With nearly 2 million hits on YouTube, four local young men may well be on their way to careers as innovative videographers. The Los Gatos and Leigh high school graduates' music video, Dream Music Part II, has created a sensation, garnering praise from the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Steve Wozniak. The Woz called it "visually astounding."
According to the producers, Dream Music Part II puts a new spin on two established photography techniques. "We take the age-old techniques of stop motion and time lapse photography put to music," 2003 Leigh High School graduate Sean Williams said. "We also coined the term lyric lapsing."
His partner, 1999 LGHS grad Marc Donahue, gives a bit more detail. "Time lapse means the camera takes a picture of something at intervals; stop motion is more like an animation technique where you take a photo, move the subject and repeat. Lyric lapsing means having his mouth in the correct shape for every frame," Donahue said.
"His mouth" belongs to 2005 LGHS grad Beau Brigham, the star of Dream Music Part II. "Every shot took hours upon hours to complete," Brigham said. So while it appears Brigham is lip syncing to the songs in the video, he really is not because every word to the songs in the video had to be crafted individually. "It took a lot of patience," Brigham said. In fact, the team had to edit 15,000 frames shot over a six month period. It took approximately six to eight hours to edit every three minutes of video. Dream Music Part II is eight minutes long, minus credits.
The fourth partner in the video, which premiered last month at the Camera 7 in the Pruneyard, is 2005 LGHS grad Gus Winkelman, who acted as the producer. The production company is Permagrin Films, which Donahue founded to shoot wedding videos, though he hopes Dream Music Part II will take the company to new heights.
Gear such as dollies and motion control equipment was supplied gratis by Houston-based Dynamic Perception.
Dream Music Part II is a compilation of shots from a wide variety of locations, including downtown Los Gatos, the Billy Jones Railroad, Vasona Park, the Los Gatos Farmers Market and the Los Gatos Swim and Racquet Club.
Also featured are Boswell's bar and Khartoum's in Campbell, which Brigham's family own. In addition, viewers will recognize scenes from Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.
There are three songs in the music video, including "Matroshka" by the Los Gatos-based band Dredg.
All in all, Dream Music Part II is about as local as you can get.
Meanwhile, the team started work last Friday on a new video, squeezing into their schedules other projects and jobs that will put money in the bank.
"The video is the most rewarding thing I've ever worked on," Brigham said. "It was a lot of fun."
Although the guys admit that shooting essentially the same thing over and over again for "four hours in the blazing sun" was sometimes tedious, the end result has achieved so much recognition that they're excited about what the future might send their way.
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