Archive for April, 2015

Amy

Posted: April 22, 2015 in Mediated Lives

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Video Media Workbook Blog

Posted: April 22, 2015 in Mediated Lives

Script

Entry 1 – Initial Discussions

Met for the first time as a group today. Discussions about what our video should be about, based on the theme of transformation. This is a great theme – lots of opportunity to translate this and to be really creative. Our first thoughts today including cross dressing and drag queens. I really liked the idea of linking the work of Ben Highmore’s theories of everyday life and how what I consider to be ‘everyday’ may be very different to someone else’s everyday. This idea was eventually dismissed – difficult to film using drag queens and not sure anyone else would have wanted to ‘act the part’ for us. This is an idea I would like to develop at some point though – does a drag queen dress up to be a man or does the man dress up to be the drag queen? Other discussions included transformations of humans into vampires etc. Again, a great idea but the film genre is saturated with these transformations and we weren’t sure whether we could add much more to this. Moving away from characters, we discussed the possibility of using Bristol as our transformation theme – the regeneration of areas of Bristol and the meaning attached to this but we all agreed that we wanted our film to be character based. By discussing the types of films we liked to watch, particularly linked to the theme of transformation, we all agreed that the film Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000) should be our starting point. Using the themes of transformation, self-portraiture and recontextualising found footage we agreed to explore the theme of childhood to adulthood and how the choices we make can determine our future. We discussed some initial scenes we might want to shoot – these included drug taking, alcohol abuse as an adult, contrasting with found footage of a child, carefree and innocent. It was at this point that I was inspired by Amy Winehouse and her death in 2011. I remember seeing a photo of her as a child and then just before her death – the transformation was shocking. I’d really like to add this idea to our film.

Diary Entry 2 – Group Presentation

Group presentation this week so more discussions to try and finalise our decisions and have enough detail and ideas to be able to present them to the rest of the group. We agreed that we would use Amy’s home footage of her as a child and then film contemporary pieces to be able to show the transformation from innocent child to drug/alcohol addicted adult. We really liked the idea of shooting scenes similar to the home footage. An example of this was to show Amy as a child at her birthday party with friends and family and then shoot Amy on her birthday as an adult, alone and isolated. We worked well as a group to write the presentation. Please find the link to the script attached at the top of the page.

Diary Entry 3 – Theories behind the video.

I’ve really enjoyed taking theories we have been discussing in lectures and relating/translating them to use in our filming. Some of our main theories are below although there are many more which will be explored in the film analysis:

The first theory, The Critique of Needs by the Socialist philosopher  HenriLefebvre (1947), explores the central themes of psychological and moral alienation. He believes that having more materialistically does not necessarily lead to happiness. He believes that although the dominant culture may dictate, shape or influence our wants and desire, it may not actually satisfy us.  As he says ‘Consumption does not satisfy a need.  In our film, we really want to explore this theory and focus on the alienation Amy feels as she struggles to identify what it is she wants. The poignancy of her childhood, where she appears to have everything, will contrast well with this.

In his second theory from The Critique of Everyday life (1947) –Henri Lefebvre explores
the Critique of Mystifications and the central themes of the mystified consciousness. In our film, we want to explore the contrast between the purity of childhood where everything is unquestioned, simple and safe to that of the mystified consciousness of the adult and her alienation from society, self and reality resulting in her drug/alcohol abuse. It is here that the theme of transformation is clear as Amy choses a path to adulthood that is destructive. We need to capture this alienation (her birthday party scene should do this) as well as the drinking 1,2,3 scene.

Herzog’s Grizzly Man

“You Must Never Listen to This”: Lessons on sound, Cinema, and Mortality from Herzog’s Grizzly Man – David T Johnson

When we watched this documentary in lectures, it had a huge impact on me. I had no idea how important and integral sound can be to a film. In this film, there are times when only sound is heard (the attack of the bear), no film, only sound. This is a great opportunity to utilize this technique for our film too.

Questioning everyday life – Ben Highmore

His theories of everyday life are going to be used in our film as we question what is everyday life and how we interpret it. By the use of quick editing, I want to try to explore the theme of ‘everyday life’ as a child to that of an adult.

Diary Entry 4

Thanks to Katie and Mark, our video is now really beginning to come together. Based on our notes (see below) we have now begun to edit Amy’s home footage. The main shots are Amy playing in the garden, Amy as an angel, Christmas time and Amy at her birthday party. These will contrast with contemproary filming where we will link the idyllic childhood past with the devestation of the present. Diary Entry 5

Here is the unfinished edit we had to show in class to show our progress in our video so far. This was really important because it gave us the opportunity to review the work we had done so far. At the moment I feel we are all too close to the project so feedback from peers is a useful opportunity. Generally the film was really well received and people understood our theme of transformation. Some suggestions were that we should have longer shots of Amy as a child and shorter shots of our shot footage to make more of the emphasis as a child rather than focusing on Amy as an adult and the negative images shown here. I agree with this – watching Amy as a child is endearing and allows the viewer the opportunity to develop an emotional attachment with Amy before we then contrast that with the shots of Amy as a drug user. Also, after the presentation we decided instead of having the drugs sequence edited together we would have it edited in throughout the video. This actually helped show the progression of drugs throughout the video and allowed us the opportunity to use Aronofsky’s method of editing. We’ve got a lot to do now before the project deadline but the critique given by our peers has been invaluable.