Saturday, 17 December 2011

Group- Vodcast

HBK Vodcast on Genre from Benji Hudson on Vimeo.
 A vodcast where we explain the codes and conventions and our understanding of the genre

Thursday, 15 December 2011


The last 3 weeks we have been working hard on producing some sample footage for our video, we currently have 45 seconds of footage that was shot over 4 shooting sessions, two were at school, one by the railway bridge and one down at the industrial estate location.

The sample footage helped us get a better understanding of what our end product can/will look like and what effects looked good, what locations and camera angles were right, and even what wasn't so great.

The first time we showed our work to others was at the schools creative art's evening, this was an evening put on by school showcasing work from the media, drama and music department and was full of creative minds who could offer helpful feedback about our product, we were even lucky enough to have the headteacher view our work which was a great honour.

The feedback we got from creative arts evening:  
  • People didn't really know what was going on, there wasnt any anchorage that gave the audience an idea of what was happening in the video and why and what our character was trying to escape from and what relevance did all the shots of Mac's and other miscellaneous objects have to do with this. 
How we will change our product after the feedback:
  • We think the main reason people didn't know what was going on was because the footage we showed them was only 45 seconds long which really isn't that long to provide any real anchorage especially with our idea that 'Technology is Bad' it is hard to portray that in such a short clip so we think that we will just have to work on getting more footage and then getting more feedback to see whether with more time the audience got a better understanding of what was going on.
We also showed our work in our Media lesson which is full of young talented minds ready to make their break in the music video world, so is good to get other media students to give their creative opinions on our work.

Feedback we got:
  • Include more subliminal messages
  • Perhaps get the character to get on the train, this would give us scope to go to new locations
  • The fast pace editing was good gave an intense feel to the video
  • Good use of effects, thought that the Black and White effect worked well.
  • Expand locations to more urban areas such as Leeds and mainly Bradford.
How we plan to adapt to feedback:
  • Start location scouting around Leeds and Bradford, we already have one location in mind in Leeds and two of us being born and bred in Bradford have good local knowledge and and a few locations in mind for places in Bradford.
  • We need to think about good ways to include our illuminati symbolism 
Feedback from our media teacher:
  • The scene when Ben walks backwards should be changed because it gave a comedy feel, which wasn't all what we were wanting.
  • Didn't think that Ben was right for the role.
How we are going to change:
  • We are going to edit out the backwards walking scene to make sure we have the correct intentions for our video.
  • We have started looking for different people to cast for our role instead of Ben.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The footage and current state...

So far so good we have approx. 40 seconds of sample footage ready to be screened (almost) and so far we're just adding the finishing touches to the footage, making sure that what's on-screen is everything we want onscreen- that there isn't anything that we think would ruin the atmosphere of the video or that would damage it and break verisimilitude. Where we plan to go next is basically to screen it at the creative arts evening and see what feedback we can gain from that, which at this stage would be incredibly useful.

Monday, 5 December 2011

BH- Radio 1

...have conducted an interview with Mr. Reznor today (5/12/11) with the chit-chat mainly focusing on his upcoming The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo film score although there where other small bits of information released, he is releasing a full length How To Destroy Angels album early next year (hopefully) and he let slip that he's been offered some live show's although he didn't go into much detail on the matter he did indicate he was still working it out.
But the real killer here is the news that in 2012 he'll be writing with a much more NiN orientated stuff...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

BH- How To Destroy Angels- Space Between

Artist: How to Destroy Angels
Director: Rupert Sanders (Snow white & the huntsman)
Genre: POST- Industrial
Audience: 24-35 (15-24)
(The video was only ever released online as such only those with a prior knowledge of Reznors work would have heard of the band)
How to Destroy Angles (HTDA) is a group with Reznor, his wife Mariqueen Maandig & Atticus Ross, with a very electronic sound, one that differs from nine inch nails significantly and yet is another outpost for Reznor & Ross' dark electronic sounds.

