Saturday, March 03, 2007

[music videos] Kompleksi: 'Sara Pain' (2007)

Kompleksi: 'Sara Pain' (March 2007)

The Making of 'Sara Pain' Video:

Tina Ulevik, an experimental film-maker from Australia, joined as Kompleksi's MySpace friend in summer 2006. During our brief correspondence that followed and having had seen and liked the DVD of Tina's short film Xenophobic Site that was exchanged to a copy of Kompleksi's album (which was still unreleased at that point), an idea was had that maybe Tina would also be interested in creating a video clip for Kompleksi. Tina was into the idea, this being her very first music video, too, and the filming got underway in August and September 2006, both in Australia and Kompleksi's hometown Tampere; the final video combining footage from both countries, thousands of miles and oceans away from each other, on virtually opposite corners of the globe.

Different scenes around the town of Tampere were filmed by me on two early Sunday mornings in September, capturing imagery from the quiet Tampere downtown and the town's famous landmarks, such as the Orthodox Church, Wäinö Aaltonen's statues on the Hämeensilta Bridge, some ugly "Brutalist"-style apartment buildings, the desolate Särkänniemi Amusement Park, looking somewhat spooky after the tourist season was over, and naturally the Näsinneula Observation Tower, the very symbol of Tampere. I also filmed myself lip-synching at home, with a camera standing on tripod and very carefully stationed to get the right angle and position; then did some shots of Mike Not playing synths at his home studio; and the silhoutte shot of me singing at the end of video was shot by Mike through an ordinary bedsheet lighted from behind.

This sort of "no-budget" film-making, using ordinary household objects as props, turned every now and then to be quite demanding and time-consuming, but also seemed to work out well in the final cut. In her turn, Tina -- who played the song's Sara Pain character -- filmed herself at her own home, creating in process some very effective shots of Sara, "a skinny girl with a shirt and tie", walking through the dark corridors and brooding in solitude. Add to this some bleak-looking outdoors shots on the outskirts of Sydney, plus Tina's own archive footage from her trips around the world: a highway tunnel in Norway, the gloomy corridors of the Castle Suomenlinna in an island in front of Helsinki, and of a hostel in Dresden, Germany, which added to the mental moods and claustrophobia felt by Sara Pain, the ill-fated main character of the song.

Three DVDs of raw footage of material filmed in Tampere were then sent via snail mail to Australia, and after Tina had received the package, the lengthy editing process could start in earnest, lasting all through autumn 2006 and winter 2007, as Tina also had her day job to take care of, alongside the creative process of putting Kompleksi's first music video together. Ideas were constantly exchanged and thrown around in e-mails, and we received countless rough cuts sent through, which were then commented and honed again, on and on... Eventually, in early March 2007, the final cut was in our hands.


The video can also be seen at MySpace and pHinnWeb.


Feedback on the video:

"It's a great example of the way the Web can bring together people internationally to collaborate on music and art." - It's A Trap, USA

"Scary stuff!" - Huge Bass Records (Finland) @ YouTube

"Congratulations on your latest music Sara Pain and the music video made in collaboration with my cousin Tina! The video images are mesmerising and your music is so original and haunting and melancholy! Well done on a highly original and unforgettable work of art!" - Peter Fagerlind, UK

"Wow I like Sara Pain more & more... The vid fits perfectly and makes it real deeper... The track becomes better & better with the vid... Great work. Love it :-) Congratz Tampere Boyz." - aratkiLo, France

"Awesome!" - Salamandos707 (Holland) @ YouTube

"The Sarah Pain video is great! Thank you for the music and Greetings from The Hague" - Danny Wolfers a.k.a. Legowelt, Holland

"... check out their strangely melancholic travelogue-themed vid for 'Sara Pain' [...] The footage and edits remind me of the sort of homemade promos that Cabaret Voltaire used to put out on Doublevision many moons back. Trust me, the track's a real grower." - Kid Shirt music blog, UK

"yo yo, tampere represent! tosi härö video, oudon hienoa industrial vibaa." - p2, Finland


Juri said...

Great, depressing video to a great, depressing song!

pHinn said...

Thank you, Juri! Yes, it's a great relief to get this video off our hands after having worked about six months on it... and I can't really express the amount of all our gratitude and respect to our director Tina for all the work and trouble she saw for this video. (Oops, this is getting to sound like some speech at an Academy Awards ceremony! We thank our families, our hairdressers and our cats.)

lastAutumn said...

Hey, nice work! What I like about the video and song is the real Scandinavian spirit it has - something northern, dramatic, depressing... It's great you can find music from different continents online.