Self Initiated Project Idea 2

SELF PORTRAIT PHOTO SERIES

I’d like to do a self portrait series or video that would either be a continuation or some sort of development of the little photos series I did for the 24 hour project called ‘Primary Function’ , an ironic depiction of the 1950s female humanoid robot set in the location of a domestic prison depicting the downsides of the 50s utopia and describing a discourse between gender, futurism and free will.12345

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I’ll be looking at artists like Cindy Sherman, Francesca Woodman and Birgt Jürgenssen.

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I might continue the theme of science fiction in my work, similarly to the ‘Primary function’ series of polaroids, however instead of describing the day to day misogyny of the latter half of the century, I would like to take inspiration from my beauty and skincare routines and apply a science fiction aesthetic to instead use the imagery as a means of empowerment.

I’ll also be looking at the artist Juno Calypso for inspiration
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The Honeymoon Suite from Juno Calypso on Vimeo.


UPDATE 13.10.17

So as I’ve been doing more research I’m considering dropping the more sci-fi aspect I was originally going to go for as I don’t personally feel as connected to that right now, I’d like to keep that for projects I’ll be doing in the future.

While researching Vanity I came across a style of painting called ‘Vanitas’,
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Vanitas art is a (mostly) still life genre of painting featuring objects with morbid symbolism such as skulls and fading flowers in order to produce in the viewer’s mind an awareness of the brevity of life and the inevitability of death.
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This painting by Clara Peeters (possibly a self-portrait) really intrigued me visually as I liked the mix between self-portrait and Vanitas still life.

I really want the project to focus more on these quotes that stood out to me by John Berger in Ways Of Seeing :
“A woman is always accompanied, except when quite alone, and perhaps even then, by her own image of herself. While she is walking across a room or weeping at the death of her father, she cannot avoid envisioning herself walking or weeping.” ….
Women watch themselves being looked at

This DAZED article about John Berger’s Ways Of Seeing also talks about this;
“Berger pins down a feeling which, although perhaps not universal, is familiar to many, many women. It comes with adolescence – maybe the first time a man yells at you from a moving car – and is the sense of living life one step removed, living as your own spectator. You are never yourself, you are yourself as you appear to others”

I’d like to try to express my own personal experience with this feeling, making use of the Vanitas style still life within a self-portrait setting. Perhaps with using mirrors to represent this idea of always being accompanied my your own image of yourself. I’d like to combine that with Vanity

Vanity is imposed on us, but being vain is bad ?

Here is a little moodboard that explores the visuals I’m interested in:

I’ve purchased some mirrors (waiting for them in the post) as well as some polaroid film to take some test shots, but my main goal is to shoot at a vanity dressing table that will be decorated according to the Vanities still-life symbolism.

UPDATE : dressing table is off -ahem- the table.

 

IS IT REALLY SO BAD?

lil photo series of me getting ready to go out, using my routine as a way of quelling anxiety.
taken in various settings with an ott ritualistic feeling,
1.me in the bath (taken from above, you see the top of my head, and my face-masked reflection in a mirror on the bath caddy surrounded with candles and flowers (vanities set up)

2.I’m sitting in front of my mirror while I do my skin care, maybe doing some sort of face massage/applying face cream, very dewey very glowy

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YEAR 3 – self initiated project idea 1

MUSIC VIDEO DIRECTION (&EDITING)

soooooo going to be working on a music video for The Love Company that is going to require mucho work but i’m confident in my ideas that it will (hopefully holy shit) work out.

quick refresh of your memoriesss, this is the last music video I made for The Love Company :

