ROOM Collective are the most suave and well-lit conglomeration of AV nerds you will ever have the pleasure of geeking out with. In its current incarnation, ROOM consists of four film students producing innovative eye-catching music videos and short films. The sleek online presence and detail-oriented content that defines them as filmmakers on the cusp of something compelling is starkly contrasting to their suburban beginnings. The moniker ROOM was taken on when some of the current members began making videos together in high school. Over the past couple years, through time apart, the boys solidified a clear and determined vision for the fate of ROOM. In August 2013 they reconnected and officially cemented their goals for the collective’s future. Nine months after this fateful day they sat down with BeatRoute over steaming cups of abrasively single-origin coffee to discuss what’s so revolutionary about a bunch of squares.
The subsequent concept is bringing together talented filmmakers to work as an anonymous ensemble under one name. “Our idea behind ROOM is getting as many people as we can under this new creative moniker. To produce stuff we believe in using our own resources, but to detract away from having our own names and faces associated with it. The way the film industry works is changing to this digital format, people can do things in a streamlined fashion. We can produce high-quality content and stories with a smaller group of people, it can be done, all that’s missing is the distribution.”
These boys aren’t trying to make a name for themselves, but rather one for the adaptive approach to media they’re honing as young filmmakers facing a medium particularly receptive to change. “We want to be on the forefront of this turnover in online media because we believe the way art is made is changing. There’s an option right now to be part of that change positively by getting people interested in narratives that matter.” This youthful media privy attitude and nerdy neuroticism about their work keeps this ambitious foursome on a path of success.
ROOM has focused mainly on music videos, although they’re branching out to more narrative styles with the spring release of a short film series. ROOM music videos are characterized by a striking aesthetic, intrigrating bright psychedelic visuals with delicate details.To convey the kaleidoscope world intended they’re constantly experimenting with footage manipulation techniques. Their latest release, a collaboration with rockers Smash Boom Pow was drawn entirely through rotoscoping. “The process was hell. We used a Wacom tablet and through Photoshop took the video clip and traced or drew freehand. There’s 24 frames per second, you draw one frame’s worth, hit next, and draw another.”
Visually the short films are more simplistic, though their dark surrealist style maintains prominence. “In the case of short films there’s this unique opportunity to push our audience into a situation. We like to keep it ambiguous and throw them into the middle of a place, immersing them partly into this foreign world and letting them figure out the rules as they go. We’re not giving a lot of exposition, it lets people create some of their own dialogue and story throughout and challenges audiences in a way popular media doesn’t. It’s hard to do in a feature, but in a short, it’s ideal.”
In coming months they’ll be releasing more music videos, short films, and slam poetry collaborations which can be found on their website. Without the snares involved in large scale production, preconceived ideas of media’s future, and talking too much about themselves, they hope to show who they are frame by frame and under the ROOM name.
To check out current and upcoming projects, visit the ROOM Collective online: http://roomcollective.com.
By Maya-Roisin Slater