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Indie Label: DIY style 8 - video

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Read this for the story of the video shoot and some stills.

This post may well seem self-explanatory to someone with an expert knowledge of digital video, if so, please help us out in the comments, thanks.

So. We finished editing the video for Little Punk's I'm Not in the Mood for Making a Song. At the same time, our other act, Pairs, submitted their video for Yangpu Qu. The next step was to upload them to a China based streaming site for easy public consumption.

We accept that putting videos onto streaming sites like Youku results in grainy pictures and quality loss for regular users. It's painful but everyone is aware of it and knows it's not the 'real quality'. However, Yangpu Qu went up there without much change, some loss yes, but satisfactory. The Little Punk vid, on the other hand, was butchered both in picture and sound. 

Yangpu Qu was shot on a Pentax Optio S55 compact camera directly into an MP4 format and then edited on Windows Movie Maker. The format, and the amount of information in the file, was about the same as that used on Youku. I'm Not in the Mood was shot on a Canon XL2 digital movie camera and edited in Adobe Premier Pro to produce a TV quality AVI file. It then must be converted for web use - and then Youku, or any site, converts it again. The infamous double conversion. No matter how we tried it, the sound becomes peaked and the picture pixelated. 

Finally we tried Youku's suggestion of downloading their Iku desktop upload manager and sending up the entire 600MB+ AVI file. It still came out the same.

Here they are:

Indie label: DIY style 3

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horse head lion boy
Big steps are being taken in our label project.

Adam, our producer, is going away for a six week summer holiday and we assumed that our first online and physical releases would have to wait until he got back on September 1st. But other things are happening that I want to chronicle here so I can follow up easily later.

Adam produced a mix of Pairs' track Yangpu Qu right off the bat and the band gave really detailed feedback. A second mix is already done and everyone is happy with it. This suggests to me that we can launch our label page on schedule - directly after the weekend of 31st July. That's when Ren Hang will be in town to do some photos and play our event.

Next up, I go into the studio with Little Punk to put down her solo material this Wednesday. The style is lo-fi punk-folk that can't really be described in genre terms because the soul of the music comes from Little Punk's distinct voice and vision. I have sat down with local film buff Yingzi 影子 and planned a video for the track I'm not in the mood for making a song. Video ideas are on the way for Pairs too, but they are gonzo style ideas from Xiao Zhong and will come later. We'll shoot LP's using a Canon XL2.

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