Judging from the style of the video I'd say a HD camera was used, the clarity and camera work would seem to indicate this.
It's a very narrative video, well not that much happens, the scene is one of a hotel murder, of a bride and groom I assume who've been killed on their wedding night, played by Mariqueen and Trent respectivly, whilst being watched by Atticus Ross and a blonde woman as a fire starts and engulfs the scene as Atticus and the woman watch on calmly.

appearing at 0:36-38, a reveal of what's in the
hotel room. 
The first 7 seconds of the video feature a hallway shot, the number of doors and the tacky carpet signify a cheap american style motel, as does the window at the end of the hall, a small and cheap one with the curtains blowing. The camera work here is a slow zoom- tightly frames so that the walls just are in view.
We then jump forwards with a swift cut to the window and a door slightly open at the side of the frame, indicating danger.
A performance aspect is introduced through the corpse of the bride singing, something that becomes quite macabre as she begins to set alight and burn slowly. They've said the way that they've done this was to have her singing them impose her face onto a mannequin- although the effect isn't all that well done it certainly adds to the video and takes nothing away.
What's interesting to note is the messing around of focus on the camera with the 'depths' changing so what was blurred becomes clear.
The blood effect is used brilliantly in this video with the blood looking realistically dark and maybe ever so slightly desaturated.
One example of a really well framed shot would be the one you see to your right. The lighting in the window is done so that it glows in ever so slightly, the curtains seem dirty, not overly so but enough to fit with the 'vibe' of the video. The bride laying against the bed, with the bed ever so slightly jutting in the right of the shot and behind her, the corpse of the groom, their attire a white, frilly dress and the grey well fitted suit would indicate a wedding. The lighting here is typical of the genre, dark and moody with heavy use of shadow.

Shot of a candle appearing at 0:48
The candle seems to be a common aspect, appearing at 0:48 seconds and staying onscreen for a good 2 seconds before vanishing, the candle blowing gently in the wind, the idea that something somewhere is causing a breeze which then lends itself to the aspect of intrusion, someone having come in and killed the occupants of the hotel room.  It could also indicate a sense of fragility, the wax gently protecting the flame. It also shows that some amount of time has passed in the room seeing as though the wax has clearly been worn down, adding to the theme of decay that features in the video.

The sense of mystery continues in the video, with several shots focusing on the fingers, or the hands or someone smoking. Sometimes not even body parts but instead objects, gently spattered with blood to indicate that something violent has happened, such as at 0:53, we have a womans hand (painted black finger nails) with what looks to be a broken glass just out of reach and covered in blood- indicating a struggle and the closeness of the object showing that it was maybe a self defence wound, either way the violence of the video is pretty heavy and it becomes much worse when the bodies and the room begin to burn, with heavy use of special effects to show the lip syncing even as the body is burning, they used a mannequin to burn with a wig then superimposed Mariqueens face onto it to get the desired effect, i.e one to shock and disturb the viewer.
Overall the video is one that seems to be much more modern that prior industrial videos and is clearly following a narrative and the editing clearly draws the viewer into the scene that's unfolding on screen. 

Friday, 2 December 2011

BH- More on Reznor

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross have released pre-orders for their latest release 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'. Featurnig a cover of Led Zepplins Immigrant song.

I've embedded the six song sampler below:
Dragon Tattoo Sampler by ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Thursday, 24 November 2011

BH- More movement..

The Nine Inch Nails website has been updated(15/11/11) To include more information on the soundtrack to the Girl with The Dragon Tattoo- including album art and and record label, including Renzors own Null Corporation in America and Mute records internationally.

BH- Sample footage+ Editing

For the sample footage we've filmed the opening sequences of the song, with notes from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by David Fincher as key inspiration when editing. One pretty big challenge was filming enough footage to fill out the 30 seconds and keep the angles fresh and unique from one another and create something that's worth re-watching. So far that's the only real big issue to arise from filming the sample footage.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

BH- Gary Numan- Metal

Gary Numan's original version of Metal was first released in 1979 as part of his first album 'Pleasure Principal' (first released under his name anyway...) The song is said to be very popular live and Numan has performed with 
Nine Inch Nails to sing both 'Metal' and 'Cars' live during the last ever Nine Inch Nails Wave Goodbye Tour

In 1998 (two years before the Nine Inch Nails Cover) Gary Numan released a re-worked version of his song 'Metal' with a very very different style to the original, much darker and almost in fit with the Nine Inch Nails version.

We can see a great example of user generated content there, someone adding images of Gary Numan singing, making their own video for the song.

