Exercises on Capture and Edit: Abstract Image

Abstract Sound & Vision Exercise

During the Abstract exercises, I conclude that my strength is filming intimate, subject-driven shots and that my weakness…is the very same thing. Whilst editing the footage we captured, I was struck-dumb in three things things, mostly: one, we did not have enough shots to work with, two, it may/may definitely have been a hot day and my brain was a fried, burnt egg, and three, I could not think of a story that will put two and two together to create even a something. I do not have the edited footage right now but I will update once I’ve got them compressed and exported, but I hit a stump staring at our footage we captured. I tried to add some effects like slow-motion and some form of colour distortion to make the video appear bizarre and poetic (yeah, right). That made me feel worse.

I reflect on the fact that natural-occurring sounds in this exercise is the bane of my existence BUT, I could work around this by removing the sounds and adding a music track instead because abstract videos are often not dictated by a narrative and I need to embed that in the back, front and sides of my head. Sound has a profound power that can give meaning to what seems to be inconceivable. 

After having a quick chat with our Jedi Master Paul and further explaining to him what I want to get out of the course, he motions me to focus instead on the other exercise (whose name escapes me) that focuses on shots, framing and composition. However, with abstract image, I am still determined to overcome this particular creative bane of mine and experiment on what sounds and music could do. It would help particularly since I am also learning much about documentary studies and the incredibly contradicting cinema verité and how this form of documentary is motivated by the all-seeing behind-the-scenes eye of the filmmaker.

How does the filmmaker do it? How did D.A. Pennebaker collapse the footages in “Don’t Look Back (1967) because I, personally did not enjoy the abstract ride he put me through mostly because I felt that nothing was going on and nothing was motivated to push the theme forward. If there even was a theme?