2 weeks prior to officially starting this project, I had been talking to a friend back home about his ideas. Currently doing a degree in Fashion Marketing, Jacob has always been business minded and heavily into fashion. He had been asking my help on some footwear designs which he needed to be presentable for his portfolio. As I was working on creating textures and adding colour to his designs in Photoshop, I had the idea that we should collaborate on a project. This was soon going to become 24amour; a new brand/network/movement targeted at and for creatives. The network aspect of 24 would allow artists to work on their practice together and collaborate, this way the brand becomes something living as there is now this constant at it's core. The brand would also function as a social media site posting what inspires the individuals within 24, as well as using the platform for updates, news articles and cultural inspirations. Over the coming weeks I would brainstorm ideas for what this new idea would be representing as well as working on the website and social medias. Finally I came to a conclusion written up in the website's 'About' page pasted below.
Also below is one of the outcomes for my last project to do with album cover design. The methods and style used when making this piece inspired the initial aesthetic of the branding for 24 - I was already becoming invested in developing my own style which would represent the brand and even during the brainstorming stage of the project I was developing the community ethics and what the brand identifies as in the age of social media and more advanced technology.
Here is a section taken from the website's 'About' page:
24amour is an independent creative content company focused on supporting the creative. Our philosophy is based in the importance of supporting creativity and self expression. We emphasise collaboration and promote and support creatives who inspire us.
We aspire to generate ideas that can make real change and to help people empower themselves.
24 Amour encompasses marketing agency, branding agency, recruitment agency and business transformation consulting agency. We wish to support creatives through various mediums; promoting them as part of our news columns, logo design, website design, poster design, social media support, business advice and more.
Here are some scans of my sketchbook when I was writing down very early ideas about the project and in what path I was going to align it's potential.
Scans from my sketchbook when organising original thoughts + initial logo designs
I also developed marketing strategies + further logo experimentation
two outcomes of potential logo designs from initial sketches:
I incorporated the 'heart' for armour and the 'eye' for general enlightenment + self-awareness
I was partly inspired by the University in the way that I have so many creatives similar age to me at my disposal. This gave me the initial idea to create a micro-community within my own workplace. This would create an environment where artists can efficiently work and collaborate with one another. I aim to practice the brand ethics within the process of making the brand as I am working in collaboration with an artist HT who is on the media coarse doing photography at Arts University Bournemouth. HT will be helping me with equipment and introducing me to new ways of editing on After Effects, through this type of collaboration he will be helping me improve my project and I will be helping him improve his project. This is the type of symbiotic networking which I wish to introduce to 24.
As research into the aesthetic I’ll be implementing into the promotional visuals, I read ‘Subculture: the meaning of style’ by Dick Hebdige, this gave me an insight into the history behind many of the styles I’ll be exploiting. He gives mention of different phases in subculture and sites ‘The Thief’s Journal’ by Jean Genet in order to help build on his own ideas. These ideas often being about the deeper meaning behind the styles found in subcultures of the past, for example, he develops on his idea of ‘style as a form of refusal’, ‘the presence of indifference’ and how through fashion we can attain a type of ‘forbidden identity’. We are all partly attracted to the idea of subculture - in the expressive forms of those subordinate groups - ‘the teddy boys and mods and rockers, the skinheads and the punks’. These are the groups who have been ‘dismissed, denounced and canonised’, being treated as ‘threats to public order and as harmless buffoons’. This aesthetic appeals to this project as the idea that style can represent, much like trying to build a non-profit network amongst creatives, being overlooked and misrepresented in general public
consciousness. The fashion that we choose to wear can ‘take on a symbolic dimension’ and represent something bigger. The goal of 24amour is to create a communal atmosphere among artists where creatives can seek help and support and collaborate with one another. This would be a healthy and more efficient environment for students and professionals alike.