We wanted it to have a sort of damaged VHS tape look to it. I filmed the background footage of the boats in Venice and then overlaid Ryan (singer of The Love Co) over the top of that footage using green screen and lots of post production (had to teach myself After Effects which was…interesting).
Anyway – The song I will be doing a video for is called Heaven is a Place I Call Your Arms.
The main vibe for the video is going to be very heavenly (HA) and kitsch (in a good/fun way).  An early idea was to have a lovely baby blue background, DIY clouds hanging onto the background and the boys dressed in blue jeans&white shirt and most importantly somehow getting  spinning platform for the synth player Alex to spin on while playing a particularly intense part of the song.
Thanks to the last video I worked on in the studios at LCC I’ve come to somewhat know the downsides/faults of the photography studios and have worked up a plan to work around them which should allow me to achieve more of what I’m visualising in my head right now.
THE MAIN ISSUE WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO IS ITS TINY BACKGROUND SIZE.
A definite problem when wanting to film a horizontal shot that can fit the whole subject in view (some of the boys in the band are quite tall so this would be a pretty annoying issue to deal with. everyone wants to be visible in the video obviously)
MY SOLUTION: creating cardboard set pieces that can WIDEN the already there background!! here is a quick sketch of my idea (another thing to note was that there would be nowhere to hang the DIY clouds from so this is also a solution to that)
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The plan for the card cloud shapes is to either using cardboard or styrofoam, create the basic cloud shape, paint the shape white(if needed) and then cover it with pillow/toy stuffing to really get that fluffy cloud look. These pieces would need to be created and stored at uni as bringing them back and forth from home would probably deteriorate them.
This idea was a little inspired by the Wendigo group project we worked on last year where we created a mock set.
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But i’m going to be working on a MUCH bigger scale with this project which should be both fun and soul destroying.

Here’s some visual inspiration/research for the beginning of this project:

 

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ideas for set piece building:

Big inspo for me for some weird reason are the italian coffee brand Lavazza ads set in paradise/heaven that I grew up watching:

The ad really speaks for itself haha
Some music video/filming/vibe inspo

Will start working on a story board for the video soon. Also trying to figure out where to buy what I will need for the set design. So far I’ve ordered a sample of the pillow stuffing to see what kind of texture i’ll be working with. Maybe I’ll make a mini version of the set up. I’ll also need to pay a visit to the photography studios to get measurements of the space (as well as making a booking for at least 2 FULL days of filming). This will be a pretty fast paced project as The Love Company need their video to be done by mid/end October.


UPDATES 12.10.17

SOOOOO COMPLETE CHANGE OF PLANS. My initial idea was….somewhat too ambitious to complete in the time we have available (considering I would also have to organise the videographer and FIVE DISORGANIZED BOYZ) so my client and I discussed various other ideas (one example being filming the band at an old bowling alley). We initially settled on the idea of filming in a particularly Shining-esque location:
The Peckham Liberal Club

 

As the client is a HUGE Kubrick fan he (and I as well) really enjoyed how this location and it’s vibe and color scheme eerily reminded us of The Shining:

 

When consider how we wanted it to be filmed we definitely wanted to keep the Kubrick ideals of symmetry but I also suggested taking inspiration from the more recent Gucci editorial campaigns (love the way they are so definitely influenced by old films but are also very contemporary) :

 

Specifically I was inspired by the look of Petra Collins short film for Gucci:

UNFORTUNATLY our plans for this fell through as the location responded to our filming request by kindly informing us that minimum we would need to pay ONE THOUSAND POUNDS FOR THE SPACE.

DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE 1K??? (hopefully, but I can confirm that I definitely DO NOT)

So onto another brainstorming session and finally we decided on our final idea for the video.

To be honest throughout these initial (unsuccessful ideas) we felt that there was something missing…despite the cool locations and interesting set idea we felt that the videos would have lacked something the first video we made together (On to Better Things) did so well:
IT WAS FUN. I HAD FUN FILMING AND EDITING IT AND THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE WAS JUST THAT; FUN AND the video came out pretty damn great if I do say so myself.
What our initial ideas lacked was the sense of fun and trying to make the best out of what we had (which originally..and still now..is nothing..NO BUDGET).
We had been thinking too hard about something that needed to be simple.

So we thought of a place where Ryan and I always have a good time and came up with the most mundane thing we do weekly; food shopping at Tesco.
So last friday we did some test shots in and around Tesco and honestly filming and editing it was so much damn fun and we FINALLY had a foundation for the final thing:
(I’m only going to post screenshots of the results as Ryan doesn’t want the song online yet)

 

First thing I noticed when going over the footage I filmed on my iPhone was the great lighting already provided by the strong and bright tesco lights, and interesting and colorful backdrop of produce and products and a familiar setting where Ryan can be himself and express better the concept of the band, laid-back and easy.

