Q&A with Developer Elemental Spark

By now I’d like to think that all of you have checked out “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience,” either in glorious, cutting-edge Virtual Reality or in the also awesome 360 Video version… Or at the very least in the 2d Youtube preview. Hopefully you also know that we won Best Animated Virtual Reality Music Video at the 2016 Virtual Reality Fest that took place during CES here in Las Vegas. And I also hope that when I say we, you know that I mean my multi-talented developer Elemental Spark (Michael Sullivan).

Another Sky – The Bonus Tracks

Well here’s something I almost forgot to do! A two-part blog about the tracks on my free bonus album, Another Sky!

This first part will go over the bonus tracks that didn’t make it onto the full album An Unseen Sky, and the second blog will be about the remixes that were included. If you haven’t yet, check out this blog to learn how to get a FREE copy of Another Sky. After the second part of this blog series is posted I’ll be releasing Another Sky for EVERYONE on my Bandcamp page. But in the meantime, you can get it right now, for free, while helping me out! Oh and before I forget, how beautiful is that album cover by the wonderful Gina Mizzoni Photography? Alright, lets look at the the bonus tracks.

An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience Update

UPDATE 1/8/2016: WE WON!!!!! That’s right, “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” won Best Animated VR Music Video! I’ll be posting another blog about our experience at VR Fest soon, but I just want to thank my developer Elemental Spark and the VR Fest for awarding us, as well as everyone who voted in the preliminary round before it went on to the final judges! So awesome!

UPDATE 1/4/2016: Thank you so much to all who voted for us… Because of you, “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” made it into the finals! The awards will be announced on Thursday, January 7th, 2016 during the Virtual Reality Festival. We’ll also be there showcasing the video as well as “Gravity VR” and “The Invasion of 2012” all day at The Palms from Noon-Midnight. Hope to see some of you there!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since we launched “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience,” the amazing Virtual Reality music video for the title track from my album An Unseen Sky. Developer Elemental Spark created something magical and groundbreaking that helped us get the attention of many news organizations and even Google themselves, due to our cutting-edge use of this new VR technology within a music video – something that had literally not been done before. Within weeks of our release, various artists such as Bjork and Squarepusher started to release VR music videos, and now, as we enter 2016 (which will end up being the year of VR), it’s pretty much a requirement for all the biggest names in Hollywood and the music industry to start releasing VR projects… But we were there first, and it’s been a wild ride.

Closing up 2015

Well here we are at the end of another great year of music. As I finish up 2015 and a lot of loose ends on projects and things I’ve been working on, I also wanted to take a minute to quickly look over this year and let you all know what I’ve been up to.

Lets start with the NOW…

If you haven’t been on my Facebook lately you may have missed my TWO new music videos. Well, the first one is actually a new version of an old one. “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” was one of the biggest things I’ve been a part of this year, and my amazing developer Elemental Spark, rebuilt it from the ground up with better graphics, smoother animation, and a new 360 degree version that lets you experience the impressiveness, even without a Virtual Reality headset. The new updated version is also coming to Oculus Rift soon, and is already compatible with Google Cardboard, but now you can also view it on Youtube and on Facebook. Or embedded right here on this blog post! Just use your mouse while the video is playing to click and drag to change your perspective within the video.

The future rules.

Another Sky is Here!

It’s taken me a solid 3 months longer than expected (not that I was working on it the whole time or anything haha), but I’m finally proud to announce that Another Sky is finished and ready for you to listen to! You can get more details about the album over at the album page, but this post is set-up for one main reason… To let you know how to get it!

There are THREE ways to currently get your hands on Another Sky and no matter what, it’s a completely FREE release. 14 tracks, including 9 new songs and 5 remixes of songs from An Unseen Skyall for free. Here’s how to get it…


 

1. The first and quickest way to get it, is to buy the limited-edition CD copy of An Unseen Sky from Bandcamp. (Just click the link to Bandcamp right there!) It’s $10, and many of you already bought it. But if you haven’t, there’s no better time than now. And if you are one of those awesome people that already bought it, then I’ll be in touch on the official release date, Tuesday, October 27th (if you want, e-mail me, just in case I somehow forget about you… there’s quite a lot of you guys haha).

