Intergalactic

INTERGALACTIC

2017
Film
3840 x 480 pixels

Selected Still Images

Intergalactic explores the connection between the elements of water, fire, air and earth in the mesmerising setting of the galaxy. The female featured represents the lust and desire of humans in trying to fathom the creation of the cosmos. The Chinese characters and symbols spun infinitely to signify that there is no beginning or end in the understanding of the universe.

Intergalactic by Dan Ng:

Music: White Flag (Whitebear Remix)

Exhibition at Media Art Nexus

  

Photo by: Solomon Quek Jia Liang
North Spine Plaza, MAN NTU LED, 15m by 2m, Nanyang Technological University Singapore 2017

Lesson Learnt
This module has been an invaluable experience for me to discover what I can do when it comes to experimental films.

Firstly, I discovered and learnt a lot of new editing functions and tools on Premiere Pro. Secondly, in the past, I usually do narrative and I understand that in the industry, rarely there is a chance for artist to pursue the style that they’d want to experiment with. Thirdly, I learnt to never give up on your vision and ideas. I was facing a challenge in the middle of the module when I realised that my lush bath bob background was very blurry and in low resolution. The situation then was to either film it again or drop the entire scene. Instead of doing either, I took the footage and flip the entire contrast to make the bath bomb look like shooting stars in a galaxy instead. I was surprised by the effect and it became so much more mesmerising than the previous look. 

Hence, I am truly thankful to be able to be given the chance to explore producing ‘out-of-the-world’ kind of style in this Media Art Nexus module.

Future Development
These visuals are highly psychedelic and imaginary and it has the potential to be further developed with other elements and be used for music videos and shows.

Project Development
Case Studies
Lush Bath Bomb Test 1

Lush Bath Bomb Test 2
Methodology + Production + Research

Contact info:
Dan Ng
dan-ng@hotmail.com

Methodology + Production + Research

Green Screen

I wanted to book the photo studio in ADM for the green screen. However, the photo studio can only be booked by photography major students and I didn’t managed to find one in time. Hence, I had to improvise and create my own green screen instead. Below is a tutorial on how to make your own makeshift green screen.

Makeup

Shout out to Vimal from Year 3 Visual Communication for help me with the makeup for Soo, the model.

Moodboard for makeup. I wanted to recreate the Chinese concubine look in the ancient China to fit the theme of the module. Something red, bold, powerful and attractive.

Tip: If you have never worked with makeup before, it is best to find someone who knows how to do makeup.

Hair

I did the hair for the model myself. I wanted something simple yet strong so I looked up for a sleek, comb back look which is also a very popular hairstyle trend now in Hollywood. I used a lot a lot of hairspray. Hairspray is a must in order for this hairstyle to work and last. Wax is needed to keep the baby hair in check.

Tutorial

Body Tattoos

I got some body stickers too for the model to make her look more special and unique.

Result

Makeup: Vimal
Hair: Me
Styling: Me
Direction: Me
Accessories: Model’s own

Post Production

The lush bath bombs were low in resolution and I had to think of an alternative. I flipped the video. Decrease the brightness, increase contrast and highlights to achieve this look.

Result



Revolving Characters

This is inspired after Ina suggested to play with more motions and after she posted this video on the Facebook wall. The characters was working very well with the model. Hence, I decide to play more with the characters.

Link: https://www.facebook.com/FeltZine/videos/1542276912496751/?hc_ref=ARS4NqFExhqS-aNq67si27Pvh5rEaEmQOUXB–QQowoHY0GgJ2R4DRo8VrPoWloD1rY&fref=gs&dti=111931629484680&hc_location=group

Result

Icons (Design Thinking)

I wanted to create the galaxy, neon lights effect and play with symbols.

I rethink how the characters can transform themselves into icons.

Water = 水 = Circle + Blue
Fire = 火 = Triangle + Red
Earth = 土 = Square + Green
Air = 风 = Strokes + Yellow

Post-Production Process

Neon Lights tutorial

Result

Thoughts

Creating any piece of artwork regardless of the medium, is an ongoing process. A process of test and trial. There will never be a guaranteed perfect first time. In order for a piece of artwork to work, always test and get opinions from many people. Tip: Before you embark on the project, consider choosing the music first. Think about the mood you want to execute. It becomes easier because the music and mood helps you to visualise and form the visual in your mind.

End

Week 6 Progress – Intergalactica Bath Bomb

This week I bought another bath bomb. This time I got the ‘Intergalactica’ bath bomb.

I prefer this bath bomb because the colours are much more pleasing and colourful.

I took some stills after it has completely dissolved.

I like how it looks like the milky way/galaxy.

Throughout the filming, I tried blowing the liquid too with a hairdryer.

It produced really beautiful effects.

I tried inserting the stills into the long panel format.

I also tried to create visuals that help me to visual how the final look might look like.

After consultation with Ina and advice from my friends, we thought it would be better to drop the black frame behind the model.

I inserted the footage into Premiere Pro and adjusted the brightness and contrast only. The work in progress can be seen below.

Intergalactica WIP

Overall, I love the visual of the second bath bomb that I captured. I will use a mix of the first and second bath bombs that I dissolved.

