This is a short film for the Max & Harvey track Thieves. The concept behind the music was one of diamond theft in a cat burglary fashion hence the title. its seems however Iloobia did not receive this memo and independently conceived and directed a film with Thieves as its soundtrack. The result is a beautifully crafted, visually arresting piece with a somewhat macabre slant. Iloobia, a long time friend and collaborator has featured on Season 9 before with his experimenting Clawboy. I spoke to him recently and asked him to explain the thinking and process behind the film, we also talk film-making and the future of Clawboy is revealed!
S9: You describe the Thieves film as ‘a re-imagining of the Frankenstein story’ could you elaborate on this.
Iloobia: ‘Thieves’ is constructed from fragments of material slowly collected over a year from England, Holland and Hungary. There were no parameters imposed on what that material should be, primarily as I was working in quite a demanding commercial TV realm at the time where the parameters and briefs were extremely strict. So Thieves was to be the antithesis of that way of working.Weirdly, the edit of Thieves began after a fairly major burnout in that part of my commercial career leaving me pretty much abandoning the medium of film and video altogether. But as a process of self imposed therapy I began to assemble this random material to see if there was any form or sense to be forged out of it instead of throwing the edit suite out of the window. This began to evoke some kind of Dr. Frankenstein process, especially as I began to see themes of death and rebirth suggested within the material, which was strangely coincidental as I was trying to restore my interest in the medium again after it being killed off.
So these themes infused into the film, which I came to see as a kind of Dr. Frankenstein story without the Frankenstein character ever on screen.
S9: Explain the technical creation process behind the film.
Iloobia:The material was shot on digital video, super 8mm film and still image loops from various digital stills cameras. One of these cameras was a little Canon Ixus 50, which is quite limited but has the great advantage of being small and durable. The shot where it looks like a sandstorm is going on, this little camera was sitting right on the beach getting battered, rapidly filling up with sand and all I could think was ‘the shot looks great, but my cameras going to die: what is more valuable right now? The shot or the camera?’ I opted for the shot but luckily after digging sand out of the lens and body for an hour the thing was basically back to normal.
I think that having a camera that is compact enough to have at hand all the time, even though it may not be of optimum quality, is an invaluable tool. There are a great many moments I’ve captured very spontaneously, discreetly and unexpectedly, and I have a real love of the slightly crusty image anyway.
Back in the relative safety of my studio, this was all processed in Photoshop, After Effects and Final Cut Pro.
S9: The recent proliferation of low-cost HD SLR’s/Camcorders coupled with the ability for anyone to release/promote their work to a wider audience through Vimeo, YouTube etc. has had a profound affect on independent filmmaking over the last few years. What do you see as the positives/negatives and how has it effected you?
Iloobia: I see these times as a real democratization of the medium of film and video making.
Now we can all have great high quality kit at a fraction of the price it used to be, the ability to bypass edit studio fees that were crippling before home edit suites become so widespread and then the ability to transmit and distribute our work freely and globally via the net, the playing field has been leveled.
Where we go next needs to be beyond getting off on the fact that we can all make videos that look as rich as cinema has for at least 50 years.
It is those who innovate and introduce new dimensions and approaches to the entire film making process (not just the photographic element) that will stand out from the crowd.
Personally I love the new availability of HD SLR’s. To have such a potent tool in such a compact form opens the door to endless fun. Pop one of those, a beanbag tripod and a compact sound recorder into your backpack and you can go to the most inaccessible and wonderful places, utterly independently and without bankruptcy and come back with some really high quality materials.
S9: When can we expect to see more Clawboy ?
Iloobia: Ah, Clawboy is certainly returning sometime in the future with his traveling experimental film festival, where he literally experiments on his audience.
Clawboy however being the elusive hermit that he is has given few specifics on when this may be.
He is, however, still looking for more live subjects.
See more Iloobia at his website Here
You can get Thieves on iTunes Here
Visit the Max and Harvey Website Here