Augustino “Into The Grain”

Happy New Zealand Music Month! Now that I’m starting on videos from April 2001, this means I’ve got through the first decade of videos (which started in April 1991). That’s 474 videos, with 348 that were awol (but plenty of catch-ups to look forward to. But first, let’s start with April 2001.

2001-augustino-into-the-grainI love this video so much. In fact, if someone told me I had to stop 5000 Ways today, I’d almost be ok with that. “Into the Grain” is little over two and a half minutes long, but it feels like every shot in the film is the right thing in the right place.

The video begins with a door, the NZ On Air logo rotating on a door hanger. Eagle-eyed readers will noticed that this is where I got the above header image from. Inside we find Sean from Augustino sitting on a chair in an otherwise empty room. It’s decorated with shagpile carpet and a grotesque rococo-style wallpaper. The camera slowly pans in on him, but it feel like hesitant pan, as if it’s afraid to get too close. After the first stanza Sean stops lip-synching and turns to the left. He notices that the wallpaper pattern is writing. Trippy as.

The chorus switches to Augustino rocking out in a small room. It looks like they’re in a rundown house, a contrast from the room of weird. For the next verse we’re back with Sean in the freaky room. It continues to be freaky and then it’s really annoying because a fly walks across your screen. You go to swat it away but suddenly realise it’s part of the music video. Well, you think, that was a neat trick.

Back to the chorus and this time we see the band graffitiing a room in the rundown house. It’s the worst graffiti ever, just random scribbles. I mean, a 13-year-old kid from the suburbs could tag up a wall with greater style than that.

Again we join Sean as he continues to stare down the camera. But suddenly flies start crawling out of his mouth, and the image starts to shake and warp. It wasn’t just one trick fly – they’re everywhere! It’s like the video has become too intense and is breaking apart from the pressure.

What’s the perfect antidote to an intense situation? Why, a coffee break. We join the band in the kitchen of the old house, having a sped-up coffee break. But this is not enough to stem the chaos. Sean bravely swats away the increasing numbers of flies that are pestering him, and soon the screen becomes crowded with the pests.

The video was directed by Augustino drummer Wade Shotter. As well as having really strong usuals, the video also has a great sense of rhythm. “Into the Grain” is a manic, slightly ridiculous song about getting out of it on drugs, but the video takes that to a whole ‘nother level.

Best bit: the warping wallpaper, the merest hint of the craziness to follow.

Director: Wade Shotter

Next… step inside a world of fantasy.

12 thoughts on “Augustino “Into The Grain””

  1. good work on getting through the first 10 years Robyn.
    Are you saying that 42% of the videos funded by NZ on air are unavailable to be easily viewed? ie of 822 videos funded and completed only 474 are in current circulation?

    1. That’s about it, yes. Of the missing ones, some are in the Film Archive and some have disappeared from copyright takedowns from overzealous record companies. There are also weird things like how Annie Crummer’s entire videography was on, until one day it all went away. NZ On Screen is good at tracking down missing gems. The rest of the videos are, I suspect, hiding in cardboard boxes under beds and in garages around New Zealand.

  2. jeez, that’s a shocking management of an investment in nz culture.
    Musicians aren’t the brightest and carefullest of creatures at times, but a govt body investing public money and not keeping a broadcast copy of the results and or not working to keep that valuable catalogue of work in the public consciousness??? Someone’s not taking their job seriously.

    1. Of the videos I’ve reviewed so far, 609 are in the Film Archive, 227 aren’t. Even though not all of them are available to view online, it’s reassuring to know that the majority are in the Film Archive vaults. Also, NZ On Air have for some time required all funded videos to be lodged with the Film Archive, so the mistakes of the past aren’t being repeated.

      It would be great if all the missing videos were chased up and digitised, but who would do this and where would the funding come from? NZ On Screen are doing a great job with their curated collection, but their limited funding means they can’t go after every single NZ On Air-funded video. As things are, there is a limit to what can be achieved. Want NZ On Screen to put more videos online? Lobby the Minister of Broadcasting to give NZ On Air more funding for NZ On Screen to be able to do that.

      1. who would do i? The people who made the mistake in the first place I would think. and where would the money come from? there’s provision for funding for archiving in the broadcasting act in section 36 of the act. Its been there all along. NZ on Screen gets roughly $1,000,000 a year. That’s quite some dosh. This is an administrative job, ie sit someone down with a phone and try and locate a copy of each video. This is a massive oversight of the scheme and should be addressed, purely from the waste of money angle.
        And sadly the film archive don’t appear to be much use to the general public on NZ, as you know through your inability to link to any of the videos held in their archive, it’s great they have copies of many but what use is it to the public of nz if we can’t see them. NZ film archive is a privately owned charitable trust so I’m not sure why it is being charged with being holder of the results of NZ on Air Funding. Surely the buck should stop at NZ on Airs door, and should be housed on a website. It’s not that hard, look what you’ve done here and what people like Peter Mclennan and ‘others’ have achieved all without a govt budget.
        If I’d paid for 822 videos they’d all still be in my collection. It’s kind of a shocking result. Great that someone like yourself has done the work to make a starting point list though.

        1. I don’t think the solution is to expect amateurs to work for peanuts. I’d rather see the job done properly by an experienced team who can do the best job when it comes to digitisation, rights management, research, etc. As it happens, NZ On Screen are doing a bloody good job with all that as it is, making their funding stretch in many different directions. They’re a small but very efficient team and if there was more funding they could get more videos online.

  3. I agree, but that’s mostly who it’s been left to as the years tick by. it would be good to see NZ step up and fund someone properly but the reality is while we wait for the people who didn’t do the simple task of keeping a beta copy of the thing they paid for on our behalf to get some more money, while the people who are actually doing the archiving are in fact amateurs who have stepped up to do the job off their own back,…… sigh. The thing is, it’s kind of urgent, tapes are disintegrating while we wait, and the task isn’t that difficult, locate tape, digitise, chat to band, agree its cool to have this stuff up. There seems to be a bit of “career management” going on in this situation though. Why do the job simply and quickly when you can do it complexly and get a few years salary out of it?

  4. Hi Robyn, re your comment: “Also, NZ On Air have for some time required all funded videos to be lodged with the Film Archive, so the mistakes of the past aren’t being repeated.”

    NZ On Air had a voluntary requirement in its funding contract for lodging videos with the Film Archive – if they requested the video (hence the large gaps), and that only changed to being made compulsory in March 2012. So it has not been a requirement for some time, its only very recent.

    It’s disappointing that such a huge chunk of public money went into making these videos with no consideration of archiving them for future generations, and only focusing on getting them in front of the current generation, as is NZOA’s agenda. The number of great local videos that I half remember and will never see again depresses me.

    1. Ah, I knew the change had happened, I just wasn’t sure how long it had been in place. Thanks for clarifying.

      It is indeed disappointing that so many videos are missing. It breaks my heart when there’s a particularly significant video not online anywhere. I make suggestions to NZ On Screen, and they’ve been really good at tracking down some oldies. But, well, if a video isn’t available anywhere, it can’t be digitised.

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