Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Adam Buxton's Blog


Work wise, 2007 concluded with me returning to Radiohead’s sonic castle outside Oxford to help with a couple more bits for their New Year’s Eve webcast (named Scotch Mist for reasons I don’t quite recall). It was recorded between 17 & 20th December and features specially recorded versions of every song on In Rainbows (including the version of Faust Arp that went out in the previous webcast). Here it is in its entirety.

My role in all of this was vision mixing a couple of tracks (the ones where it cuts to nothing are generally mine) and helping Garth with the webcast video for Nude filmed on a special camera Garth hired that shoots 100 frames a second enabling you to slow the footage right down without losing quality. As with the video for Jigsaw Falling Into Place this was very straightforward and fun to put together. We got each member of the band to thrash madly about as fast as they could for 7 second bursts (which, because of the 1000fps shooting rate, was all the camera could store at any one time) then loaded the results onto my laptop and that was more or less it. The stuff flying around in the final section is fake snow, which we chucked at the band to make it look festive. When I look at it now it looks more like there’s a chicken being brutally dispatched off camera but that’s still Christmassy in a way isn’t it? There’s not much to it but it’s kind of moving I think. Having said that, when you’ve got a song as lovely as Nude, you could pretty much film a hairy arse in slow motion and it would be moving. Maybe we’ll do that for the next webcast if I’m invited…

In between the songs are little bits of the band running towards the slo-mo camera away from a sign that says ‘Good Night’ with fireworks on it. This was actually what Garth hired the camera for in the first place. He had set up loads of fireworks around the sign so that the band would be running from a wall of fire and sparks as the sign lit up but unfortunately we got our timing wrong and the fireworks only went off after everyone had left the frame and the 7 second filming window was closed. Garth was gutted but it still looks good I reckon. His idea of the woolly hats being pulled off as they ran worked a treat. Here’s a montage of a few photos I took just before the fuses were lit. That’s producer/technical genius Nigel Godrich skulking in the back. Below that is a picture of Garth looking terroristical in the centre, moments before the camera rolled.



This time round I had more opportunities to just watch the band play, whether it was while I was vision mixing or just standing about while they were rehearsing and it was quite a thing. At one point I was in the kitchen when I heard the intro for House Of Cards. I assumed Nigel was playing it back from the CD but it was live. I swear the version they play for the webcast sounds even better than the one on the album. Even when you’re watching them singing and playing it’s hard to believe they’re actually making the noise you’re hearing. Can’t wait to see them back on stage in the summer. At some point I imagine they’ll put out a DVD of a lot of the webcast stuff, which I hope would also feature some of the unseen behind the scenes footage we shot as we went along. That’s pure conjecture but if anything more solid materialises I’ll let you know.