I treated last night like a crit group session, something I don’t have many of these days, a few year really which is all I need as I have become more reflective in my work, taking my time. Also my output is not as prolific as 2014 was. I saw The Shag – Film Screening as a chance to share my work and to get some feedback on my work from other creatives who are not as familiar as those in the studio.
The first piece Tom Cruise Lost For Words (2015) was met with laughter, as he was literally lost for words, reduced to just gestures really. An actor and icon of modern film reduced someone to be laughed. I hadn’t thought of the resulting gestures that make a fool of him. Felt it was a film of two halves, one funny, then becoming more serious as the clip is the edited together interview with a journalist in Magnolia (1999).
As with the first piece it was the first time I had seen Just One More Game (2013) projected. The response was more profound if anything. It was encouraging that the power of the act of removing dialogue. The audience was quite moved by it. An idea emerged from the discussion about the gestures and the noises/sounds made by the actors, to have the audio separate from the visual. An abstraction of the act which becomes something else which I have yet to listen to the soundtrack. I have done it with Do You Understand? (2015) which retains the dialogue. This is something to return to in more detail for a future piece. I would hopefully be using fresh material for that piece.
The next piece Dancing in the West (2013) was met with positive responses all around. They found it to be a fun. However I was more concerned with the more recent footage which is for my latest work. I was worried that it would play in the wrong ratio, having seen a DVD preview earlier. I didn’t have to worry. By pure coincidence it was played at the same time as some music in another room, piano I believe and faintly too. A few thought it was the soundtrack, which in fact added to the atmosphere of the piece. I was worried it was going to be repetitive, which wasn’t mentioned. So I think I am on the right track. So should I add audio or not, should I add a soundtrack against silent action. This could be a silent film in colour.
My last thought on the piece was on the way back to my Sisters, on the overall length of the piece which lead me to consider releasing the film in parts due to the length. I want to ensure the audience attention is not lost. Having it in parts serialised, in tone with dime novels and short stories that inspired the classic films of the genre. I would only release when the whole piece is of equal quality too to ensure nothing is lost along the way.
Lastly it was considered that I am critiquing Hollywood rather than film as a medium which is was a fair comment as I have not yet touched on any other countries really. I maybe updating my Artists Statement soon to reflect that.