Group- Treatment

Untitled 1                                                                                            

Friday, 11 November 2011

BH- Codes and Conventions

The Industrial genre is very full of lo-fi music videos, intentionally low quality. For example Ministry- Stigmata, Nine Inch Nails- March of the Pigs or Carbaret Voltaire- Sensoria.
Another frequent idea seems to the distortion and this fits with the lo-quaity feel of the video its often intentionally looking worn down or with frames appearing to be broken and damaged. This gives way to the whole 'underground' feel/image of most industrial bands. Often the videos have inserted frames/ or something flashing up on screen.
So what 'type' of video (under Goodwins theory) do industrial music videos generally follow? 
Well more often than not they seem to be high in concept and again high in performance (something shared with the Rock genre) there aren't really all too many narrative videos- maybe some aspect of it but never really all too many entirely narrative videos.

BH- NiN & relationship to the Industrial Genre

Nine Inch Nails have never explicitly stated that they are members of the industrial genre.
For example Pretty Hate Machine (1989) was much more of a synth pop album with elements of Industrial mixed in- although he admits to 'Down in it" being heavily inspired by Skinny Puppy- Dig It. Skinny Puppy being a Canadian Industrial group noted for their abstract and shocking music. Pretty Hate Machine being closer to Cabaret Voltaire's style of Industrial, much more computer generated beats and loops, using samples but not straying too much into Rock.
The Industrial influences of Ministry come across far more in the next release 'Broken', which was an overall much heavier album which clearly draws on from ministry's heavier vision of the industrial genre, with songs such as 'Happiness In Slavery' and 'Wish'. The next Release, 1994's, The Downward Spiral draws into the industrial genre heavily, the computer generated music fused with the instruments it's far more of a 'typical' Industrial record dealing with the traditional Industrial themes of the break down of society and what that'd cause0 a theme strong throughout every song on the album. This is where many say that Nine Inch Nails really came into the genre and it inspired much of the Industrial music available now.
The Fragile was in many ways much more of an album that's in many ways quieter than prior releases, also much longer and in almost a contrast with the Downward spiral, its a much more personal based album.
With_teeth is a much more mainstream Rock album, its very punchy in line with a more modern approach to industrial music and the industrial design. It's interesting to note that around this time Skinny Puppy launched back into action.  
Year Zero is where the real politics of NiN comes out, highly critical of the Bush administration of America (as many musicians where). It details a near future society where the American government was too powerful and merged with the church- it accompanied a ARG (alternate reality game).

Thursday, 10 November 2011

BH- A brief History of the Genre/Artist in Genre

Industrial began as early as the late 70's as a new wave of experimentation, with the advance of technology it became easier for the use of electronic sounds. The coining of the phrase 'Industrial' came from the founding of 'Industrial Records' by early industrial band Throbbing Gristle with the phrase 'Industrial music for Industrial people'.
Cabaret Voltaire 
Of course the genre can draw its roots from Punk, Electronic and generally very Experimental music. With this we can gather that Industrial draws from a wide range of genres coming together. Cabaret Voltaire feature heavily in the early industrial scene, creating loops, physically cutting up the tapes. 
With the 70's drawing to a close, came the rapid expansion of the industrial scene into other countries it began with more and more artists picking up on this new sound- more electronic, more making music out of sound almost- with the use of samples.  With the event of the 80's the whole genre became more and more focus on the 'computer' sound of the effects and we began to see more and more offshoots appear as the genre gained a wider appeal however it did, for the most part still remain underground. We saw heavily controversial arise to attack what they saw as a very over commercial scene- Skinny Puppy releasing music videos intended to shock and cause controversy- hence sealing them as an underground band. Ministry also cropped up around this time as another offshoot of industrial (Industrial Metal) featuring very controversial lyrics often political- indicating another hallmark of the industrial genre- difficult lyrics tackling everything from personal issues to highly political issues.  

With the late 80's we have the rise of Nine Inch Nails who, although Trent Reznor has never claimed to be an Industrial artist, it was Pretty Hate Machine the first commercial release from Nine inch Nails that broke into the mainstream with great success. However that has been described as more SynthPop rather than a fully Industrial record. It's around the early 90's that we began to see the evolution of the Industrial genre into yet another iteration led by Nine Inch Nails who.....


