For my post-photographic portrait project I want to create a short video representing the transition of a male to female transsexual. I will show this by creating a montage of moving images. Each image will reflect a different part of the transition process as well as close ups of my subject.
I will not include any representation of the surgical procedures for two reasons. One it’s not accessible for me to film or re-create and two when speaking to my subjects they’ve made it clear that changing your sex is so much more than just the sex realignment surgery. It’s an ongoing process. Therefore my montages will focus on the smaller steps my subjects have taken to become who they really are such as; hair removal, make-up application, wearing feminine clothing and jewellery and so on. I want to reflect these steps by doing close ups of my subject and re-creating such scenes.
I want to do close-ups as opposed to creating one portrait of my subject because I want their identity to be kept a mystery. This will hopefully make my audience more curious to find out more. I don’t want to make my subject a spectacle, but simply reflect their journey and story. I don’t want to portray them as transsexual, which will be difficult as my entire project is on just that. But I want to just show the process, which won’t differ too largely from someone who was born a female. Well, at least I want this to be the feeling I give to the audience: a woman getting ready and preening herself.
As well as the physical steps toward becoming female, which won’t be too obvious to the audience to begin with, I want to reflect other parts of the process such as change name, history and psychological aspects. These clips will indicate to the audience that my subject has a deeper story. For example, I want to create images of cutting up I.D and burning photographs. It may be cliché but when speaking to one of my subjects, she said that as soon as she began living as a woman she burnt all her childhood photos and other images as a man, “It brought me closure. This was my re-birth”. It struck me. How could someone burn his or her entire life and memories? But I understood that it was a person she just never recognised. So I feel an image of a photograph burning would be quite important. This contrast in images of eyes and skin will create a conflict and hopefully raise questions in the audiences mind.
In terms of audio, after being inspired by the montages from film, “Requiem for a Dream” I want to collect a range of sharp sounds to play alongside each clip within my piece. Matt Ford said that photographers often fall into the trap of using music to play alongside images so instead I want to create a strong mix of audio sounds. I may add a music track, which heightens in intensity.
One thing that’s come through, which has created somewhat of a conflict, is that both subjects I’ve spoken to so far do not want to be seen as a transsexual but as female. And so I don’t want to portray them in this way or use a cheesy title, which indicates they are in fact, ‘trans’. I will use audio from one of my subjects from a conversation we had over the phone. She said that the whole process wasn’t just the surgery, she was ‘becoming me’. Again this struck me. Therefore, at the moment I’m thinking of ending my video with its title, “Becoming Me” which will appear alongside the audio of, “I’m just becoming me” or something along those lines.
I’ve created drawings of the kinds of images I want to create. Hopefully I can create all the shots I’m imagining! This video will act as a taster to my 350MC module.
Feedback and where to go next!
We shared a short version of our pitches in class. This is where I learnt that through the pitch we do not describe what we’ve done or are doing, as I have done. We have to grasp the audience and explain are topic area. As a result I have to re-think my pitch and as opposed to describing my piece, intrigue the audience and offer context into the topic.