The promotional video for 24amour is mainly focused on the aesthetic of the brand and hence giving the company an identity through this method. However, the video will also attempt to push the importance of individual and group expression. This ethos lays at the heart of the brand. Through beneficial and symbiotic collaboration, positive change arrives sooner. We aspire to help people empower themselves and generate new and impactful ideas. We wish to help creatives through various mediums; promoting and assisting them through our news columns, logo design, website design, poster design, business advice etc. Including the video this project encompasses building the brand identity, creating the platforms in which the brand will navigate (e.g. main website, Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud), the aesthetic of the brand, logo design, learning how to manage such a collective as 24 by looking at corporations who have tried to do something similar.
For further information on how to run an organisation like mine I researched other lifestyle brands and creative networks. I looked into how brands mastered their identities with use of fashion, culture, products, merchandising etc. First I looked at DONDA, a creative content company operating mainly in the US, it operates in the words of it’s founder as ‘a design company which will galvanise amazing thinkers in a creative space to bounce their dreams and ideas’ with the ‘goal to make products and experiences that people want and can afford.’
DONDA don’t have an official website or even a social media presence, choosing to be much more discrete with their projects. The organisation has stated that their intention is to ‘put creatives in a room together with like minds’ in order to ‘simplify and aesthetically improve everything we see, taste, touch, and feel’. The creatives within the collective have collaborated on a short film with director Steve McQueen entitled All Day/I Feel Like That. The film premiered at the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France. DONDA have also worked on innovating cinema with a 7-Screen Surround Vision experience (see below), shot using a specialised camera rig, which allowed the directors to capture multiple angles simultaneously. The company has also helped with rollout & invitation campaigns for Kanye West and Adidas Originals. They have also worked in the sphere of graphic design (see left), creating the book cover for Sandcastle Kings: Meeting Jesus in a Spiritually Bankrupt World by Rich Wilkerson Jr, published on November 10, 2015.
Below is a collection of some of the edits from the photoshoots HT and I did throughout the first stages of the project. HT and I had decided very early on to make the video focused around this 3D/hyper-dimensional effect achieved through taking multiple photos in quick succession from different angles. First we used a digital camera but then chose to invest in a Nishika N8000 which has 4 different lenses to achieve this 'frozen' effect more efficiently, this also gave a level of professionalism to the shots. We fell in love with this effect instantly and thought it would best represent the new and progressive side of the brand, always trying to implement the unusual, departing from conventional camera techniques. Below is a combination of digital and film shots
HT and I both had creative input into setting up each individual shot as well as with idea creation, booking shoots, creating contacts with models etc. HT mostly took care of setting up the studio and equipment throughout and has also done more extensive research into the photography element of the video. In terms of conceptual and visual input, the content produced even at an experimental level is very much collaborative in essence. Everyday HT and I would bounce ideas and send each other references for future shoots, considering colour, angles, effects etc.
We collectively agreed on the definition of 24 as a creative content company / community / lifestyle brand. At the moment we function as a platform for our own individual and collaborative work amongst our micro-group. Our social media pages promote our influences as well as our own work, spreading positive messages. The affect our work will have on our audience is to hopefully inspire them within their own lives while promoting a positive message. By posting our work publicly we will also be spreading awareness and promoting ourselves and the brand at the same time. As we are non-profit with the possibility of getting into merchandising in the distant future we aren’t considering any kind of crowdfunding or Kickstarter. Our form of a traditional ‘subscriber’ is for now just followers on our social media pages. However, this could change in the near future, possibly making a ‘join24’ option on our website which will make people essentially a type of subscriber who we will keep informed and possibly collaborate with.
