ACMI in Fed Square to meet up with Tash and Mary for the Gotye and His Collaborators event as part of Spectacle: The Music Video Exhibition and Melbourne Music Week. It was a nearly hour and a half conversation with Wally De Backer (aka Gotye) and some of the people he has worked with on his videos hosted by film and music critic Megan Spencer. After a short intro of the panel they discussed the ideas behind the videos done for songs off the album Making Mirrors and the processes they went through to make them, including some amusing behind the scenes "making of" clips.
First up was director Natasha Pincus of Starkraving Productions, who made the video for the worldwide smash hit "Somebody That I Used To Know." She discussed the importance of giving your full attention to those first couple of listens of a song in order to get inspiration for a concept for the video. Wally talked about his admiration for her previous work with Paul Kelly and Sarah Blasko and the emotive performances she gets from artists she works with. The video was shot over a couple of very long days with Emma Hack doing all the body painting of both Wally and Kimbra.
Next up was Andrew Goldsmith from Oh Yeah Wow who did the video for "Easy Way Out." He spoke about the 9 month process it took to make the video, which included building the sets and stop motion animation. Wally felt he got off light in this video, only being on set for a total of four days compared to the rest of the crew. His bits were recorded to the song being played at a quarter of the speed, which it gives it that jerky motion look.
The last of the collaborators were Ivan Dixon and Greg Sharp from the animation studio Rubber House. They worked with Wally on the videos for "State Of The Art," "Don't Worry, We'll Be Watching You" and "Seven Hours With A Backseat Driver" off the album Like Drawing Blood. Wally spoke about his love of animation and puppets stemming from a childhood watching cartoons and Sesame Street, as well as the freedoms you have due to the limitless story possibilities with animation. Wally also really admired the amount of work that was put in considering some of the tight timelines he gave for these clips, which have been used as visuals for live shows as well as official videos. Both Ivan and Greg talked about the constraints of animating a song within the parameters of what is requested. They will often try to fit in traditional story arcs while at the same time trying to ensure they hit the beat at certain points in a song.
Overall it was quite an interesting conversation with the panel and very informative about the creative process behind making a music video. All of them really enjoyed working with Wally and it has given them more exposure for their work and led to other projects over the last couple of years (especially with the success of "Somebody That I Used To Know"). Wally was asked about how he goes about picking people to do clips and most of the time he will have someone in mind for a song. He has found that asking for pitches doesn't really give him the result he desires and he'll often end up approaching and asking someone to do the work instead.
Night Noodle Markets, which is part of Good Food Month. It seemed as though most of Melbourne had the same idea because the opening night was absolutely packed. As we did a lap of the grounds to check out what was available all the various food booths had massively long lines. Considering most of them were restaurants you would have been better off going to the place itself! Not wanting to wait for over an hour for food that may run out by the time we got to the front, we headed back to the entrance where the food trucks were parked and lined up for Lil' Nom Noms who I have been wanting to try out. I had the steamed pulled pork bao and lemongrass chicken bun cha, which were both very good. The Night Noodle Markets runs nightly until the end of November, so check it out if the weather is nice (and hopefully the crowds will calm down a bit).