“Beyond Likeness” is an exhibition of the portraiture of Victoria Crowe at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Having worked with Victoria on her Leathersellers tapestry design with Dovecot Tapestry Studios, we were excited to return to her studio to discuss her approach and concerns in portraiture.
Victoria was in the early stages of a portrait of art historian and critic Duncan Macmillan. The portrait was still shifting and emerging under Vicky’s brush and Duncan’s personality and the conversation between them were somehow part of what was being recorded on the canvas.
It was a privilege to delve into the experiences, people and ideas that have shaped her process. Vicky’s commitment to get past the ‘polite veneer’ of acquaintance through her research, careful observation and importantly the conversations with her sitters in which mutual curiosity and vulnerability lead somehow to images that confront us with an honest intensity that seems to characterise her work.
The short film includes some of these insights into Victoria’s process and footage of Duncan Macmillan’s portrait in progress. Various edits were produced for use by National Galleries Scotland in the Portrait Gallery alongside the exhibition and online.
Usually artworks on the weaving floor at Dovecot Studios are there to be translated into tapestry. I remember noticing a big fluorescent riot of a painting and thinking ‘surely this is just on display? Part of an exhibition? Surely this can’t be translated into textile.’ …Of course it can. The wild abstract expressionist painting was the design for a large scale tapestry – a wall mounted rug commissioned by the Perse School in England to sit within a new Performing Arts Centre.
The design is by Glasgow based artist Victoria Morton whose abstract painting celebrates creativity, growth and the students of the school. The painting presented unique challenges in translation to the tufter Kristi Vana, who worked closely with Vicki to find ways to keep the expression of the painting alive in a completely different medium. Translating the quick, gestural marks, layers of translucent colour and the chance effects of the paint into the certainty of loops of coloured wool was part of the challenge. Kristi also wanted to capture the essence of Vicki’s style – the ‘handwriting’ of her particular gestures and marks and striking colour sense.
…All with a pneumatic wool-shooting-gun…
The short film follows the making of the Press Rug with a discussion between Vicki and Vana about the process and the design and a score by the artist (Vicki is also a musician and composer)
We were delighted to be asked back to Method Studio this autumn for the final part of the filming for the launch of the Loch Lomond 50 yr old inside their beautifully sculpted black wood case. Really this project started with just a series of boards which reflected back some of the key aspects and important threads which were inherit in the making of both the whisky and which were being woven into the design of the case. It’s always exciting to work on a project like this where the ideas for how we might convey the elements of the brief are fairly wide ranging, especially when those elements are quite so visual as fire, water and the beautiful landscapes that surround both the Loch Lomond distillery and Method workshops.
The brief for this film took us to both sides of Scotland, filming at the distillery on the banks of Loch Lomond (seeing the 50yr old in person) as well as capturing how the barrels are fired and prepared. We also had some late nights camping out on the shores of Loch Lomond to capture dusk footage of the water lapping on the shores and fairly epic times-lapses of the stars in the night sky. The wide landscapes and extreme close-ups really did work well together and we hope they built the intended sense of place and being, if not through the mood of a starlight furnace!
The final hero sequence which you’ll see at the end of this film was filmed on-location, finishing in the early hours after 3-4hours of some painstaking measurements, while keeping miniature lights alive and a surprising number of stands, black glass and stretched backgrounds. Hopefully the final result does this product justice and we hope you enjoy this little film, we certainly enjoyed making it!
Our ShotScope Technologies TV Advert will be running during the European Tour Golf 2017 on Sky Sports 4 through March. Great to work with the team at ShotScope again on this project, a mix of animated graphics, renders and live action footage.