Pro Era or Progressive Era is a music collective based in Brooklyn, New York. Each individual is connected through their joint goal of pushing messages of social change and sharing information through music in order to enlighten public consciousness. When Jo-Vaughn Scott, one of the founders of Pro Era, was asked what his message to the youth was he responded with ‘peace, love and prosperity, I just wanna teach the kids of my generation to move with an open mind and not be brought down by the system.’ I find the positive and motivational traits found in each member of Pro Era inspiring and something I want to mirror with 24. Another example of positive insight Scott gives is about the power of the mind; ‘Who you are now is just a reflection of your past thoughts, so if you wanna change your future you’ve got to change your thoughts now and then put them into action ultimately’. The chemistry between each member of Pro Era is tangible and much of their morals are aligned; everyone trying to create positive change through their individual avenues. Naturally with collaboration there can be difficulty, but through a mutually shared ethic as strong as that demonstrated by Pro Era, it can be achieved.
At a ground level 24amour currently exists as a small group of students. The collective has started collaborating more frequently and the results are of higher quality for it. So far there is Solal Ankaoua (filmmaker), HT (photographer), Stephen Tucker (fine artist), Remi Catchpole (3D model maker), Jacob Elmon (business owner and currently studying Fashion Marketing) and myself a graphic design student. There are extensive plans for the collaborations to come. Currently I am creating an album cover for an EP Stephen’s recording to do with non-linear time and drawing comparisons between it’s nature and how politically backwards the UK government is, sampling riots and speeches given by members of parliament. We are constantly giving each other assistance on each other’s work both conceptually and when using different equipment or programmes. I have future plans to include a member profile for each individual on the 24amour website under 'resources' so people can reach out.
The idea to create this video actually came before I knew I wanted to create 24. The video had been temporarily titled ‘FASHION PSA’ and it’s aim was to build on the idea of how outer appearance shapes identity. Fashion encompasses make-up, clothes, tattoos, jewellery etc. and can all be considered to be an extension of the self. Everything we choose to wear becomes part of our own unique fashion sense and a reflection of ourselves. The original focal point and message of the video was to encourage self-expression through fashion as it was in my head the idea to one day create a clothing line. I realised this idea would best come into fruitition if I created a brand which I was proud of to market it, from this came the idea of integrating an ethos and pushing it to the forefront of what the brand means. From this comes the potential to create merchandise in the future for 24. This idea about identity and self-expression through fashion is still a significant sub-plot I want to continue through into the final video. Having this being the original idea allowed me to look into aesthetics more and gave me an insight into what 24 might ultimately look like.
David Hieatt’s book ‘Do/ Purpose/ Why Brands with a Purpose Do Better and Matter More’ gave me insights into what makes a strong brand and questions to ask yourself before creating a brand. Hieatt talks about needing three essentials to your brand, one of them being ‘The Zeitgeist’. For 24 it is our ethos; it is quite unusual to see a brand made without profit being at the forefront of their thinking. As 24 started as a collective first, we are more community driven. Hieatt also speaks on ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ passion, a hot passion is in the moment and burns out quickly and the other is a cold, long-lasting passion, for your ideas to succeed your brand needs to be a cold passion. Another key question Hieatt raises for brand owners to ask themselves is to ‘define your enemy’, for 24 it is the saturation of money-ran ‘creative’ corporations.
By putting an emphasis on collaboration and support we will change how creative ideas are funded. By supporting ourselves and people like us first we won’t have to rely on larger corporations
who often won’t keep an artist’s vision untampered with. Hieatt also stresses the importance of having a clear purpose to your brand as ‘when you define your purpose, it attracts like-minded people as a moth is attracted to light’. The glue which holds 24 together is the love of expression and the hunger for change, each individual within the collective have their own unique ideas to express, and being a part of a group will help get out those ideas faster. Hieatt’s book definitely helped me adjust the purpose of 24, teaching me the importance of making the brand’s purpose as clear as possible. This of course is quiet difficult as I want 24 to be something which encompasses a lot of different avenues, however, after some time I created the slogan which appears in our social media bios - ‘a movement in creativity for creatives’. I felt as though this slogan best captures our main goal which is to essentially put a spotlight on the importance of the creative - working as a team, offering support etc. all comes after this thought.
