from the outsiders

Nicks Leaves

A guy from my program at school put this video together.  It’s actually pretty cool so I thought I would throw it up on here.  The best part is he filmed it all in one night over the period of about six hours, leaf by leaf.  Talk about an all nighter!  The music is original too.

Check out below for an interview with Nick

[Dave] So Nick, can you describe this project to us?

[Nick] So originally the idea was to map the natural world in a way that hasn’t been done before, or in a way that wouldn’t normally occur to people.  My concept was to be more of a cartographer, setting out to basically map out patterns of leaves on the ground.  I did it over the course of an entire night, it took about six hours.  I found an area I thought would be interesting, set up my camera and my tripod, set out the area, and went to town.

[Dave] How did you manage to pull the string from leaf to leaf?

[Nick] Well actually I did it backwards, I mapped the entire section first, and then I would cut sections of the string off one at a time, and it would get shorter and shorter.  Then I reversed the video so it looks like its going the other way.  That’s the only way I could figure out how to do it.  I had the project in my mind for a while and I was like, I don’t know how I can possibly make it work.

[Dave] What are some of the differences between this approach to art and drawing, or traditional media?

[Nick] Well I dunno, there are definitely differences, the obvious ones are dealing with video, which is something I’ve experimented a little bit with.  I think the more interesting part is the similarities between them. You still have to conceptualize it as a flat piece of work, even though your working in three dimensions, that switch in mindset. You have to think about it compositionally, how its going to fit on the camera versus how it works in real life. Like, people are looking at a flat image when they are watching a television, but you are working in three dimensions.  It looks like a drawing, but you are doing it as a sculpture. That was a big thing for me.  It was like a line drawing.  Compositionally you have to think about how it works and how you want the eye to move around.

[Dave]  Were there any changes from your original version to your final version?

[Nick] In terms of editing yeah, I photographed it too dark, because I would rather brighten things up than make them darker. I didn’t really cut any pictures out, but obviously the music I added in after.

[Dave] Tell me about the music.

[Nick] So the music, that’s an original score by my bro.  I had him in my pocket because he owed me for picking him up from a party or something.  I sat him down for an hour, made him watch the video, and just had him play guitar. I knew in my head what I wanted it to sound like and how it should interact with the piece, and he just kept going over it until he got a feel for what it was, and he ended up nailing it.  So, then I edited it, slowed down certain parts in a couple of areas just to get the perfect finish that I wanted, and yeah, I think it worked pretty seamlessly with the piece.

[Dave] If you were to work on a similar project in the future, what would you keep, and what would you change?

[Nick] If I were to do it again, I would do it bigger, I would do it huge.  I would like to a project similar to this again and I would do it in a huge area, and I would set up a tripod for more of an areal view.  [The video] was at a slight angle and it threw it off a bit. The other thing is the camera actually shook a bit.  You can notice it in the video, it would have been cleaner if the camera was still.  Why that happened is because the camera was on dirt, so it shook a little bit every time I took a photo.  When you’re looking at it on a small screen you don’t notice the shake, but when you put it on your computer you notice it.

[Dave] So, you’re studying industrial design, did that play a role in this project at all?

[Nick] Yeah, ah, I dunno.  Maybe a little bit in terms of being meticulous and planning things out before you set about it.  We did have to do a stop motion in first year ID so maybe that had something to do with it, but I’ve experimented with it since.

[Dave] Is there an aspect of fine art that you are able to explore that you cannot explore in industrial design?

[Nick] Oh yeah, for sure. ID is good because it keeps me sane, and fine art is where I can actually go a little bit nuts.  I like the aspect of being able to just explore ideas that really are not possible in the physical realm that ID has to operate in.

[Dave] Alright, thanks Nick.

[Nick] Cool.

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