Christopher O’Rourke: A Portrait of Another

23 April


Christopher O’Rourke by Zachary Newbegin

For Project Brief 2, I chose to focus on my uncle Christopher O’Rourke. He was my godfather and passed away on the 18 March 1997 – nine months after my birth. Throughout the entirety of my life, I have been told all about him and have felt his presence with me. Reflecting on my finished work, I consider using Beethoven’s ‘Für Elise’ as the most successful aspect of the piece. ‘Für Elise’ was Christopher’s favourite composition to play on piano and the shots of him at varying ages are complimented by the soft nature of the composition. I included Charlie Chaplin’s ‘A Night in the Show’ as it was also a favourite of Christopher’s. In consideration of how the other used ‘found footage’ works within the work, I chose to incorporate footage that illustrated my uncle’s interest in drag-queen culture and also his personal self-reflection on his journey throughout his illness. I did not want to use many visual transitions as I wanted a rather jagged look, used by a majority of cuts, to insinuate the rapid changing nature of his illness.

The most problematic part of working on this piece was to be tasteful to my deceased uncle however still encapsulate his inappropriately comedic nature and playful essence. This leads to my discussion on my learning discoveries through producing this piece. Working on Project Brief 2, in addition to Project Brief 1, I have garnered knowledge on the different creative possibilities of producing a ‘portrait’ of either myself or somebody else. When somebody thinks of ‘Media’ they automatically draw conclusions of filming and footage. My work, however, was difficult to incorporate footage due to the subject of the portrait I was producing being deceased. I chose to include several old photographs of my uncle however through editing, make it appear as though the photos have been filmed. I found that through editing, I was able to portray visual movement that I would not be able to include of my uncle due to his passing being too long ago to locate genuine footage. In reflection of what I have learnt relevant to my development as a media practitioner, I learnt that I can work around copyright by incorporating public domain videos and audio.

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