While I like horror films at any point in the year, I do enjoy focusing on them during the month of October - it just seems like the right thing to do, ya know? So to ring in another fright-filled month-long look at horror films, I decided to put together a little video - a montage if you will...
I love film montages. Those little short bursts of visual candy (usually paired with fitting music) can recall entire movies in a mere second or compel you to track down a movie due solely to an image that's been left behind in your brain like a virus on a hard drive. I've always wanted to make a montage...And now I have.
It's my first effort and I see all sorts of problems with it (no consistent theme, doesn't flow as well as I'd like, transitions are pretty basic, etc.), but overall I'm pretty happy with it - more importantly I had a lot of fun putting it together.
The music is by the Scottish band Mogwai from their excellent album The Hawk Is Howling (a tune entitled "Batcat"). Just buy the damn thing OK? It sounds far better in its full uncompressed glory. The opening and closing bits of music are actually from that very same song, but tweaked using the audio software application Audacity (via its effects options). I kinda stumbled across the results playing with the different features and they seemed to fit in nicely.
A few of the older B&W clips have been cropped. Yeah, I feel a bit crappy about that, but the iMovie software did it by default and when I changed it back to the original aspect ratio, it didn't seem to fit as well. Considering none of the clips that were cropped lost much in relation to their purpose in the video, I'm OK with it.
As much as I am happy with my first attempt, it really does pale in comparison to what others have done. Greg at Cinema Styles created the wonderful Frames Of Reference awhile ago and I can only aspire to put together something that rhythmic and imaginative (he apparently sees the clips he wants in his mind and then sources them, whereas I flip through DVDs until I see something and think "I wonder if I can use that?"). Here's his trailer for this year's October set of horror posts. Then there's Arbogast who, as far as I know, hasn't made any videos of late, but look at this amazing screencap post showing different uses of shadows - it flows so easily from one image to the other that movement is almost implied. And a final plug for one of my favourite montages (and simply one of my favourite YouTube videos EVER) The Endless Night: A Valentine to Film Noir - a perfect usage of music to match the mood of the clips.
I also have to give my 10 year-old son a "shout out" (apparently that's a term the kids like to use these days). He found a screen grabbing tool for the iMac all by himself and was using it for his captures of video game walkthroughs. I ended up using it to capture my clips and it made the entire process so much easier. There's a drop in quality in the video resolution, but it serves its purpose and at web size it looks decent enough. So thanks Buddy-Boy...
Of course, the best possible result of putting this together would be for someone to seek out one of the movies included. That gets back to one of the reasons why I love montages in the first place - the visuals may be completely out of context, but they can still manage to grab your attention and develop curiosity for films you might not have considered.