Hands on the Moon Supercut
This was the first video I have made for our class back in March and it was the first time I ever edited/played with the footage that was not only not of my own making but a ripping of a big budget critically acclaimed feature film. It opened up a whole new way of interacting with the films I watch as I take creative freedom to reimagine their meaning and story. The process of choosing one element to follow throughout the film and then assembling the supercut featuring it made me pay attention to the details of the film like never before. It also made me so much more aware of what I love about the story and what things I would change, concentrate more, underline better if I were to direct it. Later on, as we continued to do exercises with our chosen footage, these clashes became more apparent and my work became more contrasting with the original mood of the film, which taught me once again the magical freedom of reimagining existing footage in a process of mosaic assembly that all video essays I make feel like.
This is one of my favourite videos that I got to make this semester simply because I was dying to connect a film about a man on the moon with a David Bowie song (the director of the film is his son so I knew there was a connection between the two!!). I remember carefully selecting this scene as it was such a powerful visual metaphor for burying yourself on multiple levels. The quote about the five stages of grief has haunted me ever since I had to stage-manage a show at Middlebury where the character went named these stages and I got to hear it at least 50 times. It was the first time I worked with text outside of chapters or ending credits to the video and it really opened up a new way to construct an argument visually, which I later relied heavily on in the montage part of my final video essay about Cleo 5 to 7. So many of the elements in this video -sound, text, visuals come together to echo the meaning of the scene back and forth between each other, mostly by accident, – something I have been trying to achieve again again later in my videos.
Deformation on the MOON
This is the video where I challenged myself the most on a technical level as I was experimenting with images in Adobe After Effects. Starting out this exercise was scary as I was had no clue how and whether at all it is going to make meaning visually. Usually, every creative idea appears visually in my mind before I sit down to actually construct it in Premier but with this exercise I fully embraced the experimental learning curve of deconstruction. I followed my visual instincts and only in the end added a narrative element by choosing to situate the deformation in the nightmare scene of the film. Deconstructing the visuals of the film to this extent felt most gratifying creatively as it put more distance between the end product and the source material.
Desktop Documentary featuring carrots
Everyone in our class became a little bit obsessed with the desktop documentary genre to which we were introduced half way through the semester – including me. On the one hand, I believe this is the most uncommercial type of the video essay that is very hard to follow without feeling bored. On the other hand, it is a fascinating exploration of the voyeuristic nature of film and curiosity in the personality of the author. I think it is the most fun to make and also the most difficult as there is a lot of uninterrupted choreographed movement that rarely works out from first attempt. I am not sure why I chose to film myself also as a part of it but it definitely helps to create more of a personality of the desktop, which to me is the most interesting part of watching the desktop documentary. Later on I incorporated it in my final essay and even extended the theme of character further by putting myself in the movie Cleo 5 to 7. It also became apparent in this video that I’m drawn to constructing poetic arguments, interpretations, celebrations or new narratives in my video essays that step further and further away from conventional analysis or argument contraction as the semester goes on.
Final Video Essay
It is interesting to see how all the exercises we did this semester culminate in my final video essay. The idea of doing the video about the gaze originated in me rewatching the film and concentrating on specific element like in the supercut exercise. Then I looked for ways to incorporate text on screen for the trailer of the video. The trailer actually ended up driving the video more to a montage side than initially I could imagine as I decided to keep in the song. The desktop documentary came later as I was looking for ways to establish a personal connection to the argument about male gaze. That personal connection ended up overtaking the project in the end as I struggled to pace out the prologue, middle and resolution together – many darlings were killed in the process. In addition, an important lesson learned from my previous desktop documentary is the size of of text on screen. With this video I really made an effort to make it visible even on smaller devices like laptop screens. I am very proud of some of the creative solutions to the argument in the video, even-though overall it still has an unconventional flow to it. It feels very vulnerable uploading this video online as I second-guess what kind of person it makes its author appear, but the act of publishing it somehow frees me from all the oppression mentioned in the video. I guess this story is going to follow me many more weeks into the future.
Video response to Cary Grant
Never have I ever had more trouble developing a video idea or finding motivation to finish an assignment. What started out as an obsession with Ian Garwood’s supercut video essay on Cary Grant ended up being the most creatively draining project of this semester. The block was finally broken by a simple choice to allow myself experiment with the nature of deconstructing creative process in a playful, self-aware manner without the pressures of building a ground-breaking take on Ian’s video. It is terrifying thinking he will see it and at the same time relieving to leave this project behind.