Look forward to playing with this ourselves very soon! To find out more or buy your own ShotScope please visit https://shotscope.com/buy/
Dovecot Studios produced their longest tapestry to date for The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, one of the City of London’s ancient and enduring guilds. The 40m tapestry wraps 3 sides of the Dining Hall and looks right at home within the sumptuous fit-out and amongst the other art and craft treasures the Guild holds. This collaboration between Dovecot, architect Eric Parry and the artist Victoria Crowe, is one of a number of collaborations we have been excited to film over the last 12 months. Other collaboration films include one with photographic artist Garry Fabian Miller
Fantastic show last night from the Got Soul Choirs coming together from across Scotland with special guest appearance from Mica Paris. Pretty much had every camera on this shoot, filming a vision mix including a glidecam up on stage and some behind the scenes action. Photo below of Maryam Ghaffari, Got Soul Director and lead vocal.
This month we returned to the Showroom at Lyon and Turnbull, Edinburgh’s oldest auction house, to film with Specialist Douglas Girton who was joined by a Banjo Player, a Cymbal playing chimp and a Ballerina. Automatons are mechanised figures from the turn of the century used at the time as curiosities and in retail displays. A collection of these features in Lyon and Turnbull’s next auction and we were called in to help show off these quirky characters in film.
Lyon & Turnbull logo build
It was a treat to get some privileged access working with Hamilton and Inches in the lead up to Valentines day on a new film the ‘Making of an Engagement Ring’. Opening with the selection and inspection of the diamond, we followed Master Jeweller Chay through the process of selecting the platinum band to shaping and creating the band and bezel, right through to setting the stone and the final polish. Finally the ring finds a home in the beautiful George Street showroom. It was the perfect opportunity to try out our new selection of macro lenses to really capture the fine detail and craftsmanship that goes into these rings. It’s always great to partner with brilliant companies who are literally only a stones throw from the studio.
WATCH THE FILM: (running time: 2:20 minutes)
We were back at Red Roof Studios last week for the studio component of a new film we’re working on for ShotScope Technologies and the launch of their latest golf product. Shooting in high-frame rate 4K, under the watchful eye of Gavin White, we captured a mix of footage for storyboarding out this film, as well as a series of shots for their upcoming TV advertising campaign.
The studio shoot followed a day on the course in late November 2015. The mixture of a beautifully manicured course in East Lothian, some flawless golf from Keir, the golf Pro and getting the weather window just right meant we could get a bit creative with the shot list, not least getting the drone up for the top-down views of the green.
Looking at this footage it’s still hard to believe that this was shot in the middle of whatever was otherwise a fairly bleak November.
Down at Redroof Studios today for the first of our films for the Edinburgh International Festival. Great venue for the visual we were looking to create aided by their huge green screen and some greatly talented dancers, musicians and actors. Checkout the quick behind the scenes edit.
It’s exciting to be back on our tour this week with Make Works in the first of a series of mini-tours right across Scotland. Focus of this tour was makers in the Scottish Borders. Great to be on the road again with Fi, aka Make Works Founder and it was everything that we love about Make Works, great makers, beautiful spaces, brilliant variety and we just love seeing whats out there and getting reminded that Scotland is pretty epic when it comes to making! 😉
In amongst our work this year with the Edinburgh International Festival was a partnership with the Guardian newspaper to produce a series of classical rehearsal performances for their national site. We teamed up with the EIF crew and bsound Ltd to produce 5 short films showcasing the top classical performances in rehearsal from this years festival programme. All films were directed by Stuart Armit and co-filmed and edited by our team. You can find the full collection of these short films at this link.
Utterly brilliant performance by this French company performing “Oh La La” at Assembly checkpoint this year! Below is a little snippet we pulled from the full show edit which we mixed from three cameras on the night. Look forward to seeing this show back here next year.
We’ve absolutely loved our partnership with Abernethy Adventure Centre this year and we’ve already shot 4 of the 6 shoot days we had planned this summer, including sailing out on Loch Tay, Canyoning in the Cairngorms and Kayaking across on the West Coast at their Ardgour Centre. The biking up at Glentress though was definitely something we were looking forward to and we were fortunate enough to get some glimmers of sunshine as a crew of about 20 riders carved out some shapes on the downhill course. With a Go Pro Hero3+ mounted on the handlebars for the downhill trails we managed to get some cracking footage to take away.