Immediately we LOVED the way the supermarket looked on film so after playing around with some video editing with the few clips that we had we decided to look into what it would take to film at a supermarket.
While researching I found both promising and worrying posts from other no/low-budget film students saying that they had either been welcomed or turned away by the shop owners/managers. Taking tips from various forums about this subject I put together a filming proposal to give to the various supermarkets we were going to visit to ask about filming on location :

 

We decided to go to our #1 choice supermarket (also the most spacious) first which coincidentally is literally a 5min walk from my flat.
I found and spoke to the manager and explained my ideas and plan to him and much to my surprise he was totally happy to let us film there. I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW RELIEVED WE WERE. We are honestly so lucky to be able to film in the supermarket of our choice with the support of the manager. He told us to email him the date that we would be coming in to film which will be Friday the 20th of October!

Here is a visual moodboard of images I’ve put together in preparation for when we film:

 

And here are some music videos that I feel will inspire the aesthetic and feeling of the video:

I love the mall setting of this video, there’s something heartwarming about it (maybe because both Ryan and I grew up in the US and have fond memories of going to the mall)

Love how nonchalant and un-apologetically weird this band is in the video, also love those zoom-in and zoom-out shots


 

We have since filmed the visuals and I am now in the process of editing the video, working on finessing the details~ (have had to pause for my thesis draft deadline)

Here are some polaroids I took as test shots
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SI Project Final outcome

Dreams of You – THE MICHIGAN VIBE from Nicole Olivetti on Vimeo.

Here’s the final outcome of the music video!
Overall I’m pretty happy with it. Obviously had I had all the time in the world I would have made it even better but ya know..deadlines.

One thing I didn’t manage to do was the whole generation loss VHS effect. Unfortunately even after buying all the required wires and stuff needed to connect my laptop to the VHS player for some reason it wasn’t working and I didn’t have time to keep trying endlessly until I got a result so I continued with the editing on Premiere pro. I plan to keep experimenting with it this summer because it’s something I really want to be able to do.

Kung Fury

I mean…lets be real this is 30min of true ART. The most successful homage to the 80s. Obviously not exactly what I’m going for in my work but my god does this endlessly inspire me humour-wise and aesthetic-wise (not to mention the SICK synth soundtrack used throughout).

I was feeling a bit uninspired while I was editing my video and I re-stumbled upon this film and was quickly brought back to LIFE. Thank you Kung Fury.

@ Highgate Woods

My outcome for the Highgate Woods outing is a polaroid portrait series of The Michigan Vibe in nature~

When I first arrived at the woods I wasn’t sure how I was going to relate any of what I saw to my SI project…which isn’t really nature based…AT ALL. I took a few pictures on my phone and then realised that it would be a great setting for some portraits. I went home to pick up my polaroid camera and found some film I had been gifted that was perfect for the portraits and invited Ryan along.
I used black and red film as it matched the black and red scenes I had been editing in my video (to be posted soon).

Not gonna lie though…most if not ALL of the mini briefs are completely unrelated to any of the work I have been doing. I would have enjoyed them more in first year when my work was more “traditional illustration”. This year all my work has been either digital or video based so it’s felt a bit useless drawing nature scenes or things seen in museums as they’re pretty irrelevant to me. I get that you’re trying to get us to learn to “observe” our surroundings but honestly we’re all pretty capable of that already and if we aren’t then we shouldn’t be in 2nd year???  I dunno I just don’t care for it thats all. I just want to focus on my SI project instead of having to travel 40min to a place that has nothing to do with what I’m doing.

I JUST DON’T GET IT SORRY DON’T SUE ME

 

@ Horniman Museum

I mean, I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it over and over again…THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY SI PROJECT..thats cool tho..anyway here are some sketches from the Horseman Museum. As you can see, birds are my life.. they’re so silly looking and fun to draw, bless them.

