This was completely new to me so I started out with the most basic stuff - what all the buttons do.
I’ve found that YouTube can be a fantastic source for informative videos and tutorials on pretty much any subject you might want to know about. My favourite YouTube tutorials for learning Blender are from a channel called tutor4u. They give step-by-step instructions aimed at beginners to make some really quite complicated things. Here’s some stuff I made by following their instructions.
This is all entirely free and not too difficult to do, so I’d recommend to anyone who likes the sound of it to try it out, it’s really quite fun. One slight hindrance is that unless you’ve got a really fancy computer, rendering animations takes ages. One way around this is to drastically lower the quality, while trying to keep it as high as your patience will allow.
I’m going to be working on a longer animation as my next creative project. I’m a big fan of animusic, so I'd like to try something along those lines. There’s potential to create and visualise some really quite precise, fiddly music if you’ve got control over all the elements of it. I will explore the possibilities and keep you posted.
For this first High Wire blog post, I thought I would talk about why we (Emily and myself) are called Trapeze.
We both studied composition at Birmingham Conservatoire, having been keen musical performers in our former years. Through our education at the conservatoire we both worked with film separately. I was initially interested in film scoring and Emily wanted to try something new.
It received mixed reviews throughout its time on YouTube, with some people really hating it because of the sometimes ropey instrumental playing to absolutely loving it because of the impressive camera work.
I on the other hand, had been working with film and theatre throughout university but by third year, I was finding the work thankless and repetitive. I had written music for several student fashion shows, documentaries and film projects and was struck by how similar the music requests were. I was also frustrated that I was unable to match the quality of the output from some composers who were more well equipped.
We both teamed up as part of my final portfolio project called "Fineal Forts". Although I had not written any media music, I wanted film to be a big part of my portfolio. I approached Emily, wanting to use her new found videography skills to make films to accompany my concert pieces. Within a week, we had filmed a car chase using a model railway, a time lapse and experimented with fire! I submitted my portfolio on a DVD and presented it in a box with a bag of popcorn, a bottle of coke and some chocolate (I can't remember whether the chocolate made the box, I may have eaten that...). Some of these videos can be found below.
Our collaborative efforts on the project had been highly praised by our tutors and the marks for the project reflected that. We both realised that this was somthing that we wanted to pursue.
We started to work on a few small projects under a collective name and after much deliberation we settled on the name "Trapeze Film".
During our time at uni, we were both part of a Ska Band that I ran called "The Skemptons". It was a bit of fun during our studies to contrast with the sometimes heavy academic analysis of contemporary music. The band was named after Howard Skempton, a friend and tutor at the conservatoire. I don't remember the specifics of how the band started but we performed two of his simple piano songs in an upbeat Ska style as part of a concert of Howard's works at the Forge in London. (That's another story...) These pieces were called "Trapeze" and "Lime Light".
The Lyrics to the song "Trapeze" are very simple and had a profound impact on myself and my colleagues. On this basis alone, Emily and myself decided to use the title and words of the song as the name of our videography project and in turn, this blog
"I aspire to the high wire,
It makes me weak at the knees,
it swings to and fro before letting go.
It's so easy, to feel queazy"
Over the two years Trapeze has been running, the lyrics have become more relevant and important as we aspire to work on bigger projects learning and improving our skills as we go. It can be scary trying new things, working with new people and to tight deadlines but it is incredibly exciting and to think that the final product of a collaboration could potentially touch someone and make an impression.
So that is a brief introduction as to how and why trapeze came about.
As part of, "I'm So Tired", we released a video explaining the processes and the goings on behind the video. This glimpse in to how we did the project was very popular and in response to this we have started "High Wire".
We will talk about projects, new skills we have picked up and other bits and pieces that we think are interesting and will post up the blog link to our social media (Twitter, Facebook...) If you enjoy the blog we will keep it going! Let us know how you have found each post, we would really appreciate it.
Hope to see you on the 24th with why Trapeze Film is called Trapeze Film and some other little bits.
The "High Wire" blog is written by Reuben and Emily and is released on the last Friday of every month.