Exercise videos, after school specials, old school horror movies, 80's porn. Sounds like the clearance rack when MovieTime
Video was going out of business. Or possibly weird uncle Chester's VHS collection. It's also a combination of things you're
likely to see during an AV CLUB performance.
As of late, VJ Jon Corun has been turning heads in the Baltimore/DC scene with his unique take on dance club visuals.
Instead of the usual swirling neon lights and computer generated graphics, AV CLUB uses loads of obscure clips to create
live audio-response videos. Wanna see Mr. T move in time with Justice? Or John Travolta get down to DJ Dara? AV CLUB is
just what you're looking for.
Rock Star Journalism: VJing has become increasingly popular at club nights; how do you think AV Club most stands out from
others in this business?
Jon Corun: It is difficult to answer a question like this when you risk sounding cocky, but I believe I have a visual
style that attracts more attention than most of the VJs I've seen. I compare the overwhelming majority of VJs to glorified
iTunes visualizations. That works well in a lot of situations, but I am more focused on hitting the audience hard with content
that shocks and gets people excited. I am all about giving people a good time.
RSJ: How do you think the visual element most enhances a club experience?
JC: Well, I compare VJing to fine dining. The better the atmosphere, the better the food seems to taste. It's the same
with being immersed in visuals; it enhances the music by adding a visual element.
RSJ: You clearly have a huge collection of obscure videos that you put to use in your performances, involving everything
from after school specials to old concert footage to 80s porn in your show. Have you found that there is any certain type
of video clip that works best for what you do?
JC: It always depends on the event, but I've had a lot of success discovering extremely obscure videos in thrift stores
that are not intended for a large audience. It's always fun to mix a really bad aerobics video and watch the crowd mimic the
routines on the dance floor.
RSJ: What kind of set-up are you currently using to manipulate the visuals?
JC: Currently I prepare my clips in Adobe After FX/Adobe Premiere, and load them into a PC based program called Resolume.
I then control Resolume with a Behringer BCR-2000, MIXMAN DM2, and Erirol V-4 video mixer.
RSJ: You mentioned in your video bio that you started out doing experimental videos in college. Were there any filmmakers
that were particularly inspiring for you?
JC: I've always been inspired by the works of Chris Cunningham. His editing style is by far the tightest and most precise
to the beat of the music.
RSJ: Are you still making your own films?
JC: Yes. It's been a good way to get noticed around the world. I now have a video mix on Amon Tobin's official website
(Jazz Remix) and a 12 minute music video compilation shown at The BIG Chill Festival 07 in the UK.
RSJ: Did you ever work as a DJ prior to working with video?
JC: No, but I played in bands. I've played the drums for 15 years, so that has played a role in my understanding of how
to accurately beat-sync a video live.
RSJ: You've described each show as a "custom event;" could you explain how the audience factors into your show?
JC: When I do events, the promoter usually has a vision for the vibe they are trying to achieve. I try to adhere to those
expectations. If you saw me do a show at be:bar in DC compared to a show at Ottobar, you'd see a big difference. It's mainly
different because I am performing to different sexual orientations.
RSJ: Is there any type of music that you think works best for your performances?
JC: House music definitely works best with my visuals. It's a lot easier to beat sync to, since there is a pretty consistent
thump the whole night.
RSJ: Do you have any preference between working with DJs that do their own mixes versus those that are more song oriented?
JC: I like DJs who stick to a consistent genre of music and don't skip all over the place. I've played in bars before
where you'd hear anything from rock to hip-hop to house. It is very difficult to get in the zone when you're changing styles
every 3 minutes!
RSJ: AV CLUB visuals have become a regular at The Ottobar's Automatic event. Why do you think this club night has been such a good fit for you?
JC: I really like the audience and music at Automatic. I've tested the waters there to see how far I can go with the videos
I show, and there have been no restrictions. I've even worked in the first 5 seconds of "2 girls and 1 cup" and was applauded.
RSJ: Having spent a considerable amount of time in Baltimore and DC clubs, you must have had some interesting experiences.
What is the most memorable experience you've had while VJing?
JC: My most memorable experience? Well being a straight guy with two gay club residencies has provided me with a lot of interesting
experiences. But I think my most memorable experience is videotaping clubbers, and then replaying that footage back the next
week. It becomes confusing to an intoxicated person because they are wearing different clothes in the video.
RSJ: Are you strictly interested in doing club nights or would you ever want to provide visuals for a concert or other event?
JC: I like doing club events, but I'd like to do other events as well. I performed along with a band at Fletcher's one time,
and that was a lot of fun.
RSJ: You have several video mixes available for download on the MySpace page; if forced to choose one, which would you most recommend that people check out?
JC: I would suggest checking out the AV CLUB studio mix video. It hasn't been viewed as many times as my Baltimore Club vids,
but I am more proud of it due to its complexity.
RSJ: What future goals do you have for AV CLUB?
JC: I am working on taking the show on the road. I've made some good connections that should take it to the next level soon.
I already bought my flight-cases! Plus, I've had success producing themed looping DVDs, so I hope to continue getting bigger
Got something to say about this feature? Post it at RSJ's blog, Blendetta.com!