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

BH- Costume/Casting

Well this is a subject that we've barely touched upon in full detail in our discussions about the video although we have decided upon using a teenage protagonist this means that we can have another connection with our audience. Because of how 'weird' we have planned our video to be, we would use the protagonist to really give our audience a way into the video.
We haven't really decided upon who else would appear in the video although /I think we do plan on including some basic performance shots but really keeping it to a minimum. 
Of course there are still issues to discuss such as should the singer also be the protagonist (something frequently done across all genres in the music video format) and should the band appear in the video, and if so then in what manner? 
Maybe something closer to 'The perfect Drug' where the other three band members appear as gentlemen dressing in top hats playing violins or later standing on the hill with canes in hand looking into the distance. but then the band have never really appearing in other videos (other than March if the pigs) all that clearly (cameo from Richard Patrick and Robin Fink in Down in It) so we are still debating as to wether we stick to the established Nine Inch Nails 'convention' of the focus just being on the singer.

A brief history of the Music Video

Let's go way back, to the 1920's when moving photography was at its birth- around the 1920's we had black and white films and they hadn't quite figured out how to make full voice tracks yet and so almost every film at the time had a music track to it- hence you could say, marking the birth of the music video. This means that music videos are almost 100 years old. The first promotional videos began to appear in the 70's as a means of getting the band more screen time and of course the  song itself. With these new and revolutionary videos we began to see dedicated channels appear (i.e MTV) or dedicated shows like Top of the Pops.

As the format of the music video has expanded; so have the means of distribution- at first with the video cassette- an idea used in the 90's often released as part of a collection of promotional materials from the band. And with more and more channels becoming avalible to the viewer we began to see channels dedicated to a specific genre.

Following the advent of the 2000's and the rise of faster internet speeds we could now have video sharing at good quality over the internet, something that has become more apparent since 2005 with the launch of youtube, which hosts millions upon millions of the music videos- giving the bands a much wider audience and quite frankly the viewer can choose what they want with video playlist. Another thing this has given rise to is the whole aspect of User Generated Content allowing the user to download the video (maybe not entirely legally) and make their own edit of it- or creating a new video using whatever footage they want to from games to live footage of the band. This allows the music to be heard by people who maybe wouldn't normally listen to the genre. 

Monday, 7 November 2011

BH- let's talk 'infinite' zoom

Here's a nice effect that I thought would be useful for our music video as something more untested and 'out there'  in terms of cinematic technique here's a video from the film that inspired me to do the effect (Limitless, 2010)

So let's first talk about why I think this effect would be good? Well instead of the conventional zoom down a corridor we can instead use this effect, its fairly unique and far out. 
So how do we do it? Well by taking a series of photographs we can give the same effect of course it's  going to be very difficult to achieve and look smooth so we're not totally final on how this effect will manifest in our video or if it will even make it in at all, but it's certainly something we, as a group, are interested in trying. 

BH- Recent Nine Inch Nails Activity

Well Nine Inch nails have released their first song in a good 3 years, but there's a catch. Released with Q magazine, it's a cover of U2's Zoo station already a fairly industrial track- but somehow it comes out less industrial and less dark...instead sounding much closer to How To Destroy Angels. It's, in my opinion, not quite Nine Inch Nails and it maybe wasn't the best idea to release it under the NiN category but then again NiN do have a fairly large fan base...
But anyway here is is for your listening pleasure: 

BH- How To Destroy Angels

How To Destroy Angels
How To Destroy Angels is Trent's other musical outpost, formed with this wife and Atticus Ross focusing on a very post industrial sound- certainly more subdued that Nine Inch Nails (aside from Ghosts) Reznor and Atticus are responsible mainly for the programming of the band where as Reznors wife does vocals  which at times can sound closer to just talking. 
Their first album was released in the summer of 2010 for the grand sum of- free, as a digital download. The full 6 track EP is available at a move which is becoming all the more common in the music industry, with artists making more money from live performances now than they do from actual music sales. 
So what's next for How To Destroy Angels now Trent Reznor has promised more NiN? Well actually HTDA already have another album being mastered (something that's been delayed by Reznor and Atticus' film work) so that should be out within 6 months...

