Making Day

"Making Day"

Today is officially a "making day". A group of us get together to make "something" and share the process and products as the day progresses. This entry is intended to be a potted account of the day, typed up as it is happening.

First Hangout - 9am
Brief discussion about the format of the day, and an introduction to what we were all planning to be doing. There will be painting, working with paper and twine, and of course some form of photography. My plan is to photograph a film (
Overlord - a slight deviation from my normal approach in that it's a mix of fictional and archive footage, and produced by the Imperial War Museum), downselect some images, process them and then add lyrics so that there will be something approaching "finished" come 4pm. I've got a backup option too, just in case Overlord  doesn't cut the mustard for me (I've not actually watched the film). Anyway - camera's rolling and... ACTION!

As it happens,
Overlord didn't really bring the results I wanted. To be fair, I suspected it might not as it was a black and white film, so was inevitably going to be "different", although as I'd edited one of the shots from the recent Warsaw film into something of a journalistic image (below), I thought it might be worth a try. From the several hundred images recorded in the first session, there were 2 that I pulled out for further consideration, and only one of those that I've so far done anything with.

The Battle of Warsaw, 1920

Operation Overlord
Image: Overlord
Lyric: God Save The Queen, by The Sex Pistols

(images used for educational purposes)

As I was going through the image cache, I had set another film in motion, 
Apocalypse Now (my process is to set the camera up to take a photograph every 5 or 6 seconds during the film whilst I tend to listen to music and work on earlier images). Unfortunately, whilst I was working away my Playstation froze and lost all Internet connectivity (I stream the films) so I had to reorganise myself, popping a blu-ray of Zero Dark Thirty in instead, but only looking towards the end of the film, rather than all the office based sections. Again, not really anything from these two films in the morning. Well, actually a few nice images from ZDT but not really in keeping with the rest of the images recorded thus far. I'm not sure they can be used, although we will see.

Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty

(images used for educational purposes)

Second Hangout - 12:30pm

The second hangout gave us the opportunity to present what we had been up to in the morning, each of us with varying amounts of progress or perceived success so far, but it had only been 3 hours, so that was to be expected; they were all "in-progress". It did give the opportunity to comment, throw ideas or suggestions into the mix which could be incorporated or not as the day went on. As it happens, Angela stated a preference for the Overlord image over the other images I uploaded from an earlier session. As a standalone I can understand why that might be the case, but I'm working with a series in mind so it does appear to be a bit of a "sore thumb".

Korean War
Image: Brotherhood
Lyric: A Drug Against War, by KMFDM

Korean War
Image: Brotherhood
Lyric: Kill Your Television, By Ned's Atomic Dustbin

Korean War
Image: Brotherhood
Lyric: Firestarter, by Prodigy

(images used for educational purposes)


As for the others, Tanya was working with portraits over time, Anne was experimenting with still life, Máire was working with twine and sugan chairs, Sharon with tissue paper and Alison with painting on small canvases.
Back into the second period of activity, I managed to sort the Playstation out again and resumed the process with 
Apocalypse Now. This time, everything went to plan, although again the fruit of the session was limited. This way of working is very much reliant on chance and the source material. Depending on the way the movie is filmed, the locations, the time of day being represented, the results can come out very different. Some of the results are completely unrecognisable as anything and therefore unusable to my mind, although that's not to say they're not interesting in their own right. Anyway, with Apocalypse Now safely in Lightroom, another film started, this time it was 1939: The Battle of Westerplatte, a Polish film which I recounted the first battle of WWII.

A reject from Zero Dark Thirty

(images used for educational purposes)

Looking through 
Apocalypse Now and listening to more music (a shuffled mix of punk, rock, rap and goth), I plucked a small handful of frames out, but found myself looking back over films that I'd been working with over the previous weeks, trying to pair them lyrics that came to me from the random assortment of songs. Again, really quite hit and miss.

Operation Market Garden
Image: A Bridge Too Far
Lyric: Head Like A Hole, by NIN

Vietnam War
Image: Apocalypse Now
Lyric: Peace Frog, by The Doors

The Battle of Warsaw
Image: The Battle of Warsaw, 1920
Lyric: The Love Song, by Marilyn Manson

(images used for educational purposes)

Final Hangout - 4pm
As Weserplatte was still recording as the final hangout started, I presented the three preceding images. Discussions revolved around the final presentation, which is still up in the air; my initial thoughts have always been that these should be large prints on a gallery wall so as to reflect their projected nature and also make the DLP pattern more a part of the work (see below). However, now I'm wondering how they might work as a video, with pretty quick-fire image sequences, with some duplication and perhaps longer on some images to allow the text to be read. I'm never too sure about the music for things like this though, and licensing a major piece of "pop" will more than likely be expensive... As for a book? I've no idea. Does the format and the subject lend itself to a book?

DLP pattern detail

Another topic that was discussed was placement and font for the text. Centrally justified and slightly below the centre "feels" right to me - it affords the text a sense of importance, it's consistent and visually I guess, yes, it just feels right. The font is a simple one (Andale Mono if memory serves me correctly). I don't really feel the need to play with this any more, and if I did I would probably simply revert back to Helvetica or one of its derivatives. Maybe it's worth a go though, and the same will apply with the size of the text. Something to do before the end of Task 2 I suppose...

The others work had also developed in the afternoon, with Tanya's developing a "mug" theme (nice 80's hair btw!! - I will dig out one of mine from the late 80's/early 90's for a laugh sometime), Anne moving from manufactured still life to something more in a "found" style (like Richard Wentworth), Máire moving out into the garden with the twine (which then reminded me of Riitta Päiväläinen), Sharon making her tissue paper into tubes and lighting them in different ways (tree bark came to mind) and Alison grouping the small canvases onto a wall, with the relationship between them sketched in on the background, which certainly showed promise.
All in all, a worthwhile day and actually better than I had anticipated, although if this was to take place whilst I was working in a more"normal" method, it might cause problems; there's certainly not enough time to go out, shoot, come back, edit, present to the group. Maybe it would have to be a case of shoot one day and then spend the making day as an editing day. Whatever, I'm sure I'll find a way of doing things when the time comes.