Millie, our one woman filmic powerhouse, has been working on a third edit of ‘Milk’, and I have been there to advise and offer input.
One clear new direction was the involvement of a new composer and sound director who reached out via a mass email looking for projects to work on. I met Guillermo, showed him the film as it stood and we discussed where we wanted to go from here and what was needed to be done.
Yesterday, he came back with his first edit (not yet finished). It was fantastic – a huge elevation in the overall tone and storytelling potential of the film. Through music composition, some foley, new overlaid ambient sound and a few other tricks, the film now stands on a whole new level.
There is still work to be done, and I’m meeting him this afternoon to give him some notes, however they are really minor tweaks here and there – with the exception of the long conversation (scene 6); I think it’s missing something that I just can’t put my finger on.
So I work in the Learning Zone at Central Saint Martins, which accommodates a staggeringly disproportionate amount of student printing, especially so towards deadlines.
Frustrations run high as the pressure mounts. When a student has spend the last 4 or 5 hours staring at a monitor often making minute changes to their work, and then when the send it to print and it doesn’t reproduce on paper how it showed up on screen nor how they were expecting, they can be understandingly devastated.
Beyond the basic logistical issues people come up against – which printer to send to, accidentally setting double sided or mono when it should have been colour, there is a lack of appreciation into the work that must go in to a successful print.
But there is a fault shared by the majority in their approach to printing. One should not simply think of all the work as done in the software, and then printing simply as a case of hitting the button and being done – a thoughtful, considered and approach that can adapt will necessarily produce a better print, that looks closer to how you wanted it to look.
You must learn about colour, and ink, and colour spaces.
Play with colour.
Experiment with simple shapes.
Keep it simple.
One are of photography which has always truly captivated me was the editing. It struck me as amazing what one could do, and the considerations one had to balance – the editing styles for different applications and how fundamentally the edit could affect the feel of the image.
I realise (I think) that I am not so much interested in still images, however, I think I know a perfect application for this skill and interest – colour grading for film.
Honestly, the feel I really want is a mix of the later with pinches of the former – however, I’ve used these two images to demonstrate the transformative ability of editing.
Humans are storytellers. We relate to the world, in one guise or another, through stories. Some stories are narratives about the past. We call these stories History.
Artists tell stories too. These are often told using symbol, imagery, context. I am acting here as an oral storyteller. This form may not be purer, but it certainly is older.
My main inspiration for telling these stories is a man by the name of Roman Mars, host of the Podcast 99 Percent Invisible, about the ‘hidden but all encompassing’ designed world around us.
My story is about voice, but not human voice. Synthetic Voice.
I tell this story alongside and using various generated voices from history, all starting with, the Voder – the wonder of the New York World Fair of 1939.
Let me take you there.
Sound Sampling of Roman Mars’ introduction.