a TigerRAWk Film

Monday, February 15, 2021

A Shared Life: Fall In Chicago 2020 - Apocalypse Edition (September - November)

This footage captures life after returning to Chicago after our Apocalyptic trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan until we departed for Pennsylvania for the holidays. This is A Shared Life: Fall In Chicago - Apocalypse Edition 2020. Most of the music was chosen with purpose and meaning due to conditions and situations going on during this time. I also ended up working on and releasing some music video projects. It was probably the most productive in this regard...with having no shows or live events to attend.

I decided to open the soundtrack with "It's Only The End Of The World" by Harley Poe. After returning home to Chicago from our trip on Thursday September 10th - Apocalypse Day 179, I got up to go to work and found myself blocked in by City of Chicago work trucks. Apparently a tree was being removed across the street from our house. I watched for a few minutes before deciding to maneuver my vehicle to drive out the driveway frontwards instead of backing out and then drove down the sidewalk to the next driveway to get on the street and go the wrong way to leave. This would happen again, a week or so later. On Saturday September 12th - Apocalypse Day 181, Elphie and I decided to venture around some nearby Atlas Obscura sites between our house and a Japanese Restaurant that she wanted to try. We visited the Bubbly Creek - where waste from slaughter houses and meat packing plants could sometimes cause the waters to bubble in the heat, the old Union Stock Yard Gate where there is also a memorial to Chicago Firefighters, The Plant - a meatpacking plant turned vertical farm and sustainable business complex, the Historic Garfield Station Entrance for the Garfield Green Line of the CTA, and the Obamas Kissing Rock. We also had hoped to visit Concrete Traffic - an old car in a block of cement but we would have had to find parking or pay the parking fee to enter the parking garage...we didn't feel like doing that. We will check that out another time. We also drove by a house Elphie lived in for a time. We got our Japanese food from Kikuya. It was good but wasn't quite as into it. I think Elphie enjoyed her meal. On Sunday September 13th - Apocalypse Day 182, we went to Highland, Indiana to get groceries and happened on what seemed to be a pretty massive traffic accident. There were so many police cars! I decided that "Crash" by Starflyer 59 was an appropriate tune. I used a mash up of the two versions created by a fan (sorry, I don't recall who you are).  On our way back into Chicago, we passed a hearse. Elphie said the driver seemed quite happy. On Monday September 14th - Apocalypse Day 183, I captured the haze from the western wild fires with the car camera. I chose to use "Everything Will Burn" by Insomniac Folklore as what I felt to be a fitting soundtrack here. On Tuesday September 22nd - Apocalypse Day 191, I captured some footage of a spider on the front porch. I also captured footage of Chicago Police helicopters circling the area. On Friday September 25th - Apocalypse Day 194, there was a noise protest in Uptown. I had to work late that evening so I took a quick walk to check it out. On Saturday September 26th - Apocalypse Day 195, Elphie and I visited another Atlas Obscura site - Par-King Skills Golf Course. It is two mini golf courses. It was awesome! We played both courses. I added music into the soundtrack during the mini golf clips of a variety of songs, not necessarily with as much purpose. Those songs include "Keep On" by The Uh Ohs, "Under It" by Slick Shoes, "Autumn Comes But Once, Dear" by Dance House Children, "Belts" by Serpent Servant Slave, "Kick Yer Askin' For It" by Neon Horse, and "See The Flames Begin To Crawl" by Five Iron Frenzy.

In September, it was announced that October Bird of Death was coming to an end. There was to be a "funeral" on October 3rd. For quite some time, I had an idea of a music video for the song "Goons" for a few years but I never got around to actually doing it. It seemed that if ever there was a time to do it, it was now. I had shot performances of "Goons" on a couple of occasions which I never uploaded so I found those clips and watched through them, pulling what I thought would look good then synced it up to the studio track. I added some other clips from around Chicago and of "working class people" that I peppered in as well. Most of the footage with just one or two clips (I think) was filmed in 2016...I just had it sitting in a folder on my computer. I also added a farewell message to the clip. I had always enjoyed going to their shows and hanging with the guys. I was pretty pleased with the finished product and informed the band members after I had it uploaded but not yet public. I got a generally good response and I made it public the night before the scheduled "funeral" which was really just a release of a new song and merch sale. For more in depth information on the video check it out here: "Goons" by October Bird of Death - Music Video and A Farewell. This got my brain firing on a couple more music video ideas as well...

