Since my last work in progress post I’ve had a fair bit of inspiration, and I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in the ideas I’m working with. I’m sticking with my original idea of creating the found footage video, but the ideas I’m exploring are a lot more clear now and I think they are connecting well with the course concepts.
One of the main things that has helped me solidify my ideas for this project was going through some of the footage I’ll be working with. When my mum gave me all those VHS tapes of her performances, she gave me the impression that the footage would be pretty rough and not very dynamic. I was expecting to see a whole lot of static shots of dance performances from the back of the theatre. Fortunately, I found out that this is not the case for most of them. I found that a lot of the footage is dynamic, well shot and very visually interesting. Many of the video tapes are 30 to 90 minutes long, so I’m starting to think that finding enough material for a 5-10 minute video will not be as hard as I’d anticipated. Here is a little test edit I did with some of the footage I’ll be working with:
The other big thing that got me on track for this project was an interview I did with my mum. My mum is a talker, so I didn’t even have to ask her any questions really, she just started talking about choreography and gave me some really interesting stuff. First, she spoke about the principles of choreography, and the ‘materials’ that a choreographer has to work with. She listed three things as the key materials of choreography:
- Space – the space in which the dance occurs, and the way the dance uses/fills that space
- Time – rhythm, non-rhythm, duration, relationship with music
- Energy – how is the dance performed e.g. delicate, floating or punchy, explosive
She went on to talk about the importance of process in choreography, which I thought tied in beautifully with some of the things that we discovered in project brief 3. Karl the neon glass bender also spoke about the importance of process and how it affects the artistry of the final product.
The last thing mum spoke about was the relationship that you have as a choreographer to the final product, which was also very interesting and very relevant (I thought) to film making.
I recorded about 20 minutes or so of mum talking about choreography, so my plan is to go through the interview and all the footage and edit it into some kind of instructive, artistic, found footage, almost documentary style… thing. I’m hoping that through the process of editing and choosing those key parts from the interview, I’ll be able to really unpack the concepts of craft and artistry that I’m starting to see.
My current plan for my final piece of writing is to talk about these ideas of craft, and to draw some comparisons between choreography and film making. I’m also going to talk about the actual process of converting the old footage into a digital format, which was pretty frustrating. It was funny though, literally plugging a VCR into my newish PC, and seeing how the two devices from different eras of media interact with each other. There’s definitely going to be some stuff to talk about there as well.