As I started to learn animating techniques on Photoshop I tried to replicate the visual effects seen in Dexter Navy’s video for ‘Kids Turned Out Fine’ by A$AP Rocky. Navy is a young filmmaker and photographer from West London who found mainstream success through innovating in the sphere of video direction and collaborating with influential corporations such as Yves Saint Laurent, Supreme, i-D Magazine, Stussy, Converse, Dior and more. However, the work that’s drawn the most attention are most definitely his videos directed for A$AP Rocky and the rest of A$AP MOB. Most significantly ‘L$D’, ‘Moneyman’ and ‘A$AP Forever’ - all videos which have created a new wave in music video direction through experimenting with slow motion cameras, colour palettes and digital effects, forming a new type of psychedelia for mass consumption. Dexter describes his work as ‘colourful, raw, psychedelic and unexpected.’ For every video he works on - ‘I see it as a film. I push myself to try new techniques so viewers who know my work expect the highest level of craftsmanship. I want to never stop experimenting as that’s the only way it’ll stay interesting to me.’ Through studying Navy's work I have been able to further develop my directing and editing skills, developing from stylistic choices originally seen in his videos. I've also taken inspiration from Navy's use of glaringly vibrant, almost overwhelming colours, saturated into surrealism. This is something I want to implement in my video.
In the above left image there is displayed multiple layers of animated effects from a potential scene in my video, all present in one frame. The above right image is a still taken from Navy's 'Kids Turned Out Fine' music video. There are clear similarities between the two types of visual effects; the vibrancy in the neon-type light and even the way the effects move around the screen are comparable. However, in Navy's video the way he's chosen to animate his visuals are much more static-like, bouncing around the screen more, while mine follow a set path more. This is something I've noticed and something I'm currently playing with the idea of changing as I'm starting to think I prefer the more spontaneous movement for this type of effect, this style also gives the 'light energy' a greater sense of mystery as it becomes so impossibly unpredictable. The use of light, at least for myself, is a visual representation of energy being omitted by the figures in the video. Much like how Alex Grey represents divine energy in his psychedelic art pieces below. However unsurprising, Grey's pieces look to have been a source of inspiration for Navy as I noticed the common use of the infinity symbol in the context of love/passion/affection (below).
visual effects early experiment:
LS:N Global is a media outlet keeping readers updated on trends, youth culture, fashion, travel and more. When researching for 24 I was inspired by a LS:N article named ‘Anxiety Rebellion’ by Holly Friend. It speaks on how the Generation Z are ‘turning emotions into actions’; challenging existing societal structures rather than indulging in unhealthy lifestyles. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention noted that illicit drug use by US teenagers, including cocaine and heroin, fell from 22.6% in 2007 to 14% in 2017. Demi Babalola, a 19-year-old philosophy and sociology student, told The Guardian in July 2018: ‘We have so much more to do than drink and take drugs. I’m not surprised those [statistics] show that’s the case: it makes sense. We have a lot more to distract us now.’
This new change in attitude is born in a time where anxiety has become more prevalent among today’s youth. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly a third of US adolescents aged 13–18 will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Focusing our attention on problems the youth of today face is crucial to 24 as we are made up of people born into this same generation, and who can relate and empathise with these issues. Raising awareness of issues that don't get the attention they deserve is important but we are also conscious to not spread too much negative information without offering some form of solution or support. We could do this through displaying suicide helpline numbers, sharing healthy routines and general motivation through our social posts.
Generation Z are showing new attitudes such as ‘cleaner lifestyles, improved self-care solutions, spiritual healing practices, future-proof financial systems and an entrepreneurial mindset, which are radically different from the actions of the generations before them’. IPSOS Mori’s recent survey found that, ‘contrary to many clichés about today’s young, our new survey data and analysis reveals a better behaved, more trusting, socially minded and less materialistic generation’. I want 24 to spread awareness and push positive messages through our news outlets found via our website and social medias. We will make more of an effort than other media pages to promote positive news rather than only spreading negative stories, studying sites like LS:N Global and learning from example.
