Golden Features: Tom Stell

Tom Stell known as Golden Features has been a major influence to me. His attention to detail is impeccable, his passion for music is easily on display. In a interview with “PileRats” Tom explains how he wants a “full 360 degree immersive experience” with his music. The mask is a persona that helps the audience relate. If his stage name was Tom Stell and wasn’t wearing a mask, he would be another generic DJ.

Tom walks the streets recording random audio of trucks, side walks, traffic lights and more, later morphing into unique and dark sounds. His lightning and stage design consist of either natural or warm colours accompanied by hectic strobe lights and colourful lasers. This is how Tom ties these three elements to make a truly unique show, like no other.

Most DJ’s release music regularly to stay important in the music industry. Golden Features releases only a handful of tracks per year. Some songs have been played at live shows only to be released two years later. Tom posted on his Facebook page “So much of dance music is manufactured. So many people make careers trend hopping and biting. Everybody’s fighting to have the biggest song of whatever genres hot at the time. Most of its soulless though. Im never going to drop every month just to stay relevant. Im here to make something authentic”. – (FaceBook, Golden Features, Tom Stell, March 27th, 2016).

When I first read this post I was utterly blown away, his passion for perfection surpasses fame and popularity. I agree with Tom, being authentic and talented is more important then fame. Tom wants keep making his music techniques and not follow in trends. “Don’t rush it or attempt to fill an EP or album with old material that feels like filler. There’s no need for musical placebos or to meet what you think is a quota. You want to put your best foot and best music forward, so don’t rely on old stuff that is not up to snuff or representative of where you are and what you sound like now”. – (SonicBids, Amy Sciarretto, Mar 18, 2015 10:00 AM).

For many years my passion has been strong with film, because of this I neglected most knowledge about audio design. I have worked with many DJ’s in Surfers Paradise, Brisbane and private events. Later as I listened to more EDM music I started to take a liking to DJing. I started to mix my own sets on my laptop for fun. This taught me so much about timing with BPM’s, chorus’s and melody’s. Now I have broaden my options, I have slowly been learning how to mix music with turn tables and also training to make music with a Launchpad. Transferring this into my productions can greatly improve production value and my own talents. My true dream, to own a film company that supports young independent film makers, helping achieve their dreams.

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David Fincher VS Darren Aronofsky:

Why Editing Is Important:

Editing is exceptional crucial when making a film, after all the long hours collecting footage can be wasted, if the editing is terrible. Editors can also be a saviour, if a mistake has been made after production is done. Hiding and masking the truth is what they do best, to be good editor you need to know how to distract and fool audiences into believing whats happening on screen is real. The 3 editing styles I have chosen are Close ups, Soviet Montage, Space & Time Manipulation.

Close Ups:

David Fincher’s “SE7EN” intro is extremely grungy and dirty with distorted scary sounds accompanied with increasingly creepy imagery. Close ups of a character cutting his finger tips off with a razor blade, then proceeds to do other weird and unusual activities. This unknown character hands has bit of skin hanging off showing his insanity and violent nature. The man meticulously is collaging images, texts from newspapers and other sources, when transitioning bright flashes burn the screen to show the next shot, also accompanied by erie audio. It builds a very disturbing atmosphere simply through sound design and detailed close ups. As “VideoMaker” said ” Extreme close ups are mysterious, intimate, exciting, dramatic, perspective-changing, detailed and disorienting”.(VideoMaker, 6 reason to get an extreme closeup shot, 2012).

Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem For A Dream” drug scene used extreme dream like sequences, when the character sees the girl he loves on a fishing dock, later is interrupted by the door opening from another character. The characters face instantly changes from happy to sad, just from the close up shot of his face. “MediaCollege.com” summed it up perfectly ” Close-ups of a person emphasises their emotional state. Mid-shots or wide-shots are more relevant for distributing facts and general information, a close-up emphasise facial expressions which carries emotion. The viewer is drawn into the subject’s private space and shares their feelings”. – (MediaCollege.com, Home : Video : Camera Work : Shot Types : CU).

