Continuing on from Wildling Video Experimentation 1, Wildling Video Experimentation 2 and Wildling Video Experimentation 3 this post has some further experiments using the drone and the preliminary Wildling costume (in glove form). See The Wildling – Part 4.
Further to the experimental videos produced in Wildling Video Experimentation 1 and Wildling Video Experimentation 2 the videos contained in this blog post are derived from a single piece of source video produced using the drone and the preliminary Wilding costume, at the stage where this was gloves instead of a whole costume.
Today’s discussion began with the video pieces in these two blog posts.
These videos have been created from a preliminary set of footage that was shot in my back garden and my plans are to shoot video with the Wildling on site and also using green screen.
Jonathan observed the progression that I had intended moving throughout the nine videos and we spoke about the potential for further development. Some of the discussion was spent comparing the two video’s (6 and 9) in the second blog post and the potential for continuing with both these lines of enquiry. Video 6 having a more painterly and almost abstract effect where the image is akin to oil being poured onto water and Video 9 being more humanistic.For the time being I will probably continue to expand on both of these as I see future potential in either direction.
We spoke about the potential of layering this type of footage over the painterly effects found in video 6 (see link above) and using a blur layer to soften the lines in this video too.
We also discussed my ideas around the use of a green screen and a green body suit to create a different effect (which I have already priced) and Jonathan spoke about the use of contrast to be able to achieve the same effects, which brought me onto the drone footage that I have shot where there is the contrast that will provide the required effects.
Getting back to the drone footage, again this is just a clip of the first outing of my new drone, we both agreed that there is something special about parts of this footage and in particular when the sun is behind the camera and the shadows can be seen in the images. Also the trees at the location we used provide an additional interesting quality to the footage.
Jonathan did ask me where I see this going as it progresses and I discussed my recent reconnection with spirituality and the fact that although these videos are addressing a particular context, they are beginning to evolve and speak about issues of consciousness and other-worldly beings – I see this progression happening quite naturally almost as if by accident, but actually not. I also spoke about how I have always believed that the art and the spiritual would integrate at some point and that I’m starting to see this happen in my artwork now. Jonathan also emphasised the importance of holding onto this connection with the spiritual and that this essence provides a deeper level of perception within the artwork.
We spoke about the qualities of the resin work in Latex and Resin and the objects being suspended in the resin like they would be suspended in time beneath the reservoir waters. The use of silicone to make the moulds for when I plan to create large multiples of the pieces made so far. I also mentioned my idea for creating a larger resin piece that suspends multiple items rather than individual items.
The quality of light when displaying the resin and the potential to use the resin to create a projection background and the potential to project a single moving image onto the resin or a complex video piece, like the video 6 mentioned above.
As time was running out we briefly spoke about the Citrasolv and the Experimenting with Poloroids work and the potential with both of these to create images that I can then print large scale onto net curtain fabric and then stitch onto.
Overall Jonathan asked me how I felt about how things were going so far and I spoke about the fact that I had spent a lot of time making so far and that this has provided me with the space and material to focus on the video work. We spoke about the way I am using traditional making methods then transforming that material into digital and the two-way connection between the two and the importance that maintaining that connection with the traditional has for me. I do have a lot of material that I can use to further this now and several ideas that can be progressed towards the final show next year.
Overall extremely happy with the tutorial discussion and it has been a great opportunity to reflect more fully on the work that I have produced since January.
Here are the second batch of preliminary experimental videos using the Wildling costume. See Wildling Video Experimentation 1. Focus for theses videos has been experimenting with video effects and the potential for future videos dealing more specifically with the narrative I have in mind.
No Sound. Videos below:
Having completed constructing the Wildling, I persuaded my daughter to wear the costume for me to take some preliminary photos and videos ready for me to begin editing. Below are some of the experimental video’s that I have produced so far. See Wildling Video Experimentation 2. Focus for theses videos has been experimenting with video effects and the potential for future videos dealing more specifically with the narrative I have in mind.
For The Garden Shaman project I was commissioned to film some performative elements and produce a video from the footage that was acquired. Below is my overall reflection of the project now that it has come to an end. Some video clips from the final work are located here.
This has been a good opportunity to film outside with another artist. Some of the film footage was good, yet some of it overexposed – I think in part due to the light on the day.
Getting to film a performing artist and then to edit the footage and produce a video from the raw footage enabled me to reflect on the level of skill I have achieved with Premiere Pro over the past four years.
I only have my own experiences of shooting footage outside to go on – and I am aware that further research in this area is required. On some of the video footage my breathing is audible. On some clips it works and then others it will be edited out.
The amount of raw footage that was shot in the first instance had to be condensed massively and this took a significant amount of organisation. Several review meetings also meant that the ability to roll back any content to a previous state had to be built into the video files.
These regular review meetings mean that the project could move forward and the content reviewed and agreed at different stages – the content was also critically evaluated at every stage.
This video piece has become by far the largest video project I have been involved in to date. It has given me the opportunity to deepen my relationship with Adobe Premiere Pro and improve my editing skills along the way which I see will stand me in good stead in the future.
Producing a video that was originally going to be 10 minutes maximum but then turned out to be over 20 minutes was a good exercise in creating content that maintains the attention of the audience.
The best part has been the ethereal expression through editing what is very simple footage showing mundane tasks in the garden.
