Rough Trade.

Watching the piece in it's current form it is a great opportunity to reflect on it and review how it works and ways to improve it.
Amongst the things I have been aiming for within the piece have been thematic conveyences of solemn and ethereal emotions that derive from the lack of human presence which would have detracted the focus from the beauty of the landscape achieved to some extent by the overlayed light flashs dissipating in and out of the footage hinting at it's origins in the Arthur C. Clarke novel and lending the film a more abstract, experimental glow.

The backwards guitars of the soundtrack although initially conceived as a happy accident quickly became integral to the piece and once identified as being so effective have been reworked and I feel really bring the video the fore and heighten the pastoral yet dark and melancholic emotion of the piece.

whilst adhearing to no definative structure, it can be said that using video I am defined by scale, proportion and format, that being said I have found the whole adventure somewhat of a creative experiment that will be transposed to a new level when installation begins to become my focus as it is beginning to at the moment and I feel that these intentional stylistic choices whilst brave to include have really giving the film a signature look and feel that I feel works really well.

Earth Day.

 To commemorate 'Earth Day' Lomography have compiled a stunning gallery of photographs focussing on the beauty and complexity of the planet we live in and the varying landscapes native to countries around the world, made up of images from lomographers (fans of analogue technology who use lo-fi techniques to create unique photographs) around the world.

I particularly like the image above which due to the film being out of date, a habit favourable amongst many lomographers, adds a distinct washed out appeal to the images, similar to the photography of Neil Krug.

The above image reminded me very much of the forest sequence at the beginning of my film where the light tries to make it self seen through the trees and rain.

Herbert Ponting & Wim Wenders.

I was in London this weekend
A very brief and breathtakingly beautiful exhibition of Herbert Ponting’s photography is soon to finish at Atlas Gallery, London. This show, commemorating the death of Robert Falcon Scott who he joined as photographer and cinematographer on the fatal Terra Nova Expedition in the early 1900s, is a remarkable account of artistic craftsmanship in the most testing of conditions. As we can now appreciate the fineness of the images as objects of art, so do we understand more fully the gravitas the moment they arrived from.
The exhibition is in association with the Scott Polar Research Institute.

Fantastic exhibition of Antarctic photography by Herbert Ponting at the Atlas gallery, London. The platinum prints, published in association with the Scott Polar Research Institute, are in commemoration of the death of Captain Robert Falcon Scott.

Whilst depicting deifferent climes, tehre is still a focus on the vast scale of the enviroonment, something I was striving for when making this piece, and there is also very much a feeling of the climate and weather having a huge impact on the photography in terms of preventing and forcing change upon shots, something I experienced a little too often on my shoot.

I found it really useful to witness  such a throrough and in-depth ortrayal of a natural landscape at this stage, especially when I am editing my own work as it enabled me to take a step back and regain focus on exactly what I am doing. I have been wary of getting too bogged down with layering effects, which while I feel work with the footage I have selected, I realize that I have to be carefull t not get too carried away, especially when someone like Ponting achieved so much clarity and effortlessness with the simplicity of Black & White photography.

Whilst in London I also went to the latest Wim Wenders exhibition at the Haunch of Venison gallery
Instead of a new film, this time it’s photography taken in various countries around the world.
 imagery without definitiv narratives that led the viewer to draw their own conclusions, but how much can this be achieved when considering artistic lisence and creative input into the work?
This question feeds very much into the argumetn I've been having with myself over the course of creating this work, how can my film be evidential and experimental at the same time when to be be one seemingly voids the right to be classed as another?

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that without Wim Wenders ‘indie cinema’, particularly that of the late 80s and 90s, would lack a defining visual style. Growing up in provincial England, but in the days when BBC 2 and Channel 4 could be relied on to show off-beat films fairly regularly, his was the style that defined for me cool away from the mainstream. The eye that showed a fascinating, enigmatic world away from the mundane. Now Wenders is a photographer. A shot from this exhibition (just transferred from Sao Paolo) made the cover of the British Journal of Photography and a steady stream of people were popping in to Haunch of Venison to look over the 47 images on display. But this really isn’t a showcase of a filmmaker’s hobby – this is high quality photography and a major, important exhibition.
Take just one image at random. Okay: it’s #38 which comes in room 6 (there are 7 rooms). “Armenian Alphabet, Armenia, 2008″. Firstly let’s talk about the scale. In common with most of the works here it’s large. Not overpowering but appropriately vast. This time though we’re fairly close in to the subject which appears to be various characters (I’ll take on trust they are letters from the Armenian alphabet) standing like Rapa Nui statues in weak summer light in what appears to be a remote location far away from sight. Technically, the image is perfect as the light balances neatly with the natural colours of the landscape and the artificial tones of the oversized letters. Without a full page of explanatory notes I doubt I could ever comprehend what I am looking at. But not only does it fulfill the title’s requirement – strange and quiet indeed – but the places the viewer is taken in their mind as they reassemble and give meaning to the image are intriguing and ever so slightly disconcerting. The pictures may not be in motion any more but Wenders is still directing in that enigmatic, cool way.
In keeping with the title and focus of the works there aren’t many people present. A lone sunbather is almost lost amongst the loungers and the scenery; the Brisbane rodeo clown shot from behind. The style is very much of the time – using what could be termed a cold eye and in the main a washed-out pallette. If this wasn’t at Haunch of Venison it would fit into the Photographers’ Gallery programme without any major fuss.
There are some exceptions to that overall norm – for example the “Twin graves and drive in cinema, Marfa, Texas”, taken in 1983 and presumably at the time when Wenders was scouting for locations for ‘Paris, Texas’ that began his focus on this kind of photography, looks for all the world like it could come from Robert Franks’ ‘The Americans’, such is the use of juxtaposition in both framing and title. It’s one of only a few where the mood feels more forced.
Which is not to say the work is derivative or too stylistic. It certainly isn’t from that spectrum of modern photography where the artists’ vision needs to be explained before the viewer is able to formulate their response. Wenders says he is photographing things that are out of place or places that are strangely quiet (or quietly strange). And even without the gallery notes so much would be obvious. There is no deeper message other than: stop for a moment, consider this … And the exhibition is rather remarkable (and highly recommended) as a result.