Blurry white sunlight with extreme gain is very present in shot, the clothes they are wearing assumes its hot weather. This shows the effect of tripping on drugs and its all in psychological since the character is really standing in his apartment. Later he shots up amphetamines through a needle with the other character, this is extremely close up to the point that the drugs is in molecular level. The next several shots are demonstrating how the ingest this drug, very quickly shots are changing so much its hard to tell whats happening. This make the viewer question and think harder, to see what is really happening.

Soviet Montage:

David Fincher’s “SE7EN” montages multiple shots of the unknown characters piecing together a plan. The preparation of planning would have taken hours so quick splices are montaged with disturbing sound. Masterfully it sets up the film and shows what is to come, also intrigue occurs from the little amount of information given. “Evamaria Trischak” from “CineText” sums up “Sergei Eisenstein’s perception of Montage was the collision of element: shots should not be identified as linked, rather as opposing one another”. – (CineText, Evamaria Trischak, London 05.11.1998).

Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem For A Dream” first dream like sequence montages the character smoking cannabis. In a brief quick montage, depicts the character rolling a joint. The character is listening to music is smoking at the same time, time speeds up and shows the character dancing in fast motion. The motion from the character almost looks like a ghost because of the time sped up but also showing what its like from the character point of view when smoking cannabis. Because the main character is high he can’t only recollect some main events. ” Requiem For A Dream (2000) by Darren Aronofsky, there is a vast volume of montages which applied the collision theory to detail means to audience which not only provide transition, but more importantly they bring out context and feeling what the director intended to display to the audience in the hope of captivating them into the imagination and reality of the character within the film”. (Blogger, Warrior Fighter, Thursday, 8th March, 2012).

Space & Time Manipulation:

David Fincher’s “SE7EN” has multiple segments that have been sped up and slowed down for space and time manipulation. When the unknown character is writing, time accelerates and then goes back to regular speed. This sporadic change of speed gives you the sense of erratic behaviour or abnormal behaviour. Some shots have actual context of images that makes sense but transition shot consist of frightening colours and shapes accompanied by creepy audio, this is used for time manipulation. MediaCollege.com sums this well “This is by far the most common situation for time manipulation. The story takes place over a lengthy period than can be used in the film so various illusions are used to compress time into an appropriate extent. Virtually all feature films time compression – storied can span over week, months or years but still fit within a few hours of the film time”. – (MediaCollege, Home : Video : Editing : Time)

Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem For A Dream” has the main character walking around his room, the entire segment has been accelerated. Light trails occur from fast motion, combined with low shutter speed. The result we see is an imitation of what the drug resembles. This allows the viewer to experience what the drug is like on screen and manipulating time also shows how the characters is out of there mind, time and space becomes irrelevant. The montage shots also consist of time manipulation, fast forwarding the setup for drug use. “The Idea of manipulation of time and space is where the editor will create something that cannot be filmed”. (Film and Video Editing Techniques, blogspot, Posted 23rd November 2012 by laurenholgatex).

Conclusion:

Editing isn’t just about piecing together the story but also to creating atmosphere, emotion and intrigue. Deciding the right time is crucial since timing is what makes a great film. Keeping the audience engaged at all times is most important part, losing interest can start to show flaws in the film. Leaving answers open and not resolved can be one of the best ways to keep viewers connected at all times. Thank you for listening.

Bibliography:

(VideoMaker) – © Videomaker, Inc. All rights reserved. Fri, 11/02/2012 – 4:59pm. Accessed via – https://www.videomaker.com/videonews/2012/11/6-reasons-to-get-an-extreme-closeup-shot

(MediaCollege.com) – (MediaCollege.com, Home : Video : Camera Work : Shot Types : CU) Original material is © Copyright Wavelength Media 1995-2012. Accessed via – http://www.mediacollege.com/video/shots/closeup.html, <a href=”http://www.mediacollege.com&#8221; target=”_blank”>MediaCollege.com: Free video, audio & electronic media resources</a>

(MediaCollege, Home : Video : Editing : Time) All content is © Copyright MediaCollege.com except where stated otherwise. Usage is subject to Terms & Conditions. http://www.mediacollege.com/video/editing/time/ href=”http://www.mediacollege.com&#8221; target=”_blank”>MediaCollege.com: Free video, audio & electronic media resources</a>

