Masters Project – 6 – The Second Film & The Whole

The second film, which plays concurrently with the first on a screen next to it, is a more traditional film edited entirely on an NLE.  I wanted to create something that was more ‘raw’ than the first film, so I have deliberately avoided doing any colour correction, grading or effects work. Therefore the look of each shot is a result of the decisions I made while shooting it with a camera. I decided to take this simpler approach for two reasons. Firstly so that the film has a feel similar to that of a home movie, so that it projects a sense of intimacy to the viewer. Secondly so that it is directly understandable to the viewer, as its mechanic is similar to films in a wider sense.

The reason for creating two films in installation in this way relates to the post structuralist idea of an ‘Artwork as assemblage’ which I explored in the previous MTE11 module. Assemblages enter into new assemblages with other assemblages, with the viewer, and with their environment. I see both films as seperate assemblages of content and expression which will enter into many new assemblages by constantly recontextualising (reterritorialising and deterritorialising) each other. This will be acheived by both films looping, and being of different lengths they will rarely throw up a repetition of the same images on both screens. this means they will also appear and expresss a differing assemblage to each viewer. To further serve this generative principle they both have different soundtracks, one films sound will be weighted towards the left channel of the stereo image and the other films sound will be weighted to the right.

Both films have the same framework in that they have two sequential phases, before Arianne is born and afterwards. In the case of both films these phases are seperated by the animated birth sequence. There are also other shots that both films share, in that some of the sequences used on the video geometry also appear in the second film. These repetitions of content serve as visual cues to the viewer of the recontextualising nature of the work. These repetitions also forces the works expression itself to intervene on the content in different ways each time that they emerge during the works iterations.

The second film also contains contents, shots, that are not present in the first film. This offers the viewer a possible set of interpretative discursive categorisations for each film as individual works. This is most obvious to myself in the second phases of both films after Arianne is born. In the first film Anna and I are seen as looking at our lives from an external perspective (that is through the 3d character representations of ourselves), whereas in the second film we appear as part of the general flow. To me both films serve as providing different aspects of the same emotional states that we went through during the pregnancy and birth. As Arianne is barely visible in the first film there are more shots of her, and mostly closeup shots, in the second film. This also to some extent highlights the more seperated (internal) view of our emotional relationship between ourselves, and our life, as shown in the first film. However, all these initial interpretations that I have change as the work plays out creating new assemblages as it does so, so these are only examples of a couple of possible interpretive models that can be applied to the work.

Anna created many sketches during and after the pregnancy which I have also edited into the second film as rostrum like shots. These also represent different aspects of the emotions surrounding the events of the pregnancy and birth. One of the repeating shots is of a meadow full of daisies, this serves as an obvious motif of spring and therefore birth but it is an important shot for reasons other than that corny one. It is important for both films to contain a shot where neither Anna, I or Arianne is present in order to give the film and the viewer a space to breathe and reflect. The sketches, not being a shot in a moving image sense, cannot fulfill this function within this particular montage, mainly due to their raw nature. The meadow itself also carries a strong personal significance to both Anna and I, and not only because is it the garden where we were living at the time of Ariannes birth. The meadow is also where we shot our collaborative film ‘Outward Displays of Inward Neglect’ nearly two years ago, a project which was arguably responsible for us being, and having a child, together.


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