Critical Thinking

Exploring then slowing down to the end, or

 

 

Exploring Digital
/ Analogue Part 2

 

Project
Expectations

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The goal of this project is to create a Kyle Cooper inspired analogue film clip
about Emotions. The production will consist of a title sequence of 1 minute, and a further 2 edited promotional sequences
which will be 10 seconds long per sequence.

 

Production will be
a catalogue of imagery, Special FX make up, video clips, music and post
production software such as Adobe Premiere.

The target audience would be women and men, aged 18 – 35 based in the United
Kingdom. Social media users would be my target audience to allow for further
promotion virally.

 

The tempo of my
video would be slow to begin with, building up in the middle then slowing down
to the end, or potentially ending on an ‘erratic midsection’ with the secondary
promotional videos concluding to the first part to encourage people to watch
further.

A voiceover with
some music and potential sound effects would be most appropriate in this
section.

Platform wise I
would envisage this being within a holding frame with promotional material on
linking into a video hosting system such as YouTube with the initial aim to
evoke reaction via social media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design Research – Kyle Cooper

 

Kyle Cooper is a well
known designer for motion pictures and iconic in his work. I had never heard of
Kyle Cooper so was surprised at how well known and actually how I had seen his
work previously without knowing. Kyle believes “you have to be a designer
first…to make one good frame at a time” (Kyle Cooper on Vimeo, 2010.)

 

The first piece of
his work I discovered was Twister (1996) where the dark and eerie imagery
accompanied by the atmospheric music builds a dramatic feel. I love how, where
previously credits had sat as an overlay to the imagery behind, this appears
blown away by the twister. As the ‘Twister’ title comes into shot, it also
seems to build as we pan in and then gets blown away when it has become much
larger in scale, the same way in which a twister may ‘build’ up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: http://www.watchthetitles.com/img/twister-9stills.jpg

 

 

American Horror
Story (2011) Is also one of Kyle Cooper’s works.

Image Source: http://www.artofthetitle.com/feature/american-horror-story-7-seasons-of-title/

 

 

In this title sequence, you see blank shots,
interspersed with photographs and objects, the areas of dark create a personal
and integral sense to the overall setting as you ‘move through’ the space.

 

The text reminds me of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and
feels almost vintage in design which ties in with Cooper’s views on ‘text being
integrated into a design, rather than an afterthought.’

 

The analogue way of working allows him to play with
the design rather than having a rigid concept which then needs executing in a
particular way through digital methods. Cooper’s views on analogue production
allows for more creativity and flexibility in his design.  The way he overlays his designs create what
feels like a motion graphic collage which encourages the eyes to absorb more
than you might from a digital design. The work he produces engages the user as
it feels organic and not something which whilst produced, does not end up with
a heavily produced feel.

 

 

How can I create a
similar feel?

Cooper has kept the viewer engaged by the constant
change in imagery, the way they cannot tell what will happen next as you can
only see what he wants you to focus on, the integrated music and typography;
where the typography is informative and also decorative. If I can aim to
achieve some of these key traits, I believe I can emulate a similar reaction
from my intended audience. 

In my view, Cooper views the trailers as an
‘amuse-bouche’ for the film – setting the scene rather than an afterthought;
therefore the whole story needs to be considered and whilst this brief only
calls for a short period of trailer exposure to fully immerse myself in the
brief, full and concise understanding of the film as a whole is imperative to
doing the trailer section justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initial Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I chose the overall idea of an emotional journey to
portray in my video, as the brief was quite open to interpretation, this would
allow me show multiple emotions but in a story like way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typographic Inspiration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I liked the usage of negative space to integrate the
typography into the design and the usage of alternative materials to emulate
the message but decoratively too.

 

I looked at the use of an analogue clock to deliver a
message within my video and think this composition is effective. By adding some
noise around the letters it is more effective as an alarm clock style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall idea

 

Female going through the motions of having an
undiagnosed medical condition, questioning mental health with an invisible pain
condition and then finding resolution at the end with a diagnosis. I decided
against the ‘losing a family member’ option as I felt this was a well covered
area already. By focusing on a subject area, it allows me to analyse an array
of emotions rather than picking emotions with no correlation.

