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Stephen Ellestad


Sketch to Final Frame – Making a Music Video

When I listen to music, I can’t help but imagine visuals for it. It’s like watching movies in my mind. Certain sounds evoke certain colors: sadness is a murky blue-grey, nostalgia is burnt ochre, freedom is a vibrant red. When Jaclyn Lovey came to me with her song ‘My Extraterrestrial’, my head started swarming with ideas immediately. From the beginning, I heard pink, purple, shimmering silvers and playful primary colors. The song is about falling…
May 26, 2021

Choosing Your First Synth

  Buying your first synth can be an exciting yet daunting task. With the price points on more advanced units, you’ll want to do your research before making a purchase. Synthesizers vary in size and have several options to consider before choosing the right one—monophonic or polyphonic, with or without keys, and, of course, the Redditor’s dream debate: analog or digital synthesis. With so many brands boasting budget and beginner friendly options, where should you…
May 19, 2021

The Daily Ouch – Wonderlab Staff Take a Beating

*WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES ARE SHOWN BELOW. INJURIES ARE NOT REAL* Howdy, filmmakers, horror buffs, and masochists of the World! This is Xander, the WonderLab's Production Designer, here to tell you about my most recent project, The Daily Ouch I'm always looking to expand my skill sets as a special effects artist. And in the film industry, one of the most common and practical uses for special effects is injuries. If you’re like me, you’ve been…
May 12, 2021
Demon Pig Warrior in fire background

Horror Special Effects Review

Greetings, Earthlings! This is Xander, the WonderLab's Production Designer extraordinaire, here to tell you about my forays into special effects last October. I asked Stephen if I could create some spooky characters throughout the month to advance my skills and portfolio as a special effects artist. He told me I could do three characters, choosing between classic folklore horror, creepypasta, American Gothic, Creature feature monster, and sci-fi/fantasy horror. I got cracking right away, excited to…
March 17, 2021

ENVIRONMENTS PT. I: Conversations with a Plant

How to Generate Biofeedback Melodies Photography courtesy of Alex Mayer © Innervoice Media, Inc. 2021 Creating self-generative music has been a long-term goal of mine since I began my hardware synthesis journey in 2018. The resurgence of modular synthesis, particularly Eurorack, has led to a parallel rising interest in ambient generative music. With the learning curve of Eurorack being so steep, I focused on conventional patching techniques for at least the first year of using…
March 1, 2021