No Use For A Name.

Whilst only a simple matter, the decision to include a title and how this would completely change how the film is viewed in a loop was  one I laboured on for a while, eventually deciding to include one. I realize that this now adds what will be perceived as a beginning to the film and it mean it doesn't loop seamlessly from end to beginning now, but I feel that the title I have chose is not imposing and simply does it's job giving details about the film without effecting the  rest of the piece.


In our recent exhibition exercise in which 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 which was in fact a older segment from the film, and played this from a speaker situated in a plinth which stood in front of a still from the film. Whilst only intended as a way of linking the sound to the landscape in which i was created and printed cheaply using standard inks, the image gained a lot of comments due to it's striking tonal quality which was said to be reminiscent of traditional landscape paintings. 
I found these comments very interesting as whilst it was not intended to be the main focus the editing which I had done on the film so far as depicted in the still was already well received.
This has led me to look further into examples, based purely on their tonal depth and aesthetic qualities and how they relate to the landscape in which they depict.
As this researched  was spurned by comments relating to landscape painting, this is where I started.
Peter de Wint was my first port of call as I wanted to look at how painters themselves have looked at the sky as a means of expression, with sky shots making up a lot of my film - varying degrees at different lights. Using particularly light gestural movements as a tool to convey the desired emotion for their piece, both personal and how they would like the piece to look in terms of tone.

A Cornfield - Peter De Wint - 1815

In the editing process I have been experimenting heavily with the contasts of colours, in some places this is quite drastic with filters added to completley change the mood of the piece, in others I have continued the cinematic quality, given by exporting in widescreen, by grading the film footage to give the film a quality instantly reminiscent of classic film from the 60/70's where film was completely manual and obviously giving inferior quality compared to the HD of modern film, but it is the tone and sheen of the imagery which ironically many film makers, including myself on this piece, try to replicate through computer based post production purely for aestheic reasons.

I admire many video works of this era in particular the cinematography of William Friedkin and Owen Roizman in the 1971 film French Connection owes much to the stock of film it was shot with. The faded nature of the imagery and the deep contrast can be seen in the below screen shot of Sidney Lumet's 1973 film 'Serpico'.

Continuing this element of achieving modern work with vintage techniques is the photographer Neil Krug, whose use of dated film stock in extreme weather conditions edits the photographs itself given an immense aesthetic that increases the power of the images and ultimately makes the work transmit better making their desired effect greater.

Aiming for this kind of vintage tone which I hope to achieve by combining this with the clarity gained from shooting in HD will I hope emphasize the drama and atmosphere already in the landscape.

In terms of soundtrack I originally intented to achieve this relatively simply - I recorded myself playing guitar over footage which whilst sounding great, especially through the high quality speakers of the sound booth, just didn't have an edge that I was hoping for ad just sounded like it was, guitar played over footage.
I then had a eureka moment whilst playing the film back I accidently lent on the shift key which in final cut plays the footage in reverse, including the audio which was then transformed into a haunting sound with no obvious strum pattern distinguishable. I then played in sequence to reversed footage, so when I made the footage play normaly the audio would then be reversed.

Always referring back to Arthur C Clarke's Transience in particular when included the segments of the snow landscapes filmed on the morning after the main day of filming. The contrast between the snow landscapesacting a a similar tool as the sea and desert in 'Transience' the short story.
Using cross disolve sparingly has added the disorientating effect I was after, coupled witth he shrill and strange nature of the soundtrack, the two elements work together to create a really haunting atmosphere that heightens the emotions experienced when out in the landcape itself, as this is my basic intention - to represent the alienating, vastness and magnitude on what is ultimately a 2D medium.
Whilst not adhearing to any distinctly strict chord progression, there is a definate theme and haunting build up in certain segments which I wanted to float road very much like the footage does, especially the parts filmed at the full mercy of the wind owing to a blurry, headache inducing feeling that adds to the consuming nature of the piece.
When showing it to others for feedback they have agreed how effective this eireey sound is to the piece.

Something that became intrinsic to me whilst creating the piece was the simultaneous editing process, whereby I would play over the video footage I was in the middle of editing in order to gain the closeness and ensure the two mediums linked together and locked in with each other as much as possible.


As part of our contribution to the degree show yearbook we must each have a mug shot taken and submit an artists statement and up to 3 images relating to our practice to be used in our Artists profile page.
How I am perceived by an audience potentially made up of people with great creative links and opportunities in store, is something of high importance.

Here's my Mug.

And one of these images will make up my large centrefold image, most probably the image below as it is a colour image, and will separate the monchrome of my 'Presence through Absence' images which will be seen as thumbnails.