We were working again with GSI events on their new promo advert for the Glasgow and Edinburgh 10K which they’ve rebranded this year. Was great to be working with William Robertson on this and hear about his personal journey from 21 stone. Check out his story in the Daily Mail Online. Look out for this Ad on your Facebook news feed!
It was quite a weekworking on Skye with the R.House team – award winning architects and builders who’ve developed an innovative way of building homes for the Highland and Islands. The brief for the film was something that showed the process and encapsulated the values but wasn’t pushy or a ‘hard sell’. It was great to be able to capture aerial footage in such beautiful locations.
It was such a privilege for us to be asked to produce a film for the Maggie’s centre in Edinburgh ahead of their annual funding ball at the Sheraton Hotel. It was a great opportunity to showcase the space amongst some really honest interviews.
We can not speak highly enough of the work that goes on in the Edinburgh centre and the dedicated and quite brilliant team who support people on a daily basis battling with a Cancer diagnosis. The fundraising ball was a hugely successful evening and this video is now being used on the Maggie’s Edinburgh website and we’re pleased to say that it will also soon to be used as a national tool for promoting the work that Maggie’s do right across the country.
Earlier in the year we were invited to work with Dovecot Studios to document the Glass Onion project – the creation of a tapestry derived from a print by Magne Furuholmen. Magne is a musician and visual artist (he was just the keyboardist for the band A-ha!) and has a really exciting, open handed approach to collaboration and artistic process. We are documenting the project through a mix of film, time lapse, interviews and some training and facilitating so the Dovecot team can also document some of the process. There may even be an original score for the film composed by Magne. (Did I mention he was the keyboardist of A-ha?)
Was great to partner with the Edinburgh International Festival for the 2013 festival. Some incredible performances – dance, theatre, music and the grandaddy of all fireworks displays as we delivered a wide range of ‘audience experience’ video content. We had the pleasure of working alongside the EIF’s very own camera crew and production team who worked tirelessly throughout the festival to deliver video for broadcast and social media. Having Elga and Justine in and out of our office during the festival was great, though the negotiations in the small hours of the morning determining the kit for the following day will not be missed! 😉
Below is a festival audience experience edit culminating in the festival fireworks. Thank you Elga and Justine for their Vox Pox interviews and for pulling together various elements of this final montage.
Here’s a little promo film we did for MakeWorks following their Press Launch at Summerhall last week. It’s impressive to see all the different components of this tour now coming together and can’t wait until the tour officially starts at the beginning of July.
If you’ve got a few minutes check out their site at: http://www.makeworks.co.uk you can also follow them on twitter @thisismakeworks or #makeworkstour
We seem to have found ourselves on the roof of tech cube quite often lately. Weather was unbelievable today too, hardly any wind which has got to be a rarity up there. Pulled out all 6 stops of ND filters on the C100 and that only just about cut it as we recorded the Make Works Promo tour interviews.
It’s been tweeted, re-tweeted, posted, shared and now we’re even seeing it coming up as Facebook statuses. With nearly 100 views a day just off our site alone, Kate Granger’s keynote address about her experiences as a medical registrar being diagnosed with cancer is certainly capturing people’s attention at the moment. The interest in this video over above many of the other excellent talks we covered over the two day conference in Manchester last month is proof that people are again connecting and engaging with the very personal, authentic and the very moving nature of this content. Is it this sort of level headed reality from someone who is right in the middle of it that has really evoked a reaction here and making for a very watchable 45 mins.
Whether you’re an oncologist, surgeon or have been touched by cancer in some other way it is definitely worth watching.
