Lullaby #2 by Corpus Callosum, Shooting a Music Video Frame By Frame

Corpus Callosum is a California-based music & performance art ensemble that performs regularly around the Bay Area. In addition to their wide variety of instruments (everything from accordions to glockenspiels to home-made instruments), their performances also include stilts, puppets, moving picture boxes, and various other performance art. Their music is best described as “folk-haunted orchestration” or “post-industrial-folk-noir”. You may have seen them performing at a Tweed Ride or over at Noisebridge.

Last October they filmed the above music video for their song “Lullaby #2” at the Wave Organ in San Francisco. Utilizing two DSLR cameras they made a stop motion video of the band playing while Avery Burke, the lead singer, was fitted for a blazer. The budget was less than $200 and all filming was done in a single day.

Lullaby #2

photo by Audrey Penven

Band member, Dax Tran-Caffee explained that in order to film the video they had to first shoot the band playing the song in real-time. They took that video, dropped down the framerate, and displayed it on location via a big screen with live video overlaid on top. In addition to the overlaid video, there were also karaoke-esque cues such as which beat, chord, word or phoneme the frame should be. Then it was a matter of matching up their live-feed bodies (mouths, instrument placement, strums, etc) with their pre-recorded bodies every 8 seconds before the intervalometer fired off the DSLR still cameras. All of this over a 6 hour shoot on a peninsula extending into the Bay waters, with everything running on gas generators.

They are currently working on raising funds for their first full length in-studio album via Kickstarter.