// A Respectable Choice, Rather Than A Winner//

It came to a polarizing conclusion. Anafelle Liu took the band’s choice award with this visual experiment, spawning some controversy.

The array of comments is focusing on the legitimacy of the clip, and while it may connect to the point (and i’ll get to that in the end), reasons and methods of the author are not what makes me, personally and unfortunately, agree that it was a disappointing outcome.
Focusing solely on the actual video and it’s context (The Valtari Experiment), I reluctantly say it’s not an achievement at technical and conceptual levels, and so to be clear neither was ours at that. The chosen clip has some slight visual appeal, and evokes certain emotions to the viewer willing to watch it carefully, but the visuals wear off and consequently watching with care becomes a task, even to the “technical viewer” with not much to praise in terms of production.
This is not, in any way, a comment on the quality, value of the performance and message at hand, but it’s appropriation as a music video to become part of an excellent collection. Anafelle’s work is a good piece on it’s own, with no dependency (I.E.: connection) on Sigur Rós’s music to weigh in and come full circle.
There was for instance Caroline Fisher’s submission, finalist, which falls in the same category as the chosen clip, but taking (at least) the “surroundings’ inspiration” key from the brief, on a ‘happening’ kind of performance also, with a bit more to chew on.

The most striking thing is how far off the “Sigur Rós Video Language” this inverted color experiment is. Uniqueness is valid, but the emphasis on the word “film”, plus the language we’ve seen along the years and particularly in the Valtari Mystery Film experiment, betray most contestants as they thrived to please and embrace what each one thought defined Sigur Rós.
But in the end this was the band’s choice. They know best what complements their music, and we can’t ask for more than a genuine “click” that made Anafelle’s clip stand out to them.

I would like to be in my best and congratulate the author, but the fact that this clip, apparently, is a recycling of old work previous to the Valtari album, would make congratulations unfair to other hard working authors writing new material inspired by Sigur Rós.

All that’s left is to respect the bands choice, and be happy for all the reasons I wrote in the previous post. Congratulations to the finalists, specially Gonçalo, our most “direct competitor”. It was a good run.

// This Is It//

Hello there! It’s been a while, and it’s been a ride.

Ever since I last posted, the journey went from sharing the submission and getting people’s votes, to this weird PR-like stunts to put it out there other than facebook spamming the Talenthouse link.
It worked. Both national and international film-makers and enthusiasts sent some love over twitter, we got published on a couple of music blogs, a movie blog gathering up Portuguese submissions, and finally on a major news-site and its creative/arts section.

It was a healthy experience that got us up to 4th place. Yes, 4th in a 830 submissions contest.

This 5 member crew is happy, but not for the mere numbers.
"People’s choice" awards like these can be tricky, as the popularity of a submission doesn’t directly relate to it’s quality. Happily the actual 1st place, and lots of highly voted submissions, are really good, but where I’m getting at is that we feel humbled and pleased with the outcome because of the genuine reaction we got from our peers.
Both close and totally unknown people came to us, both in person and through social networks to congratulate, endorse, or just show gratitude for the experience. We could never have predicted or known how to react.

A particular situation got me both shaking in fear and filled with joy the next moment, as I was mingling in a bar with friends of friends of friends, and this nice guy comes with some beer and congratulates me for the video, proudly telling me he voted for it. The conversation quickly turned as he was telling me our piece was a bit more personal to him, because of family issues regarding the themes of our video.
Only then I thought about the delicate nature of what we touched on, and how little the crew actually knows about it. Gladly, to this guy’s experience we didn’t misrepresent the issue, and he felt some sort of connection to our character’s journey and motivations.

This, alone, is a victory. We told a story effectively enough to grip the general audience and connect to certain sensibilities. We didn’t make trash, we contributed to people’s entertainment, thoughts and emotions.
With this I’ll get to the point of this post, which would be to thank for everyone’s vote, but instead I’m personally just thanking you for watching and enjoying.

As for a more “pragmatic” status update, we are waiting for the 15th (next monday) to know the band’s choice. We have technical issues in our clip, and it’s far from perfect on a film-making standpoint, so the idea of winning is just this vague hope.
We will be sitting at the local pub, regardless of the announcement, celebrating the whole thing and drinking to Sigur Rós, to their music, and the experience they provided. Also to all fellow Portuguese participants.

Voting Is Open!

Voting is now open for our video on The Valtari Mystery Film Competition. We apreciate all the support you can give.
Vote, share, endorse, marry to this submission… All you can!

Best Regards
Diogo Louro, Carlos Teixeira, Tiago Castro, Ana Gil and Rita Moniz. 

// It’s Out There//

This post will be bare bones. It’s done, it’s out, and you ought to know it:

Head over to the contest submission page for our video and connect. Voting starts on the 11th. This is it for now.
Many thanks, follow ups and wrap ups are in order, but that’ll be when the dust settles.

// Preview Clip//

I’ve done this test a couple of weeks ago, after the first day of on-location production. I thought it could be a nice tease of what’s to come. Enjoy:

Editing. See you soon.

Editing. See you soon.

// Third Day Shooting - It’s A Wrap//

Three acts, three distinct days on field. First we went for the character’s journey, then the opening scene, and finally we shot the ending.

With principal photography done, the worse is gone for most of the team. Now it’s a caveman’s job to organize, select, prepare, edit and adjust the footage, hopefully in time for a first crew screening, feedback, and the final edit with necessary changes.

Deadline is in a week. 

// Second Day Shooting//

I just got home from the third day of capturing, but first things first: Yesterday’s shoot.

Many thanks to these two ladies, who not only woke up early as hell to welcome us in their home, but also cooked us lunch and assisted in whatever we needed. Thank you!
The rest of the day was tiring as hell, despite the team’s best efforts. It took way longer than expected, and some stuff just wasn’t falling into place, but everyone plowed through like champions and it eventually got done. 

Oh, yeah, meet our canine star in a reasonably priced film: Eva. The second and other only living being in our clip. Skinny thing did the saddest performance we could ever ask from a dog. Also walking on set as a true diva. Who’s a good girl!

So that’s that. I’ve yet to gather footage up and actually watch it. We went straight home and to bed, recharging up for today. As soon as I get Carlos’ photos I’ll post about it.

// Photographer In A Video World//

There were some missing accessories for tomorrow. One of those is a very, very important photo. Again, for spoiler’s sake, let’s say there’s a small photo and our character holds it very close to him. A photo from which he draws inspiration, motivation and a purpose. Today Carlos was a photographer in the video world we have been dealing with, to make this “prop” look authentic.

 In a tradition kind of way, dinner, talking, and then work: 


Tomorrow we set off at 7 in the morning.

// Home - An Ode To Friends//

Our character now has a home. The owner and her family scrapped some photos for reference, just so this point in production wouldn’t go unregistered. Thanks to everyone who were willing to open the door for us.

This is where I take the time to thank every friend who’s gone out of his/her way to help this music video go forward. I’ll spare the emotional shower, this is one of those projects which would fall flat in mediocrity if it wasn’t for people dedicated to help a friend out, and take the whole thing a step forward.
This goes for both in-team members, cranking up essential stuff in secret (for spoiler’s sake), and others who were willing to lend a hand, and the front door key. Thanks to all of you who could be sunbathing, but end up in a daily commotion to make this work, phones to the ear and sympathetic effort all around.

Speaking of sunbathing, the weather has been on our side for the whole week. Friday and Saturday are the second and third (final) days of shooting, and it’d be great if the clouds held up until then.