|From the ground up|
When you start from a basic idea and go further into the creative process, you begin seeing in which parts the idea just works the way it is, and in which parts it begins changing, adapting to the overall concept and feel of the piece. In this case the basic idea stayed pretty much the same, including the objects. What went through some evolutionary cycles were the overall look and feel of the clip and the way transitions are treated. I started with an image – with a basic idea. You have this technical thing and it kind of builds the world around it and it creates its own world and its puts itself in interaction with this world. Color Robot holds a lot of secrets. When you see it the first time you get attracted by the images. When you watch it the second time, you probably understand more of the story. I like it when a film leaves it open to the viewer to get their own impression of the setting.
|View Mate’s pitch (PDF)|
|View QuickTime||Browse mode|
I already knew what kind of pictures I was searching for, and what I did was browse through the huge library to find pictures that I had in my mind. I had to adjust the 3D elements to these clips, and so the process of searching through the library affected the final film because you don’t always find the exact image you are looking for. It’s kind of interesting because you have to react to the images – maybe you find an image that you haven’t thought of and you think, okay that’s cool, maybe I can take this for a scene I had not thought of before.
View still frames
1, 2, 3
I’ve traveled around a lot in the last years, so I don’t really have one living environment, but talking about Berlin, there is a huge creative potential in the city. Berlin’s creative side is based a lot on club culture, and on the visual side you have the VJs – the video jockeys – doing live video performances to music. Then you also have a lot of street art, graffiti and stuff, and you definitely get inspired if you just walk the street and see some new graffiti or a street-art piece somewhere – a sticker or something you like. I think the most difficult challenge is to see beautiful and interesting ideas in an ugly environment, like most cities can be. There’s not much money in the city, unfortunately, but the advantage is that people try to do something creative on their own and come up with really cool ideas on a small budget. You have a lot of small teams of people doing stuff together – a lot of collaboration and a kind of grassroots movement.
The music is done by Michael Fakesch from Funkstorung, with whom I had already worked on other videos. He did the soundtrack specifically for this piece which was very nice of him, so yeah, you can see the collaboration between different creative forms. I also do VJing and so my work is always based a lot on music and I relate a lot to music and rhythm. This piece is also a very rhythm-driven piece with a rhythmic editing that it lifts from the musical score. One of the basic ideas of VJing is that you don’t necessarily follow some hero character doing whatever he does. It depends on the piece, naturally, but it’s more about creating an atmosphere where the visuals and music go together.
|Three films that have inspired your work?|
[The work of] Chris Cunningham, Alex Rutherford and Terry Gilliam. Power to the people
From a technical aspect, the possibilities of computer technology open ways to a new approach to your work. If you work alone or are on a small team, you’re a lot more flexible to author changes in the final thing. You can just go to After Effects®, change an element just like that. You can browse through your library and put something in and take something out, so the whole process from a technical perspective gets a lot more flexible. If you follow the technical developments of the last years, everybody has a computer – everybody can edit stuff. So on the one hand you have a whole lot of crap that you probably wouldn’t want to see, but on the other hand it gets easier for people who are interested to do something good. I think that the democratization of media will lead to new aesthetics - and hopefully to an evolution of aesthetics - and so to something good, something better, to something different, at least. If The Next Big Idea were a plate of food?
Probably a colorful one.
|Sources of inspiration for Color Robot|
Mate’s work space