We had a massive week this week in the lead up to our last class before the assessment is due. We’ve gotten lost with our direction at times (as I’m sure you’ll remember from our class discussion!) But Karina and Sunny put in a lot of work filming, and we’re really happy with the results, so are going to put in 110% of our efforts to turn the footage into a really raw film with a concise objective.

Below are the screen shots of original footage from this week:

Ella mentioned the comical side to our film, how the awkwardness/tension leads to humour, so we’ve looked into the film styles of French satirists Jaques Tati and René Goscinny. We’ve also been re-thinking our assessment question: it’s now less of a research into human movement/interaction, but rather a comical commentary of private people in public spaces.

The following screen shots are from the Kitchen Scene from Mon Oncle by Jaques Tati. It depicts him interacting with a modern kitchen, struggling to turns things on, dropping items, and so on. His inquisitions are always deliberate but innocent, and I think that’s what makes this scene so funny. The camera does not move, and I think that our film really bounces of this idea of minimalism to highlight a clear focal point.

The next images are from Charlie Chaplin’s work, The Lion’s Cage. Mr Chaplin is all about body movement and facial expression, putting himself into tense situations, and dramatizing his responses to a comedic level. This fragment of film is very fast paced, but slows down in moments of tension. The camera deliberately reveals to the audience what Charlie sees as he sees it (i.e. the fact that he’d run into a lions cage) giving us his immediately dramatized and comical response upon realisation. As a group, we can’t get enough of the body movements Charlie Chaplain employs, and how the direction and wideness of his eyes convey so much. Although the music is classical, it’s a really important study for us to understand the different methods that create tension and reprieve

Our new Research Question: How can lacuna be visually explored and represented in the context of public human interaction? Gathering stimulation from the film, sound and comedic techniques of 20th century satirists, depict the empty space we see in the learned tension of societal communication.
Answer: Inspired by the works of Charlie Chaplin and Jaques Tati, we’ve decided to use a blank studio space and simplistic props to convey the cautious and stunted nature of strangers interacting. Minimalistic sound and colour, along with static camera angles and no dialogue force the viewer to engage in the awkwardness of the situation. We developed our ideas by viewing human interaction and then choreographing one of our own, dramatizing the rigidity and anxiety seen in our actors’ body language. The box is symbolic of the unspoken gaps between strangers; neither party address, but both are aware it is there.

We also met up last night to re-format the order of our project, and what pieces of film we’re going to use. We feel a lot more confident about the flow of the film. Sarah and I also used instruments to form abstract sounds (influenced by Luigi’s work!) i.e. playing the bass out of tune/tuning it as we played, isolating different sounds on the drum, and getting a drummer to watch our piece and play along with it, forming stunted rhythms and sounds. We then are manipulating these sounds, we were really pleased with the way the drums (namely, high hats/symbols) sounded when slowed down and played backward.

Hence, our final steps involve editing the colour aesthetic on after affects, making the picture clearer and brighter. We also need to place the musical sounds where they belong. We have used cuts of footage interrupting other footage to stunt the flow of our piece, so are excited to aid that with percussive noises.

All in all, it’s been our most challenging week collaboratively, but I’ve been really impressed with our ability to move past the tough times and learn how to communicate more effectively. I’ve definitely learned a lot about the creative process with other designers, and I think this is a project we’re all going to have pride in due to the obstacles we’ve chosen to overcome.

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