Sketchbook scans of make-up design, logo design and brainstorming the visual effects for the video
when generating ideas for the imagery and overall aesthetic to the video - I kept returning to certain symbols/themes: eyes, aztec patterns, DNA strands, infinity symbols, hieroglyphics, waves and lightning, among others.
what all these pieces of imagery seem to have in common is how they all partly relate to something abstract or irregular to mass consciousness. The use of words and imagery are used to challenge the way we view things. The concept of infinity is difficult to grasp and people in mass don't pay it any attention
despite how much of our lives depend on and value the 'infinite'. Progress made by other past civilisations are often overlooked by mass consciousness today despite often being more advanced in many areas. This is why I reference the Aztecs and the Ancient Egyptians through their unique innovations in typography and design. Natural imagery is also important to this film as just like how the concept of infinity and the progress made by ancient civilisations might be overlooked - people forget that the human race is a part of nature and not above it. Everything we interact with stems from nature but sometimes we forget this, nature is associated with purity, forgiveness, acceptance and goodness for good reason. The therapeutic benefits of being in touch with the natural world is well documented. Throughout history people have been fascinated with the power nature possesses.
On the far left is a reference image we used when considering techniques to pull off this effect. I also referenced colour theory when considering which colours would be blended for the background to the pattern, and along the contour of the model's face. As the model's skin was more yellow and bright I needed a contrast so the pattern would appear clear and yet still subtle. This informed my choice to use combinations of colours on the left side of the colour wheel as these were opposite to the yellow and oranges. As seen in the initial practice run (bottom left) with the golden make-up it is harder to notice the aztec patterns.
make-up practice runs, executed by Caitlin Ralph
When creating and brainstorming the visual effects for my video I was inspired by the style of Jean-Michel Basquiat, famous street artist from New York. Basquiat had a unique style which pushed the boundaries of what defines ‘street’ or ‘graffiti’ art. His unique typography is what caught my attention for this video, his font and style of writing is a significant part of his aesthetic. I admire how unusual his handwriting was and how it seemed innocent like a child’s handwriting yet still powerful and authoritative, giving it an apparent significance and purpose for being there. The contents of what he was writing also attracted me to his work as he seemed to jot words down as if they were being spilled directly from his mind, giving a kind of ‘stream of consciousness’ feel to his pieces. Basquiat would read books from the library and mark down words from the books he had been reading - referencing ancient history, astrology and various other subjects.
This is also something I want to borrow from for my video. I have been experimenting with flashing different words which will show in my video, all being linked yet still ambiguous enough to challenge people and make them think. The words being taken from scientific theories and philosophies which members of 24 are interested in. Topics of conversation and subjects which the group share mutual interest in currently are ideas about space-time, higher dimensions, reality - as well as caring about lifestyle change, healthy living, fashion etc. The branches 24 can grow into and take on are as diverse and specific as the interests of our members. Basquiat also created symbols and tags in his work, creating a constant mark of ownership and individualism over a string of his pieces. Our version of a ‘tag’ making an appearance in our work is the logo/branding for 24. However, I am looking into potentially creating a character to accompany the brand similar to how Basquiat did with ‘SAMO©’ - a graffiti tag used in New York which was accompanied by sarcastic and at times poetic short phrases.
