Rabbits Go All the Way Analog in Their New Video

I like to look at gear in a broad sense. Yes, guitars and kick drum pedals are awesome, but part of my goal when this site began was to look at the bigger picture of everything technical in the life of a musician. Sometimes it’s hard to get this kind of info because bands and PR are used to promoting themselves in a certain way. But a tricked out tour van is also gear. A creative merch display? Also gear. And breaking the mold when filming your music video, using only old analog equipment and special effects techniques that pre-date all of the chitzy digital post-production effects that we’ve been forced to acclimate ourselves to? Definitely gear.

So with that said, let me present the new Rabbits video, for their track “So Fake It’s Real.” It was filmed in just such a method by director Whitey McConnaughy.

I know some folk aren’t into videos this raw and messy, but I think it looks fantastic. Here’s the rundown on how it was created, as told by the director:

me film wide

“I have gotten bored with the clean perfect look of all the HD videos out there and wanted to shoot something that had  a lot of texture, grit and personality to it and HD has none of that.  I shot the video with an old Bolex camera on mine using some 16mm B/W film stock that I’d had in my fridge for years .  It was so nice shooting on a camera with no monitor, just a tiny eye piece.

kitech

I then hand processed the film in a make shift, light tight lab.  Before processing it, I spayed the film with a variety of unsavory chemicals and streaked it with a laser pointer while running through my make shift film take up reel (see skateboard).  After that I threw it on the floor (all in complete darkness) then sprayed it with more bad stuff and stepped on it a few times.  Then processed the film in some the tubs that I bought at a supermarket (Fred Meyer).   I ended up having to filter some of the crud  from my developer through a pillow case because it was so filthy.  That ended up not being enough and I ended up filtering it through some coffee filters and a towel before processing some more of the film.

Film hang

After all that a couple friends helped me hang the film to dry over night in a photo studio.  I think all and all it cost me about 100 dollars in chemicals and equipment to shoot and process the film.

set up

We also shot some of the video on a Fisher Price Pixel Vision camera that I modified to record to mini DV.  We also shot some stuff on an old tube camera from the 70’s then ran it through a signal converter into an old TV which I then shot with another camera before bringing it in to the editing system.

tub

There is absolutely no digital effects used in the making of the video.  Everything is analog, with equipment made well before 1985.  The only thing modern was the editing system that I used but it was just simple cuts, I didn’t do any real color correction because it is what it is.  It’s not perfect, it’s jagged, it’s rough, it’s messy; it’s how life really is and that’s why I like it.”

Like the video production method, the new Rabbits record Untoward was also tracked analog and raw. The band recorded live, direct to tape, with the only exceptions being overdubs and solos. If you want to get your grubby analog fingers on a copy you can do so at this location. Rabbits tour dates are below:

mon 13 Brussels, BE – Magasin 4
tues 14 Bristol, UK – Stag and Hounds
wed 15 Manchester, UK – Star and Garter
thur 16 Glasgow, UK – 13th note
fri 17 London, UK – Brixton Windmill
sat 18 Brighton, UK – Green Room Stor
sun 19 Kortrijk BE –  The Pits
mon 20 Liège, BE –  La Zone
tues 21 Rennes, FR – Le Terminus
wed 22 Paris, FR – Le Parvis De Bagnolet

Sept 23 – Nov 2 – Spain/Portugal, TBA

Written by

Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.