The Making of A Post-Photographic Portrait

Last weekend I travelled to Bradford to visit and stay with my subject Kate. I created video footage of possessions and objects around her home as well as her pets to reveal Kate’s interests and personality. Over the period of the weekend I recorded conversations with myself, Kate and her son.

Linking to my initial idea of creating a montage of close ups to keep my subjects identity mysterious I recorded Kate doing her make-up. Putting on make-up is a part of a female’s everyday routine so felt this would reinforce a sense of Kate’s femininity. It will also force the audience to think how everyone, even themselves wear a mask or play up to a persona in their day-to-day life. I wanted to create a split screen, similarly to shots out of Requiem for a Dream, with the footage of Kate and her possessions to show explicitly all the elements which make her, her.

When it came to the editing process I found myself struggling as to what to do with my own material. My footage was purely descriptive and lacked substance, a problem I was faced with when I filmed Rachel. I attempted to complete 3 different edits, one focusing on the close ups of Kate’s face, another of Rose’s face (my other subject from a few weeks ago) and the final by combining the shots of possessions and make-up application. Whilst the third attempt was more along the lines of what I wanted to achieve, it was still lacking a punch. As a result of this I began collecting video clips and footage using the Creative Commons website as well as searching on Youtube using the creative commons filter. I gathered footage belonging to Kate including family videos and photographs of her as a child also to enhance the story further.

After being inspired by montages and remixes over the last month I decided to combine different aspects from each video I’ve made so far for Phonar. To set the tone and introduce the characters within the story I used text, like I did in my Transformative Storytelling video of my brother Aiden. It’s a simple way of narrating the story, making it easy for the audience to follow. I then worked on creating a sort of mash up of all the footage I collected from creative commons, like I did in my first video for Phonar, ‘This is a picture I did not take’. In this task I learnt the importance of building a soundscape. And so I gathered all the sounds I used for previous videos as well as sourcing some new ones to build a strong soundscape for my final piece.

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