Production Journal #6
I decided to name my project "Sketches" because it's a collection of images that are touched upon briefly, like an incomplete thought. It's is an exploration of these fragmented fleeting moments. It's like a sketchbook, but on film. I realize now that these images have occurred to me mainly while I'm in a state of being half asleep and half awake. They always come in this stage of my consciousness where my mind makes rapid connections between seemingly unrelated things; where my thoughts jumps back and forth between dream, memories, and real life.
An unmade bed: The start of my film and the place where all of these images come to life.
The risky thing about this project is that the images, though totally concrete in my head, might not be possible to recreate. For example, this week I attempted to shoot my favorite image of the lot. The scene focuses around a girl who is hula hooping in an alleyway at night. This shot for me is supposed to bring ideas of warm summer nights where nothing seems to matter and you are just carefree. The woman stands alone in the middle of the alleyway spinning in circles, her mind off somewhere else; her yellow summer dress flows as she dances. This image, which is so simple and straightforward in my head, is actually quite difficult to pull of in real life. In the shot, I imagined her to be illuminated by car headlights. I wanted her in the center of an extremely dark alleyway, lit by spotlights coming from some out of frame car. This effect was hard to actually create because of the restraint of the media. First of all, car headlights are not nearly as bright as I had imagined. It was hard to get the parts of her body (like her face) as bright as I wanted them. If I wanted to add more light, I would be mixing to many different kinds of light sources that would create hell in the color correction process since I’m shooting on film. Nothing about this shot was simple. Still, it can go two ways. This shot could look terrible; grainy, dark, unrecognizable. Or it could be one of the most striking images I’ve ever created; I hope for the light hitting her on all the right spots, the hula-hoop glinting with lights as it spins in and out of the frame.
While I wait for that footage to comeback from the lab, I have gotten the first part of my film returned and am extremely pleased with the results. My attempts to make my film dreamlike have been successful. I realize now that a very particular mood links these visuals together. As I compiled the shots in my head and as I see them now, I keep thinking about summer days and nights where everything is carefree and easy. Spending all day outside or in bed lazing around. Spending all night with the people close to you; the warmth of the sun still on your skin. The calm and cool tones of the visuals circulate around this feeling.
Serene summer mornings
The other day, I was talking with my friend and fellow film major Carlos about expecting the worst when waiting for film to get back. After thinking about it for a while, we decided that because of the rise of digital, the unpredictable quality of film is becoming something that people aspire too; they're now more open to it's irregularities. Because of the experimental nature of my film, I am definitely more open to film's little blips and imperfections because they add to the surreal mood I'm trying to portray. In one of the shots, which I've included in a still below, an interesting thing happened that I've never experienced before. I was filming footage of summer nature and really wanted to get some sunbursts and light leaks on film, and what came out was something really extraordinary. In the shot below you can see that the sunburst registered as a rainbow on the film. The spotlight looks like it's coming from some UFO in the sky, a streak of multicolored light flashes down the frame. It's these really cool spontaneous moments that occur on film that I love, I didn't expect this but it's pleasantly surprising. These are the kinds of moments you could never get from digital which is available for viewing then and there. Though it's convenient and a hell of a lot less stressful, there's something exhilarating about waiting for your film to get back. Maybe it's the excitement from the suspense of the media; it's like waiting for christmas morning. You don't know what you're going to get, it could be coal (which I actually did get once) or it could be that puppy you've always wanted (which I'm still actually asking for).
Interesting rainbow effect in this shot...very unexpected
Again, all I can do now is wait for the rest of my footage to get back, and until then I can only keep my fingers crossed. Once I do get it back next week, I will post up the stills. Wish me luck!