Hey there, creepy Mr. Clownface.

After being a day or two late with the video progress reports for the past month or two, here’s one that’s right on time. It isn’t as action-packed as some of the others have been, but in a way that’s probably appropriate, since I’m at a bit of a transitional stage right now, working out where to go next. Have I really been making these things for a year now? Yes. Yes I have.

I thought I’d try filming the spoken segments in part of the studio this time. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. There’s more ambient room sound in there than I’d like, at some points you can hear the whirring of the central air, and I prefer the clearer, crisper sound I get in the sitting room upstairs. It was worth trying again, anyway (the last time I filmed any of my rambling in there was way back in July of last year for the second-ever progress report).

It looks like the opening “music video” segment has become a mainstay of these progress reports. This time the intro song is “Midland Michigan” off of IF I HAD A QUARTER. For some reason it’s always been one of my favourite songs on the album, low-key and venom-free as it is compared to the cathartic and unhinged energy that surrounds it. The production quality has improved since then (just compare that song to the brief clip of “Sexual Vertigo” later in the video), and if I were to record it today it would probably be a much denser, more layered affair, but I like it just the way it is. It has a dreamy quality to it. And in an odd way, I think it compliments the part of Carnival of Souls I threw it up against.

I forgot to list that 1962 film in the end credits, but I don’t think i have the motivation to go back and fix it right now. And I didn’t use much of it anyway. There were no quotable bits for me to break up the talking with, because it’s such a low budget affair the sound is horrible — to the point that you often can’t even understand what the characters are saying. And yet there’s something compelling about the film. Even with all of its limitations (or maybe in part because of them), it weaves a spell and manages some effectively creepy moments without much in the way of special effects or typical shock tactics. It doesn’t hurt that Candace Hilligoss has one of those faces the camera likes to regard.

The main action in the realm of chopped-up public domain films this month is Jail Bait, a surprisingly not-as-horrible-as-you-would-expect Ed Wood film. It’s no masterpiece, to be sure, but it’s a pretty decent little noirish B-movie. I almost can’t believe it. There’s even a neat little plot twist at the end, and some witty dialogue. And I couldn’t resist tossing in a few more bits from that scary anti-pornography propaganda film I’ve used pieces of in two previous progress report videos. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Some months back I suggested to myself the idea of sitting down and watching every video progress report at the one-year mark, just to get a feel for how much I accomplished in that time and how things have evolved in terms of the way the videos are put together. I think I might do that. It’ll be me-tastic. I’ll watch with wonderment as my facial hair grows more and more unruly until it’s finally tamed for all the wrong reasons. I’ll swoon to Elliott’s tender moments. And Fuzzy Duck will drive my soul.

Wait…did I just sort-of quote a Lights song? That ain’t right. I apologize.

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