Having seen our Edinburgh Startups video last year, Neo, a software design consultancy company in Edinburgh contacted us about covering the ScotlandJS 2013 conference they were hosting at Edinburgh’s SummerHall. We were tasked with recording all 18 talks from leading developers within the JS community as well as simultaneously capturing the slides, video streams and most importantly the live coding which was being projected on the big screens during these sessions.
With still very limited options on market for good frame grabbers we went with a 30fps frame grabber and video encoder from the Epiphan range which we imported direct from the US. With a guaranteed 30fps progressive capture rate for screen resolutions up to 1920×1080 it promised to be one of the only real options for us and it certainly proved it’s worth with os x, windows and ubuntu laptops all being used over the 3 days and more than a dozen different output screen resolutions. This looks to be a real solution for all our event recordings going forward and may, in some cases, alleviate the requirement for gathering speakers slides ahead of conferences.
Arrived this morning at the Glue Factory, hidden up in the northern quarter of Glasgow’s West End to start shooting the first of the MakeWorks videos with Fi Scott and Vana Coleman. What a fantastic place to start! Huge screen printing tables and great to see how a process like this works. Good fun too to actually get going with this project and see Fi and Vana at work and introduce them to some techniques for shooting short films like this. We’ve been using the new 5D Mark III and the EOS Cinema camera for this shoot. If this visit is anything to go by I’m a bit gutted that we will only get to join them for a fraction of the 180 manufacturers that they’ll be visiting on this tour. Tomorrow we head off to NPI solutions across in Irvine for a larger manufacturer on the West coast of Scotland.
You can find out more about this tour at: http://makeworks.co.uk
It is always great to be asked to film an event that you’d probably like to go to anyway and ‘Making and breaking of Creative industries’ hosted by Creative Edinburgh at Dovecot Studios was just such an event. Really enjoyed hearing about the success of pay-per-view technologies like Distrify and a great talk at the start of the day from Andy Payne at AppyNation.
Jim Wolfe also gave some insight in the world of the well known Leith Agency who currently work with marketing Irn Bru and are very much involved with the marketing of Scotland to the global community.
Working in teams is the norm in video production, projects are rarely solo efforts. One of the most satisfying things in working collectively is collaborating in a creative process, and achieving a result that was more than any one of the individuals was capable of. A collaboration with a music producer and an animator friend was my first taste of a video and motion graphic collaboration. A singer-song writer, a collage and watercolour artist, an illustrator, a designer and an animator weighed in on this lively conference animation. The Edinburgh Startups film was a project that grew up out of friends, groups and businesses working together.
“Stop, collaborate and listen…” So wrote Vanilla Ice. But was he on to something?
The first of our Stories series begins with Alasdair Thomson, a young and very talented Edinburgh-based Sculptor. Having trained out in Italy for nine months in 2010, Alasdair was voted as the People’s choice in the recent Open Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy at the end of January 2013. We spent a couple of days with Alasdair at his workshop in Newington while he was preparing work for at upcoming exhibition at Fettes College at the end of February as we filmed him give shape to some of his recent work.
Below is a taster film we put together for the forthcoming exhibition ‘Fabricae’
It was a real privilege to be asked to cover the Techcube launch party and one of the first outings last year for our new Canon Cinema EOS camera. For those of you who don’t yet know what Techcube is, well it’s something of a new phenomena in Edinburgh which has been gathering pace over the past 12-18months in the form of a tech startups incubator. It contains a mixture of tech startups as well as some pretty successful tech companies and allows them to gather together and help grow their businesses. We were lucky enough to be involved with techcube at the very beginning, so it’s very exciting for us to now see this multi-storey building on the edge of meadows being filled with such an awesome array of talented companies and individuals who really are taking the new digital era by both hands!
Following on from the filming of the Edinburgh Startups short film last year with Colin Hewitt of Float, (http://floatapp.com) we feel like we’ve really got to know some of the guys at Techcube and it is definitely a story worth following. You can find out more information at techcu.be.
A short taster video from the Launch Party!