Montage of Beautiful Things. Evaluation and Reflection

My eventual montage which can be seen on disc as part of my hand in. I shall have to wait a week before uploading because I am at my content limit.

My final montage, which takes the best bits from most of my work and puts them together into a showreel for the module, has eventually been put together. We have been working for ten weeks towards it and unfortunately I am not totally happy with it. It is inevitable that work such as this one will never be happy with because each piece had to be created so quickly. Some I am happy with, some I have managed to take parts from which I like and some I have had to drop from the montage.

If more time had been available to complete each section I feel I would have ended up with a better montage. A week with no other distractions is enough time but with the amount of other projects and University work I have been involved in has meant that it suffered slightly. However like I have said I am still happy with plenty of it. If you see my post referring to A Hanging under process and development you will see I went fairly quickly from idea to execution but I feel that it was a good idea and this is where I struggled on other weeks. A good idea continues to inspire and once I had had the idea I began to think of ways to achieve it and this is why I ended up with a decent piece.

In another way there are certain pieces that were a good idea but because I was inexperienced with the particular medium there was too little time to perfect it. There is a short section in the montage of a time-lapse taken on a starry night and I really like it but there are issues with it that I would like to improve on and address in the future. You will notice that a light flicks on during it and this ruins the very end slightly and I was so intent on the technique and technicality in what I was doing the framing of the shot is of no particular merit. Isolating these problems has helped me subsequently to produce some time lapse work that I am beginning to be happy with. I am fascinated by shutter speed, especially when shooting at night and this process has dramatically improved my proficiency and understanding of this.

Another piece which excellently illustrates a good idea that had to be slightly rushed is Four Stories High which is the four way split screen that can be seen here

4 Stories High from Richard Neal on Vimeo.

Now whilst I can’t claim this to have been my idea I was part of the group that shot it and I love the way it is edited. This is really something that can be taken and run with – it is the sort of piece that becomes very popular online and would even work in advertising or on inner city big screens. We in fact would like to re shoot and improve technically to submit to the BBC big screen in Coventry for it hopefully to be screened. This is something I have really liked about the module as a whole and that is that it has brought forward plenty of ideas that can be further developed, it stimulates discussion and this in turn creates interesting ideas that can be adapted, re done and made into longer more technically proficient pieces.

My still images of a man made waterfall taken with a really fast shutter speed I think are really nice. I am not sure they fit perfectly into the montage however because personally I do not like still images juxtaposed with moving. It works in factual film making but in a purely artistic sense this is not something I would normally like to see. However because I like them they have appeared. Having recently bought a new camera I am surprised at how much I have enjoyed taking stills because previously my motivation lay with moving image. Of course my time-lapse work is still imagery but works on a different level because of the frame rate. Digital photography is such an amazing tool when wanting to achieve results such as I did with the photos of the waterfall because endless experimenting can be carried out without great expense or time. Because I could play around with the settings and instantly see where and when I was going wrong I was able to improve it the following photo.

My piece responding to the word ‘wall’ drew some interesting comments and it was interesting debating where it could be improved or changed slightly to get my message across. I was trying to convey the claustrophobia that comes with the ever growing amount of walls that are in our lives and especially our cities. I open with a shot of an urban area enclosed totally with walls as my long slow shot pans round the surrounding area an argument is heard from within the walls (I layered the argument in having used an argument that happens in Fish Tank) eventually the camera swings down to a shot of the words ‘Life is Beautiful’ and the music comes up and we finish with a bright flash. Now one of my tutors commented that he preferred it without the music and I tried it without but personally I think the change from the sound of the argument is needed. Overall I was pleased because it instigated debate and it was a first experiment with a more abstract way of approaching the issue.

Life is Beautiful from Mick Le Mare on Vimeo.

The final montage itself has been difficult. Naturally one is likely to have a range of videos so it is hard to string them together in a piece that works. I hope that I have done a good job – pacing was the hardest part because I am, as I have said previously, very keen on the continuous slow moving camera shot and this unfortunately none of these lend themselves to a slightly faster cut particularly well. This is why I cut the montage to Elbow’s ‘One Day Like This’ because whilst uplifting it winds it’s way slowly through and that lends itself to some of the longer shots like the fairly long hold of the tight shot from the end of A Hanging. I hope that the montage and my videos make for interesting and stimulating watching, I enjoyed the process.

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