Saturday, November 28, 2009

Brief Breath in Bundanon

We scored a week in Bundanon at the end of October, courtesy of Rosie Dennis.  I spent a week animating a gum tree stick-railway network which took a lot longer than expected.  I was trying not to go too feral but it is hard, trying to ignore wombat tantrums under the floor boards and unacceptably happy Friar birds out the front window of the studio.  I can't concentrate with all these noises of nature.  Shifting from urban insomnia to crazed, ethanol fuelled bull screams in the dead of the night echoing across the valley and daily spiders in the bed.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

VIVARIA - Berlin residency @ GlogauAIR

Getting close to the end of editing this labyrinthine project...'VIVARIA' on the residency in Kreuzberg. Its five weeks time-out to work on the post production of a four screen video installation to be watched from the centre. It has a feature film's worth of compositing in it.., at the moment in Berlin its better to be outside and riding a bike.

- Working in 1080p with 1280x720p h.264, distorted 1024x768 mjpeg and deinterlaced 1080i HDV. Sometimes this makes an entire timeline go black after rendering. But the 1080p gives a nice crisp, animated stutter on speed adjusted clips.

- Wow the days are slipping by, not sure how to fit in the coffees and beers. Stuck doing manual rotoscoping, 2000 manual keyframes in a 1.5 minute video clip, 2 days just to do that...

- The complexity of editing 4 channel video should not be underestimated. That is, the relation between one edit and another in a single channel, multiplied by the relations between each of those in another three channels (linearly), multiplied by the relations between the corresponding events between each channel (spatially).

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Ghost Quarters

My ninth work with Tess de Quincey, this performance installation is based on the writing of Thomas de Quincey
(Confessions of an English Opium Eater). This work has a programmed avoidance of cognitive structure though there is a sensory framing of Tess' four mind states; outside, internal hallucinatory, murder and vortex. Ian Stevenson's sound is randomized on Max making quotes from the text lingering and constantly in flux. Two 6000 lumens projectors, side on in 16:9 are pointing towards a central labyrinth of tule. Mixed live on two Numark Arkaos mixers.
9th-16th May 2009
Track 12, Carriageworks

Monday, February 16, 2009

Night Garden

Delve into the unconscious... and never return. Forget wishy-washy SUBconscious video projections, this heavy duty hallucinogenic work holds you underwater until you drown, and then the show starts. My Darling Patricia's next performance puppetry work is set in traverse with delicate textured burnt gauzes and projections on nighties in a perspex shed. There are a few challenges with the projections on such fine material in confined spaces and being in traverse, but there's a lot of attention to detail so it should be a great and haunting work. Co-directed with the inspired Margret Cameron (VIC) and Chris Ryan (NSW).

5th -14th March 2009, Performance Space, Carriageworks
24th - 29th March, Arts House, Meat Market

Thursday, January 29, 2009

nargun and qlab

If you're thinking of using Qlab this is what you're looking at. These are my corrections notes JUST from the plot. Zoom in to the A4 pages! 5 times the amount of work than updating dvds - tedious and time consuming. The 2Ghz Intel Mac minis were only just barely able to do a cross dissolve, pathetic! Still, if you have to hand the av over to another operator, this is the way to do it. A BIG loss is no live operation, its all automated.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Nargun and the Stars

This is LARGE scale, scary puppetry from the mind of Scott Wright (Erth) co-directed by Wesley Enoch. Eye scorching, heavy duty, saturated imagery will be buffeting the scrims and textured cyc's - there will be screams of terror. For ages 8 and up. I've been working with triple layered composite mattes cut out of photographs from the Hunter Valley. Monstrous rocks, terrifying trees, spirits, dreams, night storms and supernatural swamps... puff, puff. Motion particle generators, luma keyed puppet multiples, filmed shadow puppetry, explosions, real videoed particle transtions... 9 weeks of intense making cut in as much detail as I have time to motion track it all. Some of the masked landscapes have come out similar to Sydney Long's paintings of opiate and impressionistic spirit dreams. The pain of this show is the 56,000 hours to program and prepare video for Qlab.
SYDNEY FESTIVAL, Riverside Theatre 15-21 Jan, 2009

recent biog

Sam James has been a filmmaker and projection designer for performance since 1995. His focus has been to collaborate with new media, dance and theatre projects to develop integrated, paradoxical languages in live performance. He has been a regular contributor to Performance Space for ten years also filling a role as video documentor for many independent dancers there. His approach to the moving image is to unveil paradoxes between media and the live presence and being seduced but complicit in the manipulations of the stage.  Most of his work involves animation of abject subconscious, environments and objects, playing with and against the performer.  He trained in architecture and film and has been a set designer and made successful super 8 and 16mm films such as Nun's Night Out (winner best dance film, Australian Dance Awards 2006). He has screened dance films in Cinedans Amsterdam, MOVES Manchester, VideoDansa Barcelona, Dança em Foco Rio de Janiero, Tansfilm Wetbewerb Berlin, Video Danza Buenos Aires, MediaTerra Athens, Reeldance in Australia and NZ and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, New York. Although he spends most of his time working on small, independent developments he regularly contributes to the major festivals in Australia, from Adelaide to Perth to Alice Springs.