(CineText)(CineText, Evamaria Trischak, London 05.11.1998). Accessed via –http://cinetext.philo.at/reports/sv.html, Thompson, Kristin and David Bordwell (1994): Film History. An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 128 – 155, Goodwin, James (1993): Eisenstein, cinema history. Illinois: University of Illinois. p. 37 – 56. Bordwell, David and Thompson, Kristin (1997): Film Art. An Introduction . Fifth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. © 1999 beim autor und/oder cinetext – Robert Blanchet & Horst Tellioglu. All rights reserved. Editorial

(Blogger) – (Blogger, Warrior Fighter, Thursday, 8th March, 2012). Accessed via – https://warrior-fighter.blogspot.com/2012/03/influence-impact-on-contemporary-films.html

(Film and Video Editing Techniques, blogspot) – Posted 23rd November 2012 by laurenholgatex. – https://filmvideoeditingtechniques.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-history-and-development-of-editing_4112.html

United Media:

Tom Stell or known as Golden Features has become Australia’s number one House DJ. Most big headline music festivals generally always have Golden features playing. In 2014 his popularity rose from his first EP launched, consisting of only four tracks. The demand for Golden Features was unprecedented, now almost every Australian music lover knows and respect Golden Features. Since 2014 Tom has only released 14 tracks so far. The demand from fans and other audiences questioning when he will release new music ? In 2016 he posted a FaceBook status saying “So much of dance music is manufactured. So many people make careers trend hopping and biting. Everybody’s fighting to have the biggest song of whatever genres hot at the time. Most of its soulless though. Im never going to drop every month just to stay relevant. Im here to make something authentic”. – (FaceBook, GoldenFeatures, Tom Stell, March 27th, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/goldenfeatures/posts/ 1764773357089037). This outraged fans and alike saying he is either lazy or does’t care. Releasing regular music can be a smart tactic, keeping artist names in new music charts, helping constant exposure so audiences don’t forget or lose interest. Musicclout.com explains this theory. ” Don’t put all of your eggs in one album. Rather, do a 2 track EP and then another one 2 months down the line. Releasing music in a “little by little” method is the new way of making it as an artist.” – (Musicclout, Articles, Symphonic Distribution, 7 Tips To Increase Your Exposure and Potential, 2007, https://www.musicclout.com/contents/ article-295-7-tips-to-increase-your-exposure-and-potential.aspx)

Film skills can be transferred into music production, with how most interfaces work. Like in film making its all about the build up and timing. Choosing when to use certain tempos and audio samples is similar when setting scenes for film. “While background music for business video’s is completely different from film scores, we thought it would be interesting and valuable to gain some insight from composers in both worlds” – (Wistia, Blog, Production, From Sight to Sound: Composing Music for Film and TV, July 20, 2015, https://wistia.com/ blog/composing-music-for-video)

Golden Feature is committed to making authentic music, mainly composed of self recorded audio. Tom walks through busy streets recording anything he thinks that could make a beat. I was impressed with how much work he puts into making music. Actors that commit to a role sometimes use method acting for maximum authenticity. Some actors loose weight or live the life of the role they portray. Adrian Brody moved to Europe for months in isolation for his role in “The Pianist” – (IMDB, Roman Polanski, The Pianist, 28th March 2002, http:// http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0253474/), which was about a piano player in WWII who survived the Nazi attacks. “Christian Bale” gained incredible amounts of weight and muscle to portray the character of “Patrick Bateman” from “American Psycho” – (IMDB, Marry Harron, American Psycho, 14th April 2000, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144084/). Entertainers that push them selves to make authentic film or music generally have better quality entertainment.