2. Reviews really help my music get noticed, so go ahead and leave a review of An Unseen Sky on the digital music store of your choice. Wherever you buy your music… iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, CDbaby… You can find a pretty full list of links to the stores on the An Unseen Sky album page (or click on the links to the most popular stores in the previous line). Post a nice review of An Unseen Sky (which I know you’ve already listened to and loved… right???), then share it on Facebook or Twitter, and then shoot me an e-mail to let me know that you did it.

3. Contests! I’m going to be running multiple contests over the next couple months for you to win downloads of Another Sky. As a matter of fact… Share this blog post on Facebook / Twitter and make sure to tag it with #anothersky and I’m going to pick 3 random winners that will get an immediate download! Couldn’t be easier!


 

Now just like my previous album of bonus tracks & remixes, Further Into The Dark, I’ll be eventually releasing this album onto Bandcamp where anyone can get it for free (and/or pay what you want). It is absolutely my intention for everyone who wants this album to get a copy and enjoy it. But for now, I want to keep it special for those people who have been supporting my career! Thank you to all of you who have been listening to my music!

Can’t wait to hear how you like Another Sky!

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

Where is Another Sky?

It’s a perfectly reasonable question. I’ve been teasing it for months now, and Another Sky is still not here!

Well I’ve got a perfectly reasonable reason… I got busy. Yea, it happens. But I’m in the middle of helping my parents move to a new house AND finishing my second feature film, “Sterling Silver,” directed by Brian K Palmer. So I’ve got my plate full…

However – Another Sky is sitting there at 90+% finished. I listen to it almost every day, and all I have left to do is touch up a couple things on two tracks and master it and then I can release the damn thing. It’s REALLY good. I promise. If you liked An Unseen Sky, you’re going to love it. If you haven’t already, you can hear a preview on my Soundcloud… Actually, why bother clicking on links and all that complicated stuff… Here is one of the tracks called “The Master” right here:

Actually, now that I think about it… How about I reveal the track list?

  1. The Garden
  2. The Black River
  3. A Place Where No One Goes
  4. The Golden Road
  5. Gravity
  6. The Master
  7. Gray
  8. Fading Memories
  9. The Other Side
  10. Dead Battery (Gary Goblins Remix) by The Gary Goblins
  11. Dreams Like These (Quoth’s Extended Nightmare Remix) by Quoth
  12. Every Little Bit (Hectic’s Basic Bitties Remix) by Lady Hectic
  13. Dead Battery (Sensory Integration Remix) by Ron Reirson
  14. Forgotten (I Almost Remember Remix) by David Rosen

So there you have it, 9 new songs and 5 awesome remixes and some beautiful cover art by Gina Mizzoni Photography. I promise it’s going to be worth the wait… And plus, it’s going to be FREE.

If you haven’t already, pick up An Unseen Sky on the limited edition CD format so that you’ll be first in line to get Another Sky for FREE when it’s released!

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

“Never” Music Video Interview

“Never,” the fourth music video from my album An Unseen Sky was released last week and has racked up the most plays in a single week of any of my videos so far! It’s also potentially the most controversial of my videos so far, as while the feedback has been enormously positive, we’ve gotten quite a lot of comments about the dark, heart-breaking subject matter. This is why I thought it would be a great idea and great opportunity to actually go ahead and interview the director of the video, Christopher Johnson of Free Your Mind Films. I asked him about his career, some of our other collaborations, and of course, the ideas that led to the video for “Never.” First make sure you watch the video, and then enjoy the interview!

1) First of all, I wanted you to tell my readers/listeners a little about yourself and your company.

