"British Mode"
Director: Keith Schofield
The bassline is what grabbed me. It sounded like rotation, and I began to imagine Goose rotating 360 degrees. The song opens with a great sparseness which makes the layering of instruments all the more exctiting and so I likewise imagined a black void; where only the band is seen against an empty background. But there needs to be something besides the band; a premise to build upon - and I recalled an optical illusion I had seen as a kid:

The Ames Trapezoidal Window is a window which, when observed frontally, appears to be a rectangular window. However it is, in fact, a trapezoid. The window is mounted on a rod connected to a motor that rotates it about its vertical axis. When it is observed, the window appears to rotate through 180 degrees and then seems to stop momentarily and reverse its direction of rotation. It is therefore not perceived veridically to be rotating continously in one direction but instead is misperceived to be oscillating, reversing its direction once every 180 degrees.

It is essentially a 2D forced perspective trapezoid, painted to look like a 3D object. When viewed from a distance with a long lens (to flatten distance), it appears to oscillate instead of rotate.

Using a 3D program, I constructed an Ames window. A typical optical illusion is to place an object through the window - here a red curved pipe. When viewed head on against a black background, the window appears to oscillate, while red pipe appears to bends across space. When we tilt up to an overhead view, we see that the window is just a trapezoid and the pipe is moving with it:

My idea is to build a giant Ames window. It will be the backdrop to a blistering performance. Goose will perform in front of, with and through the Ames window as these in-camera / no-computer-effects delight and amuse all.

Here is the same illusion - but on a much larger scale with a person inside the window.


The Ames window will need to be about 10-12 feet high; but keep in mind it's 2-dimensional - so construction will be limited to foam-core or wood paneling.

Because we are filming this (Ames windows are usually seen in person on display) we have a lot of leverage to get the best effect. The camera will need to be very far away, zoomed in so the perspective is completely flat. We will need to film this against an all black background; but when coloring the film we can easily get the blacks to be black.

Additional uses of the Ames window:

Band Members on opposite side of the window.

Throwing an object between the window.

But of course, this video is not just interacting with the Ames window, although that will be the centerpiece and drive the rest of the action. Because we are shooting a black void; every element is easy to separate. So, we can superimpose a closeup vocal performance with a wide shot of the drums on the Ames window. We can have multiple Ames windows in one shot; with a different band member on each.

The general way to do this is 'freestlye editing' - we shoot a lot of coverage, and then play around in post to capture the energy of the song.

For example, the distorted "buzzes" that come in at 0:06 and 0:14 - I can imagine a closeup of the bass player instantly turning into brief video distortion - not unlike the Star Wars holograms ("Help me Obi-Wan...")

Other ideas: We can create some real rectangular windows, which look like the Ames window when seen at a distance. These can be held by the band, thrown around, or even oscillated to further illustrate the illusion.

An example of some editing possibilities:
0:00-0:14 sparse bass & drums we see just the band in the black void.
0:14-0:29 vocals and drone added we see the Ames window, but it is in the background, so small the scale is unknown.
0:29-0:44 snare kicks in the band is now on the Ames window, interacting with it.


Black is the key here. I was remined of some old videos for The Jam. This type of film look is instantly recognizable as being old - film stocks and don't look like this anymore and film-to-tape transfers are a lot more 'perfect.' Keeping with the theme of non-computer-generated effects, giving the film a look straight out of 1979 will be awesome.
-Keith Schofield.
"British Mode"
Director: Keith Schofield