 

My aim is to plan a script for the 1-minute part of
the video and then pick two sections from the overall video to develop into 10
second clips.

 

 

Group Research

 

I focused on one particular syndrome called Thoracic
Outlet Syndrome and spoke to a group of sufferers who helped me collate words
which would be relevant to my film via a TOS Support Group on Facebook.

 

Words which came up were: Fraud, Despair, Sadness,
Loneliness, Humiliation, Feeling Disconnected, Isolation, Anger, Irritation,
feeling like ‘damaged goods’ – these were all words that they used to describe
their feelings about their condition.

 

Emotions to be portrayed…

 

Confusion

Pain

Complete Despair

Anger

Suicidal Thoughts

Questioning ‘Is it all in my head’

Overlapping hope and no hope

Fraud

Initial Script

 

MUSIC – WAY DOWN WE GO – KALEO
STRIPPED

 

Narrator: Pain is
visible right? Tangible, touchable…

 

Images of wounds, visible pain OVERLAY with splats of
blood, blood filling screen to make solid red screen….

 

Narrator: But what
when it’s not?

 

Solid red screen fades to surface with the words ‘invisible
pain’ which either become written into something such as flour? Then this gets
wiped to one side, and the character is kneading bread..

 

Hands with ‘why me’ written across the knuckles…

 

Blood dripping down the arms, into the bread, the
bread suddenly becomes multiple tablets being kneaded…

 

Bread erupts into flames

 

Narrator:
Sometimes, you just can’t see it and yet the anger burns inside you…

 

Flames fill screen

 

Behind flames, headstones showing ‘BOYFRIEND’ ‘LIFE’
‘INDEPENDENCE’

 

MUSIC – DIANA SALVADORE

 

Person walking away from the graves, down through a
dark tunnel, looking to one side – sees the words ‘fraud’ in graffiti to one
side, turns to the other side and sees ‘worthless’ and crazy’

 

Spiralling out of control, pans to character looking
up – mascara smudged crying – taking off coat – visible wounds spelling out
pain?

 

Narrator: Does
that make you feel better? When you can see it? Can you empathise now?

 

Different voice
narrator: I don’t need to see it to know it’s there

OVERLAID OVER THE FILM PART:

 

Turning and walking back towards the tunnel, walking
all the way through and then meeting someone at the end who offers a hand and
they walk off together – music tempo changes.

 

EMOTIONS appears balanced between the two
characters…

 

MUSIC: BIRDY ALL BY YOURSELF

 

 

Musical Options

 

Crazy – Diana Salvadore

Context: Feeling like it’s all in your head, mental
anguish

 

Way Down We Go – Kaleo

Context: Spiralling out of control, losing hope

 

All By Yourself – Birdy

Context: Hope at the end

 

 

 

 

 

Exploration
of ideas

 

I decided to break my idea down into scenes to allow
me to plan for them. I’ve allowed to shoot 5 scenes, all around 10 seconds from
their beginning to the final element of the film leaving the screen. I have
allowed for 10 seconds of freestyle work to allow me the flexibility to evolve
the design without having to redesign the whole script.

 

Opening Credit

Scene
1: Kitchen Scene (10 seconds)

 

Location: Home

Props Required: Tablets, dough, work surface, faux
blood, flour, camera, assistant

 

Scene
2: Graveyard Headstones (10 seconds)

 

Location: Graveyard

Props Required: camera, assistant

 

Scene
3: Psychotic Stage (10 seconds)

 

Location: Dark and Eerie – Windsor?

Props Required: clothing, camera, assistant

 

Scene
4: Loss of Direction – Fraud Scene (10 seconds)

 

Location: Windsor, Peacock Meadows?

Props Required: clothing, camera, assistant

Scene
5: Tunnel Scene – Hope (10 seconds)

 

Location: Windsor Arches?

Props Required: clothing, camera, assistant

 

Ending Credit

 

 

Scene 1: Kitchen
Scene Research

 

 

I liked the thought of the viewer being integral to the
video as Cooper had done in his American Horror Story trailer, so camera angle
was one in which you felt you were walking. I decided the best way to do this
for filming the kitchen scene was by filming first person point of view.

