Video: Sleep (The Alabama Hills)

Video: Hamish Reid, 2016.

This video is what happens when you stroll around the Alabama Hills (near Lone Pine, California) with an iPhone shortly after having watched Picnic At Hanging Rock… somehow a nice friendly part of the world that I know so well is actually made to look a little sinister. Oh well.


This started out as a test of my then-new little Ikan stabiliser for my iPhone; it was the first time I’d used the combination of iPhone and stabiliser, and the footage wasn’t really intended to be used for anything much, but here it is. The Ikan works a charm, if a little flakily at times, and the iPhone’s video is usually pretty reasonable, or at least acceptable (it’s a lot easier than using either my D800 or FS700 for video).

What transformed this into a real video was using dark ambient noise band Relay For Death’s “Sleep” as the audio bed (with their permission, of course — one half of RFD was with me on this trip) — it put shape and shade to the previously-shapeless mass, and it all coalesced (congealed?) into what you see (or don’t see) here. That’s often the case with my videos — it’s the soundtrack that’s primary, that determines so much else about the pacing, the cutting, and the atmosphere. It wasn’t meant to be quite so claustrophobic and sinister, but I couldn’t help myself really, and, hell, it was just a test. A test that’s lived on well past its use-by date, but never mind — I still enjoy watching it, and people seem somewhat amused by the ending if they’re paying attention.


This video is part of my Walkabout series on Youtube (and Vimeo, somewhere), a sort of pedestrian version (in every way, probably) of my Drive-By series in the same places.

The Alabama Hills (Image for article thumbnail)