Under The Surface – Final Project

NOTE: Please wear headphones to hear the audio of the video piece. You can still hear the audio without headphones, but just not as much, and you won’t get the full affect of the entire piece. ALSO PLEASE WATCH VIDEO PIECE BEFORE READING PARAGRAPH BELOW AND WATCH IN HD.


Under The Surface is narrative based, but also not narrative based at all. It has a meaning behind it, but not necessarily a story. It is more about how the piece is a symbol for something bigger, that any story can relate to. The meaning behind the name is that, when you (or I at least) look and listen to the piece, it gives me a sense of being underneath the surface of water, but never actually coming up for air, and always missing it somehow. So in other words, drowning. Near the end, the are specific objects that may not make sense, but I like to think of them as symbols for the phrase: ‘Life flashing before your eyes’.

To me this piece was something special, because when I look at it, it feels like something so much more, and it is also something that I have never created before. It is the first piece, and the only piece I have made like this, that you cannot tell what I have actually remixed, but there are clues, but when I really look at it, is makes such an impact. Not sure if it will make an impact on anyone else, but it has to me. When I watch it again, each time I get something different out of it. There is something beautiful and frightening at the same time about the piece. And I guess that is the way water is sometimes; it can be beautiful on a lake, but frightening when you are struggling to come back up.

What I wanted to do with this piece is something that was cinematic, but also completely unrecognizable for most of it, and to have it look beautiful, but also have a sense of dread to it.


My video piece is my own footage that I shot.
I knew that I wanted to film something at night time, but I did not know where, or what I was going to to shoot. I was on the way home with my best friends, and whilst we were driving, I saw the lights glimmer, and the center of my focus was the window of the car. So I pulled out my camera and filmed. I got a lot of good footage, around 15 minutes worth.
Process 2
I then came home, and began to look through the footage. While I was looking through, I cut the clips out that I did not want, and began to precisely choose which pieces of footage I was going to use.

Process 1

When I had decided what clips to use, I broke down each frame, and began to put one of three on each frame: Mirror effect, Mirror flip effect and kaleidoscope effect.
Process 3

What I then did was separate the original audio to the video, and tried to play around with what I could do with the audio, but it did not sound or was anything like what I wanted for the video, so I ended up deleting the original audio. What it was, was just the car stereo, and us listening and singing along to Matt Corby. But it did not go along with the video itself, unfortunately. I also kept exporting the video after every major change, because I wanted to get the full affect of the piece with and without other things, so I could compare it to the last properly.

Process 4

I started to put the clips in random places within the video itself, because it seemed too chronological. When I did switch everything on the other hand and watched it, it made more sense because it wasn’t in order, meaning it was better because it was mismatched.Then I began to put more effects on the video clips. I used a glitchy effect for the transition for each of the split scenes/frames I had created and began to put a bit of flare onto the video itself. I didn’t want to over kill the video, but to use just enough effects that it was something much more exciting.

Process 5

When I was finished doing all of that, I looked over at the final visual, and did not like the colouring of it, so I chose a filter that was not overbearing, and does not decrease the original colour, but instead enhances it and gives it much more life, to it, instead of it being boring and extremely dull.

Process 6

For the final, final visual, there was still something missing, and I felt like it was still not as good as I wanted it to be, so I decided to use a blur effect, which brought everything to life, because it gave the piece so much more of a cinematic edge, but also making things unrecognizable. And with that, I was happy with the final visual.

Process 7

With the audio on the other hand that was a different story, I tried to find something that was beautiful and haunting at the same time. I knew that games had the most beautiful and haunting soundtracks to them, so I went in search of the perfect sound to fit my video. I found it in the Diablo game, and it turns out to be the menu song/theme song for the game. But I only used the tiniest bit of the song from around 1:30 and only used around 1 minute, and then stretched out the audio, to fit the video length. I changed the pitch of the sound around 4 times, to make sure it is different from the original sound, at least in the slightest, and it fit with the piece perfectly. The piece was originally going to be called; ‘The Road Ahead’, because it was filmed whilst we were driving, but during the process of making it turned out to be something so much better, and so different to what I had expected. The sound and visual together make it so hauntingly beautiful (to me at least.) Also they work so perfectly together. The meaning of the actual piece itself, never changed, but the approach did, and dramatically at that.