Today Australia has been exposed highly to the entertainment industry. More big budget films are being produced Australia wide. Ridley Scott’s new “Alien” film was shot in Sydney but most films are made on the Gold Coast. “San Andreas, Kong Skull Island, Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Thor Ragnarok” – (2015, 2017, 2017, 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-02/movies-filmed-on-the-gold-coast/8319214), were all filmed on the Gold Coast, this is the perfect time to join the film industry. It is currently cheaper for big budget film studios to film in Australia, saving production costs. Even Australian Directors like “Shane Abbess” are making million dollar science fiction horror action films like “Infini” – (IMDB, Shane Abbess, Infini, 20th May 2015, http:// http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3327624/) & “Science Fiction Volume One: Osiris Child” – (IMDB, Shane Abbess, Science Fiction Volume One: Osiris Child, 24th September 2016, http:// http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4536768/?ref_=nm_flmg_prd_1). International or local Directors can make big budget films with a lower cost than most international films studios.

“The Spierig Brothers” made a Film called “Predestination”. – (IMDB, The Spierig Brothers, Predestination, 9th January 2015, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2397535/). Starring Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor, when I accidentally stumbled upon this film I was utterly blown away. I had never seen a film like this before. It had major commentary on gender, time travel and paradox. The cinematography and storytelling is the stand out about the film, making a complex novel called “All You Zombies” – (Robert A. Heinlein, 1959, https://www.amazon.com.au/All-You-Zombies-Robert-Heinlein-ebook/dp/B008MOKW22). The entire film was shot in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane but depicted New York City. The directors were born in Sydney NSW and later moved to Brisbane QLD. The brothers made commercials for “Coke, Myer, Telstra” and many more – (YouTube, February 7th 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBu6QqFTvSg), they moved into feature film making with “Undead” – (IMDB, The Spierig Brothers, Undead, 4th September 2003, http:// http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0339840/). This was their first attempt at film making and later made a cult following with Australian cinema. They were offered to make “Daybreakers” – (IMDB, The Spierig Brothers, Daybreakers, 8th January 2010, http://www.imdb.com/title/ tt0433362/), Starring Ethan Hawke, William Defoe and Sam Neil. I also thoroughly liked this films unknowingly about the directors who made it.

Australia finally had plenty of actors and directors that are leading the way for film makers alike. This inspired me so much and gave me a new outlook. I no longer had people telling me stories about great directors, but I found my own mentors that even live close to me but also have the same career path. Most independent films I find are better than big budget films since the director has complete control over the film, no studios can interfere with filming. Like the brothers I would like my own independent films that are well respected by local and international communities. – (NEWS.COM, Lauren McMah, 7PM 13th November 2015, http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/why-hollywood-heavyweights-cant-get- enough-of-the-gold-coast-glitter-strip/news-story/d04203969c9e792201519a4133e14a8c). Australian cinema has always been seen below American Hollywood, now Australia is rising in the film industry. I started to read novels that could be adapted to film. Its a hard process but it can pay off to find the best written stories.

In my conclusion not all entertainment from America makes good cinema, all countries around the world have their own talents. These Australian icons pioneer both of their industries through authenticity and sheer talent. Both are about entertainment but in different versions but yet they mix together seamlessly. Learning any sort of technical audio helps improve your film simply by aiding the audio engineer, post production or filming on set. Danny Boyle the director of Train-spotting, 28 Days Later and Sunshine said that 70% – 80% Audio makes up a film. – (Dolby.Blog, Cinema, Danny Boyle, 7th August 2013, https:// blog.dolby.com/2013/08/trance-director-danny-boyle-sound-is-up-to-80-of-a-movie/). Not all artist make the same kind of media but many formulas are the same. Knowing both can be more beneficial than not. Years before I was born, opportunity was nearly impossible but now things have become increasingly easy to expose yourself.

Bibliography:

https://www.musicclout.com/contents/article-295-7-tips-to-increase-your-exposure-and- potential.aspx

https://wistia.com/blog/composing-music-for-video

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-02/movies-filmed-on-the-gold-coast/8319214

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/why-hollywood-heavyweights-cant-get- enough-of-the-gold-coast-glitter-strip/news-story/d04203969c9e792201519a4133e14a8c

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3327624/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4536768/?ref_=nm_flmg_prd_1 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0253474/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144084/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0339840/

Review of Independent Media:

 

Room 8 (Short Film):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJj_NMhYwf0