 

I filmed a series
of images which I then created into a stop frame animation to allow me greater
control. My aim is to add various medical related pieces into the bowl, as if
the tablets and blood etc. are becoming an ingrained part of life for somebody
suffering from a medical condition.  

 

I then may look at experimentation with lettering made
from the dough or look at overlaying text to include it in a way which is
fitting for the film.

 

The stills also allowed me to evaluate how the colour
of my hands changed when using them and they adopted a blue hue.

 

My test video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5XojU0tMss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 2: Local
Graveyards Identified

Larges Lane Cemetery, Bracknell

 

Image Source: http://bracknelltowncouncil.gov.uk/wp-content/sabai/File/files/l_d5071e8c41d9354d71e7dbaa495dd149.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Saints Church, Binfield

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binfield#/media/File:All_Saints,_Binfield_-_geograph.org.uk_-_76363.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psychotic Location Research

 

I wanted an eerie feel to this section of the video. I
evaluated many locations but found Windsor, Berkshire to have a great selection
of railway arches which could feel dark, enclosed and morbid if filmed either
early evening or first thing in the morning – time of filming would change the
whole effect in this instance.

 

I think various
scenes could be filmed in this location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source: http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/04/71/17/4711773_eed5816f.jpg

 

Peacock Meadows, Wokingham

 

 

The meadow could
be a great place to do some filming as it has lots of small wooded copses, long
paths, open areas which could work well for the ‘losing control’ section of my
filming.

 

Also as it’s close, it could be good for using at
multiple times of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional plans

 

I would have liked to create an iconic trait which ran
through my film, which could have been useful for an ‘implied suicide.’
Cooper’s use of varying black screens allows the mind to fill in blanks, where
there are pauses in the stop frame animation. A film which uses symbolism well is
Schindler’s List.

 

The girl you see featured stands out against the black
and white background in her bright red coat, her role within the piece does not
lead you to believe the ending will be of her dying and has a ‘shock factor’;
something which has resonated with me from this film. It’s shocking and
therefore memorable.

 

 

I thought something like a scarf or a bag could be a
memorable item in my work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top image source: www.dailymail.co.uk

Bottom image source:
https://www.davidbcalhoun.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/schindlers-list-10-death-of-the-girl-in-red.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special FX Make Up Mock Ups

 

As I wanted to focus on invisible pain in my work, I
felt it might be helpful to compare reactions to ‘visible’ vs ‘non-visible’
pain so created some special FX make up looks for the visible pain look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filming

 

As I began to film, I realised that 1 minute was not
long enough to include all of the various sections I had planned for. The
overall first clips came to 1 minute 30 and I then found my timeline and
planned schedule had been too optimistic. This was due to not having prior
filming experience and whilst I could speed up the film, too much speed meant I
lost the overall feel of the project. I cut some of the clips and focused on
less emotions, should I have had the full 3 minutes, then I could have
encompassed all of the intended clips. Focus had to be on areas which I felt
would have the most impact. The mixture of cross-disciplinary media was also
important to ensure that there were similarities between my work and Cooper’s.

Inspiration for me for videos had also come from Saul Bass in Grand Prix (1966)
where he used close up shots to build tension and draw focus in. I used some
close up shots, mixed with photography to create the idea of tension.

 

Cooper uses handwritten elements in the title series
Seven which added a personal element to his killer, I felt a personal element
could be used in mine also by not purely using typographic elements for the
film. I took inspiration also from a poster I saw on the train into London
which said ‘I’m fine’ with multiple other emotions in between the ‘I’m’ and the
‘fine.’ The poster was by the Mental Health Foundation and portrays how people
say they are fine even when they are not. I thought it was an effective and
relevant piece of advertising.

 

Post-production

 

As I edited the footage I had taken, I required some
additional materials for overlaying. I experimented with trying to create a
kaleidoscope effect in After Effects which did not come to fruition and after
numerous hours decided to source a clip of kaleidoscope pattern online as well
as some broken glass which I could use to overlay.

 

Removing the tint from the video created a darker and
eerier effect which fell more in line with Cooper styling. Focus was purely on
the imagery and then on the typography came into it later on.

I experimented with typography that I felt fitting by
mocking up what could be a DVD case for the film. Peer feedback was that this
didn’t show much about what it was about and also the typography was
‘non-descript.’

