Live Blackbox Recordings

Blackbox Recordings are a reimagining of the studio version of A Change In Diet. The arrangements are bigger and bolder and the instrumentation involves my entire musical family. I am so honored to share my original vision bolstered by those that I love. I feel like it works stronger than ever.

Check out the whole record.

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This was such a fantastic project, a true feat of audiovisual wizardry!

I’m curious, as such an involved director both technically and creatively, how did the video process impact your experience performing?

I find it really difficult to multitask in that way, but all this time having to create alone has inspired me to try and build these skills.

Anything you picked up along the way to help when wearing the filmmaker and performer hats at the same time?

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@Griffon hi! Your work on this was wonderful.

You know, it was funny. The whole thing involved wearing a lot of hats simultaneously. In between performances and takes I was adjusting the camera angles with Kevin, directing the operator shots, talking with the lighting folks, running back and forth between village, and making audio tweaks. So before every take, I’d take a moment to forget where I was, close my eyes, and pretend like it was a show. After the first few, I got better at it, but you can’t help worrying about whether you’ve got that, or if camera J is still sharp because Evan took a step to the left. Then there’s the band’s performance, which needs to be right. And it’s still 500+ GB of raw footage to handle if the take is no good musically. So we rehearsed a lot, planned a lot, and all found our happy place knowing we were up on the tunes.

The biggest thing, which sounds obvious, is to prepare as much as possible. Know the lighting, angles, blocking, and mood you want before you go in, so it’s more setting up than making decisions. Something I took to heart after hearing Roger Deakins repeat it frequently. That really helped. And always hold a clipboard, even if there’s nothing on it. Nobody argues with a clipboard.

That’s not to say we didn’t make plenty of decisions on the fly, but the outline was so crucial.

(EM)

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Hey Elliot, thanks for your response! That’s really consistent with what I found so impressive about the production, I remember you had each setup prepared and planned out so well. It really gave each song a fresh new look but I never felt like we had to reinvent the wheel each time we moved setups

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Credit goes to all of the lovely people in the credits. I learned so much over the whole thing.

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