Film Essay (Intergrated Media One)
Creators of the enchantingly simple “Experience”, Vanessa Wong, Grace King and Eric Liu, construct a wonderful touching journey through life. The K film explores moments from the first steps we take as children through to mundane activities like paying rent and exciting events like travel and dating as young adults. The Korsakow film deconstructs the trials and tribulations of growing up in a way that would not be able to be achieved through big screen film as each individual clip allows the viewer a closer insight into not only the life of our creators but the events that transpire in our very own lives.
The project is an interactive documentary in which the makers of the film use ‘the hypertext mode’ in order to create a project in which the viewer is able to move throughout their piece at a rate pleasing to them. (Aston, Studies in Documentary Film, 2012) The project is also experimental documentary, which although has an overriding theme of school and growing up is categorized as an experimental in the sense that there is no direct narrative but rather a collection of clips. (Bordwell D, Thompson K, Film Art- An Introduction).
The simplistic layout of the K film starts off with a photo album cover with the title. As the audience the interface is limited. We are only given one option; to click into the album and watch the first clip. By disallowing any other avenues of choice, the film immediately invites the viewer to explore the intimate moments of their lives.
The interface remains consistent throughout the piece. The basic layout the snu that is being played presents itself on the left on the screen with three smaller snus adjacent to it on the other page. Along with pictures in the corners a booker binder down the centre and text under all major snus.
This consistency ensures that the theme of a picture book is carried throughout the piece as the major snu always remains on the left side of the page, as if we are turning a page in order to see the next snu. This idea of a family scrapbook is also further exemplified by the pictures seen across the book, along with the binding of the book itself.
This remains a reoccurring pattern throughout the film, with the pictures changing as the subject within the book ages.
It can be argued that these pictures can distract from the video and as the snu doesn’t repeat once done, the initial moments of the clip are often missed. This is unfortunately a fault that is found across the piece. With both writing and the cut of both music and sound only used on choice videos.
However, in saying the text also serves an important in conveying the overall content, whilst also furthering the pattern. With texts like the example below “From the first paycheck to the last” the audience does not just see money on a desk but rather the all important ‘journey’ from little to money to decent income.
The pattern, which is successfully produced throughout the film is this feeling of an individual growing up. This is supported by both the content and the interface. First and foremost it is supported by the content as we are presented with the book changing as the individual grows through the certain stages of life; From learning things as a baby, to pre school, to primary school, to high school and eventually to university. This is shown through the different images that are presented on the page (as shown above). The interface also supports this pattern by only beginning the first snu with ‘first steps’ and only allowing snus that click on to either other baby like activities such as hearing music for the first time or older snus such as eating cake or playing with toys.
The film itself sticks to no in particular style of shot, using a vast variety of angles and sizes throughout the project. The camera however does jump between first person and observational shots quite a lot throughout the piece.
Although this provides variety in the clips, it takes away from the pattern of it being a photo journal. As many photos that a put in family photo books are rather taken by a figure not within the shot.
To conclude, “Experience” provides a clear an easy interface in which any user is able to navigate a touching story of growing up and dealing with education and the issues that present themselves along the journey. It’s clear construction of pattern and the content chosen has highlighted only contributes to this overall story.