Wk 5 “Abstract Image” Exercise 1B: The Couch


Put together a one to two minute “abstract” film – work that does not attempt to represent external reality, but rather seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, colours and textures. Shots can be recorded using a camera or phone. There should be at least 6 of 30-second shots which investigate a place.


Why a couch?

It is convenient. Shooting at home makes it more likely my housemate will comply to be the subject of experiments. Plus, I did not want to risk lugging around an expensive, heavy camera alone in public. This novice wants to tinker with camera functions. Setting up at home allows me to study at my own pace.

It is not just a couch. More than a common object, it is also a place. The confines of a couch functions to host activities for entertainment, socialisation and comfort. One does not simply sit on a couch. One strategically rests one’s soft bum with legs crossed and cushion in arms to watch a movie, eat dinner, chat, snore away, possibly bum-to-bum. And I am sure you have more ideas, dear reader.

It is also a symbol of luxury, to a certain extent. I regard it as a secondary furniture; its presence a sign of disposable income. With all the fun activities it associates, the couch would usually be in company of other luxury items such as a television, laptop and/or coffee table. The couch is only functional because of its relationship with various other objects, humans and dogs.

This film aims to portray the relationship between human and couch. From a couch, it becomes the couch.


Below is a justification of some of the more significant shots. Not all shots used are listed. Not all shots were applied to the final edit.

1) Watching a movie is an event. How to show the significance of a couch during one’s pre-movie preparation process?




2) How to translate the abstract feeling of comfort and excitement into something visually relatable?




The Sony X200 was effective in capturing serious or mundane actions due to its stationary position, smooth movement, exposure and focus functions. In contrast, the iPhone 6 Plus shoots very expressive tracking shots. The popcorn scene above shows how a phone can imitate the movement of one’s head to indicate surprise, curiosity and comedy. Its mobility also allows more interesting sounds and textures when moved against the sofa.

Sony X200 steady on tripod not mobile
consistent focus (manual) shaky without tripod (weak muscles)
smooth zoom and pan
play with exposure (manual)
iPhone 6 Plus very mobile difficult to mark positions without tripod
captures interesting sounds due to movement and friction cannot adjust focus and exposure separately
pressing zoom button creates unwanted sound

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