‘Inversion’ By Mia Gvozdic
‘Inversion’ is an experience into the Uncanny, created with the intention to unsettle and estrange your sense of self. My creative journey began with the creation and manipulation of sound, and its power to conjure up feelings of unease. My focus then shifted towards the moving image that seemed to evolve time and time again. From the research of the Uncanny I funneled deeper into its counterparts of ‘the double’. This doppelganger effect takes shape as the antagonist and protagonist of my short. ‘The double’ becoming the basis in which my story-line takes shape. With further inspiration being drawn from my interest in Australian Gothic, I re-imagined my film’s landscape and the power of including themes of Australian culture.
The Uncanny is a concept that relies on something that is terrifying and yet familiar. Therefore, what is considered Uncanny is something that is frightening because it has become slanted or estranged thus unknown and unfamiliar to us. Overall, it is this idea that we understand what we are seeing however it doesn’t sit well with us. Also, we need to understand that the intrinsic feelings of the Uncanny are felt uniquely and subjectively to each individual. Filmic techniques I used such as lingering shots, warped sound and reverse editing all helped to support this Uncanny feeling within my own film. From the Uncanny I delved deeper into the aspect of ‘the double’ which is a concept that resides within the ‘Uncanny Valley’. ‘The double’ or doppelganger effect is something that I took on within my own film because it creates this sense of insecurity. My creative work embodies this idea as the protagonist’s double creates this sense of something that is terrifyingly familiar and leaves this feeling that our own existence in the world is futile and easily replaceable.
From the Uncanny my interest led me to the research topic of Australian Gothic. This topic focuses on the harshness, wildness and beauty of the natural landscape of Australia. Getting lost, disappearing, being trapped or even going mad in ‘the outback’ are all common themes found. The Australian landscape plays a massive role in this topic for its mysterious nature and its extraordinarily threatening presence. There is a certain power to the juxtaposition of The white man against such a harsh landscape. Unlike the Indigenous, there is this sense of them not belonging because they are simply not designed to survive. I put this idea at the forefront of my creative project, emphasising my protagonist’s lack of belonging in such a vast landscape. I did this through sound (didgeridoo at beginning and end of short) and the composition of the protagonist against his surroundings. The themes of being trapped and going mad also play a massive role in adding complexity to the resolution of the short film.
For me, this film still has a sense of a coherent story however my main focus was to try and evoke a feeling and sensation within the audience. I focused on establishing an environment of anxiety, isolating mystery and displacement. Therefore a lot of consideration went into the location, length of shots, types of sounds to record and music to use as well as editing manipulations in post-production. All contributing to the overall tone of the Uncanny. This creative project has been an evolving experience that started only with the intention to scare, however, instead it has moulded into a commentary on the ideologies of the Uncanny and Australian Gothic landscape and its mysterious nature.