In this fast-paced, digital world, it's refreshing to see artists who still take pleasure in the meditative process of shooting on film. Experimental media maker and VJ Tina Blakeney is one of them. Bringing her "handmade creative aesthetic" to the table, she translated Alpine Decline's dreamy tune "Blameless" into a charming visual story using the LomoKino.
Hello Tina! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
Hi! Thanks so much for your interest in the music video! I’m an experimental media maker, I also VJ (aka tina sprinkles) and do live audio visual performances with my partner Raphael Valensi (aka Laura Ingalls).
For my personal practice I work with 8mm and 16mm film plus 35mm slides for film pieces and live performances.
I collect and reuse old 8mm and 16mm films plus paint directly on 16mm film. I’m Australian but have lived abroad for many years. I've lived in Shanghai, China for 10 years where I started a video production company called Redscale Studios with my business partner Margot Hamer, working in the creative industries to produce videos and visual content for creative and corporate clients. I’ve recently moved to Montreal, Canada where I continue to work as a creative producer and carry on with my own art practice.
How did your interest with visual arts started?
I’ve always been fascinated by photography and the moving image, my grandfather was an excellent photographer, I was obsessed with his pictures as a child. I studied film production at university and during that time was involved with curating and organizing creative festivals. When I moved to China in 2006, I started independently producing videos and VJ-ing as a side job which continued to grow to a point where Margot and I opened our own independent production company, Redscale Studios. In addition to producing, we've also curated many film screenings and performances across China.
You recently shot a music video for Alpine Duo using the LomoKino. How did this project come to be?
Alpine Decline is a fantastic indie band comprised of Pauline and Jonathan Zeitlin, released on Maybe Mars records. They are from LA, but were living in Beijing, China. We had worked together a lot in China, I had been a VJ for many of their live shows, and had produced visual content for their touring show plus made a music video for their Life’s a Gasp album. We had all left China by the time Return to Desolation Lake was produced but as we had such a great creative connection Jonathan and Pauline got in touch to see if I could do a video for the new album.
Why did you decide to use the LomoKino for this particular project?
I had dabbled with the LomoKino independently, shooting rolls of film around China and had always wanted to do a project using the camera but hadn’t found the right direction. When I heard the song "Blameless", it was so dreamy and hazy that I instantly thought of using the LomoKino to try to visually capture the feeling of the song. Alpine Decline loved the direction so it was a perfect match.
Any memorable experiences while shooting the music video for “Blameless”?
This was a slightly unconventional shoot—as we were spread across the world it was difficult for us to meet up in the same location—I decided to use that to our advantage and create a collage of content that represented our time in China and our new lives in different countries. I had a lot of content that I shot in China, but we wanted to also feature the band, so Pauline and Jonathan got a LomoKino and filmed themselves in a few planned scenarios we had discussed and sent me the processed film. I also shot more content in Montreal and once we had everything done it was time to start editing.
In today’s digital world, what’s the pull of using analogue gear?
I love the look and feel of analogue media. For me, it is a refreshing break from digital content, I love the grain and colors that can be achieved using film. I also enjoy the whole process of working with something physical. I think it is extremely important to keep this practice alive and I’m thrilled to see more and more people getting involved with traditional film and photography practices. I do love to use digital media too but the experience of using real film is unique and important to preserve.
Any plans of making another video with the LomoKino soon?
Even though the process is time consuming, I have fallen in love with the LomoKino! The look of the films from the LomoKino are so distinctive so it really takes a special project to be the right fit. Actually rather than make a whole film I’m going to incorporate content I have shot into my VJ sets and live performances as it works very well with my handmade creative aesthetic.