C.J.: I am a 27 year old filmmaker from the lower east side of manhattan, who has dreamed of being a filmmaker and being on the prime stage since my mother took our family to see “The Matrix” when I was 11 years old. It was then that my childhood of film loving really blew up and sparked the desire to make movies and to instill in people the love and awe that I felt that day. I walked out of that film so inspired and so amazed by what I saw and I couldn’t wait to do that for other people. I had always written and drawn my own comics inspired by films I loved anyway, so deciding that I wanted to make movies was just very natural for me. The name Free Your Mind Films comes from “The Matrix”. It’s why I’m here, so I wanted my film team’s name to represent my childhood love and passion. We’re pretty small right now and mainly consist of myself and a few friends, but they are some of the best and most loyal friends a person can have and I am incredibly grateful for them.

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2) Where did the inspiration for the video for “Never” come from?

C.J.: Well “Never” came out of wanting to do a spiritual sequel to a film I made in college called “Mad World” with my good friend Angel Velasquez, who has done the sound for all of my films since FYM Films started. I usually do very dialogue driven and emotionally charged films so with this silent film/music video I wanted to do something that was still as emotionally charged as the rest of my work but while being as visually distinct as possible from the rest. I really wanted to play with color so that you can know without even hearing a word exactly what the emotion of each scene and each environment is. Plus I love making movies about people who would do things that I couldn’t even fathom. Like a man going to kill his brother in “Greed Will Imprison Us All” I just can’t fathom that. I love my brother, why in the world would someone do that? So I make it into a movie to at least try to figure out the answers to my questions. “Never” is no different in that regard. What would drive a man to do something so insane? So terrible? In the end I usually go to emotion. When people let emotion overwhelm and control them, terrible things happen. It’s something that’s pretty common in my movies.

3) The feedback I’ve received both publicly and in private has been overwhelmingly positive so far on “Never” in its first couple days of release. One thing I continue to see though, is that it’s “sad.” I had a feeling that would be the case due to the subject matter, but as a fan of art, film and music, I feel that some of the best art, film and music could be called “sad” or “heart-breaking.” How do you feel about art that is meant to stir emotions like “Never” does?

C.J.: Art meant to stir emotions is usually my favorite art. I love all types of movies but those are the ones that affect me the most. It doesn’t have to be a deeply emotional indie film either. I’ve been a huge Batman fan since I was 4, and I have no shame in admitting that The Dark Knight Trilogy affected me emotionally. I adore that character and seeing him done in a truly human form just amazed me. For film in particular I have a natural shell to things, so I think someone breaking me out of that shell and overwhelming me emotionally is fantastic and truly powerful. I also naturally like to discuss issues and problems I have with certain aspects of society. I really don’t like people who abuse women. I really don’t like abusers of children and very repressive people, so that dislike feeds into my desire to do films like “What If” and “Overcome.”

4) We previously worked together on the short films “The Usher” and “Unrequited.” Tell me a little bit about each of them.

C.J.: “The Usher” came up due to my anger over how people treat each other in my previous job in a movie theater. Whether it be how the moviegoers treat the workers or how the managers treat their own employees. Thinking about it made my blood boil most of the time, so I dealt with it by making a film that makes a statement on a very common event that happens to movie theater Ushers all the time. I just wanted to put a little crazy chris johnson twist on it and have the Usher say and do things that real life ushers usually only dream of. I consider “The Usher” to be my first Black Comedy and satire. It was being on set that made me realize just how funny the whole thing was, and Matthew Steven Serrano (who used to work in a movie theatre with me) and Jason Torres really brought it on that one.

C.J.: “Unrequited” came about from not only the desire to make a film with my friend Anthony Duluc but also out of the questions I have for myself. I always wondered how I’d react to a friend of mine telling me that they were gay and are in love with me. I hope that I respond to that in a very proper and respectful manner to my friend, but It has never happened so I don’t really know, so I wanted to make a movie about that, and it’s really one of the few Free Your Mind Films that really tries to talk about how good a lot of people are on the inside and how if we all just reached out and accepted people for who they are, things would be a lot easier in this place. It was tough to make such a positive movie at first because my instincts are naturally darker. But I think we made it work and I’ve been very happy with the response to that film so far.

