Formalised Presentation of 3 Themes

Below is a video of my Power artifact which is about the power of money.

It’s about the power of money and how everything has its price. I shot throughout Coventry City centre and mainly focused on general consumerism of clothes stores, travel agents, jewellery shops etc. The narrative is simple and open to interpretation but it is basically a person window shopping, looking at all the possibilities that money could bring you and ultimately realising that they do not have any money and therefore not having the power to do anything such as buy a gift, or travel the globe.

If I were to evaluate my video I’d have to be honest and say i’m dissapointed with myself for two reasons. Firstly I didn’t plan or prepare filming enough, I had extremely vague ideas about visualising power but they were so vague that they were only ideas and I never developed them into something that I could successfully film. When the deadline came closer I started to panic and in the end settled on something that was easy to film. This meant that the experimentation was minimal. I completed the obstruction task of editing every half a second which looking back, actually looks good in places – particularly when the camera walks through the precinct. I also managed to find an audio track that matched the obscure tempo and feel of the editing. I see this video as a result of poor preparation and a weak idea that wasn’t developed nearly enough, however I have learnt from it and I will definitely improve on it and make something superior next time around.

I’m going to make a short video based on the theme of ‘spectacle’. My idea works on two meanings of the word, being something spectacular as well as something involving Guy Debord’s theory on the society of the spectacle.

After watching the horrific events of ‘9/11’ again in a recent lecture the thought of where people were and what we were doing at the time it was happening crossed my mind. In my film I want to dramatically contrast the event itself with something as mundane as making a cup of tea. I will film some tightly framed shots of the various stages of making a cup of tea and obviously I will have to use archive footage of the 9/11 attacks. I will try to dramatize the mundane as much as possible and I think I can do this by using slow motion along with some great classical music. This is meant to be humorous and I got the idea when I was watching South Park in an episode that mocks ‘300’s over-use of slow-motion by putting the effect on the most unnecessary things like eating and drinking. I will mix the audio of the 9/11 footage with the shots of the tea because I think this will make the films contrast and message more powerful. Another (perhaps humorous) influence for this video is 2001: A Space Odyssey because I will try to present the visuals of the tea-making in the same vein as the famous scenes from the film, with slow, tranquil movements in harmony with a classical score.

2001: A Space Odyssey

I mentioned earlier that the idea works on two levels of meaning (of spectacle) and that’s because on a basic level it will be spectacular, aesthetically and through the event itself being spectacular in the way that it is a rare occurance that shook the whole world. The other level of meaning is through Guy Debord’s theory of the society of the spectacle. My film will apply to Debord’s theory in a subliminal way because in the parts that I will film myself it will be a suggestion that so many people were doing something unimportant and insignificant while at the same time something much bigger was happening. This isn’t a direct response to Debord’s theory because I wont be showing the ‘spectacle’ itself (being something media orientated such as television as something we hide behind) but instead a mundane task that is a representation of something insignificant that we do instead of doing something more meaningful.

I have a few ideas that run through my mind for this artifact. All involving the mandatory inclusion of a split-screen. One idea is to focus on selective memory, maybe having two perspectives showing at the same time. The perspectives could be looking back on a date, with the male highlighting the good points of it, even making up things that didn’t happen, while the female only picks out the bad points of the time. Another idea along the same lines as the previous could be to show somebody asking their friend what hapenned on a recent date with a girl. It then cuts to a split-screen, with one showing what the guy is telling his friend and the other screen showing the embarassing truth.

I saw a video online that uses split-screen in a simple but effective way. It’s a commercial for the NBA –

I’m not sure exactly where I can take this idea, but it looks quite interesting and I was thinking of enhancing it further by contrasting two different cultures. In order to be able to understand everything I wont be able to play the two videos at the same time. Instead, I could either pause the footage in the editing process just have the actors remain silent at certain times. Maybe I could use this technique during the video but not completely like the NBA advert does. Instead I could use split-screen for this but also a contrast in perspective and for alternate shots of the same scene.

I really struggled in the editing process for this video because I wanted to have a split-screen throughout the piece, aiming to emphasise a contrast between two people. The contrast is between two different people presenting two similar objects that are meaningful to their lives. I don’t think this worked very well because I only managed to achieve a split-screen effect in the transition between the two characters. It still pushes the intended point of contrast on a level of difference *and* similarity, but overall, other than the clean sound, it isn’t a video i’m proud of. If I were to do it again, I would have chosen a more meaningful location, using a backdrop which associated with the dialogue rather than the blank one i used (which was meant to bring the focus purely on the characters dialogue.)

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