On Wednesday October 7th - Apocalypse Day 206, I captured some shots of the homeless folks in Uptown who panhandle on an exit from Lake Shore Drive and others who waited for the Food Pantry at Cornerstone Community Outreach. I had an idea for a music video project for Leper (see below) and felt these clips could work. I was also able to capture the sunset as I went home down I-55 as well as another panhandler on the exit. I captured the sunset and same panhandler again on the 207th day of the Apocalypse - Thursday, October 8th. On Saturday October 10th - Apocalypse Day 209, we had a bonfire and a couple of friends came over. I spent the hours leading up to this filming clips I would use for a Leper video (see below) and our friends Anastasia and Josh Robieson ended up helping in this endeavor during the bonfire. I had added "See The Flames Begin To Crawl" by Five Iron Frenzy as a soundtrack in part due to the bonfire. On Monday October 12th - Apocalypse Day 211, I picked up some poutine from The Bad Apple to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. It was a good meal as usual. On Sunday October 18th - Apocalypse Day 217, Elphie and I taste tested Mountain Dew Voodoo. I had trouble deciphering the taste at first. It was definitely sweet. I finally concluded it tasted like lemon Skittles. on Monday October 19th - Apocalypse Day 218, Elphie and I ventured to suburban Naperville to pick up an early Christmas gift to ourselves...a Ms. Pacman arcade console! I haven't played it as much as I probably should for the price, I have enjoyed it. It has taken some getting used to due to the joystick being 8 directional when classic PacMan games are 4 directions. I will occasionally get "stuck" by pushing the diagonally instead of up/down or left/right. I have gotten some decent high scores though! There are so many games! We hope to have fun with friends when friends are permitted to socialize again in some future time. The rain and fog of the morning of Friday October 23rd - Apocalypse Day 222 gave the city an eerie feel and I felt like including it in this project. On Saturday October 24th - Apocalypse Day 223, I captured a drive over to University of Chicago through the Southside. I met Skot Shaw over there to film for a future music video. Later, I captured our visit to Albanese Confectionary in Hobart, Indiana. On Monday October 26th - Apocalypse Day 225, the first snow began to fall in Chicago. The snow accumulated a bit more on the morning of Tuesday October 27th - Apocalypse Day 226. On Thursday October 29th - Apocalypse Day 228, I put out a teaser for a music video I made for "Spezza Spezza Spezza" by Leper. On Friday October 30th - Apocalypse Day 229, I captured the moon on my way home from work using the car camera. I also captured the city lights and what remained of the sunset. I added "Dead End Moon" by Kevin Max as a soundtrack due to the moon shots here and it felt fitting with Halloween.

I filmed a lot of the footage that I would use for "Spezza Spezza Spezza (Chop Chop Chop)" by Leper on Saturday October 12th, 2020. The day was warm. I got out an ax, a hatchet, and a couple of Bowie knives and set my camera up on the tripod to capture what I hoped would work out well. I used an old wooden cabin model my grandpa had made. I used the hearse that is parked in the driveway, some gargoyles, and other stuff from the yard to create the vibe I hoped for. I also used the fire we had that night. I was able to get Josh and Anastasia Robieson to say "chop" and filmed their mouths along with my own and Elphie's. The next weekend, Skot Shaw came over after we shot some footage for a future project. I had him sing the lyrics in various places in the yard to add to the footage. I also had a couple of old clips from 2016 that I used for this as well (sort of a theme...old footage from 2016 for video ideas that I never got around to doing. I guess a pandemic is good for something). My hope was to get the video finished and uploaded for a release on Halloween as it had a bit of a creepy and unsettling vibe to it. I was able to meet that deadline and I was very happy with how it turned out. You can read more in depth about it here: "Spezza Spezza Spezza (Chop Chop Chop)" by Leper (Music Video)

On Saturday October 31st - Apocalypse Day 230 I released the video posted above at midnight as Halloween began! It was the Halloweeniversary for Elphie and me! We drove around the neighborhood checking out the decorations then made our way to Bree Thai to get our dinner. We checked out some other decorations in the neighborhood around Bree Thai. There was some good decorations there and we saw some folks halloweening and others having parties to celebrate the holiday. It turned out to be a nice and warm day considering the snowfall and frigid temperatures earlier in the week. That night, in between watching various movies we had lined up, I tried to capture the full moon but some cloud cover made it difficult. On Sunday November 1st - Apocalypse Day 231, I captured a shot of the full moon...or nearly full, to make up for the night before. I added "Beneath The Sun" by Leper, "W.I.T.C.H.E.S." by Cast The Dragon, "Tombstones For Eyes" by White Collar Sideshow, and "Monsters" by SPACESHIPS as soundtracks due to Halloween.

