Not that long ago, people were talking about Jonathan Caouette who edited his first documentary feature ‘Tarnation‘ on iMovie and spent only 218 US dollars. I’m definitely starting to feel that filmmaking is something not only for those with expensive equipment and film crews. The film festivals like Onedotzero or Resfest always introduce the public to a wide variety of music videos and short films from around the world – so much so that it’s likely you have heard of people like Michel Gondry even if you are not a designer. Here is a magazine that also offers us great selection of moving images – it’s my favourite DVD magazine ‘Specialten’ and hails from the UK.
Written by Chiemi
About 3 years ago, Marcus Black from Nottingham and Fabio Sebastianelli from Milan got the idea of starting ‘Specialten‘ as a compilation album featuring “10 special tracks”. However, Specialten changed its format from CD to CD-rom at volume 4 and again from CD-ROM to DVD at volume 7 as technology progressed.
From issue 7, the format became a set of 24 pages booklet and a limited print in an A4 spread folder. Design is done by a different artist/designer each time, with issue 7 created by Rupert Smyth who designed the cover of Primal Scream‘s latest album ‘Riot City Blues’. The interface was by a design studio Trunk, and the limited print was done by Welsh artist/monsterist Pete Fowler.
The DVD always includes 10 music videos and features some interviews, short films or documentaries. As you probably realized, ’10 special tracks’ in Specialten has been changed to ’10 special music videos’.
Marcus Black explains: the reason why 10 tracks have been changed to 10 music videos is because we believe that the moving image is now indispensable in our daily life. Almost every kid these days has some kind of DVD player, don’t they? Sound and moving image are very close together now.
Specialten always introduces a great line-up of music videos. The selection includes Jamie Lidell from Warp label, Colder from Output recordings, LCD Sound System, Tom Vek, Lemon Jelly, DJ Format etc.
Another feature of Specialten is rare interviews of people from the current cream of fresh talent. Punk duo The Kills, Samantha Morton from a film ‘Morvarn Callar’, a living witness of punk scene Don Letts, Four Tet, Cat Power and Trevor Jackson have appeared in the past.
Among these films and music videos, the one I really like is a documentary film called ‘Tapestry Goes West’ in Issue 9.
The club owner of Tapestry in London was inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Rainbow Bridge‘ film. He sold a very rare collection of his guitars and made his dream come true – running a music festival. The festival involves dressing like cowboys, dancing to country&western and shooting fake guns into the air… But wait a minute, this festival is held in Wales! Cowboys in Wales?? …confusing…
Anyway.. I wonder how Specialten manage to get all these great contents and publish it only for 5 pounds..
Fabio Sebastianelli explains: We have a lot of supporters and we do work hard to keep this price. We are proud of this price for the content and will keep going as long as possible.
The latest issue of Specialten will be available in Japan in a couple of weeks. But for those who can’t wait for it, here is a sneak trailer of Issue 15.
Also Specialten is going to have a secret event featuring a film director, Terry Gilliam in London on 21st July.
*Specialten is available in UK, France, Italy, Japan, US and etc… Check out any good book shops in your city.