EVEN MORE SI PROJECT UPDATES

SO in my last post I mentioned how I wouldn’t be able to film the final version of the video on my May 30th studio booking because of scheduling issues with Ryan.
I decided not to waste my booking of the studio and go in to do some test shooting to get a better idea of the final outcome and to feel better prepared for filming to real thing on on the 5th of June.
It ended up being both a disappointing experience as well as a very helpful one.
My main disappointment with the studio is that despite being the “Big Studio” in the design block at uni it is actually quite small; The background for the video is too small when filming full body scenes (and I wasn’t even wearing my platform shoes yet!!). Here is what I mean:
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You can see the surrounding studio and lighting set up which…kinda kills the whole vibe  I was going for- TOTAL BUMMER (not to mention me wearing socks with this outfit is…horrible hahaha but my shoes hadn’t arrived yet). I think I will have to focus on close up shots..which kinda sucks cause its not what I was going for but I WILL MAKE IT WORK I GUESS.
Also It was hard to find a good balance with the lighting. I wanted the background to be a lot darker than it ended up looking and have found it hard to fix even in post production.
Despite it being a bit disappointing it has given me a chance to play around with the footage Saffron Cann helped me shoot and give a clearer idea of what the outcome may look like.
Here’s some clips I’ve played around with (note the difference by comparing with the screenshot posted above) :


To achieve this look I played around with various settings; I made the footage a cooler more blue tone, raised the sharpness (to get that crinkly vhs look), added some noise, added a screened fog effect, and played around with the color channels to get that quintessential vhs coloured light outline thing (I don’t know what it’s called but heres a screenshot to show what I mean)
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I’m quite happy with this outcome so far but I’m going to continue further with these trials. Here’s some things I’m planning to try out:

Going to go out later to buy an old dvd player & vhs player from a charity shop to try this out (i’ll have to burn the footage I’ve been working on onto a dvd and then convert that to vhs and play around)
Another thing with a vhs player I’d like to try is generation loss (making copies on copies of an original until the footage is altered) :

I’ll update this post with my results soon as I will be experimenting with this new method during the next few days.


UPDATE: ughhhh the charity shop where I was planning to buy the vhs & dvd player are out of stock of what I neeeeeeeed. Usually every time I go they have this huge selection of vhs and dvd players that NO ONE ever buys and obviously when I need it, NOT AVAILABLE..damnnnn.
I’ll have to scavenge around some more I guess…


UPDATE: SO bought an old tv that has a VHS player integrated in to stand did some more research thats made me realise that I don’t need to convert the video to DVD so the DVD player isn’t needed anymore. Just waiting on some wire now that will connect the tv to my computer so that I can record the video to VHS and then make a few copies until I get the desired generation loss effect at which point I will then copy it back to my computer.

I WOULD JUST LIKE FOR IT TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT EVERYTHING I’VE BEEN DOING HERE IS SELF-TAUGHT. I LEARNED HOW TO USE PREMIERE PRO, AFTER EFFECTS, ANALOG VIDEO EDITING AND ALL THIS JAZZ ON MY OWN SO, YEAH, I’M PRETTY PLEASED WITH MYSELF JUST SO YA KNOW.

FILMING UPDATES :
Had my studio booking the other day (June 5th) and ONCE AGAIN I AM LEFT DISAPPOINTED. It was not my lucky day, there was only one technician working in the photography studios that day and he was spread a bit thin having to help set up not only my studio but everyone elses too. We didn’t really manage to get filming until halfway through the booking hours so the only footage I managed to get was of Ryan with the black background (mostly him playing various instruments) and like 3 shots of me that ended up being totally useless in the end because I forgot to put on various parts of my outfit as we were in a rush. LUCKILY I managed to book another studio slot to finish up hopefully (the booking is on friday the 9th of June) so unfortunately I won’t have much to show at the crit on thursday. I’ll work on editing what I have as much as I can but sadly most of the clips that I filmed are not part of the main narrative of the video but more like “filler” clips (zoom-ins of instruments being played etc).