Election Day occurred on Tuesday November 3rd. It was the 233rd day of the Apocalypse. Some concern and anxiety was in the air due to the tensions in the United States of  America being amplified and even encouraged by the ruling political parties. I captured some shots of businesses boarding up in preparation of potential rioting. After a summer of unrest, it was a legitimate concern. We never did get an answer as to who was elected that night though and while there were demonstrations, nothing like the unrest that occurred in the summer came to fruition in Chicago. I captured some footage of the Chicago skyline on my way  home as it was lit in patriotic coloring. On Wednesday November 4th - Apocalypse Day 234 I captured some footage of the "aftermath" (or lack there of) from Election Day. I also captured some footage of homeless folks panhandling at the end of the exit from Lake Shore Drive and others waiting for the food pantry at Cornerstone Community Outreach. This footage was primarily captured for use for a music video project for Leper (see below). I added "Future History Of The Broken Hearted" by Stavesacre and "The Trap" by Flatfoot 56 as soundtracks in this part of the project becuase of the political nature of the tunes and election day. As I drove home on Tuesday November 10th - Apocalypse Day 240, a huge rainstorm hit Chicago. I used the car camera to document the drive home. I don't recall ever driving in anything quite like it! I also was able to capture a couple shots of lightning bolts that I slowed down for better effect. The day I also received another early Christmas gift...this one to myself. An Excalibur Crossbow! I added "Ain't Gonna Rain No More" by Destroy Nate Allen as a soundtrack because I thought it funny and ironic to use with clips of a torrential downpour. I also used "Dear Apocalypse" by Kat Jones and the Prophets to finish out the project. On Sunday November 15th - Apocalypse Day 245, the wind was blowing hard. As we went about our usual grocery shopping routine, I noticed the lamp posts in the Meijer parking lot were swaying and decided to capture some video of it.

Even though Skot Shaw and I had discussed a few other music video project ideas...some of which are in the works, we had discussed the idea of creating a music video for the Leper song Il Modo Che Tutto Si Svela (The Way It All Unfolds) a couple years prior. Some elements of the original idea would have required getting a signed release from program participants at Cornerstone Community Outreach. This never occurred so I never started to actually work on this music video. I brought this back up to Skot and he indicated having essentially moved on from the idea. But I didn't...and I sort of couldn't. I thought a bit on what I could do for this song with what I had already, which were two live performances of the song: one was Skot solo and the other was Skot with Jennifer Mercy. I decided to take both clips and try to sync them to the music as best as I could. The live performance was different than the recorded version of the song. I think I synced it up fairly well. I then pulled some footage from my car camera as I drove into work showing the people panhandling at the end of the ramp from Lake Shore Drive, some of the tent city under the viaduct (also using footage from back in 2016 that I shot for the "Goons" video), and people standing outside Cornerstone Community Outreach waiting for the food pantry to open. I also captured a couple clips of a guy at the Damen exit off of I-55 who was panhandling. The video is somewhat repetitive but I did want to somewhat show the homeless, some of who were getting services from Cornerstone Community Outreach as well as the song being performed. I added text at the end about how to give to Cornerstone Community Outreach to help serve "the least of these" who are in need. I added one clip of art that Skot had painted on a door at Cornerstone Community Outreach as well. I wanted to have this done and uploaded prior to Thanksgiving in hopes it might help, in some way, boost donations to the shelter. Donations that were and still are much needed. You can read more in depth on this video here: "Il Modo Che Tutto Si Svela (The Way It All Unfolds)" by Leper (Music Video).

Prior to travelling to Pennsylvania for the holidays, I wanted to have something checked out on the car. Steering was a bit stiffer than usual. I left work early on November 19th - Apocalypse Day 249 and took it in. I captured a shot of Skot Shaw's art on the outside door of Cornerstone Community Outreach for use in a music video project (linked above). I left the car at the shop and upon returning to the house, there was a small bonfire going with the upstairs neighbors who were preparing to move out. On Saturday November 21st - Apocalypse 251, I went to pick up the car. As I walked by Midway Airport, a Southwest jet was coming in for a landing just over my head. I captured the footage of it! That was fun!

Additional soundtrack includes "It's Only The End Of The World" by Harley Poe, "Crash (a mashup of both versions created by a fan)" by Starflyer 59, "Everything Will Burn" by Insomniac Folklore, "Keep On" by The Uh Ohs, "Under It" by Slick Shoes, "Autumn Comes But Once, Dear" by Dance House Children, "Belts" by Serpent Servant Slave, "Kick Yer Askin' For It" by Neon Horse, "See The Flames Begin To Crawl" by Five Iron Frenzy, "Dead End Moon" by Kevin Max, "Beneath The Sun" by Leper, "W.I.T.C.H.E.S." by Cast The Dragon, "Tombstones For Eyes" by White Collar Sideshow, "Monsters" by SPACESHIPS, "Future History Of The Broken Hearted" by Stavesacre, "The Trap" by Flatfoot 56, "Ain't Gonna Rain No More" by Destroy Nate Allen, and "Dear Apocalypse" by Kat Jones and the Prophets.

Footage filmed using a Canon Rebel T6, CrossTour CR900, and iPhones 6 and 8 by Elphie and Joel A. Swanson. Titles and animations were created using Motion 4 on a Macbook by Joel A. Swanson. All other editing was done using Final Cut Pro on a Mac Mini by Joel A. Swanson.

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