Looking Through The Lens With Kenny Frankland // TinSpider// Exclusive interview. 📺
Ever since I can remember listening to London Elektricity, I can remember being amazed by the videos that were released with the songs. The first video I remember that gripped me was “All Hell is Breaking Loose” by London Elektricity. The video was the creation of Kenny Frankland a/k/a TinSpider. Then, when LE released “Yikes” in 2011, “Meteorites” featuring Elsa Esmerelda on vocals, had the most incredible video I had ever seen with a DNB track. The song was intoxicating on its on and blew me away! I mean, this track had something no other DNB track had embodied at the time, and to date no one else has captured its essence in any way, shape, or form. Just to put it in context, my litmus test is my eleven year old son. We listened in the car one day, and he loved it and hit replay every chance he got. Then, the video dropped. My son, finance and myself are all sci-fi fans. Especially Star Wars, and those early 1980’s video games that are too many to list. My son sat on my lap in front of my 27” iMac and together, we watched the video. To say we were blown away would be an understatement. In addition to the original video, there was eventually an extended version that just got better! So my quest to find out more about TinSpider started. As I stated earlier, my son and I both love sci-fi, Godzilla movies, the Star Wars series, and any art form that involves robots. When Kenny released the video for the LE song “Tape Loops” from “Are We There Yet”, (Kenny actually did an amazing video for every song on that album, I might add) it had these super kewl vintage robots from the 1950’s. My son and I watched the video before I took him to school one morning, and when he got home that day, we starting looking for the robots online and found them! We bought one that wound up with a key, and waited for it to finally arrive from Japan. It’s one of our favorite possessions. On with the story of my relationship with Kenny…I am a member of Vimeo. When I joined, I started uploading my own time-lapse videos for my DNB tracks, and met Kenny there on the Vimeo platform. He gave me pointers based on his expertise, and befriended me. I would tell him about my son and the robots and he would tell me about the same in his home. Kenny is a true stand-up gentleman, and great artist. Those two traits are not always found in the same person. 🤖
After learning that Kenny was responsible for over 17 Hospital Records DNB videos, I knew I had to do a story on this man and his catalog of work. I have seen everything available from Kenny, and I want more!
I had some burning questions so kick back and enjoy this conversation with Kenny aka TinSpider.Looking through the lens with TinSpider.
Q- How did you first find your interest in photography?
A- I’ve always had a keen interest since being a boy. Whilst out with my parents on holiday I would see things and think to myself ‘that would make a nice shot’
Q- What was the first camera you used in your childhood to produce your earliest video?
A- I used to use my granddads old 8mm cine camera. I can’t remember the model but the make was a Bolex.
Q- What was the videos subject matter?
A- I’d shoot everything from interesting landscapes, animals and aircraft at air shows.
Q- Where did you shoot it?
A- Mostly around North Wales as that’s where I’d spend my summers with my parents/grandparents.
Q- How old were you?
A- This would have happened from being quite young – about 10 or 11 and went on until I was about 15/16 which is when I got involved making silly films with my school friends using a
Q- What is your favorite video production software?
A- I’ve pretty much grown up with Adobe Premiere. I got it free with a FAST video edit card back at Uni in the early 90’s – a time when you had to have extra hardware to edit video on a PC at a decent resolution. I made quite a bit of cash as quite a few people came round to my dorm to use it to edit their final films. All they had at the time in Uni were clunky tape based linear BetaSP edit suites. It was before the universities / colleges embraced digital editing.
My favourite go to software though is 3DS MAX. I produce about 90% of my work on it – but then use Premiere to edit.
Q- What is your favorite hardware?
A- Probably my Wacom Intuos Pro or my Samsung Note Pro which is awesome for sketching.
Q- What camera or cameras do you prefer currently?
A- Ha – It’s not really a question of what I prefer more what I can afford! Because I’m more animation based I don’t really see cameras as a priority with my funds so I just have a Canon 700d which suits my needs fine. I mostly use it for reference stuff or shooting backgrounds etc, and for that it does the job just fine!
