Aside

It’s time for…

It’s time for a blogpost! Are you excited too?! Thought not!

So where were we… my first experimental short documentary for the BFI is finished. Or, as near as complete as I can envisage it. I’ve been collecting peoples thoughts and feelings on the piece for a few weeks. Organised small gatherings and screenings, mainly because I wasn’t sure what to feel about it yet. I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I finish a project I have to leave it. Let it settle, even let it gather dust, before I feel like I can return to it. This is a very annoying way to work… and I really should learn to deal with it. But when you put your heart into something so intense as writing, producing, filming and editing your own documentary with very little guidelines as to how it should present itself, it’s hard to leave the edit completely happy. There will always be moments of doubt while you attempt something completely original. That was my only guideline for myself. Be nothing but ORIGINAL.

So, I began by playing a song from an album I produced. To my ears, it can only be described as electro spaceporn music.

I played this song to two friends of mine, both music producers based in Bristol. Matthew Olden is a video artist/VJ and independent AV software developer. Recently he has been touring installations, so I felt quite lucky I was able to catch him while I could. I’ve known him almost 10 years, but we’re both so busy and in our own worlds that it’s hard to predict when paths will cross!

I wanted to talk to Matthew because he is a master at visualizing epic soundscapes. He’s been using homemade technology to change the way producers are able to use samples and input devices. He’s also been quite influential in the way I produce music too!

Suzy Condrad is a singer/songwriter and music producer I met last year while organizing music events in Bristol. After playing at various gigs for my company, and being totally engrossed in her music, I found out she had synesthesia.

Matthew gave me a rather lucid, story-teller element to describe what he was hearing.

Suzy helped construct a colour palette of sound, using shape and an emotive response linked to my music.

After the initial first listening, I took all of the descriptions of what was being heard and whacked em into the magic machine. So the graphics you can see are directly linked to the range of notes and correlating emotive response from both a synesthetic (Suzy) and atypical (Matt) music producer mind.

It’s such an odd process I’m still getting my head around it to be able to describe to people, so I hope this absurd gibberish doesn’t hinder the watching/listening experience.

The Rise of the VIDEOPUNK in MiniDV Culture

What if all the subjects that influence me, don’t follow a narrative that could be explained in structure?
What if the progression I want to capture can’t be contained?

That’s where experimentalism comes in;
The experimentalist is a practitioner of adventure.

Opposing the standard, while exposing the flaws of whatever system he is forced to live by. He is an escapist, a surrealist feeding on the corpse of mainstream cinema. In the mindset of an experimentalist you become the videopunk.

The videopunk, as a way of life, is able to tackle any genre he wishes, because it becomes not a case of rejecting the stereotype, but reinterpreting it in whatever way he sees fit.
Rejecting the preconditioned format would be admitting the demise of narrative; yet the dismantling of structure only requires reinterpretation.
Honest exploration is the only language a videopunk speaks, by reflecting upon ideas and concepts and the need to share and invent new perspectives no matter how ignored these concepts become. At the heart of it all, yet not for the faint hearted, experimentation has provided a platform for the enablers and innovators of underrepresented perspectives.

Being the ultimate adaptable media, the MiniDV culture has unleashed a wave of young film enthusiasts.
The Videopunk has risen from an industry that define expression through the language of technology.
The ability to write, produce, edit and release… the concept of the freedom of digital expression means these voices can never be silenced or controlled. We are no longer spectators but producers of our own reality.

An open letter to the tutor

Hi Phil… I’m still quite stuck on what to do. All the subjects I want to explore can’t be done in 4 weeks…

I want to be able to focus down on a subject but I’m still not sure what that is. I’m interested in the moment
where film fails to portray what it’s like for individuals who live in these altered states…
like ADHD’s manic state, or an Asperger’s panic attack, but what I feel is easiest is to capture a moment with a musician. stage personas, who they become when they get in ‘the moment’.
Because musicians, especially singers – have to explore those dark psychological introverted moments and they share their gift in creative ways.
There are better ways to explain ‘the moment’ but right now the easiest way to explore it would be that of a ‘Peak’ – of creativity expression and emotion; and that usually comes out in performances.
It’s a state of being, to live in that moment of absolute bravery, intent and force, to look your crowd in the eyes and sing or play something that is personal, something which in the wrong light could get ridiculed or taunted. In a way, if you play to the right crowd, it can feel gratifying and ultimately quite unifying.
But it’s the evaluation of that moment, the fluency in your direct ability to transform such raw emotion into words, to know that something that you’ve worked on, through conception, production and into a final piece and into a public arena to share that same passion. I think this is something I’d like to explore. Where to start…

First stage of DocNext Project 1

Media as a form of communication, is a device used to realize intent, to better the understanding for the masses in reference to social, political, environmental, and economic terms.

Language is the essence of communication, and without the want or need to communicate to one another there would be no need for language.

Expression is the essence of the soul, and language is the media in which the voice can be heard. But what if you are trying to express the expressionless?

Film has developed a language of it’s own, brought forward by Hitchcockian style, yet I would argue that it is still only suitable, or speaking to; a very select group of people.

For instance, Hollywood loves lush dramatic soundtrack scores that use certain tones, notes, and scales to develop certain emotional attachments, to pull the heartstrings based on empathy, sympathy and compassion.

But what f you don’t feel the same way others do? People affected with Asperger’s, or more widely spread; Alexithemia – would have incredible difficulty in recognizing the underlying cues in emotionally-fused films.

Alexithemia is identified by a difficulty identifying, understanding and interpreting or describing the feelings being felt by yourself or others.

When you go to see a big budget Hollywood film, the script has most likely been through more financial hands than creative ones. You are no longer the individual but part of a mass consumer-based economy, and that’s where I feel mainstream cinema has become so disjointed with itself.

In beings who’s minds are literally hardwired differently – these emote-driven films tend to leave people like me ‘out of the loop’.

Not only do they rely heavily on a range of outdated techniques which are majorly unprogressive for the neurologically diverse, but they leave a section of the audience feeling alienated and confused.

So how would you express feelings to an emotionally-deprived being without it having to be pointed out?

Would it be akin to trying to describe a sound to the deaf, without being onomatopoeic?

I want to explore different ways of seeing, as it becomes more apparent that the film language we are currently using is not at it’s full potential, because it does not cater to those who aren’t a majority.

I want to be able to find a visual style for sensory issues, mainly in first person POV style. To build on this I aim to ask those around me who may have slight deficits but have been able to find their own personal expression through creative means, round issues such as synesthesia and hyperacusis.