5) What’s next for you and your company?

C.J.: Right now I’m still in post-production on my reverse racism film “What if”, written by my great friend Winston Green. Next up I’m actually doing an action film called “Too Proud to Die” with the star of my films “What I Deserve” and “Overcome”, Ingrid Vollset. I’m gonna end the year with gangster horror film “For Every Action’ and my passion project “Beater’, which is about a man who pays his brother in law a visit after seeing his sister beaten. Making films like “Overcome” and “Never” have lead to that film.

6) Lastly, I’d love to know… Who are some of your favorite filmmakers, who are some of your favorite artists/bands, and what are some of your favorite movies?

C.J.: Christopher Nolan is my idol right now. I adore every single one of his films. Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee. There are so many filmmakers I adore but those are the ones I think about first when people ask me that question. I actually don’t listen to normal music as much as my family or friends, but Michael Jackson, U2 and Eminem have always been favorites of mine. Favorite movies is hard but The Dark Knight Trilogy for me is the best of both worlds , it soothes the intellect and drama I want to see from films and also gives me the excitement and spectacle I want to see as well. I’m also loving the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe as a big time Marvel fanboy. Films like Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Die Hard and The Matrix made my childhood. Lately besides all Nolan films I’ve loved Drive, films like Django Unchained, Gravity, The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years A Slave, etc. There’s just way too many to name for me!

That concludes my interview with this truly talented filmmaker, Christopher Johnson. Hopefully you enjoyed it and maybe it shed a little light on any of the questions you might have had about “Never.” I’m looking forward to working with him again in the future. Make sure to follow Free Your Mind Films on Facebook. And make sure you leave a comment on the video letting us know how you liked it… And share it too! Thanks for reading.

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

Another Sky Is Coming

I’ve been talking about it for a while now, but I’m excited to say that Another Sky is almost here! This collection of bonus tracks and remixes is coming out awesome. I’m hoping to finish it sometime in August and then figure out how I want to release it. You can finally see the album cover up above (featuring an excellent photo by the lovely Gina Mizzoni Photography). So what’s included on this release?

As of the time of this writing the album will include eight songs that didn’t make it onto An Unseen Sky (maybe more if I decide to include a song or two that really wasn’t made for it but I might add anyway), and four remixes from some amazing musician friends of mine. The remixers so far are Gary Goblins, Quoth, Lady Hectic, and Ron Rierson. I’ll be posting a blog post after the release with more info about all of the remixers, but you can click each of their names to check out their Facebook pages.

The bonus songs are either tracks that weren’t finished in time, or I just didn’t feel fit the overall vibe of An Unseen Sky. Make no mistake… There is some awesome stuff on here. Those of you who heard my last B-Sides & Remixes collection, Further Into The Dark (the companion piece for my last album, Echoes In The Dark) know that the tracks are of the same quality and if you like my music, you’ll love this stuff.

If you were around for the last album and Further Into The Dark, you’ll also remember that these B-Sides & Remixes albums are FREE. That’s right. If you purchased the CD version of An Unseen Sky you will be getting a completely free download of Another Sky! I’ll also be setting up some other kinds of promotions to get Another Sky onto your hard-drives, but no matter what, I won’t be charging you to hear it (I do want to have some qualifiers for getting it, like supporting a promotion or having already bought the album, at least at first, so it’s not just some random free thing floating around the internet haha!).

Oh and one more thing… Now that I’ve got Another Sky on the way, and Further Into The Dark has been around for well over a year… I’m excited to announce that I’ve decided to make Further Into The Dark available for EVERYBODY. “Buy it” for FREE at http://davidrosen.bandcamp.com or just check it out right here:

So that’s the news from me for now… It’s time to go back to work. I’m expecting word back on some more film fests, I’m working on some 48 Hour Film Projects (a blog post will be written about that in the next couple weeks), I’m getting ready to release my next music video for the track “Never,” and I’m about to go camping… If I make it back alive, it’s time to finish Another Sky.

– David

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