Innovative video veteran Mark Pistoire hooked up with Sander Kleinenberg – one of the first DJs to embrace DVJing – back in 2003. Their close partnership has since allowed them to produce and present a unique audio-visual party experience, much to the delight of crowds around the world. Djsounds invited Mark to check-in for a chat so that we could find out more about him and how he came to be visualising Sander's music…
Djsounds: Mark, can you tell us a bit about your background? How has your experience with video evolved? Mark: "I worked a number of years for NOB - which is like the Dutch BBC - as a broadcast technician, and then went on to become a visual effects editor or flame artist as they call it in Amstelveen. I did loads of commercials and a few Dutch features. It's funny how things change. Like when you first start working in video and film, you're not allowed to push certain buttons and knobs or make decisions. Then as time goes by - if you're actually good at what you're doing - you get more and more responsibilities, and you can even press more buttons and knobs than you could ever dream of as a kid."
How, when and where did you first meet and start working with your fellow Dutchman Sander? "I met Sander's wife, Simone, in 2003. She was looking for a VJ for their Everybody parties in The Netherlands and I gave her my 'showreel'. I then had a meeting with Sander and it clicked. Miami WMC 2004 was the first time I was out there, and from then on it was flying every weekend."
And how do you work together to initially create the content, and then to perform it live? "Working with Sander means flying a lot, so we spend a lot of time together in hotels, airports and aeroplanes. We use this time to listen to tracks and come up with ideas for videos. Sometimes people will come up to us and ask if they can be in one of the videos, which is a good thing really because it makes everything so real, like 'This Is Me!'
What are your feelings about the union of electronic dance music with video? "I think that union of EDM and video is something that should or could have been here some time ago. It is simply inevitable. People now grow up with 100s of TV channels and television everywhere."
Can you tell us about the genesis of the This Is… ™ party concept, and the subsequent single? "The single This Is Miami originates from WMC 2004, where we did our first DVJ set at Space (no, actually the first one was in The Hague, at the Paard...) Anyway we had John Fugler of Fluke do some soundbites to use with the Pioneer DVJ-X1. And one of those soundbites was: 'This is not Miami'. We then put pictures of Miami with it, so as to boggle the minds of those attending that party at Space, and at the same time tell people we were quite intelligent (ha-ha). In early 2006 Sander took it to another level by making a new record of it and adding the names of a lot of other cities we frequently visit."
Looking at enterprises like YouTube.com and My Space, the ongoing video revolution seems to be more democratic than ever. How do you feel about that? "I love it! I just started using YouTube to drop little clips of concerts and people are subscribing to them! It's like having my own network. Sometimes when I need footage of a certain song, like a remix of an old track, I end up filming the screen of my computer displaying a video playing on YouTube. I think those sites are really cool because anybody with a computer and a camera can express themselves, and they do not need a multi-million dollar studio or to buy satellite/broadcast time to do so. During gigs I see so many mobile phones held up in the audience, and the next day you will find those recordings on YouTube and such like. I think that's really cool!"
What equipment/software are you using to capture clips, produce them up, and perform your live show around the globe? "To record my own footage I use a little Sony Handycam with a wide-angle lens. This footage I load in my computer with Apple Final Cut Pro, which I also use to edit clips. I use Adobe's After Effects and Combustion and Apple's Shake as well for the more intricate visual effect shots. And there are some programs that let you rip parts of a DVD if you need to. For live shows I use Modul8 and Sander uses the DVJs."
What advice can you give to other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps? "Listen to your parents when they say that what you're doing is wrong! Trust me, they know! Try to be original. There's a lot of crap out there really... Don't use the visualiser on your iTunes and call yourself a VJ. Listen to the music, concentrate on what you're feeling when you listen to it and try to visualise that. That is basically what I do."
What are you planning next on the video front, what would you like to see happen generally? "Well, what I would like to see is more clubs buying the new DVJ-1000s. It would make my life so much easier! I wouldn't have to carry them all over the globe and explain to custom officials that it really is just a DVD player and not some device that I am going to use in their country to turn their people into minions, something that I will then use for world domination, or whatever..."
Have you anything else to announce here? "You can subscribe to MarkMyVideo on YouTube!" Check out Mark’s visuals in action in the clip above, taken from a performance with Sander at the Ministry of Sound, London.
Innovative video veteran Mark Pistoire hooked up with Sander Kleinenberg – one of the first DJs to embrace DVJing – back in 2003. Their close partnership has since allowed them to produce and present a unique audio-visual party experience, much to the delight of crowds around the world. Djsounds...