Narrative: Project Update

These recordings are taken from a visual language walk. I want to retake these shots of the sea/water at a closer angle and a different time of day when the sea is calmer. My entire sequence will be on the basis of water with one long take. I grew up by the sea and I felt it was a natural setting for my project fitting to the ‘Jetty’ theme and brief.

The inspiration behind my final Narrative project is taken from Martin Scorsese’s 1991 film, Cape Fear, Saul and Elaine Bass main title sequence. I really enjoy how the water has created abstract patterns and shapes as the backdrop to the sequence. The text and ‘broken’ nature effect fits well with the water and movement.
This is the inspiration to my projection idea. I will project both the waterscape and text onto fabric which will have movement (use of a fan or someone physically moving it). This will hopefully force the text to distort and harmonise with the moving water.
Narrative: TITLE TBCTo do
To produce a short narrative film on the theme of ‘Jetty’, to be premiered at the Margate Film Festival
Record the sea as the backdrop
completion time: this will take a morning or afternoon and combined with my visual language walk

Create type to overlay across the top
Completion time: half a day of create type which will then be projected

Project moving image with overlaid text onto fabric
Completion time: 1 x day to set up and film (will need to be in a dark space)

Source music
Completion time: half a day for research or collaboration with a musician (depending on time)

Edit final footage
Completion time: 1 x day – I may need Phil’s expertise on what direction to go with this!
Project idea
Create a relationship between, sound, graphic shapes, colour and movement to produce a short motion piece.


Christian Marclay, Video Quartet, 2002

The subject of Christian Marclay’s fourteen-minute installation Video Quartet is sound. Shown on four contiguous video screens, it is a montage of more than 700 individual film clips—appropriated from popular feature movies and documentaries alike—in which characters play instruments, sing, or make noise in one form or another.

The artist’s use of turntables in previous performance pieces influenced his approach in Video Quartet: “It’s the same vocabulary of techniques, using snippets of sound and putting them all together to create a new unified composition,” he explained.

Much of Marclay’s work in collage, photography, video, and performance concerns not only sound but its various visual and material incarnations, and Video Quartet is simultaneously a sonic and visual composition, with the two modes inextricably layered and entwined. Certain clips are repeated on different screens, prompting the viewer to register not only aural but visual patterns and correspondences. Although at points the work has an improvisatory feel, Marclay structured it as a score with discrete movements and motifs, and spent a year meticulously composing and editing it on a home computer.  [source]

The clips included in Video Quartet, which Christian Marclay edited in his New York studio using the software programme Final Cut Pro, are taken mainly from Hollywood feature films, both colour and black and white productions. Dating from the 1920s to the early twenty-first century, and featuring actors such as Liza Minnelli, Rita Hayworth and Jack Nicholson, these source materials have been described by Marclay as ‘fragments of our cultural baggage’ (quoted in González, Gordon and Higgs 2005, p.89).

Video Quartet begins with scenes of an orchestra tuning up, a segment which builds to a crescendo before it is followed by clips in which characters play musical instruments and sing. The work also includes scenes featuring shouts, screams and close-ups of various noisy objects, such as a spinning roulette wheel. At some moments the same image appears in all four projections; occasionally a single clip seems to bounce between them. As the musician, composer and writer Alan Licht has suggested, ‘As carefully composed and edited as it is, there is also an improvisational feel to parts of Video Quartet, as if each clip is reacting to another spontaneously’ (Licht 2003, p.103). The overall effect is to create a fourteen-minute musical symphony – one with its own distinct rhythms and sections, including moments of calmness and dramatic counterpoints – out of fragmented elements. With visual and audio finality, Video Quartet ends with the sight and sound of a door slamming. [source]

La Jetée written and directed by Chris Marker, 1962

“However, aside from thematic visual palindromes, what is most remarkable about La Jettée – and the reason it has retained its reputation as a work of genius – is the way in which Marker manages to relate his story of travel and movement through the use of still images. By presenting these pictures to us in a sort of photo-montage – complete with brooding voice-over and various sound effects – the director somehow manages to bring the stillness of his film miraculously to life. It is, without question, a work of pure, unadulterated imagination, and a staggering testament to Marker’s genius ability to convey a multitude of feelings, ideas and emotions, through a series of simple, static, though nonetheless, deeply evocative images.” A review of La Jetée (source)


This was my experimental short film in response to the brief and walk around Margate. I wanted to use this exercise to experiment as much as possible and discover the potential of editing capabilities through Premiere Pro. After the class screening and crit I now have a clearer vision on how to develop these experiments into something more refined and create a stronger more consistent identity throughout the entirety of the film.

My next goal is to resolve a more purposeful visual strategy from these experimentations. I’ll capture graphical elements (line/form/pattern/texture etc) from the environment around me which I’ll edit further into monochrome, blocky elements. These visual elements will be further emphasised and complimented by a musical/spoken word composition.

Below, are the original/unedited images used in the short film.