Project One: Lyrical Juxtapositions:
André Breton's maxim “Beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table” is an expression of the belief that simply placing objects in an unexpected context reinvigorates their mysterious qualities.” gathered from Jonathan Lethem’s essay “the ecstasy of influence: a plagiarism” in Harpers Magazine
Step One: Shoot at least 10 different video “phrases” using a variety of styles from the pre-production list (include at least one establishing shot, one medium shot, one closeup.) Choose the subject based on its visual appeal to you and its meaning within a general thematic concept (such as growth, reflection, stamping, landslides, spectrum, bridges, etc.) Record at least 10 different sounds that you find and create (field sounds, foley sounds, tonal sounds, archival sounds.)
Step Two: Choose 5 video clips and 3 audio clips from step one to share with the class in our media bank on Google Drive. Using no more than 30% of your own clips, edit together a one minute sequence by juxtaposing, layering, comparing, revealing images and sounds to create a unified whole with a sense of beginning and ending. At this point, your original theme will likely change based on the new clips you use. You may choose to add text if needed to unify, but it is not required. If you do add text, it should be your writing (or a friend) or something that is clearly appropriated from a public source and brings meaning of its own.)
Technical Goals: Know basics of cameras, supports, Premiere, audio recorders.
Aesthetic Goals: create a unified whole of disparate parts, genuinely collaborate with each other.
Examples: Pipilotti Rist, Leighton Pierce, Hiraki Sawa, Josh Gumiela, YiDai,
Pre-Production Considerations for Experimental Film and Video
Conceptually: each phrase will develop meaning by being next to another phrase. They can each be rather simple, exploring a setting, action etc that is interesting to you. They can have symbolic meaning, but try not to be too obvious (commercial or didactic) so that the phrase can be connected to a variety of other images. You might find inspiration from something you are reading for another class, a part of your own interests and identity, historical myths or events, stories and poems, etc.
Technically: Video and Audio Phrases occur over time. As time evolves, movement, progression and change lend interest to the phrase. Since you are making separate “phrases” they do not need to be unified by subject at this point, although two or three of them can be. Since we are using this assignment to get used to the camera as well, try a variety of camera controls, changing Depth of Field (aperture control), ways to capture motion (crisp or blurred: ShutterSpeed) and control over light (ISO).
Always add more light than you think you need because the image will look darker and noisier (grainy) than your eyes perceive. Always move a little slower than you want the final image to appear because the motion will appear faster in the final output.
Explore various types of shots:
Establishing or wide shot: lets viewer know context
Medium shots: show action, dialog
Close up: shows emotion, details
Extreme Close up: Macro can be used to abstract the subject
Still shot: keep camera still allows action to take place with subject
Moving shot: pans, quick cuts, tracking create mood (action or disturbed, violent)
Swish pan: pan quickly (blurred) landing on subject. Creates movement, rhythm, tension.
Shoot to edit: Let movement go off and on and off screen
Continuation (consider action leaving one frame and going into another)
Framing: Don’t change framing on shots you want to edit together continuously. (use tripod)
Frame within a Frame: Using interior compositional elements to set apart part of the image to impact the meaning, creating focal point, a sense of theater, a sense of isolation, etc...
Using Camera Angle:Looking down on a figure makes it look helpless, looking up looks powerful eye level feels equal) Dutch angle (diagonal framing) adds to anxiety, confusion, etc.
Consider these creative methods while shooting (not all for this assignment alone):
masking off part of the image,
using color filters, unusual filters, plastic bags, marbles, bowls of water.
bounce off a mirror,
Use a combination of in-focus and out of focus elements
use non-traditional or spot lighting (a flashlight, car headlights, etc)
use a projected background or project onto an object while recording
use a color you will later key out either in background or elsewhere.
dolly to move camera smoothly (wheel chair option)
glide track for movement
Back to Experimental Video
On to next assignment