I didn’t have much to show in my tutorial. Last night I edited all the film clips I had together in a line, which amounted to 15 minutes in length. My tutor seemed disgruntled that I hadn’t gotten any further with it since last week; however, I’ve been reading lots and reflecting and that is just as important in a process as doing.
I told Rachel about the place film project and that I was worried that the narrative might get in the way of the film being about place. She suggested place is heavily involved in the film because the location is being used as the structure and holds the memory of the main character: perhaps I could bring that out further, as if the place was a character too.
I told her I was thinking about adding old footage of Brighton Lido and her reaction was that it might complicate the film unnecessarily. I realised that I wanted to do this to try to please my tutor. She told me to trust myself to make the work.
When I said “if only I could transfer what is in my head directly to video” she reminded me that accidents can make the work better.
This afternoon’s tutorial with Nick Collins gave me the following food for thought about the film I’m making about place:
Volks Railway Station is an interesting location. I could capture the emptiness of the station and superimpose flicker shots of people dancing, gradually adding more people. Nick suggested filming the shadows of people dancing or taking time lapse shots by getting people to move a tiny bit then freeze as I take a shot and repeat this process.
Because I want to include colour shots of a still photograph it might be difficult to use 16mm film on this project. Colour film is expensive to process. Also, it will cost money to print black and white 16mm film. The negative will run through the projector which could prove interesting anyway: blacks and whites as seen in reality will be reversed. And the negative can be transferred to video via telecine but Nick advised thinking about the reasons for shooting on 16mm film if it’s going to be transferred to video.
Sound can be added to silent film by making small marks in the first few millimetres at the top of the strip with a white pen or by scratching the film. Or the film can be developed so that the picture goes into the sound portion and the projector will read that part of the picture as optical sound. I love this idea. It could make the jarring/jangly sounds I need for when the main character is smoking a cigarette.
It is possible to run video and 16mm projectors so that two images are superimposed on one screen. I like this idea too. If I go down this route I imagine Rich (my film score composer) playing live as the film is screened.
Nick voiced a concern about whether the audience will understand the intention of the film. He suggested using titles to point the mind. I agree and I also feel okay if the film isn’t understood; my sense is that people tend to put their own meanings on films depending on their beliefs and life experiences. I am making this film as a way of externalising my own experience in order to look at it and understand it.