Friday, October 17, 2014

Video Trip!

This week in Fundamentals of Digital Media, we were instructed to use the audio we mashed up a couple of weeks ago and edit various sources of video to go along with the music. This video mashup contains clips from a variety of different sources including experimental filmmakers, video artists, and some of my own work that I shot previously. The piece begins with a clip from a video art piece by Woody and Steina Vasulka entitled Noisefields. With the title of this mashup being Video Trip, I figured it’d be best to start it off with some flicker, which will certainly make the human eye see things that are not there. The films that follow include clips from the classic Fritz Lang film Metropolis, Stan Brakhage’s Mothlight, Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon, a superimposition of two Andy Warhol pieces – Outer and Inner Space and Blowjob, Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and finally some footage and outtakes from my first short film – Landing in Light. I selectively chose these clips because they are among my favorite experimental art pieces. I have recently learned that films do not have to necessarily “make sense” or have a conventional narrative structure to be both visually and aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes it’s best to surrender all expectations and just enjoy the view. Many of the films in this piece do not have a typical narrative. However, they still stand as strong works of art due to their unconventional and sometimes wild imagery coupled with carefully detailed mise-en-scene. The works of Andy Warhol certainly play with the capabilities of the camera and engage the viewer to the point where they’re waiting for something else to happen in the piece… and then it doesn't. The Vasulkas are very talented in using digital video resources to create work that stimulates the mind, and, to be frank, it’s just really freaking cool to watch.

With the edits in this film, I aimed to use a lot of layered video and superimpositions, kaleidoscope effects, ghost effects, and a little bit of solarizing - all within the Adobe Premiere application. These effects allowed me to create new images from these films in a way that the eye would not normally see. I made various edits to the initial audio clip that I mashed up previously to coincide with the theme of the overall video, once the decision was made to go this route. Adding flanger and chorus effects to audio can give it a very spacey sort of feel. There are also some fantastic and FREE virtual synthesizers out there that include some amazing sounds. For the window of time that I had to complete this project, I would say that the results are certainly fitting with the title. Of course, with video editing it sometimes seems like you’re never finished. There will always be that one more thing that you need to change which turns into 50 things, which makes it difficult to meet deadlines sometimes! If I could change anything about this piece, I would go even further with effects and filters for the video clips by making more cuts and editing only a few seconds of video at a time. This way, there will be a new image for almost every beat in the song, versus going by measure. When dealing with any type of video work, the hardest part for me is always coming up with ideas on the spot. There is an assignment and a deadline. I normally work by getting ideas out of the blue and working from there. Coming up with things in a short amount of time puts me out of my comfort zone. The most important thing I've learned from this project is that being out of the comfort zone is not a bad thing at all.

Until next time, Peace & B Wild

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