Archive for May, 2005


Cover: Melbourne (2005-04-03)

Photo Credits: Cecilia Alegro (Flinders Street Statio) David Abbott (REM)


Cover: Live at Yonge Street (2001-05-17)

REM performed a free show on the streets of Toronto, Canada to promote the album ‘Reveal’ which was released in North America 2 days prior to this show. The concert on the corners of Yonge and Dundas Street was film and broadcast in Canada by the adult music channel ‘Much More Music’.

As with a number of DVDs, I design the menu interface for the DVD as well as the cover art. With Yonge St. I started with concepts for the interface and then that idea was carried over to the cover art.

One of the main features of the show was the torrential rain that hit just after the show started. Michael even broke into an impromptu rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain?’ It was this downpour that lead to to concept of blue vertical lines as the background.

No flash installed

The background element was created in Macromedia Flash using semi-transparent blue rectangles horizontally scaling while moving across the screen. As the boxes overlap the various levels of transparency combine to make difference shades of blue. Once the movieclip was the right length and seemlessly loopable it was output to an avi video.The avi was then placed in Adobe After Effects. It was in this program that the title text was created. Using the ‘corner pin’ effect to do a slight 3D rocking motion, a layer effect was then applied to get the text layer and the background layer to interact with each other.

This effect meant that when parts of the backgound became the same shade of blue as the text it would essentially block parts of the text. This gave the design a multi-layered appearance as if the text was moving through the blue banding.

Originally this was where I was intending to leave it but I thought that it was still missing something. In the end I decided to edit up 3 short clips from the show, making sure to include all three members (I always try to get all of them in). I overlayed this footage over the entire menu. Basically, the final loop consisted of 3 segments joined together.

The music used in the menu was an instumental version of ‘All the Way to Reno’, the second single from ‘Reveal’. Whenever I use audio I try to make the loop seamless but this is near impossible on DVD plays because there’s always a pause while it looks.

The other issue with DVD menus is that when you output the file to VOB (the dvd format) the menus always seem to change colour. The menu was meant to be a brighter more vibrant blue (see cover image below) but once it was output it because a murky grey blue which I was a little disappointed with.

I liked the background so much from the video it was an obvious choice for the cover as well. I scrubbed through the background video and took some grabs of some random compsitions.

As with most of these broadcast shows the only resource I had to work with was the DVD footage itself. So once again I had to deal with enlarging images and covering up the loss in quality this presents. I’d taken a number of screen grabs from the footage and after deciding on the profile shot of Michael for the cover I then masked out the background and used a layer effect to blend it into the background. I scaled the image so Michael would take up most of the front cover and the and microphone would wrap around to the back cover. This ties the two together and helps give an overall unified design. The mic also acted as a natural break on the back, nicely sectioning off areas for a blurb and disc information.

One element I really liked was the REM text repeated across the screen. I think this turned out wonderfully and the colours look great. I’m not one to use much yellow in design but I think it suited this design beautifully.


Cover: Vienna (Up Promo Show) (1998-11-06)


Cover: Adelaide (2005-04-06)

Photo Credits: Unknown (Adelaide) Sibko (REM)


Cover: Sydney (First Night) (2005-03-31)

Photo Credits: Camilla Rogers (Nighttime Sydney Harbour) Sibko (REM)