BH- More advances on our idea

We've had another talk and started to draw up some basic storyboards, using fractal zooms to kick the video off. Intercut with the face of the protagonist lit up by a computer staring into it. We have also thought more about the lighting conditions with winter coming up we think that it would be useful to film in some low light conditions to help with the dark feeling. 
We have also considered the contrast between the modern tech and the more dated look of Ilkley & parts of Bradford. 
This would be useful to create that sense of contrast an handy for repeat viewings.

To help repeat viewings we're thinking of a more non linear narrative approach, we've also decided to destroy a laptop in slow-mo with a baseball bat at some point, maybe as a final ending, or the baseball bat smashing it- then the protagonist buying a new one, would be useful for a more open-ended video. considering the dark feel to the video we think that it'd be useful to add/ implicate violence, but maybe not onscreen. We've also toyed with the idea of some more concept focused sequences maybe in a room to indicate the mind, showing the room getting totally smashed- but obviously this has some difficulty doing.

BH- Key Influences

Obviously the prior music videos done by the band where taken into account during the initial concept stages of the idea. So in this post I'm going to run through all the key influences on our music video idea and in what way they affect our vision. 
So lets start with multimedia influences- video games!

Amnesia: Dark Descent 
The dark stylings of the game led to a very horror led atmosphere- not something we can replicate exactly, but 
something we can take ideas from- like the very dark lighting, the moody style, although I think it would create a nice contrast to have this new technology and then this very old and gothic style location

[add more]

And moving swiftly on to- films, obviously films like the Machinist (2004) a film heavily inspired by Nine Inch Nails about a factory worker who goes insane/ becomes mentally unhinged. The name of the protagonist (Trevor Reznik) deviates from Trent Reznor. It's a very dark film with a very weird plot told in a very unusual manner. The narrative is very hard to work out initially.
Fight Club (1999)
Directed by David Fincher, a frequent NiN collaborator- someone who has become widely acclaimed. But let's home down on Fight Club, a book inspired by The Downward spiral by Nine Inch Nails: 
"I listened to The Downward Spiral...constantly while I was writing Fight Club"
 says author Chuck Palahnuik.

It's another dark film with some non-linear stylings about an unnamed office worker who meets Tyler Durden and subsequently Changes his life. It features a twist in the way that the unnamed office worker IS Tyler Durden, something that lends itself to repeat viewings as little hints are left throughout the film as to the true nature of Tyler Durden. The themes of the film are very anti-consumerist, something I think we would like to touch upon during the music video/ imply with our focus on technology. 

The blue tint is throughout the video
Of course there are other music videos that have influenced ours, past NiN videos like 'We're in this Together now, Closer, Perfect Drug', we're in this together now is a B&W video, something we want to emulate for our video, maybe a slightly more lo-fi version.
Closer is essentially a bizzare world semi-victorianesq using old film reels from the early 20th centary, it's a very concept focused video and very odd to actually see without the music.
Then there's the Perfect Drug by the same director, heavily inspired by the art of Edward Gorey, which is very abstract- something that the director Mark Romanek struggled to emulate, but it comes off very well in my opinion. The tint is something that would be very easy to emulate something similar using the Final Cut software in post-production IF we decide to use some colour shots, maybe whilst the protagonist is staring at the computer screen.   

BH - Trent Reznor on Tunecore INDUSTRY

Recently Reznor posted on the subject of TuneCore- something which he says helped him put 'Ghosts' out to the public following the split from his record label. He mentions he's used them following 'Ghosts' with his How to Destroy Angels album and with his various film OST's. So what does this show overall? Digitalization has greatly helped the independent artists stay afloat and keep their independence and still get all their great music out to the user

I began using TuneCore six years ago with the release of Ghosts. They seemed like an interesting and efficient solution to get my music out everywhere and circumvent the existing machine in place at that time. The experience went very well - they actually did what they said they would in a straightforward, transparent, efficient and logical manner… I was sure they wouldn’t have a chance of surviving in the music business with that philosophy!
Years later, we’re both still standing. I’ve continued using TuneCore for all my releases since Ghosts including “The Social Network” and plan to use them for the upcoming “The Girl WIth The Dragon Tattoo” and the new full-length from How To Destroy Angels.
When they reached out to tell me about their new big idea - adding transparency and straightforwardness to the murky waters of publishing administration (which to me is a world as boring and convoluted as it sounds) I was very interested. If they could pull off what they did with distribution on the publishing administration side of things, this could be a pretty big deal - it could be another important tool that further empowers the musician / songwriter directly.
OK, I’m in. Check the link below for more information or check back in a few years and I’ll tell you how it went!
So what is TuneCore? 