Q- Where did you attend university?
A- University of Wales College Newport
Q- When did you attend?
Q- Did you graduate?
A- Yes, with honours.
Q- How did Tony Colman find you at the school?
A- He didn’t! I met Tony during my first outing as a freelance Music video director over ten years after leaving Uni. I’d been working in the games industry prior to this and was made redundant when the company folded. I had made a couple of music videos for friends which won competitions at festivals and a nice lady came up to me at one of these festivals and said I should sign up to an agency called Radar Music Videos.com – which I did. It was through this great agency I met Tony.
Q- What was your first pitch created for Hospital Records? Song/Artist/Year?
A- My first pitch to Hospital was through Radar Music Videos and was for London Elektricity ‘All Hell is Breaking Loose’ in 2008
Q- How many videos have you created for Hospital and Med School artists?
A- Well, including the 14 I created for London Elektricity’s ‘Are We There Yet’ the total would be 17 for Hospital and 1 for Med School.
Q- Of all of the videos you have created which was your favorite, and why?
A- Printer Jam is by far my favourite. I just connected with the track and the visuals just smoothly went from my head to the screen. It’s pretty much how I visualized it in my mind which almost never happens. My videos usually look much better in my head than what they end up being!
Q- When you created Meteorites for London Elektricity, did you come up with the entire design and content?
A- Pretty much. Tony and myself had the idea early on that it should contain lots of references. We met up at Hospital HQ several months before to discuss another project we were going to do and discovered we had a mutual love of sci-fi and animation. This lead to the idea that Meteorites should feature them around my story of the Gaia goddess finding a new home. I just plonked as many of them in there as I could. Some you don’t even see due to framing or motion blur.
Q- What cool little sci-fi and pop culture items appear in the video that the general public may not know about?
A- I’m not going to say where these are and spoil the fun but included are nods to: Moonraker, 2001, Star Wars, Transformers, Space 1999, War of the Worlds, Moon, The Martian Chronicles, V, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Silent Running, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Dr Who, The Empire Strikes Back, Dark Star, The Black Hole and my own personal robot film even gets a nod as it does in everything I do!
Q- Did you speak with Elsa Esmerelda about the main character in the video?
A- Not really no. I designed Gaia and Tony added a few suggestions (her scar was his idea!)
I did ask Elsa to provide some video shot on her phone of her singing the lyrics so I had reference for lip syncing. I actually regret including it as the lip syncing took up way too much time to animate so it ended up being rushed and looks poor anyway. One day I hope to redo the video and the lip-sync will be the first to go.
Q- Is there any relationship between your created character and Elsa Esmerelda?
A- Ha.. errr. Same voice?
Q- You created a video for every track on London Elektricity’s “Are We There Yet?”. I also recall you telling me that you did the entire album at one time, from start to finish, non-stop! Why did you choose to do the entire album this way?
A- Because I’m a little bit mad and only had a few months to achieve this mammoth task. I still can’t believe I pulled it off to be honest.
Q- Have you done a complete album release before “Are We There Yet?”?
A- No.. this was my first. It was wonderful and special and everything your first should be.
Q- What artist have you created the most videos for?
A- London Elekticity and that would be 16 in total which I still find insane.
The album includes the undisputed classics such as ‘Just One Second’ and ‘All Hell Is Breaking Loose’, that can be heard in a brand new light with updated mixdowns and masters. Plus you can hear the stories and inspiration behind the compositions that you know and love with a special Spotify Commentary, where label heads Chris Goss and Tony Colman give an in-depth insight into each track.
The ‘Director’s Cut’ is available to download on digital formats exclusively from the Hospital Records shop and on all good streaming platforms. Plus a limited edition 7” record featuring ‘Outnumbered’ and ‘Syncopated City Revisited’ will also be available on the Hospital Records Shop. One for the collectors, this London Elektricity release is a must-have.