Hallelujah Picassos “Rewind”

A song about relaxing and taking it easy, which seems to be the national genre of New Zealand. The “Rewind” video is a cruisy collection of a lively studio performance and scenes from New Zealand.

It’s a fun video that nicely captures the spirit of the song, with green screen used quite thoughtfully. The background images, scenes of both rural and urban New Zealand, are contrasted with the laid-back band.

The video also features the nice bright, highly saturated colour palette that was cool in the ’90s, and I think this kind of colour use has come back around. Now all we need is for chunky green screen to become cool again.

Best bit: the green-screened turntable.

Directors: Clinton Phillips, Peter McLennan
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bonus: Peter McLennan of the Hallelujah Picassos has again been kind enough to share his experience of the video:

We worked with Stratford Productions on this video, as we did for the previous video Lovers Plus. The latter video was directed by Bruce Sheridan, and for this one we worked with Clinton Phillips. I co-directed the video with Clinton, which was very generous of him, as he did a lot of the work, really. We shot Rewind at the Powerstation, using the stage for the band footage, and shooting from the balcony for the verses, looking down on Bobbylon, singing. We bounced round the stage Roland and myself wearing turntables strapped on like guitars, and Johnnie playing his korg synth, nicknamed the Hog.

The black and white footage in the verses was shot on super 8 film by me, while we were on tour. I gave it to Clinton to send off for telecine transfer over in Sydney and never saw it again, which was a bit sad. There’s also footage shot on video of us clowning round on the roof of Civic House, next to DKD, which also makes a brief appearance in the video. The only green screen is on the record on the turntable, which also serves up my fave shot in the video, at 2.09 – Roland doing his best Michael Jackson tippy-toes dance move.

This song will be included on the forthcoming collection of Hallelujah Picassos tunes, remastered for CD/digital. Out before the end of the year.

Next… do the wildebeast

Hallelujah Picassos “Lovers +”

Roland Picasso has a dilemma – he has two lovers and would rather like to keep it that, only one of the lovers wants him to be true to her. It’s a simple, almost underplayed song, and the video matches this minimal vibe.

There are a few green screen and digital tricks – dripping paint, flames, but most of the video is restrained, with simple layering of Roland (in colour) over the band (in black/blue and white), as well as an outdoor excursion. While it’s not as fun as other Picassos videos, it’s still a fine early ’90s video.

The only thing that worries me is the song title – it reminds me of Paper Plus, Flooring Plus and all those other ‘plus’ businesses that sprang up in the ’90s. It’s not so appealing being in a menage à retail.

Best bit: the remote appearance of Greg Johnson on guest trumpet. See, he does end up online sometimes.

Director: Bruce Sheridan
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bonus! Peter McLennan of the Hallelujah Picassos and now of Dub Asylum and the brilliant blog Dub Dot Dash has been kind enough to share his music video experiences both in front of and behind the camera.

We’d made a few videos prior to doing the Lovers Plus video. I directed a video for our song Clap Your Hands, made with the help of TVNZ’s music show CV (the replacement for RWP). TVNZ supplied filmstock, processing, telecine (film to video transfer), and editing. We covered the other costs – we made that video for $138. So going to a NZOA-funded video to the tune of $5000 was a step up.

It basically meant we were able to pay people and hire better gear and so on. It also resulted in a video that was more likely to get repeat viewings on tv, due to higher production standards.

At the time I was studying at Elam School of Fine Arts, working in film and video, so I took a keen interest in the video-making side of things. Bruce Sheridan at Stratford Productions directed and produced the Lovers Plus video, with input from us. We also managed to convince them to let Roland use a welding torch, as he was doing a welding course at the time. Singers playing with fire, always fun.

The use of green screen was pretty popular at that time, from what I recall. It allowed you to layer up imagery and mix and mash it up.

We also did a video for our song Picasso Core, a mate of ours shot that on video one afternoon with our singer Roland. TV3’s late evening news show Nightline screened it once, which amazed us, as every chorus features the f word.

Next… average age 17.