We all spend years criticising anyone who shoots vertical video, and then IGTV comes along and says vertical video is the way to go. God damn it. Guess I’m making vertical videos now. Or am I? Can I get behind this? I recently completed a 16:9 video for the song ‘Bang Goes The TV’ and as an experiment I decided to try and verticalise it (going that crazy/wrong 9:16 ratio).
I took the existing 16:9 video and chopped off the left side and right side, sticking them down the bottom in different hues. It is a bit of a hack, but kind of works in the context of the song and the general weirdness of the video. I have no idea how this works.
It was a bit of a struggle outputting the right format. Turns out I can do that with Motion. Vertical video needs a custom format, I went with 608 x 1080. Most output formats are .mov files but IGTV needs .mp4. You can do it, it’s just tucked away in the Share menu [ Share > Apple Devices > Mac and PC ]. Always with the technical issues, I still haven’t got a way to embed IGTV in WordPress. Anyway, you can click here to watch the completed vertical video on IGTV.
The human mind has a staggering capacity for pattern recognition. We see familiar patterns wherever we look, even when they are not present. The most familiar pattern is the human face, or any face, it could be an animal. Some little part of our brain is dedicated to constantly scanning our visual field looking for two eyes, a nose and a mouth, or anything even close to that.
In complex systems, we can’t help it, we perceive pattern matches that arise from sheer randomness. In billowing smoke and flame, we can see devilish faces flash in and out of existence. If we stare at the ground in leafy shade, we see mysterious visages and hear them creaking in the wind. In the textures of nature, we always see ourselves, our best friends, our worst fears. We all see Mustafa in the clouds.
There are plenty of other places on the internet where people have compiled whole libraries of exactly this… things that look like faces. It’s a human obsession. I like to snap the faces I see, or rather the things that look like faces. It’s an infrequent habit. So I’m going to share some of my own on this website. This is what catches my eye when I’m out and about.
Showing them to people is oddly banal, like telling someone your dream. We all think our dreams are interesting, no one else does. But Things That Look Like Faces is at least a lot quicker than dreamsplaining. It only takes a sideways glance. I get giddy little thrills from seeing things that look like faces, from realising that I am seeing things differently, engaging in an unconscious leap of imagination. So I reach for my smartphone… my cameraphone… I think it’s safe to just call it a phone now.
Tweet or gram me @TDNTav with your own best #TTLLF
This has been the first exciting episode of what will probably be a recurring series. I’ll be back next week or next month or whenever with another blog post (this one was so boring!) and some more of my very own… Things That Look Like Faces. I may change the format. The new format will be… a new format every week. Look, it’s a blog post. No, it’s a podcast. Nope, it’s a video. Whoosh, it’s a vertical video. Anything is possible because things look like faces.
I saw the marble machine video when it came out in 2016. Like a lot of people, I was blown away. It now has over 70 million views on YouTube. I’ll embed it below in case you are the person who hasn’t seen it.
Continue reading Wintergatan
Everything’s all shiny and new. I have overhauled the design of the entire website. I tore down the previous version, it was built on a different WordPress theme which was nice when viewed on desktop but didn’t scale at all. I made a huge mistake not thinking about responsive design. If it’s not going to look good on a tablet or smartphone, then it might as well not exist.
The most recent blog post will be the first thing people see when they visit the site. I hope people notice the relatively uncomplicated menu, whether it appears above or to the left of the main content. There’s plenty of embedded music and video for people like me, who like to dive into the rabbithole when they find something they like.
And the real reason for the website overhaul… new album coming soon. Watch this space.