Well it seems to be a service which allows independent artists to get their music into the various online stores, like itunes or Amazon mp3, without having to go through a major label. It also allows the artist to maintain 100% royalties and maintain fully copyright of the music they put out through TuneCore. What's interesting is that there seems to be a fee to pay for every single/ album/ ringtone that you put out through them, so it's not entirely profitless.

Monday, 31 October 2011

BH - Further ideas/ developments

A shot from 'We're in this together
now' (1999)
We have decided on a very contrasting style of video with a very dark style to it, bearing in mind prior Nine Inch Nails Videos such as 'We're in This Together now', which features a strongly stylised (B&W) type and use of close ups of lip syncing- then contrasted with long shots of people running 

Closer (1994)
However we also bear in mind other Nine Inch Nails videos, such as 'Closer' & 'The Perfect Drug', also heavily stylised, with Closer being shot using an old film reel from the 20's to give it a more aged look. we hope that a blend of these looks and styles will create a unique video that viewers will want to watch again and again and be the figurehead of a strong media package.

We have paid close attention to the Nine Inch Nails back catalogue of music videos from the early industrial/ pop-esq sound through to the more recent- with more to come and closer analysis to come in future blog posts. 

BH- NiN: Remix

Trent Reznor launched his own remix website- where the fans (for free) could download the multi-tracks free of charge and remix the tracks as they pleased, which incured the wrath of Universal records who wanted more control of how Reznor released his music. All remixes on the site are avalible to download free of charge and Reznor also used it as a platfrom to release some previously unheard tracks or tracks that had only ever been avalible in more obscure ways. [Draft]

Sunday, 30 October 2011

HK- The Group

The groups have been decided for our coursework and the birth of [ Insert group name ] was here
consisting of its 3 founding fathers Ben Hudson, Kyle Meeson and Harry Knight.

We decided to go for Ben's track as myself and Kyle both liked the concept of his pitch, though i cant say i'm the biggest fan of 9 inch nails but I decided to work on this track because I liked the idea for the video, and thats what this coursework is about. Creating a good music video.

Harry Knight

Age: 17 
Nickname: HK
Main Attribute: 
Hobbies: Making sweet, sweet music videos
Idol: Brendan Sheerin
Favourite Artist: Example
Faviourite Food: Calimari and Mussels by the sea!
Favourite Film: Step Brothers
Favourite TV Show: Coach Trip
Subjects Taken: ICT, Media, Sociology.

Name: Ben Hudson Age: 17 
Nickname: Huddy
Main Attribute: Being incredibly average. 
Hobbies: Video games
Idol: Trent Reznor (funny enough...)
Favourite Artist: Nine Inch Nails/ Tool
Faviourite Food: Pasta
Favourite Film: Lost Highway/ Drive/ Donnie Darko
Favourite TV Show: The Wire/ The shield/ Game of Thrones
Subjects Taken: Media, English lit, Theatre

Name: Kyle Meeson
Nickname: Never here. 
Main Attribute: Being absent 
Hobbies: Sleep 
Idol: The sandman
Favourite Artist:  
Faviourite Food: Pizza
Favourite Film: 
Favourite TV Show: 
Subjects Taken:

Sunday, 16 October 2011

BH- Nine Inch Nails, A history of,

Trent Reznor
Nine Inch Nails 'formed' in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio whilst Trent Reznor was working as a cleaner at Right Track Studio, Trent recorded his first demo's in the studio after hours- playing most of the instruments himself he made a demo set later known as 'Purest Feeling', heavily influenced by industrial artist 'Skinny Puppy', later released as a bootleg in 1994 by Hawk Records. Their live shows have ranged from the violent and muddy to hi-tech light shows as time has gone on leading to much more advanced sounds- as close to studio as possible; Trent Reznor writes all music but often hires a band when it comes to the recording and live shows (wouldn't make a very good one man live show...)
Reznor however has moved onto other things- his new project with his wife; How to Destroy Angels and scoring several films- having previously been involved with David Lynch film Lost Highway and Natural born Killers directed by Oliver Stone.