The main inspiration Basquiat has over 24 is the man himself and the messages he spread of social change and in a more abstract way, changing the way we choose to think. Our outlook on the world is constantly being influenced by exterior forces as a part of general social conditioning, this can seem almost unavoidable as we can be effected deeply by even small scale events. Major corporate advertisement campaigns selling people a false view of the world, political events distorting and exaggerating real world events in the media etc. all have significant power to shape mass perception. This is something 24 is aware of and an area we are looking to push our own messages in in future.
further visual effects experimentation:
In the above video I've used Basquiat's work as a reference for the way I animate my effects. Taking inspiration from his unrestricted and unforced approach to producing art. At the end of the video words start to flash and disappear in a style I felt the words in a Basquiat piece would behave if his work were also animated. This style helps deliver a 'stream of consciousness' feel to the video as words impulsively appear on the screen. I also felt this style looked more aesthetically pleasing while also better representing the ethics of the brand - pushing messages designed for the observer to question their outlook of the world.
WGSN or Worth Global Style Network are a trend forecasting company founded in west London offering advisory services for users. It is important for my brand to know the current climate in terms of trends and fashion. I also wish for the advisory services side of the company to be a branch 24 will grow and fully invest in in future. WGSN have over ‘250 trend forecasters and data scientists globally’ and say they help ‘6,500 businesses stay relevant and find their next growth opportunities.’ I also want to incorporate this teaching element to the brand, how sharing information is held in high regard, as this goes hand in hand with being a collective and collaborating on projects. This mentality goes for collaboration in art as well as with business advice. ‘We will work with you to help you connect the dots among future macro-trends, know what they mean for you, when and how to adopt them. So that you can find your next growth opportunity.’ 24 have already started to repost certain products we promote and where the further trends lie in our eyes. Through this practice we also build on our style and identity, making us more unique and attractive to the individual. The quality of WGSN’s written articles are also a benchmark for what 24 aspires to be.
When planning the potential effects and patterns I’d be using over the video I also used Olivier Goethals work as a source of inspiration. Goethals is an underground artist who I found through exploring the comment sections of Instagram, he plays with existential ideas to do with philosophy and science. In his words his work explores a range of ideas from the ‘similarities in natural processes and cultural processes’ to ’post materialist reality’ and ‘universal consciousness and quantum consciousness’.
Goethals work appeals to me for both his unique content and style, both giving me an insight into new kinds of approach I could use when creating the effects for my video. Goethals work pushed me conceptually to rethink the types of ideas and messages I was going to bury in the video. As all the effects move quite rapidly on screen, the ideas being presented will act as a form of subliminal messaging. This messaging also functions as a teaser for future projects. Goethals work functions in a similar sphere that 24 will explore. Stylistically I feel as though Goethals work is extremely effective at presenting such ideas, abstract ideas should be met with abstract design when being presented. He incorporates a mixture of minimalism and psychedelia with graphic design, this also links to the imagery I’ve chosen to use for the video. I feel as though ‘psychedelic’ is a good word to build from when thinking about the direction of 24, psyche-delic translating from Greek as mind-manifestation, and with every project we manifest and realise our ideas. Goethals work often implements his own unique and often existential thoughts/ideas/messages in the realm of science, spirituality and basic truths as seen below.
HT and I carefully scouted out locations, mapped out angles and poses for our models, discussed lighting and props etc. After careful deliberation we selected which of all these would make for the most visually satisfying compositions.
We also took narrative into account as it was important for us for the video to carry some form of sub-plot. For our video it was this new sub-culture we are creating with ties to fashion, aesthetics and something in this video we wanted to particularly focus on; the natural world.
Nature carries a timeless, almost omniscient kind of appeal, and being in touch with the natural is important to 24. Too often are corporate brands distracted by the material and vastly growing commercial world of faster technology, smaller phones etc. rapidly changing everyday.