Description: 
“James W Griffiths, Room 8”, has a man being transferred to prison without being explained. Prison guards escort him to the cell, when inside he sees a man reading at a desk. A red box sits on the older mans bed, the main character wants to investigate this mysterious box. He soon finds out the the top of the boxes lid, also open the ceiling at the same time. The main character is startled and can’t believe what he has just seen. The main character runs to the corner of the room and asks the older man to open the box, he then jumps out of his prison cell, now the main character is the size of an ant. The older man traps the main character with a match box, then revealed there are dozens of other match boxes with multiple prisoners.
Analysis:
My analysis I took away was, are some questions best to be unanswered, therefor everyone in society is trapped one way or another. First time viewing “Room 8” I was thinking why would this older man do this, but after another viewing I thought deeper. The older man is also stuck in the prison cell with the main character, therefor he’s being controlled by a higher power like government, religion or supernatural. The dialogue was designed perfectly saying “would you have believed me if I told you ?” – (Room 8, James W Griffiths, 2014), questioning if all things should be answered, are something meant to be hidden for a reason ?
Interpretation:
My interpretation was a social commentary on society, the modern world has many restraints stopping us from making mistakes, but also the restraints are everyday freedoms. The main character thought he has escaped the prison cell, by jumping outside. Instead the main character becomes the size of an ant in the same prison cell. Like refugees they escape their country to find a better way of life, when refugees get captured they are detained in prison like cells. At the end the older man say “send in the next prisoner”, implying he wants this to happen, therefor does this resemble tests like the nazi’s used in WWII. The director wants the audience to think about every situation possible, making the film bigger through the viewers imagination.
Evaluation: 
“Room 8” the short film was expertly crafted in every way. The story was simple but intriguing, allowing the viewer time to understand the narrative. The director wants the viewer to be confused so questions are unanswered, therefor the short film becomes more than just the 6 minutes previewed. “James W Griffiths” commentary on society is very present, addressing being trapped and controlled by higher powers. The only thing I can say that needs work is the run time, I would have liked to see another 3-4 minutes prier to the begging with more social commentary. Direction for the story, dialogue and cinematography was perfectly timed and spaced. Understanding subtext and the story line, flowed well through shot to shot. I give “Room 8” a 9/10, this film has so many questions behind it that reviewing is a must. “Thought provoking and expertly crafted short film”. – Chris.N
Accessed Via – https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjagJLh8NzSAhWChVQKHaBoAFcQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DWJj_NMhYwf0&psig=AFQjCNHZeXCQe_9sUAfw_QzegxPvvrOK4w&ust=1489817483497671

Curation Activity:

I use Youtube,  SoundCloud, Vimeo, Facebook and Instagram for my independent media. I have run my YouTube channel for 8 years and still uploading my films today, this has shaped my film career. I have spent years editing and filming short actions scenes, gaming videos, live events and even music videos, this also extends to my vimeo account. Im not only passionate about films, but also music. I download anywhere from 50-400 songs a week. My music taste is very wide in selection including, Rap, House, Trap, Grime, DnB, Dubstep, Rock, RnB, Metal, Riddim, Progressive, Psy, Trance, Electronic. My SoundCloud account currently has over 1300 repost and 80 followers just from sharing other peoples music. I create playlist’s for friends and followers, you can check my page and go straight to my playlist and find my top favourites. Facebook and Instagram I use for photography and business. I upload most events to my FaceBook page, this is great for spreading your brand. These platforms are great to expand your content.

My love for vision and audio has worked well together, 60% of a film comes from audio.“Can you imagine Jaws without that score? Apocalypse Now without its bombastic, visceral sound effects? Psycho without those grating strings as Janet Leigh is mercilessly knifed in the shower? Sound is undoubtedly a vital element of film production, but does anyone actually acknowledge this?” – (The Importance of Sound, This article first appeared in Issue 127 of Film Ireland Magazine, © Filmbase 2015 |  Website by Cloud Nine Consulting)If you watch a well shot film with terrible sound, you most likely won’t enjoy it. If you watch a film with great audio and terrible cinematography,  you will most likely more pleasurable. Music builds scenes with emotion, sound effects immerse you into the world and dialogue carries a story. My networking has expanded to avenues I never knew I would learn or be passionate about, helping me open new door for my career.