Category Archives: Video/Music

Producer/Director/Editor Reel

One thing that I greatly enjoyed about working at Veria Living under the leadership of Andrew Struse was that he created opportunities for personal artistic growth that stretched beyond the borders of our official creative sandbox. I hadn’t imagined that we’d accomplish so much in a calendar year, as there was no shortage of procedural work, but this kind of location shooting is what I loved to be doing, and there was just enough time to do it all.

All of our work supported the brand and translated well between pillars of the company, but at the end of the day, event coverage and promos are two very different animals: location work presents opportunities to mingle your brand with others that might be household names – more successful, more controversial, or sometimes just built for a different demo – whereas promos rarely afford such latitude without a lot of ad sales and marketing groundwork laid in advance.

As a producer, I love laying this groundwork. It’s methodical, deliberate, and civil by its very nature; as a director, however, I love the process of discovering what might never naturally occur as a predetermined plan from the producing standpoint.

As an editor, I just always wish I had more drive space.

xoxo – Pikey

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Siren Song of the Upmasher

You know, I don’t get enough time these days to engage in one of my favorite musical hobbies, mostly because of moving across the country and constant work sucking away at my personal creative time. Most nights, I’m lucky if I can even jump into Garageband to cut some loops at all.
Mashups present a distinction from most of the other creative projects I undertake (with the possible exception of woodcraft), because it becomes cumbersome to regularly interact with your creations following the process of making them (creator’s fatigue, if you will). The process remains a favorite creative hobby for me, not only as an intellectual exercise, but also as a result-driven mission to compound the joy of listening to music I already love. And yeah, if I liked it enough to endure the process of tracking it down, temping it, keying it, cutting it, and mashing it, chances are I’m not gonna tire of it quickly.
It seems that, as for many other forms of writing/editing, musicians and deejays vary on their motivations to engage in upmashing. For some, it’s a conceptual conversation (or competition) between two or more lyrical pieces of music, necessitating attention to a composite narrative thread. For others, it’s a simple recontextualization of lyrics or motives from one or more pieces against the instrumentation or motives of another. For me, it’s about mathematical agreement between two or more pieces of music, and the rest might or might not come together as I lay it on the timeline. Harmonies present, unexpected invitations for new additions arise, and a fertile new landscape for musical creation emerges. It’s like building sandcastles without worrying about the tide coming in.
Alas, not every idea is a good one – and some of the mashups I attempt don’t see the light of day – but it’s hard to regret the time “wasted.” Some of them are really well-received after little effort in the creative process, and others are overlooked despite precision-tuned master craft. Meh… fuck it. At the end of it all, there’s no money to be made, no show to be put on, or fame to be achieved, but there is a certain indescribable novelty to appropriating other people’s masterpieces in the act of musical decoupage. Jam on, comrades.

xoxo – Pikey

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