Morricone for the Day.

Today I took my video editing to the next level, using the colleges sound studio facility, I set about recording the soundtrack and continuing the video editing simultaneously.
Stripping away the piece to just the video footage then adding the recorded segments of sound from the field trip, I then set about adding a basic chord sequence in response to the tone of the work as a way of generating a feel for the work.

It was at this point that I have had to think more about just what the tone of the music will evoke and just what I want the piece to sound like sonically.
Loosely taking on a fairly Somber sequence to emphasize the gravely impressive landscape. Invoking a tranquil tone.

I am very conscience of the connotations of what I play upon the piece and how this effects the overall tone and feel of the video and how that affects it's interpretation and as discussed in my tutorial with Dan, there is no right or wrong way of going about this, I just have to be conscience of how I manipulate the elements of the piece and how this affects the result.

Working simultaneously on both elements has allowed me to get a better grasp of how they can work together.

I have decided that I have much more freedom in terms of editing when working in this space as I am able to adjust both elements at the same time. So I have taken the decision to use this room as my future editing place and will be using it again on Thursday. The momentum of the work is also on target and is coming together well.

How Not To Exhibit.

Today we had an exhibitions exercise aimed at preparing us for the eventuality of our degree show exhibition where  we were asked to exhibit a piece of current work in order to prepare us for the degree show. I exhibited a piece of audio that I had been working on and exported this as an mp4 file, and played this from a speaker situated in a plinth which stood in front of a still from the film. After being ridiculed on a whole for what was a shambles of an exhibition with sounds leaking into one another and placement not thought out, we were then grilled on our individual exhibits, which thankfully went a lot better.
My only criticism of this process was that whilst I received no essentially negative feedback my soundpiece which was the intended focus of the piece was relatively ignored in favour of how the piece was exhibited, with the plinth and cheaply printed photograph gaining most remarks, which were oddly complimentary considering the little effort put into them compared to their audio counterpart.

Tutorial With Dan.

Today I signed up with a tutorial with Dan to discuss where my project is at the moment which has left me with a lot of things to consider....

What is my piece, I have been calling it an Evidential Film as it is documenting what is there, but I have also discussed plans to implement the piece with my own artistic decisions, such as editing and soundtrack, do these decisions detract from the evidential nature of the piece, if so are they necessary, and if they are then what do I class my piece as?

How does the sound piece work? Bill Fontana's water recordings Primal Soundings a permanent installation at  Leeds City Art Gallery.

How do I approach the piece and soncially this will affect the video piece or if they are approached as separate entities and displayed way from each other. I previously talked about Gustavo Santaolalla

In preparation for Monday's Crit in the seminar spaces where we are required to exhibit a piece...

Cross-Year Presentations.

This afternoon marked the first of a proposed series of cross year presentations similar to the ones I experience with the 3rd years last year.
I was first up and decided to just talk informally about my work using this here blog as a means of showing my FMP's progression.

As I was put in charge of my group I allowed us to talk more openly and informally, leading to greater response from participating student. Relevant to my own work was Lauren's suggestion of the similarities of my works intentions with that of the Qatsi  trilogy of films in particular Powaqqatsi as it clearly shows the juxtopostition of mand-made and natural elements which ties in with my theme. I had only previously seen Koyaanisqatsi, whose sound work by Phillip Glass is well renowned and may help me in the way I establish a them for my own piece in terms of the elements and structure of the sound.


After getting a hard drive to enable me to keep all film files in one place, I began to capture the footage from the expedition with much trepidation as I was unsure of how it would turn out.

The Creative Chinwag.

As promised today was used as an informal day of presentations between the Interdisciplinary and 3D courses.
Started off by Pete from 3D, the morning was a great success and saw us all getting involved in no pressured conversation that seemed to benefit each others projects especially those who are still at the very initial stages of their FMP's.

All In The Technique.

Using the SLR shots I took on the shoot I carried out a few experiments using Photoshop, of ways the stills could be manipulated to create interesting visuals. Duplicating layers, taking the opacity down and rotating them whilst placing them in different areas of the image allowed me to create a really textured look that adds another dimension to the way we would traditionally interpret a landscape

Unintentionally the image I feel is reminiscent of the rolling hills of Pieter Bruegel the Elder''s Netherlandish Proverbs pictured above. The multi-faceted arrangement keeps the eye looking for detail in less obvious places.

Artist Talk - Hondartza Fraga.

This morning I attended an artist talk by Spanish artist Hondartza Fraga in the lecture theatre.