In addition, I’ve chosen the music that I want to use for my visual. It will be a 2 minutes audio from

The music producer has given me the permission use his music. Thankfully, I managed to find an oriental looking friend and I will most probably shoot the model footage on recess week.

Next Step:

  • Book photo studio (Make sure there is green screen)

Week 5 Progress – Lush Bath Bombs

I started filming with the Lush bath bombs. Over the weekend, I searched up for bath bombs that are able to give off an array of colours when it is dissolved. I chose the ‘Experimenter’ in the end.

I got a small rectangular box as well because I cannot find a bathtub. I didn’t get a glass tank either because firstly, it is expensive and inconvenient to move around. Secondly, it does not affect the video results as the bath bombs would have covered what is underneath after a few seconds of dissolving.

You can watch the process here > Experiment 1 and Experiment 2

I haven’t fully got to edit it but I did a quick color correction and cropping to roughly see how the product would look like. I slow down the video to 10% from 100% to gauge the look when it is shown on the long panel in North Spine.

https://vimeo.com/233200747

I thought the green liquid looks a little off-putting so I tried changing the colours of the liquid. However, it depends on the theme of my video and if it fits, I will still stick to green.

https://vimeo.com/233200923

The clip look a little blurry because I exported it in medium birate. But I will export it in high birate for the final video. I might need to adjust the FPS settings of my DSLR as it doesn’t look very smooth when I slow down the video.

Note to self

  • I will get another bath bomb to experiment. Keeping in mind that the theme is in relation to ancient China, I will get one that can give a reddish or gold look.
  • Adjustment to the position of the softbox can be better.
  • When inserting the bath bombs to the tub, lower it slowly or else it will ‘disturb’ the water and post-production can be tricky/difficult.
  • Use something long to ‘move’ the bath bomb when it is dissolving or else it will only stay in one location of the bucket.
  • In subsequent experiments, if the bath bomb still stays only in one side and not moving around, I can consider the use of mirror effect for great dynamism.

Next step

  • Search for another bath bomb and continue with experimenting.
  • Search for color effects and transitions online that I could incorporate in my video for both the bath bomb and the model
  • Start looking for an oriental-looking model
  • Book photo studio

 

Beyond The Seas – Case Studies

Before I chose Nexus as my elective, I saw a few works done by my peers in Year 2 Semester 2. I was really inspired by their creative work and I knew that I could put my final work done in Nexus in my portfolio for future use.

Idea 1 

This video in particular, intrigued me and inspired me to take on Media Art Nexus. I want to create something similar. This is a Lady Gaga concert intro for Coachella 2017 and I thought the transition and concept is really experimental and cool.

I found out that it is produced by a creative studio in London called Lobster Eye founded by Andrea Gelardin and Ruth Hogben.

I proceeded to find out more about the studio and discovered that they produced the interludes for Lady Gaga’s Joanne Tour Concert too.

I love their work because it’s very stylised, and weird at times but it can really attract attention because of the fast transitions and interesting visuals.

Some of my favorite stills

I also like this bathtub scene where Rihanna shot for Samsung: Antidiary x Samsung. Once again, it is pretty stylised and ‘cool’. I like how it is so minimalistic yet captivating. I believe it is not only because they engaged a superstar like Rihanna but also the use of water as an element in the video.

My favorite stills

Lastly, I also like the campaign done by Gucci for fall/winter 2017.

Instead of casting models, they ventured into a different style and played with imaginary and fantasy. The campaign include monsters, aliens, and characters inspired by the movie, Star Trek. I saw the campaign before Ina mentioned about it during the first week of school. I love the visuals because it is so different from usual campaigns that we saw for luxury brands. The direction and style is beautiful and stunning.

With these inspirations in mind, I am thinking of producing visuals with a Chinese model and playing with the 4 elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Air. I also want to experiment with video transitions, making it look trippy and fast.

Shooting Techniques Tutorials

On how to work with drones. I intend to use it in one of my shoot.

Also working with gimbal and using Zhiyun Crane. One of the best gimbal for DSLR.

I will be working with a model so this video is great for preparation.

Also will be working with lights in some shoots.

As the senior batch had mentioned that one of the challenges faced is the long panel with made it hard for them to fit one video in the long panel alone because the other side will be empty. Hence, I might put several video clips together like the ones seen in Kendrick Lamar’s MV, Humble.

Kendrick Lamar Humble video

And also something similar to the intro of this video showing the Holi Festival in India.

Post Production Tutorials

Most of my time will go to post production. Cinematic LUTS could help me speed up with my work.

Effects

Tutorial to split the clips for the long panel.

Idea 2

I was thinking if I ever were to ditch the stylised model shoot, I could try something more abstract and aesthetically-pleasing like filming the process of bath bombs dissolving in a water container. Footages of bath bombs dissolving are mesmerising and calming to watch. I will take close up shots of the bath bombs dissolving and piece the footages together. I believe it will look beautiful when it is screened on the panel.

Stills

Ultimately, I will do either one but to be honest, I am very tempted to try out both ideas and try to merge the two concepts together. I am still trying to conceptualise the entire idea but this is the rough idea of what I am planning to do for Nexus in this semester.

Dan