Ukulele & Languages

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An interview with Ukulollo, an Italian Uker with many personalities

23 2010

Today I’m inviting you to Italy where we meet Lorenzo Vignando, aka Ukulollo, who describes himself humorously on his YouTube channel: “I don’t know if I’m a ukulele player who likes movies or a filmaker who likes to play the ukulele…”. Whichever, he certainly is a talented ukulele enthusiast !

Lorenzo was many ukers’ favourite contestant for the Bushman World Ukulele Contest 2009 where he came second and has also been nominated for Uke Hunt‘s 2009 Video of the Year.

He has made quite an impression on the ukulele world with his multiple personality rendition of Ravel‘s Bolero. I have been wondering how much work was necessary to create such a great video and asked Lorenzo a few questions which he very readily answered.

Since we cannot get enough of this video, let’s first watch Ravel‘s Bolero by Ukulollo. Ukulolollo by the way is a one-man band, defined by Lorenzo as “me, myself, lollorpool, krenfilm and other hidden personalities”.

U&L : Which part of Italy are you from ?

Lorenzo : I’m from the North-East of Italy, my hometown is Lignano Sabbiadoro, a nice seaside place.

U&L : What is your ukulele story ? How did you discover the ukulele ?

Lorenzo : It was one year ago. I was looking for the right guitar and the right position to get the correct sound for Somewhere over the rainbow in the Iz version and I couldn’t (of course, because it wasn’t a guitar, it was a ukulele) and surfing on the internet I discovered Julia Nunes.

Everything got clear in my mind. I suddenly fell in love with the instrument  and I ordered the first one after watching a lot of YouTube reviews. When the box arrived I opened it, and started laughing. I had never seen a ukulele before. That was love! I’ve left the guitar and started discovering this unbelievable world full of the nicest people.

Ukulele literally changed my life. It gave me so much in just one year! Get one if you don’t have one yet, good time is waiting for you !

U&L : How did you create the arrangement for Ravel’s Bolero ?

Lorenzo : The music arrangement of the bolero, I just figured it out! I knew there was a need for the rhythm, and I chose the note to do it, then I knew I wanted a groovy rhythm and I found it first with the ukulele and then with the cajon, then I knew that I wanted a second voice to get the theme thicker and I’ve found it trying! That’s all, and there is nothing written!

U&L : I am very impressed by your video montages, by how you manage to really split your personality and how your different selves exchange glances as if they were different members of a band. Can you tell us how you proceed ?

Lorenzo : You need a high definition camera.

You need to have always the same light.

Place the camera where you like, adjust the focus for the rear row, and don’t let anyone touch it!

Never move the camera from now on!

For the rear row : record yourself all the times you need, one for each instrument for the whole song taking care not to invade the space of all the other you (neither with shadows).

For the first row : film yourself in the place you want to appear (adjust only the focus, not the zoom!), just put behind you a local green screen (it as to cover all your movements for that take but not necessarly the whole picture).

Done?

Well, now edit it!

Do a high definition project: cut some vertical stripes so the rear row of you are in. Add all the greenscreen takes you want and apply chromakey to them.

Render.

Done?

Now you a have a high definition movie with a fixed camera

Ok, whith the zoom and pan instrument of your software (i use Edius wich allow fast renders and nice cromakey effect) zoom and pan untill you’re happy with the movements (the high definition will allow you to zoom until 160, 180 percent without noticing any lack of definition.)

Add a little detail effect to get it even better.

(Notice: if you use a standard definition camera and your focus is correct, you can zoom untill 140 % circa if your destination is the youtube)

And that’s it.

For multiple angles just place the camera in the right angle and take care of your cuts. (if you have two cameras it is easier)

U&L : Your video montages display a keen attention to detail, your different selves have different clothes, some are shaved, some have a beard or a moustache, how do you plan all this ? How long does it take you to do a video ?

Lorenzo : Yes, I do it ’cause it’s funny to me. I plan that just with my imagination, like a painter figures out a picture, then I place the camera and move from position to position very fast. I edit this little piece of film and I see if it works and nobody is covered. Then I film.

For the last video (Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode) it’s been hard because I was really busy and I had to film myself in the afternoon and the light was going to change really fast! so I’ve had to film myself and shave very very fast…

It takes about 3 days for that kind of video: one to record and mix the audio, one for filming and one for editing.

U&L :  Are you working on any new video project at the moment ?

Lorenzo : Always! I will soon post a brazilian piece with ukulele and the incredible new little bass I bought, then I want to post a lupin the third Myiazaki tribute with ukulele and ocarina, and a very funny reedition of an 80′s series.

U&L :  Who are your biggest musical influences ?

Lorenzo : I’ve grown up listening and playing the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, but I love Giacomo Puccini Operas and every kind of good music modern and old.

Subscribe to Lorenzo‘s YouTube channel (krenfilm) here.

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4 Comments »

  1. Al on the 23rd of February 2010 @ 18:41

    Fun interview, Armelle. I enjoyed it. I read all the directions for the video even though there’s no way I’d ever have the patience or skill for it.

  2. Armelle Europe on the 23rd of February 2010 @ 22:53

    Al : Thanks. Lorenzo has a very lively way of describing the process of video creating.
    I wouldn’t try either though as I hate seeing me on videos. Multiplying my uneasy me’s would definitely look very uncool.

  3. Friday Links | Ukulele Hunt on the 26th of February 2010 @ 15:02

    [...] Ukulollo shares his fancy video technique with Armelle. [...]

  4. Ukuleles on TV, World Cup Ukes: Friday Links | Ukulele Hunt on the 11th of June 2010 @ 15:01

    [...] worth reading for the phrase, “a passion that grows the Beast for years.” (Thanks to Ukulollo). And the terminally deluded of you who think England have a chance might enjoy this [...]

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