March 24th, 2014

Under the wing of Blink Productions and Colonel Blimp, Directors Thomas Ormonde and Robert Hunter, recently embarked on their first Kickstarter project. The final result was a visual accompaniment to Glaswegian / French band Babe’s debut album Volery Flighty.

The films, all hosted on Dazed Digital, explore an alternative route to the idea of the music promo. Instead, this series of short tasters give an overview of the whole album.

Director Tom and Mill artists Carl Norton and Tim Smith tell us a bit more about how they crafted the final piece…

How did you all get involved in this project?

Tom: Really it all began with our mutual desire to work together using 16mm film. Babe’s album was introduced to us a while back and it became a natural focus for such a project, leading us to create these films inspired by the album.

Carl: It was great to be able to finally be involved in a project together as Tom and I have known each other since we were kids. I had put Tom and Tim in contact a while back to discuss having the 16mm footage scanned and this quickly turned into a discussion around Tim grading the piece and myself leading the Flame work.

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What roll did The Mill play in the final result?

Carl: The films already had a great feel about them and we all wanted to keep them true to their original aesthetic. In 2D, I worked on clean up, as well as stabilizing shots and adding in camera moves throughout, which maintained the ‘bad steady cam’ feeling we were going for. Tim then enhanced the final films in the grade.

What themes / tones were you particularly trying to bring out in the grade?

Tim: Tom & Rob had a very strong idea of what they wanted the final outcome of the grade to be, so I worked with the images to keep them as natural and as close to their ideas as possible. It was a fantastic project to work on because the look came about very naturally and we were able to utilize the hues and tones of the lighting that was already there.

Tom – is there any significance to the pickles?

Tom: Ahh the pickles… let’s just say that we watched a lot of Seinfeld throughout production.

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Do you have a favourite chapter?

Tom: Chapter 2 - for both Rob and myself because that’s the closest we got out of all of the films to exactly what we had in our heads.

Tim: Chapter 4 - because I love the tones and colours of the beach and water. The blowing grass and artwork shots that only appear for a brief moment are also great, as they add a flash of intense primary colour to the muted natural tones of the beach and the sea.

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How do you feel about the final result?

Carl: We're all really happy with what we have been able to achieve on this project. It’s been great to be involved in a music-based concept that’s a little different from your average promo and I’d love to explore other frameworks like this in the future.

The films work beautifully together and create a strong overall narrative as well as staying true to their raw aesthetic. It’s also been a great opportunity for Tim and myself who are both at the early stages of our career, so to take the lead on this project has taught us vast amounts.

Tim: I agree with Carl – I’m delighted to have played a part in this project and it’s very gratifying that we’ve all managed to make Tom & Rob’s vision a reality.

See the full set of chapters below and find out more about Babe here.