I originally attended the talk just because I was free and like attending these things when I can, so was surprised at the relevancy some of her pieces had with my own current thinking especially her video piece - Bearing Elsewhere
A documentation of travel which took place during her residency in  Trondheim, Norway at the beginning of 2010.
Incorporating a sound piece created by a friend she met whilst on residency, Farga managed to evoke  more of the emotional starkness of the landscape. Created using a handmade native Swedish instrument, the sound track like the video was intentionally fragmented to hint more at the elusive nature of travel and the idea that detaching ones self from the scale of the landscape by making relatively small scale piece makes the pieces into souvenirs of the landscape. 
The tonal elements of the piece were also really interesting. 
As Farga was in Norway in winter, she was expecting the landscape to be bleak and dark, but what really confronted her was a bright white landscape that she used to her advantage in post-production by fading in and out of the white.
It struck me how by just creating work, Fraga wasn't forcing herself to be anything, which came across as a really organic approach to work and subsequently, maybe without her own thinking, has made her an interdisciplinary artist.
Farga's Saatchi profile can be found here.

The Tan Hill Trek.

With Army boy Andrew taking charge of camping and routes in return for some homemade bread, yesterday we set off to the Yorkshire Dales weighed down with Bergens to carry provisions and filming equipment. A bright but cold day greeted us when we arrived at Kirby Stephen with the intention of reaching Tan Hill by nightfall. Our expertly co-ordinated maps would hopefully help us get there...

We got sidetracked within the first few minutes of our hike, but who couldn't resist photographing these cool Ponies?

We then left civilization and headed out into the great wide open.

We walked for over an hour into the hillsides helped us escape the buildings and wildlife that I didn't want to be a part of my footage as I wanted to focus more on the 'natural' landscape.

So off we set, walking from Kirkby Stephen through to Birkett Hil and beyond.

After coming across appropriate scenery we cracked open our lunch - homemade chicken stotties, and commenced filming.

Adopting a very warm color balance with an enhanced contrast enhances the depth and richness of the imagery.


The ironic thing of the trip was that my intention was to go out and capture the natural beauty of the landscape but in reality the environment was very harsh and bitterly cold, as shown by my wind-chilled hands above.
We didn't catch on just how cold it was until our equipment failing to work several times in a row confirmed that our batteries were in fact freezing! 
This wasn't something we had accounted for but we nonetheless had to overcome this. Filming until the batteries gave up was the tactic we had to revert to, which was ok for the video equipment, unfortunatley when the batteries fail on the sound recorder you loose the piece it is currently recording! This resulted in only being able to record short snippets of sound which is not what I had in mind and means I will have to piece a soundtrack together from the snippets, which whilst not being as 'natural' as I'd hoped, will allow me more control over the sound and tone of the piece.

After stopping for firewood we spotted another variant on the landscape, this dense patch of moor grass which was great to film in the wind and provides further breadth to the footage.

One of the sticking points for me was, as I previously stated I would try to eschew as much evidence of humans from the landscape as i could, whether I would keep in the fences and dry-stone walling that covers much of the flat ground. I have always enjoyed the aesthetic of these walls as although clearly man-made they look natural and unimposing, so this is something I will have to decide upon in editing.
One of the aspects I was keen on documenting was both the height and scale of the landscape, in particularly it's vastness.

Now very much in the thick of the landscape, surrounded by hills and fells which we later indentified to be the start of the Nine Standards Rig, beyond Birkett Hill and Hartley fell, this was very much the kind of scenery I had anticipated and aside from the wind and temperature the conditions were perfect to film in, with the bright light cutting through the March mist making for some interesting time lapse footage in a truly-breathtaking landscape.

We came across this great visual feature which I managed to get more detailed video footage of, a waterfall with the blistering winds peeling the water away, something I may slow down in post-production to emphasize.

With the light darkening my filming time for the day was drawing to a close, but this also provided me with some lovely deep tones, that while hard to pick up, with a bit of post production, look stunning.

With the light getting increasingly darker it was time to retire for the night, not to a tent but a sleeping bag under a sheet of tarpaulin, this being the beginning of March and with temperatures below 0, you can tell how good a nights sleep we got!

Rather than one continuous piece due to failing battery life I had no choice but to make the piece using short excerpts, which isn't the only reason. I feel the piece will show a greater range of the varying landscape if it is made up of varying scenes and will also create alternating moods which coupled with the soundtrack will make an astounding environmental piece.

The above footage shows just how difficult filming is with prevailing winds resulting in the tripod tipping over.