Frustrations of organising the EVENT
My project for this module will also be part of a World Wide Exhibition of Art Films to mark World AIDS Day on the 1st December. We have been asked not only to submit some work, but also to source a venue to show the short films to as wide an audience as possible to help to get the message across. I decided I would try to persuade the University to show the event. This has proven to be like herding cats as each department I approach sends me to another department. I have to seek approval from the Student Union; book a space; do a health & safety review; clear the charity I am hoping to raise funds for with the Volunteering & RAD Manager; approach the Film Society, Pride Society, LGBTQ Society to ask them to help promote; clear the fact some films will contain adult content; get mention in the Newsletter; clear any licensing issues; order Red Ribbons….so far. I am sure there will be other things that will arise, not to mention the things I have already done.
The most important lesson this has taught me is not to rely on email….emails are conveniently ignored & the only way I have made any progress has been by going to the persons office & making sure something is done face-to-face. I suspect I will still not be entirely convinced the event will happen until I stand on the stage on the night and prepare to address whoever has attended (best put writing a short speech on the to-do list).
Pre-Planning what I need from the Interviews
With the first of my actual interviews approaching I need to plan what I require from the meeting when it comes to the actual imagery. I have a list of initial questions to ask that I can use to guide the interview. The intention is to capture their voice along with some anonymous & meaningful still and moving images to place into the finished film. I am fairly confident that everyone involved will require me to keep their status a secret so I have to ensure I respect that and give no hint that could compromise their situation.
By analysing the visuals of a couple of short documentaries I have some ideas of visual tropes to call upon….
Short stills that set the scene…not necessary to have movement within them. Pull the focus so you slowly focus on a subject. Leave panning to the absolute minimum. Use two different angles from the same shot. Employ frames within the frame to draw the focus & the eye. Capture an out of focus still as a background for the title(s). Split focus….half the frame in focus while action goes on in background that is out of focus. Show details…hands doing things etc. Mix close-crop details with wide-angle scenes. Small domestic details – cup of tea, walking shoes, cut flowers, photo frames (out of focus for obvious reasons). Look for geometric compositions that please the eye.
I am also looking at ‘lens whacking’ which is an effect that is en vogue at the moment. It is a way of bringing in the toy camera, Lomography, Instagram aesthetic to moving image – I feel this would add a gentle atmosphere to what is still a contentious subject. There is still so much stigma attached to HIV that I want the film to steer away from appearing judgemental in any form so that means watching each and every detail as well as the general aesthetic of the whole.