stars at the open/close. Each time you did a layer, you lost resolution – which in this case, was a good thing. It ended up making the planets a little more ‘evil’ with their shadows.

It ended up taking months to get it dense enough to work, and I still think if I had more time, a few more layers would have make it better. Paul Newcomb would come in and help me late nights with some of the manual camera zoom effects in a blackened studio while I tried rolling and dissolving between versions.

Like I said  – way too much time for an experiment, but it was fun figuring out how things worked and didn’t work – now it’s more a relic in the pre computer era video. Enjoy.

How not to create a music video – Part 1

April 21, 2008

This was a music video that took way too much time to do. It started when I got a tape from Scott and Al and Scott of their latest Pop Machine material in the early 90’s. The bi-coastal humor machine was in full gear. Pat and I would be creating skits and bits for BENT! as well as writing for radio and syndicators,  and Scott, Al, Scott & Friends would be making music and doing their own video show in between real jobs.

Dan Klass shot some footage of the band, and I ended up with the raws from both live cameras and some ‘beauty shots’ of the group wandering LA… that ended up turning into the first version of the live ‘Get off of my Foot’

It looked like total crap.

Not the performance. The quality of the video, which was shot on Hi-8, looked terrible when I went down a generation to 3/4″ so I could edit it. What to do, what to do…

Well, If I couldn’t make it look better, I went the total opposite. Make it look murky, blurry, trippy, and put tons of video feedback on the slow sections. Suddenly, it started to look like a rock n roll video. I actually was happy how that version came out, and the Tie-Dye Pop Machine sign in the back, and intercut quick zooms all helped it come together.

That inspired me to do my version of a Pop Machine video without the band at all. That’s in the next part. Enjoy.

How to write a lot of comedy that might sell

March 30, 2008

 One of the things we figured out while selling radio bits to the syndicators… it’s damn hard to think up 10 unique, funny bits… but it’s much easier to come up with a funny format, and do 10 episodes of it. It’s a lot harder to come up with that format, but once you have it, and know the characters, it’s much easier to create material. Case in point: ‘Things You’ll Never Hear Anyone Say’                    I thought I remembered George Carlin doing one liners similar to this in the 70’s…  ‘Did’ja ever think….’ type jokes…. We saw another syndicator doing something similar, but thought it missed the mark – it was just a cold reading of the punch-line with no atmosphere. We thought it had potential, but needed to be more theatrical.. have sound effects, characters… try to create a whole situation in a few seconds, instead of reading a funny quote cold. We ended up doing hundreds of them. We picked a few and had friends read them into a camera  in a confessional style in various situations. Some worked. Some flopped. Courtney’s made me laugh out loud. But the deal was, there are so many of them, you’ll find one of them funny, and if not, it’s gone in a few seconds, and you’re on to the next thing.                Funny thing.. we found out later through a friend of a friend that the people who wrote the similar skits first were totally pissed we ‘ripped’ them off.      We know how it feels when you do a skit about ‘Win Lose Or Draw‘,  and then find it used 3 months later by a stand up comedian on ‘Comedy Tonight’ – but that was just lifting the material verbatim. I had a moment of moral quandary…  their skit did make us think about something in a similar vein, but it ended up in quite a different direction… and it also was all original material… and derivative from a bit done 20 years previous by another comedian. Maybe I’m rationalizing things, but I don’t see a ‘rip off’ situation here.       So. Stealing is bad. Don’t just have one idea when you pitch something. And be honest with yourself, because the web is forever and it will out live you and haunt you all of your days, so play nice.   That’s the end of today’s sermon. Go outside and play.