 

I decided to go back and chose a hand-drawn slightly
childish font for some small words relevant to feelings I planned to
intersperse through the video.  

 

 

The typeface that I chose for usage in my video was
Market Deco – it had a clean and slightly ‘devout of feeling’ styling to it
which I felt was most appropriate for the theme of my video. I wanted clean and
fresh without giving too much away. The title I outlined to give a ‘hollow’
look to the emotions of the person in the film.

 

 

I used After Effects, an application I’ve never used
before to also animate the emotions ‘falling apart’ like glass which was an
effective way to start the trailer and took inspiration from Cooper with his
Twister titling.

 

Audio

 

I began experimenting with audio for the video,
starting primarily with video sound effects and music together but found that
the lack of continuity between them on a short video clip felt like it jarred
so opted for a full length music clip instead. Using royalty free music, I
opted for a clip called Drifting Amongst Strangers by Gavin Luke which had an
appropriate tempo and was the most pleasing in line with my video. I edited
this to create a more impactful centre part to my film through Premiere Pro.

My final edit is available via :  https://youtu.be/ampzfoQpcxs

Cross-disciplinary design

 

As mentioned earlier in the design process,
cross-disciplinary design has been evident in this unit and allowed for a multi
layered and somewhat 3D styling to the work – by working with more materials,
the work that has been created has more depth and therefore more intrigue. As
this was not something I had undertaken previously, I have enjoyed the somewhat
experimental nature of this project. Having a multi-faceted view point is very
relevant for design and due to technological advances is more required now than
in previous years with designer pressure being higher with designing for AR and
apps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plans for 10
second trailer clips

Promotional Clip feedback

 

Viewer 1

 

Clip 1 gave the viewer the sense of loneliness, empty
feeling and ‘nothingness’ and a feeling of spiralling.

Clip 2 made the viewer feel like there was a mix of
emotions – sadness, emptiness and elated. Felt there was a humorous element and
slightly lighter hearted than Clip 1. The question at the end made them self
reflective of their own emotions.

 

 

Viewer 2

Clip 1 made the viewer feel sorry for the filmed
character, they felt the closing of the eyes was indicative of struggle and
mental health.

Clip 2 made the viewer also feel the scene was about
mental health but more of a multiple personality bi-polar feeling. The question
also felt thought provoking but without feeling heavy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clip 1

 

 

 

 

Reflection

 

I learnt new skills through Premiere Pro and After
Effects which were relevant for my course but meant a substantial amount of my
study time was used in learning new skills and therefore my work is not wholly
indicative of the time spent on this project. The works of Cooper and Bass
stuck with me as inspiration throughout this project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Sources: (Medical Condition Moodboard)

 

https://www.americannursetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ANT1016_SeasonsofLife_Grief-750×300.jpg

My emergence from the end of a long, dark, tunnel

https://www.pinterest.se/pin/381257924685193469/

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/abstract-spiral-mental-roller-coaster-mike-savad.html

The Beauty of a Broken Body

Managing Physical Pain

http://hackerspace.kinja.com/how-to-help-someone-who-has-suicidal-thoughts-1626994867

https://byjus.com/biology/nerves/

 

Image Sources (Losing Family Member Moodboard)

 

What I Learned From Reading These 5 Books (Warning: One may shock you)

https://www.recoveryconnection.com/denial-river-egypt-addiction-will-convince-sick/

https://www.americannursetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ANT1016_SeasonsofLife_Grief-750×300.jpg

http://www.newhealthguide.org/images/1HT02530/man-crying1.jpg

Mourning the death of a loved one takes a lifetime of getting used to

http://wellbeinginfo.org/self-help/support-info-advice/loss-and-bereavement/

https://www.charitytoday.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/bereavement-1.jpg

https://inlpcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Acceptance.jpg

 

Typography Imagery

 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/d1/f6/b7/d1f6b7841565cfe473ddf4272dc6cc53–food-art-food-networktrisha.jpg

https://www.123rf.com/photo_32613498_stock-vector-psychiatric-medication-written-with-tablets.html

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/287174913709425593/?lp=true

http://nextluxury.com/wp-content/uploads/one-word-mens-knuckle-tattoo-with-forgiven-in-script-font.jpg

 

 

Bibliography

 

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