Alice’s Adventures At Black Rock – final group crit version


This video is the final group crit version I presented at University of Brighton today. It uses a fictional story, based on an autobiographical truth, to explore various places at Black Rock, Brighton, and the way place relates to memory. Memories can be triggered by any of the senses but in this film I have used sight. Alice, the lead character, visits Black Rock and as she explores, she is triggered into remembering a traumatic event from childhood. A confrontation scene includes dialogue with her abuser, while the camera zooms slowly in on a close up of the torn fabric of a sofa, inspired by Michael Snow’s film Wavelength. The film received a spontaneous round of applause at the end.

It will be interesting to put the film away for a while now and come back to it later to see what changes I might make in the future. For now, I am mostly happy with it but there are some issues with the scene where Alice dances in Black Rock Railway Station. I am aware the editing needs attention, as pointed out in feedback, although the changes I need to make are not obvious to me right now. Time will allow my subconscious to come up with answers.


Editing – penultimate scene

Maybe less is more. Maybe instead of layering so much I could borrow from Michael Snow and let the tension build by slowly zooming in on the sofa fabric weave and change the colour every so often. But I don’t know how to do it. Perhaps I don’t need another layer. Perhaps it could be done with keystrokes. Some layering might be nice though. And the flickering could occur towards the end – flashes of Alice’s Uncle’s body tied up under the Christmas tree.

Editing – penultimate scene

Gathering random pieces of footage and montaging them doesn’t seem to work. So I’m wondering what a baseline would be? Which piece of footage could I place on the timeline that I could add stuff to? Could it be a still? I’m looking at the roses painted on my wall. Everything seems to have meaning when I look at it.

Watch “Stan Brakhage: DOG STAR MAN – PRELUDE” on YouTube

I watched Stan Brakhage’s film for inspiration for the confrontation scene in my film about place. As Tim, my tutor, says: I have leeway to go as abstract as I like but I won’t let myself cut shots so that they are fast. Why is this? Something to do with being unable to separate the audio from the visual: I feel I have to make them match but my sense is that if they contrast instead it will create something better.

Group Crit

Feedback during group crit at uni today centred around the penultimate scene which currently shows matched audio and video of Alice confronting her Uncle about the sexual abuse that occurred when she was a small child. I had the idea, whilst listening to another student’s feedback, of using close up shots of the weave of the sofa and of the white roses Michael gave me that are now dead. I could drop red paint on the white roses and it makes another reference to Alice in Wonderland. Tim, my tutor, said I have leeway to go as abstract as I like in this scene because the repetitive voice saying “it’s over, he’s dead” brings the viewer back to the narrative.