After reflecting on John Cage’s musical compositional style, I decided to create some rules to compose my film edit. I brushed up on reading musical notation by looking at Ken Davies’ website and Music Mind website. I labelled each of my forty six film clips with a number: 01 to 46. I took the first four beats from each clip and placed them in a ‘raw footage’ sequence in Adobe Premiere Pro. Here are photos describing the process I used to make my film:
I used six musical notes to decide on the length of clip; three of them were silent to represent black screen.
I cut out paper squares.
I wrote the numbers of clips and drew the musical notes on the squares of paper.
I folded the squares and placed them in cups (separate cups for film clip numbers and musical notes).
I pulled a number from one cup and a note from another until I felt I had enough for a short film sequence.
I added the clips to the visual track and if the note was silent I made the clip transparent (you can see this by the position of the yellow line).
I marked off each note so that I knew where I was in the process.
I did the same for the audio track.
I wrote some of the thoughts that I had whilst carrying out the monotonous repetitive work:
“as I drag the opaque bar down to zero, making the image disappear, a panic clutches me.”
“relief: the next note is not silent.”
“I imagine the final crit and Matthew dismissing the work in some way.”
“John Cage: “I have nothing to say and I am saying it”. His 4’33″ consisted of actual musical silences and a pianist sat at a piano and read the music until it was finished.”
“doing this with the film footage might render my journey to obtain it pointless.”
“I recognise some of the shots as ones I like and feel sad they won’t be seen.”
“I wonder what this will be like to watch.”
“I wonder if I will make meaning from the result.”
“it doesn’t matter how it turns out. It’s just a bunch of numbers and notes.”
“it’s just a series of repetitions: look at number and note type, select number of notes, copy them, paste them, turn opaque down if instructed, mark paper to show where I’ve got to.”
“I wonder how long the film will be.”
“images can be manipulated to show things that aren’t/weren’t there.”
“I know what that image is!”
“some of these tiny images look beautiful.”
“I’m near the end!”
“John in Bristol.”
“folly. This is folly. And so is everything else but stuff that’s purposeful appears not to be folly when it is.”
“motorbike sound outside: remembering the anticipation of John arriving on his motorcycle.”
“Edmund in his lycra outfit scootering around Enterprise Point.”
“Lauren in fairy wings scootering around Enterprise Point.”
I watched the visual track once I’d added the notes. I wrote this: “it’s a bit like setting up a line of dominoes; the anticipation has been building during the editing process.”