The greatest challenge has been managing my time while completing this project. This work has been in addition to my day job and my masters work. Originally the scope of the project was that it would not take too much time. However, during between November 2018 and February 2019 this project took on average an additional working week per month. The impact of this was that something had to give and although I have kept up with the practical side of the Masters, making my own work whenever time allowed, my blogging has been put on hold and as I write this (April 2019) I have a significant number of unpublished posts ready to be added to my blog.
I have put a lot of effort into making this video piece as manageable as possible. Taking hundreds of source videos into 96 edited videos and finally at this point 9 individual videos leading to one final piece. This has proved time consuming however necessary for the successful completion of the project.
I am really enjoying working with Eli and find our meetings positive and constructive where she provides me with the things that she would like to see in the video. It has been a fine balance with this piece of work, treating it as my own so that I am fully committed and engaged in the process yet being detached enough to let someone else direct me in the process.
My working life as a Technical Writer has helped me remain detached in the fact that as a Technical Writer your work is continually critiqued and there is no space for personal feelings in that environment – it is just a collective effort to meet an end result – this I find is very apparent in this project too.
There have been some important lessons learned for me in preparing to embark on such a project. Most specifically around the area of clarifying the scope of work in its entirety at the beginning of the project.
This project was undertaken with limited agreement in writing where clearer terms should have been outlined and written up at the outset. What this has highlighted for me is that I need to prepare my own terms of service in readiness for future artistic projects.
Copyright and Attribution is an important part of this for all involved to know where they stand. The copyright workshop I attended during the Low Residency really gave me food for thought in this area and made me realise that for this project none of this had been considered or agreed formally.
Initially this project was only meant to be for a short period of time. However, as a project it seemed to grow and before long a considerable number of hours over a six-month period had been completed. This impacted my availability for other projects and has resulted in my own personal artistic endeavours, particularly when applying to exhibit having to be put on hold waiting for the project to finish.
I chose to charge a nominal hourly rate on the basis that I was going to be attributed in the work for my contribution to the project. This was agreed verbally and at least meant I was compensated for the time actually spent working on the project. However, given the number of hours that this project eventually took, Eli would have probably benefited from agreeing a set fee for the project up front.
Previously I have worked for a fixed fee and this definitely benefited the client more – I still put in 110% effort into the work but as it was a fixed fee, this equated to a particularly low hourly rate.
This has raised a lot of questions for me though about the project management side. In particular when agreeing a set fee, very clear outcomes have to be established to ensure a reasonable compensation for the effort involved.
Where I was not compensated was mileage and time travelling to the Eli’s home for review meetings and to shoot footage. It was my own decision not to charge for mileage and travel, however each review meeting meant two hours of travel time which over the six months soon added up.
I also did not charge for some of the video editing work where I placed an expectation on myself to finish parts of the work more quickly. Particularly as the video files became larger and took longer to compile and upload to send to Eli. It didn’t really feel fair that I was charging for the compilation/upload time although I did have to sit with it and wait for the compilations/uploads to complete
I now realise that I charged the nominal fee because I personally didn’t value my own skill and expertise. Recently I have experienced a shift in this thinking about this issue and now see more clearly the value in my skill and expertise and will charge appropriately for this in the future.
It’s definitely time I developed my own terms of service and I will consider all of the lessons learned during this project when I do so.
All that being said though, this has still been an extremely positive and rewarding experience with some valuable lessons to take into my future artistic life.
Would I do this differently – probably not – overall working with another artist in this manner has been a positive rewarding experience. I’ve really enjoyed working with another artist and look forward to similar experiences in the future. It’s been a fabulous project to have been a part of.
I am very proud of the outcome of this project and the end result definitely demonstrates the effort that has gone in to it. From filming and producing the video, providing creative input along the way and collaborating with the other artist Eli Acheson-Elmassry who imagined and coordinated the project, directed and performed in her original artwork as The Garden Shaman.
I have always been a bit of a squirrel, collecting random stuff that has little meaning to other people. Whilst on my site visits I had collected rusty nails, guttering and a bolt along with much broken pottery.
Looking at these fragments I have collected from the various locations, I decided to put together some video experimentation that would hopefully provide me with additional inspiration as to what to do with these fragments.
First step in my process was to take photographs of the fragments I had collected. Using my iPhone, I piled the fragments together and begin photographing and filming close up shots and footage of these fragments – again in both monochrome and colour.
I then shot footage of water running into my kitchen sink.
Following this I combined footage that I had of both the above to produce the following effects.
Further to this I was also considering footage that I had shot previously of half submerged trees at Tryweryn and decided to bring this footage into the mix. I really like the effects I achieved with this.
Organisation has to be the lesson here – and go with the flow. I combined all of the video sequences for this work in the same Premiere Pro Project as the What Lies Beneath work. As the work has developed and grown for both – the project has become unwieldy. This is not normally how I would work – I’m usually very good at separating work pieces until they need to come together.
I fully intend to continue this thread of experimentation as I’m really enjoying putting this together. So far, my favourite sequence is the one that includes the trees, however I’m really liking working with the water effects and want to continue this further – thinking about recording more video footage that relates to water, shooting the footage in an abstract way.
With hindsight, I would have shot footage of the fragments in situ, however at the time I was just too busy gathering fragments. Sometimes I just get caught up in what I’m doing and need to learn to take a step back (at the time) and not just during times when I reflect.
More time spent experimenting with Premiere Pro is on the cards here! Stimulated and Excited about the outcome of this line of experimentation.