January 29, 2017 (Sunday) —
A Special Bulletin from The Guildwater Group — We extend considerable thanks to Phil Maq of 89.3 WHFR FM out of Dearborn-Detroit, Michigan. In these cold winter nights, the magnificent DJ Phil (a.k.a. "The Philby") has kept the embers burning beneath the eponymous debut album of Five Fingertips. On DJ Phil's "Prime Time Theme Attic Show" and its "Hot 100 Songs of 2016," Five Fingertips found himself situated alongside: Angela Perley and The Howlin' Moons, Reverend Freakchild, and Rodney Crowell. Among these artists, and numerous others still -- ninety-five more, our abacus tells us -- Emmylou Harris was no doubt delighted, knowing that the unkempt but frequently well-intentioned Five Fingertips found a seat at her larger banquet table. You can access the live stream of 89.3 WHFRhere. Considerable thanks to Phil Maq and WHFR from we the Scriveners of the Guildwater Group. The Philby has been generous enough to feature Five Fingertips on other occasions, as we never tire of noting, whenever the opportunity presents itself.
"Time Is Tasteless"
November 02, 2016 (Tuesday) —
A Special Bulletin from The Guildwater Group — "We are somewhat happy to release the sixth and seventh videos from Five Fingertips. Both videos are essentially the same, the only discernible difference being that one is for the album vocal version of the song 'Time Is Tasteless,' the other is for a previously unreleased instrumental version of the same tune. [Editor's Note: "The instrumental version has since been removed from YouTube."] We used the instrumental version during sequencing, and decided, as with previous videos, simply to release it as well. We like instrumentals. What can we say? For example, this year for Halloween, Five Fingertips dressed up as The Meters, and sat around the house eating candy, refusing to answer the door to anyone, even someone claiming to be Tom Waits masquerading as Dr. John pretending to be Captain Beefheart impersonating Howlin' Wolf, singing something about 'gris-gris gumbo ya ya.'
"Each video presents its unique challenges to we the people of the Guildwater Group. This video was no different, and we fell way behind schedule, owing to the amount of green screen work involved, demanding our exploration deep into the nebulous world of chroma-subsampling. We don't run a tech blog here. But, should you ever wish to work effectively with a green screen, here are some 'key tips,' provided courtesy of our Films Division. First, 3-point light your subject with tungsten, and your screen with high CRI-rated (95+) fluorescents. Second, get considerable separation between your subject and the screen itself, to avoid 'spill.' Spill is to light as reverb is to sound. (We reached this epiphany late one evening, all on our own, without the aid of a book.) Third, use the Keylight software found in Adobe After Effects. The plug-ins found within Premiere Pro will quickly get you nowhere. Fourth, go for a camera offering a 4:2:2 as opposed to a 4:2:0 subsample ratio. Your video will likely be released on schedule. We got the first three right, and are still working on the fourth. Having said all that, please understand that we are not complaining. We enjoyed each and every tribulation encountered in the making of the 'Time Is Tasteless' video. There is something nearly metaphysical about rotoscoping footage of a large fish and pelican ceaselessly for the better part of a month. Give it a try. You'll see what we mean. The fish never turned out properly. So we ditched the rotoscoping there. (Purge your memory cache in After Effects every 30 minutes when rotoscoping, and you'll save yourself a lifetime, or at least two weeks.) In conclusion, we Scribes of the Guilwater Group look forward to the next videos from Five Fingertips. They are (and have been) deep in the works for a considerable time. We hope not to go so long in the interval between our ongoing series of 'anti-virus' videos. If you know what 'going viral' means, 'going anti-virus' would be the antonym of all that jazz. Considering that flu season is nearly upon us, we regard our filmic endeavors as a public health service provided to America on behalf of the Guildwater Group."