Above shows 24's online presence; our website and Instagram pages. Currently, our website is still in development as I plan to polish the brand logo and the typography which will be unique to the brand and operating on the site. The Instagram page is further developed, already beginning to share our projects and behind the scenes to us making this promotional video. On our Instagram we share a mixture of our own projects as well as whatever our members wish to post - this could be cultural inspirations, other artists and their work or anything else we please.
latest single 'Chrome Visuals' :
An example of a project we have started building for already is the release of one of our members' first commercial albums. Stephen Tucker, known musically as Lurid Hastings, planning to release an EP of his boundary-pushing tracks with Trance, Bassline and EDM influences. Tucker's music is diverse, from sampling his school choir in a triumphant and eery psychedelic ballad to incorporating heavy electric guitar mixed with samples of riots and political speeches to create transportive, socio-political symphonies. Tucker's work is refreshingly unique and original and something 24 are proud to present as our first official project. The album cover I produced for him is displayed above. Before it's release enjoy 'Chrome Visuals' also in collaboration with 24 linked above. As seen in the description screenshotted above another of our members Remi Catchpole is credited for his contributions on electric guitar.
Through utilising ‘highlights’ for Instagram we can create collections of art and document our progress. At the moment our Instagram has the highlights ‘Projects’ and ‘BTS’, they appear above all our posts and directly underneath our bio. By creating these highlights on our page we are using Nudge Theory; creating more functions to explore which is attractive to the viewer. Since creating the Instagram I have also changed the brand slogan in the bio once. I realised that the slogan ‘a movement in creativity for creatives’ was too vague and wasn’t direct enough to inform the observer enough about us. Our bio now stands as follows - ‘Creative Content Company - promoting self-expression, collaboration and supporting artists - London, UK’.
first photoshoot w/make-up
setting up make-up and studio
final result of make-up sessions
photoshoot taken on Nishika film camera
example of shots taken during session
For this shoot we kept in mind what we had learned from the others - use foreground. I discovered that making more use of foreground would emphasise the effect of the multi-lensed camera. This way the background and the focal point of the image can interact with more and give the most visual stimulation possible to the observer. The last two photoshoots have been HT and I's most successful as we have developed our lighting techniques, how to optimise studio space, angles, working props etc. Having a make-up photoshoot would also be something I'd want to do again as from this I saw my sketches on paper come to life through working with another student. Building a network and collaborating is what 24amour aspires to do.
In the makeup studio I made sure to keep constant communication with our makeup artist Caitlin Ralph. I made sure to get across my ideas on glossy makeup and made sure the inspirations I drew from glam rock were apparent in the final look. Combining this aesthetic with the theme of nature I felt created an aura of the supernatural around the figure, this would also fit in with the sceneries I would superimpose into the background for many of the shoots. Above are Marc Bolan, Steve Strange and David Bowie. In the image above Bolan wears glitter on his cheeks to reflect light and draw attention. We achieved a similar look by using vaseline over our makeup design to give this reflective look and help draw attention to the aztec patterns. Strange is pictured wearing similar geometric patterns around his eyes and down to his chin as we do on our model. These lines for me serve as a reference to the mystical, resembling different sacred geometry and other patterns found in ancient cultures around the world. From religious symbols like the mandala in Hinduism and Buddhism to Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Flower of Life, the Eye of Horus etc. These different symbols particularly interested me because of their link to consciousness.
In my video I use a multitude of semiotics I find interesting and relate to the idea of the video being identity and expression. These ideas depend on consciousness and ancient symbols like the Flower of life (above middle) have been linked to the expansion of consciousness. The mystery behind such symbols' origins and the knowledge they carry fascinated me enough to incorporate them into the video.
The Flower of Life is a geometric pattern of repeating, overlapping circles and can be found in all major religions of the world. In Egypt, the source of all the monotheistic religions, the Flower of Life can be found in the ancient Temple of Abydos. The patterns that exist within the Flower of Life give us information about the physical and possibly spiritual makeup of the universe. By connecting each point with a straight line from the Flower of Life we get Metatron’s cube which is one of the most important informational systems in the universe. The five platonic solids can all be found within Metatron’s cube (the tetrahedron, the cube, the octahedron, the dodecahedron and the icosahedron). In the 1980s Professor Robert Moon from the University of Chicago demonstrated that the entire periodic table of elements is based on these five forms. Every single element in the universe has a geometric relation to the five platonic solids.