 His more recent forays have been with long time collaborator Atticus Ross to create the score for Social Network by David Fincher- (who also directed the video for 'Only') and more recently Renzor and Ross have been working on the score to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo also by Fincher. Reznor and Ross also won an Oscar for their work on Social Network last year- and Reznor has been working on a HBO adaptation of his dystopian Year Zero with the writer from Fight Club being roped in to help based on Reznors 2008 album and ARG (alternate Reality Game) used to help market the album. 

In 1988 Reznor was working as a cleaner at Right Track Studios when he created his first ever demos later known as 'Purest Feeling' a very early version of Pretty Hate Machine- the first big release by Nine Inch Nails spawning singles like 'Head Like a Hole', 'Sin' and 'Down in It'- this wave of more mainstream industrial, combined with the very pop feel to some of the songs proved a success, one which launched Nine Inch Nails into the early 90's. 
This lead to an intense touring period, this and creative issues between Reznor and TVT records led to a huge delay until Reznor released...

Broken, which was much heavier than their previous work, in 1992, following Reznors absence over the arguments with the record company. Which led to this statement by Reznor to be put in the sleeve of each vinyl record.

Broken was secretly recorded from march to august 1992 in a variety of locations
without the permission of
the record label
to ensure it could fester without Divine intervention
now They just leave me alone and let me do what I want

"Broken was a hard recording to make
Broken is an ugly record made during an ugly time in my life
Broken marks phase three of nine inch nails: the becoming
I am starting to realize what this is all about
and I don't like it

Flood starting out producing but I ended up
I'm not sure why

maybe I am what everbody seems to think I am

nine inch nails is still not a real band with real people playing real instruments
there will be no touring for Broken

I am starting work on my new full-length recording - The Downward Spiral - which I
hope will be finished the beginning of 1993

some will come along for the ride, some won't

Trent Reznor, 1992

From Ninwiki 

Happiness in Slavery

These new- darker tracks gave way to something much darker- the Broken film- which to this  day has still never officially been released due to the extreme and graphic content of the video which depicts a slow and ritualistic killing filmed on a very low-res camera- leading some to believe that it was infact a real killing...seriously. 

And as Reznor said the next release was The Downward Spiral- the big 'hit' for Nine Inch Nails with the song 'Closer' combined with a controversial video by Mark Romanek made it gold dust.
A concept album about the general destruction and fall of one man led to some seriously overwrought tracks filled with noise and screams. The 90's proved to be the biggest decade for Nine Inch Nails who at that point seemed to be going from strength to strength- a new sound with each new album as it appeared at that point.

(turn your speakers up)

Cue a five year gap in which Reznors problems became news and he all but vanished from 

the musical scene until 1999 with The Fragile which cut opinion in two- some seeing it as overwrought and far too depressing and others seeing it as a work of art spread over two discs of goodness. 

Although defiantly more depressing than the prior album The Fragile did contain some single material such as 'We're in this together now'  and the censored 'Starsuckers'

Cue another vanishing act from Reznor- who goes into rehab for alcohol addiction and 6 years go by until the release of 'With Teeth' a much more mainstream album- filled with catchy songs with plenty to make them far more catchy then the Fragile with more hooks to boot but it seemed almost that Nine Inch Nails had lost its bite or to others had adapted to a more modern audience.It generally divided fans.

Year Zero appeared 18 months later- a slick concept album on what Reznor perceived to be flaws on the american society. He said that the album was 'for a movie that never existed' This, however, is on the way, with Reznor producing a show for HBO with a hopeful air date of late 2012.
To compliment this Reznor created a vast online viral marketing scheme. Focusing on the proposed end of the world with a totalitarian US government in control- and various drugs used to control the masses with daily terrorist attacks taking place in protest- something not too far detached from today- releasing websites and codes for fans to trawl through. 
Here is one example:  

However Reznor took issue with the record companies pricing of it and prompted fans to 'steal it' leading to another huge fallout between Reznor and Universal Records. Signaling his departure to the foundation of 'Null Corperation' through which Reznor published Ghosts I-IV and the Slip for free for charge and launched the NiN remix site (more on this in future blog posts)

Following this seperation he begin to work on film soundtracks with Atticus Ross- on Social Network by David Fincher and the upcoming Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Thus concludes 20+ years of Nine Inch Nails history with Reznors promise that there's more to come...