One of my favourite ways of working is to bring chance into the equation. So yesterday I logged the pieces of film I’ve been taking since May 2012 and numbered each logged piece: from one to twenty four. I wrote each number on a tiny piece of paper, folded up the pieces of paper and put them in a plastic cup. Shaking the cup, I drew a piece from it: two; I shook and drew again: twenty; and again: twenty three, and so on. I now have seven pieces of film to put together to the soundtrack of In The Shadows.
I feel a sense of relief at not having to make the decisions myself and some excitement about what they’ll look like together. And then there’s sound: how will the sounds I add, or the silences, change the film? Will a story emerge? Is my brain so hardwired into stories that it will determine one? I like this process very much. It’s film collage. The clips are:
2. A pair of wood pigeons in a nest in the tree outside my lounge window.
20. A puddle reflecting the roof of the old fruit and veg market, shot from the row of council flats behind Circus Street, Brighton. The fruit and veg market has not been used since 2005 and is derelict. There are plans to knock it down and create an “innovation area” there. I wonder what the people in the council flats that look onto it will make of that. How will it affect their view? And their peace during the building process? I quite like the derelict area. I like the puddles that form little eco systems on the roof of the market. Pigeons hang out there as if it is their local lido.
23. Rain on my kitchen window blurring the view of the council flats in the background. I like this clip because of the noise of the washing machine and of tea being stirred with a teaspoon – I might use these noises elsewhere in the film. I also like it because of the slugs of rain that gather and then suddenly snake down the window.
10. A shot of the balconies of the flats opposite my lounge window; it pans down to the uppermost reaching branches of a tree.
15. A seagull on my balcony. A lot of the footage is wobbly which may or may not be okay. I’m not sure which bits to use right now. The seagull was laying down in the sunshine (sunshine is a phenomena that we used to experience in summer time in Britain).
24. The inside of Stuart’s cupboard as he blanks the tape for the next person. The tape I’m using is borrowed from Stuart, the Film teacher at Varndean College. The clip is just black with sounds of students in the background. I probably won’t use the sounds.
2. Again. This is the first clip that was picked at random. I like that it came up again. Shows the cyclical nature of life.
Seven clips drawn at random. I’ll take the video camera to St Peter’s House Library (any member of the public can use university and college libraries for reference purposes, by the way, as long as they have identification on them) to use Final Cut Pro, which I’ve not used before, on one of the computers they have there. Luckily, the University of Brighton sent me my student logon and password early so I’m able to use the computers at the library. Without this I would not have access to the equipment I need to edit so I feel very grateful to them for the opportunity.
The next step is to get these clips onto the computer. I can use the memory on my phone – I have quite a few Gigs available. I’m not sure how much memory is allocated to me on the UoB network but would be good to back it up there. I’m also considering whether to copy the whole tape or just those clips. If I copy the whole tape this time then I can do the process again with different randomly chosen pieces. And I have more sounds available to me.