Tonight I showed a few sequences of my current work during the monthly crit-group. I’ve definitely got food for thought. All good and worth exploring. The group’s glad I have kept my passion, something which drives me in all I do, and need in something that’s taken so long to make.
I first showed the black and white sequence, which got mixed responses as it washed out all the colour. My intention is to focus on the action not the colour much. It was though that there was a removal of violence, which I feel is unfair to a point as the piece is unfinished. I will be adding audio and will be re-editing sequence. It does need to be present in the piece for it to work in places.
There is however a texture to the black and white images, However being a battle sequence without the context or build up didn’t help. The “Cowboy and Indian” toys used need to be emphasised. I will be inserting a sequence where the “Red Indians” are riding in before switching to black and white. The danger of showing raw work that is still disjointed is naturally open to more criticism (all good). It also had the aesthetic of being a crime reconstruction, which I hadn’t considered, and still don’t see myself, I guess being on the other side and still locked into production its hard to see.
The ken-burns (panning of the stills) doesn’t have the same impact as the stills, they are softer, I think I will be reducing them or at least re-timing them, even for violent effect.
The piece is a re-imagining of the Western genre in my passionate image of it. It is not about the myth of conquest of the White man, instead the Red Man (in the blunt terms). It’s also anti-capitalist, something I hadn’t considered but a compliment all the same. its not about the acquistion of land, but the reclamation of it.
I later showed a colour sequence which works far better, maybe I should have started the crit with that one? The work should showcase the models more, something that will naturally happen over the course of the film. I want to show the models, whilst telling the narrative.
To bring the piece together and fill in narrative. I was already thinking of text, the addition of my own voice is something I an unsure about, I would have to put on a voice possibly as narrator. The idea of having it as a silent film was mentioned, with text in between, matching the fast action that was shown tonight. I could even put on a John Wayne impression which would be fun and another layer to the piece. Its just an idea.
The use of the toys is playful and should be kept in mind. The animation does bear that in mind, using the limitations of the figures. I can’t ignore the playfulness of the toys which are traditionally used by children. Built around a culture where the Native American is the enemy by default of all the films, the dime novels and ultimately the politics of the history it all comes from.
The idea of having a script is both an interesting and scary prospect. I like the idea of being loose with the plot I have written out a few months ago. A script would bring structure to the work, but would that still be playful. The toys are the tool to tell the story though, should they be given more structure, should I tighten up what I have already into script form?
It was also mentioned about doing a piece overseas, which could inform this one. Maybe a future project to which would inform my practice and deepen my understanding of the subject matter I am deep within. Which leads me to a great positive, my growing as an artist as I am interrogating a deeper and political subject. I am leaving the surface to tackle more. I still hopefully being a fun element to my work. However that is all part of learning and growing, you have to give somethings, fun, isn’t one of them. I’ve found something in the genre and I can’t shake it loose. Much like another studio member who showed tonight, compelled by a subject he has been exploring a with a friend.
Moving forward, I know I am doing the right things, needing to bear these ideas in mind. It needs to be tightened, consider the violence, whilst also the structure important in order to hold onto the core ideas as they take shape.