Aussie musician and filmmaker James Cooper moved to Dublin with a debut solo album under his belt, with big ideas for his second production “Foreign Cities.”
The album was written, recorded, performed and produced single-handedly over one year in his foreign city- Dublin. With the tracks laid, Cooper wanted to experiment with the visual side to music.
Via social media outlets, Cooper selected a host of Dublin’s finest visual artists to utilize his music as an audio bed to tell their story, or alternatively to create a promo video for the song.
Meet the filmmakers:
Sophie Merry Animator and filmmaker
Mark Duggan Photographer
Snooze Creative Animation and Design Collective
Maciej Pestka Photographer
Albert Hooi Cinematographer
Paul Mahon (Geppetto) Visual Artist
Tom Lennon Visual Artist
JJ Rolfe Cinematographer
Jennifer Hyland Communications Graduate
This is a marriage of music, visual arts, technology and travel all mashed up to produce one outcome – creativity at its best.
With directors hailing from various backgrounds and levels of expertise, the directors were urged to use novel ways to shoot their videos.
One such director is DCU Communications Graduate Jennifer Hyland. After becoming involved in the project via Twitter, James suggested shooting on a smart phone, providing an interesting and innovative element to the video.
“I shot on my iPhone 4S. That’s pretty much all the equipment I used. At first, I was a little apprehensive about this, wondering how the footage would look but it turned out better than I ever would’ve thought! We added a lot of nice effects in post-production. Given my deadline, which was just over a week to shoot and edit, I wanted to keep it simple and effective.”
To most filmmakers, especially those of the old school tradition, shooting on a smart phone can only be described as preposterous! Ridiculous! Smart phones, particularly the iPhone 4S is gaining momentum in the filmmaking world. With the ability to record video at 1080p HD quality with 30 frames per second, why wouldn’t it?
Jennifer’s video accompanies Cooper’s track “Dancin’ Embers.” With a bright but vintage feel, Jennifer wanted to emphasis the fact that the video was shot on a smart phone.
“I wanted to take the audience on a journey and let them see Dublin from a bikes-eye view! I combined visually enticing scenic shots with a vintage style aesthetic.”
“I really love fashion and styling and thought this would be a great opportunity to merge this with creative directing. I also love cycling, I even have a little bike tattoo on my foot. I find it so relaxing and that’s the vibe I got from the song. I wanted it to look like two friends hanging out, getting ready and then heading off on their bikes for a cycle through Dublin!”
As the whole project is independently produced, it is also independently funded. Over €2000 was donated by 72 funders worldwide, entirely through an online platform.
Donations yield rewards. Starting at €10, a digital download of the album a week before release is on offer. On the higher end of the scale at €650, the funder will receive an acoustic version of one of Cooper’s songs or a requested cover of any song performed by James, filmed in HD and uploaded to YouTube as a personal thank you, (aw, so cute) plus much more.
The Sugar Club will host the official unveiling of the films this Thursday May 17th, with a special performance from Bantum.
Tickets €10 Doors 7.30 PM
More films are expected over the next two months, so keep your eyes peeled or check out foreigncities.tv for updates.
Words: Ania Sherlock