Music, Film, Tom Waits and the Twm Sion Catti Blues

Five Minute Film for Digital Video Production Module

In an earlier post entitled Pitching a Five Minute Film, I blogged about an idea I had for a music video.

As an amateur musician I have played in bands and have written a lot of material, mostly in the ‘rock’ genre. I have always had a fairly eclectic taste in music having been raised on an audio diet of John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon (my dad) as well as Cliff Richard and Barry Manilow (my mum, bless her!). My own personal taste in music does not reflect either of my parents’, but I incline more towards the Jazz than I do Manilow or Richard. I have always loved the music of the late 1960s, groups like Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Band. I also love the Delta Blues; Robert Johnson, Son House et al. Having been listening to it since my teenage years, there is still to this day,  a wealth of material that I am still discovering.In more recent years I have developed an admiration for good country music (I know!?!), perhaps it is something to do with having lived in the countryside all my adult life, or maybe just a natural development in my musical taste. I am fascinated by the music that developed in the U.S. between the turn of the 20th century and the late 1960s. Jazz, blues and country music evolved and intertwined to produce Rock n’ Roll in the 50s. Soul music also developed from these influences and I have a deep love for the music of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and many other legends of the same ilk.

Modern music doesn’t really float my boat. It’s not something I mind though. I try not to expose myself to any chart blaring media and never listen to Radio 1. I am happy drawing on a wealth of music from the past and leaving others to enjoy and understand the beauty of modern music. There are current artists that I admire greatly, however most of these performers are mirroring an older style of music. They bring their own flavour and ideas to these past genres and help to keep the flame alive as well introducing a new generation to a more antiquated style, but generally they are not essentially doing anything ‘new’. Tom Waits is one such artist that I greatly admire. His career has spanned several decades now, in which he has produced a wide range of different sounding albums. He has been the piano playing, cocktail lounge-room lizard, the maniacal accordion-playing balladeer and in recent years he has honed his skills to create some wonderful blues influenced, sometimes industrial sounding work. As I mentioned in the earlier post, the video for Waits’ song ‘Hold On’ gave me the inspiration to film my own video for my song ‘Twm Sion Catti Blues’. I enjoyed the simplicity and aesthetic of the Tom Waits video and found a few suitable locations locally, in which I could shoot similar(ish!) shots to that seen in ‘Hold On’.

I was assisted in my group by Sean Woods, Rachel Pick, Muzzy Albustani and Dervla McCarthy to whom I am very grateful for their input and hard work involved in creating the film. We shot our footage between late November 2010 and January 2011. Some of the days out involved hiking over hill and dale in the snow, there were occasions when we travelled 12 miles and arrived at the location without any tape, there was a great rush in the final few days before the deadline to complete the paperwork and the amount of effort that went into finishing the video to an acceptable standard, was intense!

There are many things about our video that are below par. There is no diegetic sound at the beginning or ending due to the rain that was falling that day. The cover we used to protect the camera did a great job of keeping the equipment dry, but was also the only thing that could be heard on the mic channel. A lack of time meant that producing a pseudo audio track for these sections was not going to happen. Although there are many holes to be found and imperfections to be gleaned, they all help with the learning curve. Overall, I am pleased and extremely proud of the result of our work, it was a fantastic experience. As a first attempt at Digital Video Production, I believe our effort is not without merit and in producing it, we had a lot of fun!

I hope you enjoy our video and if you’ve never heard of the ‘Welsh Robin Hood’ – Twm Sion Cati – before, we are pleased that you have now!

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About Roulette Revolver

Currently a first year undergraduate in Film & Media Studies.
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2 Responses to Music, Film, Tom Waits and the Twm Sion Catti Blues

  1. C & R says:

    awesome stuff Greg.

    You are doing a great job of tagging your articles.

    Just out of interesting what are your hits like?

    • Total hits: 2835

      Best day: 55 (November 2010)

      Averaging: 20 hits per diem currently.

      We’re all fine here. Situation normal. How are you? You’re sending a squad up!?

      It’s not Easter, it’s Blogster! :O

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