The Feeling of Being Body Part

No I didn’t misspell anything, that really is the title of our new Korsakow film. This was a collaborative project made by our awesomely Asian team comprised of

myself Ajeet Singh
the humorous Azim Iskandar
the brilliant cameraman Zijing Yang
and the charismatic Anh Vu

Who all play staring roles in this little project. Hope you have fun watching it.

Along with our collaboratively written accompanying essay on what its all about and why we did what we did and why it turned out the way it did.

There are many ways that can help us to understand what a hypervideo like the kind Korsakow provides us can do. A simple way would be the way in which we might browse a single webpage on the internet and navigate through the various links that it provides. These are usually labelled to give us an indication of what and where they link us to. What this means for a K-film is that it is a viewing experience unlike any normal linear narrative film as it allows the audience to actively engage with the film and to some degree create or derive their own meaning from it. As for the title of our film, we initially named it as ‘The Feeling of Being” however as our cameraman and editor saved the folder under the more utilitarian name “Body Part” we jokingly put the two together to form the name that we thought was humorously in line with the content of the film itself and decided that it actually worked and so we stuck with it. In order to describe our film  better it’s important to discuss a little on the process of creation behind it.

The way we make meaning in a film is more often than not from the editing that combines various clips together, and with a standard narrative this editing process is done before hand and in an order suited to the filmmaker. The complete film does not deviate from its set path and that is what makes it a linear narrative.Using Korsakow with its complex and seemingly random connections, it seemed like an interesting approach that could be taken to portray and explore the human body and its various verities. When we took to writing and elaborating further on the types of clips we wanted to capture, there were various things that we had to consider as the human body encompassed a very large field of possible observation, and 60 clips would probably not be able to do it full justice. Another concern we faced was whether or not or to what extent we would include intimate human interactions with each other and whether this was something we would be comfortable with getting footage of. Whilst this would have proven to been a much more compelling piece, the general consensus was to stick to a more family friendly piece. In our very drafting of the idea, we wanted to show how we used our body parts in everyday life, especially in showing love and affection to people we love for instance kissing and touching. Our body parts are an important and pivotal way for us to interact with the world and people around us and we use them and various fascinating ways.

It’s difficult to really consider the way a narrative functions within something like a K-film as a narrative is defined as a sequence of events that tries to tell us a bigger story, and since with a K-film the narrative is different on every viewing, it could distort as well as change the story that the audience takes away from it every single time. It’s almost like a story generator. However the nature of our film, and another one of the things that K-films can do, is create a greater sense of a theme or emotion rather than a linear narrative. As a K-film can have no real ending and the audience is only given thumbnails from which to analyse and decide where to go next, the possible narratives are immense and would take unreasonable amounts of time for any one person to successfully attempt to view all the various forms or orders it could manifest into.

One of the other things we concluded on earlier in the planning and shooting stages was to either have a narrator romantically speaking in the background over the whole K-film about the human body, or to have a mini-narrative within each clip. However as we accumulated our first set of clips before being presented to our class, we noticed the humorous nature of our banter and behavior that was caught in the filming process whilst filming and in our first prototype we realised that this made it quite an enjoyable experience as the user is exploring through the various clips. We filmed a number spontaneous and impromptu clips that we felt were necessary on moulding our K-film into what it is we wished to express.We formed a table of content with a strategic plan of what to shoot, and to get roughly equal parts of each category of the body we had set up which were the ears, mouth, eyes, nose and skin. When it came to the subsequent shooting sessions we found that in order to suit our new direction we had to reform all our ideas to better suit this light hearted and humorous take on things and what resulted was a very organic set of clips that were a mix between shots that we had planned and shots that we came up with impromptu. The captivating commentaries and behavior we made whilst filming were incorporated to add to this “raw” filming trait that we had picked up in the process of filming. It also makes the viewing experience of this non-linear narrative more varied and enjoyable.

We only used 4 subjects to capture our footage, and at first we thought of getting more but we decided to stick to the 4 to maintain that sense of exploration and being able to traverse a range of emotive expressions rather than schizophrenically bouncing off random emotions from random individuals. Not all clips conveyed a deeper emotional agenda but all were supposed to give off a certain mood, this was emphasised particularly in the depth of our extreme close ups and with the post film use of black and white and film grain to give everything a deep intrinsically raw emotiveness. The k-film were just a series of clips of people in extreme close up. We aimed to go through the human body by starting up with the head and working downwards so the film always starts out with the eyes, however due to the evolving nature of our film this plan didn’t really stick for long as our K-film turned into a clip about how humans communicate with each other and express themselves.

Within the film itself initially we can see that it is completely insane and has no real connection with itself apart from the same four people who may not all necessarily even show up on some viewings and appears to be just a series of clips of them rambling about and complaining about trying to make a K-film. In a way it turns into a documentation of the 4 subjects, with each viewing we get a better understanding of their demeanours, behaviors and attitudes which are the actual observable patterns.

We chose the interface based on how it presented our clips and we were striving for a very simplistic look. we felt as if the thumbnails had more than enough information to give the audience a better sense of which direction they want to take the K-film. We were contemplating on having descriptive text alongside the clips to put some context into what they were about but that would have distorted and interrupted the flow of the film design we have carefully cultured. The end result is a single viewing clip on the left hand side of the page with three smaller thumbnails all neatly arranged on the right with frozen thumbnails of the clips they depict. We decided to have them as still images because we didn’t want the viewer to catch a preview of the following clips, as it creates a greater sense of discovery.

 What made this viewing particularly interesting was how it turned out to be very meta in that we all made it clearly obvious we were being filmed for the purpose of making a K-film and used that as a major part of the finished product. As K-films are a relatively new phenomenon and there is no real ‘correct’ way to use it, this original attempt at creating something that turned into something more impromptu and experimental yielded some pretty entertaining results. And even though we appeared to have somewhat deviated from our original course of action, our end result brought us back to our somewhat core meaning of human interactions with each other and the world around them.



(Sawhney et. al. 1996, p. 8)
Sawhney, N, Balcom, D & Smith, I 1996, ‘HyperCafe: Narrative and Aesthetic Properties of Hypervideo’, in Proceedings of the Seventh ACM Conference on Hypertext, Hypertext ’96 (New York, NY, USA: ACM), pp. 1-10.

(Miles 2008)
Miles, A 2008, ‘Softvideography: Digital Video as Postliterate Practice.’ Small Tech: The Culture of Digital Tools, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, pp. 10-21.