The Pop Art Look: Andy Warhol & Fashion.

I’ve never been the outrageous style guru but ever since I was a young chap I’ve always gravitated towards fashion. My mother would spoil me silly in my younger years even though we didn’t have much money. Now her tastefulness for style has rubbed off on to me. Through the years, I went from pay-cheque to pay-cheque splurging on popular clothing labels, which, was probably the typical spending behaviour of my demographic but I took it to a whole new level. It wasn’t until I met one of my closest of friends, Stephen, that I’d met somebody who was fashionably unmatched. This guy breathes fashion, eats it for breakfast and shits it back out, designer style. Stephen is a classic example of an early adopter. When a new trend arrives, Stephen would not only be the first person to grace it, he would also buy the same garment in 2 or more different colours.

This got me thinking. Andy Warhol, to his own admittance was not the most skilled painter but what made him so successful was that he produced art that was recent and therefor, his art was relevant. His stance on fashion was: ”Fashion wasn’t what you wore someplace, it was the whole reason for going”. His trademark style of repetition was justified with the one question, “Isn’t life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?”. How clever I think. Anyways, I whipped something together as an attempt to combine both Warhol’s ideas on fashion and life. Sort of a screen editor’s version of paraphrasing what pop art could be:

The key elements to creating this look are:

RANDOMNESS: Use random colours, styles and effects throughout the video. I chose popular cuts of footage of Warhol for the intro and/or outro. I then messed around with them and made it choppy whilst styling each cut completely different to to one another. I used the integrated pixellate, prism, projector, aged film, tile, colourize and combat effects in FCPX. Additionally I used shape masks to create a vignette around most of the footage. I chose to use FCPX for video styling over Adobe AFX because the integrated effects in FCPX are popular looks, which is perfect for this.

REPETITION: Repeat split second movements consecutively. If the sequence doesn’t look right, try adjusting the exposure on each split second movement or even adjusting the colour to give the repeat movement some difference.

SOUND: I used a handful of popular sounds that are conveniently integrated into FCPX: Walkie talkie static, radio play static, record player static and movie projector.  I added movie projector sounds to add impact to the random visuals throughout the video.  There is also of course one of my most addictive favourite sounds: the bleep. You can get it free from here. I auto-tuned Andy Warhol’s voice from the TDK commercial and added car radio (cheap speaker) & muffled (basic) effects to the voice over.

CONTENT:  As in all work, you should have a story. Keep it simple and don’t spell it out for the viewer. The viewer should have their own interpretation of what the piece is about but you should be able to sway them toward your intended meaning. Choose popular visuals that people will recognise. I also used the iPad commercial, Lady gaga, Domo Kun and the bunny, Pikachu and the broadcast-safe Pantone screen.

Enjoy this retro Japanese TDK commercial featuring Andy Warhol, it’s pretty weird:

Also, this is a Andy Warhol inspired rendition about Pop by Lady Gaga. A perfect example of somebody who is deeply connected and curiously inspired by pop culture:

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