June 04, 2016 (Saturday) —
A Special Bulletin from The Guildwater Group — "We are pleased to announce the release of the fourth and fifth videos from Five Fingertips. They are for the song "The Nave," yet another track from the self-titled debut album. One video is for the album version of the song. The other presents an early demo instrumental version of the same cut. [Editor's Note: "The instrumental version has since been removed from YouTube."] Those prone to motion-sickness need not press play. (Steadicam? What is this?) We fired the key grip, the gaffer, and -- for good measure -- the best boy, the dolly, and the crane -- all five of them -- because the footage arrived so shaky at our office canister depot. Post-production was a long series of Warp Stabilization, and even that couldn't cure everything. As before, we worked mostly with an instrumental track during sequencing. Problem was we didn't have a nice smooth John Keane mixed instrumental as for "The Poster Children." (We aren't sure why exactly. Five Fingertips used these Keane-mixed instrumentals for vocal comps.) Thus, we were forced to rummage through the vaults, where we chanced upon an early rough-cut demo of "The Nave," known simply originally as Project 05. We tried our best to smooth out the rough edges. (Drum tuning? What's that?) It was tough sledding, especially in such a short time-frame. Five Fingertips enjoyed yanking on the neck of his Gibson Marauder, for wont of a whammy bar, on this one. We will label this then as a Guildwater Garage Production. Not because we have one (a garage), but because of our indie street credentials. Neither of these last videos were the ones originally planned for release. The videos for "The Nave" and "The Poster Children" just happened. This means we have more in the pipeline, even if our huskies are weary, delirious with fatigue, in need of a nice warm igloo and some iced cocoa."
May 20, 2016 (Friday) —
A Special Bulletin from The Guildwater Group — "We are pleased to announce the release of the second video from Five Fingertips. It is for the song "The Poster Children," another track from his self-titled debut album. The video was, in many ways, quite fun to make. The Films Division of the Guildwater Group especially enjoyed renaming, compiling, and sequencing 8,061 time-lapse JPG images, captured across late December 2015 and early January 2016. Ranking number two on our list of pleasurable activities was the joy of changing the batteries on the GoPro Hero4 Black every three hours, particularly at 4 in the morning. Both of those tasks were preferable to forcing Five Fingertips at watergun-point to stand in front of a camera, to sing, and to "strum" his guitars. Their greatest tribulation of all, however, was grafting his mug atop everything, marring the rhythms and wonders of mother nature's daily sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset. To help with the tedium (we meant, "sheer delectation") of editing the video, the Films Division, for the longest time, used an unmastered instrumental track of "The Poster Children," during sequencing. We decided then to release this instrumental version (link below) of this same video, stripping out all this Five Fingertips footage. Just raw, pure nature. [Editor's Note: "The instrumental version has since been removed from YouTube."] We continue work on another clip for another unnamed song. Onward, huskies."
December 2015 || A Special Bulletin from The Guildwater Group || December witnessed the release of the first Five Fingertips music video, for the song "Nod." If you puzzle over the seemingly obscure filmic references in the new video, you are not alone. We of the Guildwater Group -- the authors of all copy on this website -- puzzled, too. If you seek enlightenment (or more modestly "clarification"), you can always watch the 1965 film Alphaville by Jean-Luc Godard. From the AGFA camera to the fedora, from the trench coat to the lab coat, from the Zippo lighter to the talking light bulbs named Alpha 60, from the Neumann microphone confessional to the yoked fight scene finale -- it's all there, save for the water bowls. Five Fingertips made the part about the bowls up himself. In fact, that was the direction in which things were initially meandering, before Five Fingertips made an off-handed, off-the-cuff reference to that Godard flick at the end of a lengthy interview with the good people of NeuFutur Magazine. Intrigued, we gathered for a screening. We were delighted to discover all manner of inadvertent reference to this celluloid in the lyrics to "Nod." The overlap was either serendipitous, or perhaps the Freudian unconscious working on a very deep level, across many a year, it being a while since Five Fingertips last watched that film. One way or the other (or maybe both), we ran with it. Which brings us back to the water bowls, the only holdover from the initial "Nod" video treatment. We stacked up so much unused footage (most of it having nothing to do with waterbowls) in the making of "Nod," that we already have another video, perhaps two, deep in the works. This newer video is for a song to be announced in due time, scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2016. While you wait, you can always read another lengthy interview with Five Fingertips, this one with the good people of Campus Circle Magazine.
Quotation: "Before training, there is no thought or intention, no figure or image, no self or others, only Qi exists in the chaos of the body. This state is called Wu Ji...This means going along with the natural principle." - Sun Lu Tang, The Study of Form-Mind Boxing (1915).