More SI project updates

this post is all about how I want the video I’ll be making to still have references and ties to the other video I’ve made for The Michigan Vibe

What themes are important in these videos: LETS ANALYSE THIS

-Both are videos made from clips of an old(vintage looking) film but re-pieced together to create a new narrative that fits the song
-Both tend to have a Blue coloured look to them with splashes of red (In wanderlust the Volcano is the RED whereas smaller details like lipstick are the Red accents in the video)
-Both are supposed to be representations of the “Future” as imagined at the time when they were filmed
-Both have very idealised looking women in them
-Both have a dream/sleep theme in the video- Wanderlust begins with women waking up and Leaving Home Tonight the woman in the video is sleeping/dreaming

I want to somewhat represent these themes in the new video I’ll be making.
Mixing a vintage and modern/futurist aesthetic of an “Ideal woman” (parodying the Manic Pixie Dream Girl with just a dash of Femme Fatale thrown in there).
I’ll also obviously include a dream/sleep theme in the video as the song itself is called Dreaming of You- whereby in the video I’ll be representing Ryans “dream girl”. I’ll be wearing clothes that are closely linked to nightwear : a slip dress & peignoir mixed with exaggerated accessories : long black gloves(with finger nail appliqués), diamante choker, lucite platform heels. A lot of the elements of the outfit & makeup I’ll be wearing is inspired by Drag Queens. I feel like the way that they embody their idea of an ideal/powerfull/beautiful woman is very creative and (can be) exaggerated. It’s an interesting way to play with gender and I feel like that will translate well for this video as its an exaggeration of a “dream girl”. And I mean, Drag Queens are freakin ARTISTSSS
Here are some of my main inspirations
(including some Bio Queens (female drag queens) :

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SI project updates

Due to scheduling conflicts there have been a few set backs with the project. It’s proven quite hard to continue working on the song for the video with Ryan as he has been busy with his own projects. I’ve also been busy with my own work (*cough cough* fuckin thesis proposal *cough*) and have not been able to focus as much on this work. I know i will be able to finish it on time though because I believe in my last minute work skillzzz.

Seriously though this is very stressful for me as I do want to do well (obviously). I’ve gone to the photography studios to book the big studio for filming on the 30th May and 5th of June (to capture any missed footage) so as to get a head start with the filming organisation.


UPDATE

Well y’all, we are officially CUTTING IT SO CLOSE. Ryan is unfortunately unavailable on the 30th of May and no other studios time slots are available so the only day I have for filming is MONDAY THE 5th OF JUNE – TWO DAYS BEFORE THE CRIT
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going to have to make it work (which I will but UGHHHHHHHH STRESSS)

ANYWAY

Had a group tutorial where I played this video to show what I’ve made before and give a better Idea of what I’m working towards

Obviously seeing as the music/band is different the outcome will be different but I wanted to show how low budget “shit” looking work is a fucking ARRRRT.
My group enjoyed these visuals and loved the terrible (read:GREAT) green screen over the serene venetian boats I filmed.

Here are some more visual example of what I want to do with the video:

This Video by Madness also has that “terrible but great” quality to it. It’s kitsch, it’s fun and very engaging. Personally I don’t see myself using a green screen background but doing something more like the love company video further above with overlaid and duplicated people layered over some kind of focal point filmed on a black background (or white? maybe even red if it is available in the studio)

This is a music video Ryans sister filmed which ryan and I helped her set up in their living room (IN THEIR LIVING ROOM!! turned out amaziiiing). I really like the use of the strobe light to add drama to parts of the video. The colors also really pop for me in this, very contrasty~ I also like the echo effect on the video, gives me major Kate Bush vibes WHICH brings me on to the next video:

I mean…its a classic. Doesn’t really seem super high budget (except maybe lighting??) but it works well with the song, very ghostly and etherial. WHICH makes me question; where can I purchase a smoke machine? Because I need it for my video considering the song is about ~*DReamiNG*~ and we want that vibe~~~~~~

Another CLASSIC Kate Bush video- again super simple set up : Black background, Lighting, and a FREAKING SWORD. Love it. Live it.

Another simple music video that WORKS. And another convincing argument for the use of a smoke machine. Also has that sparkle which comes naturally with the use of dark background and strong lights (a toned down sparkle effect than the one on the Daft Punk video I included in an earlier blog post).

Another KILLER music video that is simple but effective visually. Loving the shots filmed from a low angle, something I might take into consideration for my own video. Also has it’s own *sparkly* feel.

Okay this isn’t a music video but rather a selection of clips from the Giallo film the soundtrack comes from (A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971)) put together BEAUTIFULLY and ARTFULLY. The scenes that stand out the most to me are the scenes on the red bed (obviously a dream/vision sequence thanks to the vague black backdrop and wind effect giving it an unreal look)