Artist Spotlight — Aglioboy

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Sunday, January 8, 2023

The uncommon path of a documentarian.

Because we see so many video from new producers — be they students or the struggling professional — we are able to spot trends as they happen. Or, at least we think we can. We have fused the music video into a handful of categories. One of these categories is the veríté video. Sometimes this is used to describe the video you find on a current news program — a video using a hand held camera. For TikiKiti it has come to mean a day-in-the-life type of production. We see many — mostly student productions showing basic day-to-day activities. Sometimes it’s just a, “Hear we are on our vacation,” type of video. But, Alex G. Iosub has decided to have it both ways. With his multi-layered editing style he documents daily life and creates a story at the same time.

From Bacău, România, and bouncing back and forth to Turin, Italy, where he finished studying as a graphic artist and film maker, he now documents life in his home town. Starting on the path to where he is now he began working with Adobe Photoshop® in the 7th grade before he began dedicating himself to shooting inline rollerblading. He later moved to Turin with his family because for the healthcare his sister needed. Staying in his old neighborhood by himself he has finished school in Romania.

Currently back in Bacău, he plans to start moving around the world with his camera. In July of this year he acquired a Realme C25Y and used the 4x zoom in the 4/3 ratio format. He also used a 360º camera which he would use to shoot time lapse video in such many places around Denmark, London, and Torino, Italy, before returning to Romania by bus. Alex developed his style from his travels, including the many times he had to sleep (basically living) on trains — and freezing in the stations. In the United States we call this the “school of hard knocks.”

An example of Alex’s time lapse videos. This is his trip from Italy back to Romania. Some scenes are dizzying but, with the slower music you find yourself getting used to the images. Eventually it will seem slow down a bit and the story of a trip comes into focus. How many have been on a trip and it all seems to go by at a breakneck speed. Trigger warning time — if you have problems with flashing images you will want to careful watching this video. Although it does slow down in parts (glad it sped through the men’s room scene), it’s not meant for the faint of heart. The anamorphic lens helps the story of how crazy this trip seemed to be. All done to the music of Subcarpati’s song “2000km.”

A question I always ask is, “What comes first, the music or the story.” For Alex this answer was easy. He starts shooting his documentaries first. They started out be around 20 minutes long but with experience he now has that down to around three minutes. A 20 minute documentary is his maximum length. Afterwards, the ratio of film footage to completed editing becomes too much to work with.

Next, he chooses the music and starts editing. Again, experience has taught him to cut his editing time down by compressing his original shooting time by half. As he says, he’ll do a 20 minute lifestyle documentary with no post production. Then he choose the song — which is then imported in to his editing software and the fun begins. And what fun he has. It is obvious with all the various cuts and overlays that he is really enjoying building a story through editing.

An early example of his style comes from when he directed the video “Peyote451 (l’eccezione)” by Willie Peyote. But this is one of his earlier videos and doesn’t reflect how his style has grown.

When asked how he plans his shoots he says, “I'm shooting in my childhood neighborhood. So everything is related to my love for the city. Everything that inspires me is here — home and the street. I love to call my work ‘90s wild street captures, sort of hip-hop LoFi.” This is how TikiKiti has come to define veríté — daily life on the street. As Alex says, “like a diary.” For him, choosing the right song is the best part of his street documentaries.

 In his video for “La povertà” by Lince, Alex is stretching his editing style. He says he had so many images that he had to try something new.  Inspired by “Vitan Baby” by Arkanian, he takes the editing style up a notch — still creating a story. In this case, he’s cooking spaghetti.

Alex G. Iosub is a film maker who is letting us all see how he is developing his skills and a trend. Along the way he takes us on some very original trips and showing us the home town he clearly loves. His videos are not just random images strewn together. They are filled with brilliant colors and overlapping images of city life — of his life — we are drawn into his videos when we discover the story he is telling.

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