Throughout modern physics, chemistry and biology the sacred geometric patterns of creation are being rediscovered. For example, the Egg of Life which is the morphogenetic structure that creates our bodies. Everything that modern science knows about the elements and reality are tied to the platonic solids which stems from the Flower of Life.
The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power, and good health. The Ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol for life. These screenshots show my inclusion of the Eye of Horus, the Ankh, patterns inspired by sacred geometry and lines representing 'divine energy' or 'spirit' used in the final video.
While scrolling through my Instagram I got inspired by a wallpaper and poster design account selling various prints of different photoshopped environments. I had seen that they had done a small series of prints which would not only aesthetically suite my video but also strengthen the narrative of the mystical and supernatural for my video if I incorporated them. I decided to reach out to the owner to see if I could have permission to use the designs, fortunately he said yes so I started photoshopping the images into the backgrounds of the shoots we had done with branches in the foreground. Incorporating these surreal trees full of unusual and highly saturated colours.
While originally writing the script for the video I felt as though there could be something missing. From this feeling I had the idea that I could interview my younger cousin Mayer and see if he says anything I could use as an interlude into the video. My inspiration for this idea came from listening to Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout’ where a child’s voice appears at the end of the song ‘Family Business’ saying ‘let’s get Stevie outta jail’ which has stayed memorable since the first time I heard it.. Often the voice of a child is there to represent a pure thought or an unfiltered view of things. If Mayer said anything I felt related to the narrative of the video or the brand ethos I could think about using it in the video. The opportunity soon arrived where I could sit to talk with Mayer, after explaining I would be recording what he says for a project I was doing we proceeded to play FIFA and chat. We talked about different things on his mind at that moment which included mostly school, video games and friends. When listening back to the conversation I found two clips of audio I found could potentially be in the video, one of Mayer saying ‘nobody’s perfect’ and the other ‘everyone thinks different’. I felt as though the second clip related more to the brand as one of 24's aims is to advertise individuality through different avenues. I decided to use this recording as a short audio clip I could have play as an interlude into the spinning logo animation where the music first begins.
While editing the video HT and I decided to create different ‘channels’ and divide the video into segments so each photoshoot would be represented by the final product and a short clip from the behind the scenes recorded by myself which plays just before. By dividing up the video in this way we made the video feel more like an old DVD/VHS boxset. This was also the reason for the stylistic choice of having everything seem as though it was coming through the feed of an old television, achieved by incorporating old transmission glitches to the transitions and text within the video. This I felt gives a more nostalgic and authentic feel to the video and with the inclusion of behind the scenes, a more unfiltered intimacy with the brand. We also found inspiration in the Dexter Navy directed video for ‘A$AP Forever’ in the way Navy chooses to transition from scene to scene with a continuous zoom either inward or outward into the next clip, choosing to mask different sections in each video to transition from. Not only is this a clever way to seamlessly transition from clip to clip but it also ties in with the idea of creating a network which is one of the main ideas behind the company.
Our video will be posted on social media as well as on our website, this makes the most sense as it can then reach the most amount people and gives us a higher chance to grow and create connections. For gallery viewing the video will be displayed on a TV on a loop with posters advertising the brand on either side. The posters also feature a QR code which viewers can scan which will send them to the company’s Instagram page. HT and I both have our own unique posters, HT’s best shows his involvement in the project, displaying the physical pieces of film as a reference to his photography using older equipment. Mine shows one of the clips I edited with all the visual effects I used during the segment all at once layered over each other. This created an image which I felt best summed up not only my contributions but also some of the inspirations taken for this project with the image resembling in part the works of Alex Grey, Dexter Navy, Olivier Goethals etc. The Gallery viewing of the video will also feature a laptop or desktop in front of the TV where a website built by HT displaying all the extra unused footage for the project will be displayed so viewers can interact with the presentation.