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KromA Posts Blink 182 Times Three

Studio Creates Unique Split Screen FX for New Video by Director Joseph Kahn

KromA used some exceedingly clever visual effects to sew up the threads of a tangled love affair in Always a new music video from Blink 182. Directed by Joseph Kahn, the video splits the frame into three strips to simultaneously show a young woman meeting her three boyfriends in her apartment at different times of the day. Always is the fourth release from Blink 182s self-titled album on Geffen.

The split screen technique used in the video is similar to a childs toy where segments of a block can be manipulated to match different heads with different bodies and feet?only in this instance the trick is done with moving imagery while telling a story. That story has a tempestuous woman encountering three young men (played by Blink 182 guitarist/vocalist Tom Delonge, bassist Mark Hoppus, and drummer Scott Raynor) in the morning, evening and at night?with the split screen used to show the three dates at the same time and in a wonderfully jumbled manner.

At times, elements within the different segments line up, at other times they are slightly askew or are shown from differing aspects. In other instances, strange incongruities are formed. In particular, parts of the various band members are used interchangeably and switched with great regularity so that the woman is confronting first one musician, then another a split second apart. As the video proceeds, the overlapping action becomes more complex, happens faster and occurs in ways that are alternately intriguing, jarring and hilarious.

The flow of action and the visual tricks were planned in pre-production in near maniacal detail by Kahn. Indeed, in order to make it all work out the director had band members hide on the set so that they could quickly switch position with one of their mates as the camera rolled.

In final post, Yukich performed the work of lining up the three image strips and adjusting their perspectives in the way intended by Kahn.  The film elements were transferred to HD video so that Yukich could reposition and expand the scale of the elements while maintaining optimal image quality. ?Because it was HD, we could zoom in as much as 200 percent, and once we zoomed in, we were able to slide the frames a lot, Yukich noted. ?We were also able to slowly scale images up or down to keep things in line?but because we were working with three HD images, the work was very time consuming.

Additionally, Yukich used all manner of visual effects tricks to create relationships between the different strips that did not exist in the original film elements. In one scene, the girl pushes the guy to the floor of the kitchen. ?We took the guys head from the lower third element and composited it into the middle element which had been shot with a different member of the band, Yukich explained. ?As a result, there is continuity when the head drops through the bottom two strips, even though the backgrounds are somewhat out of joint.

Those sorts of digital sleights of hand occur repeatedly. ?We were constantly chopping off body parts so that we could composite them or morph them into another part of the frame, Yukich recalled. He added that one of the more challenging effects was the last, where a split screen view of a vase resolves into a single image. ?It was really tough to go from a three shot to single whole image because we didnt want it to look like a morph, Yukich said. ?If you look close, youll see that we move things around and make other subtle adjustments to get each piece of the puzzle to fit.

Despite the complexity, the video plays with surprising clarity. That is in part due to the subtle clues Kahn provides to help viewers keep everything straight. To indicate that the three encounters occur at different times, Delonge is always shown at nighttime, Hoppus is shown at dusk and Raynor is shown in the daylight.

However, making that work added another layer of complexity to Yukichs task as he had to composite appropriate elements into every window and add the analogous lighting effects. ?With the three different layers and the camera motion, there was always a comp happening, Yukich said. ?We built out the set in 3D so that we could create the right reflections and control the time of day.

Amy Yukich was executive producer for KromA.

KromA is located at 9421 & 1/2 Pico Blvd.., Los Angeles, CA 90035. For more information, call (310) 282-0370 or visit




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