Priyanka Maharaj



Little Hey, Little Ho. How are you today? I’m dropping this blog post today – I think  I like Sundays, well for blogging at least.

So…. The trimester is off and boy has it gone off, everything is moving full steam ahead and I’m excited but I’m also beginning once again to chew my nails. So within the past two weeks of Studio 3 we have been;

Yep. SIX HOURS. When we had our first brainstorming session 2 days prior to the task we were almost baffled, we had never really dabbled in the art form – so we were as much alien to the experimental genre as it may be to you. Honestly, the most difficult part of the assignment wasn’t having only SIX HOURS to film and edit might I add, but actually thinking of what we would explore. We honestly sat there talking for a while about ideas and I was drawing a blank, but it was the words of a fellow team member that sparked an idea for me. On the subject of eyes and its connection to the brain , I started to think about well- we’re humans who have the capacity to think for ourselves, formulate ideas and opinions for ourselves – but the media and our other sense can influence us and manipulate our train of thought and ultimately cloud our vision. So we created this little experiment where we someone would ask the subject on camera a question, but the overload there senses with juxtaposed images and sounds. Capturing the true reaction of the subject and the change of mannerisms and how the conflicting sounds and images caused them to become hesitant when talking about happiness, uncomfortable talking about family, emotionally guilted into talking about dark times.

After this process I have gained a new appreciation for experimental filmmakers who are able to take seemingly mundane ‘things’ and shed a new light upon it. Thinking of ideas is difficult and takes time, often people just reimagine mainstream ideas that have been explored 100 times before, the art and charm of experimental film tries to stray away from the mainstream and cliche. I love that! I also now understand that not everything about experimental film has to be visually abstract, full of random, pretty overlaid images  and slightly pretentious, the latter can be debate. I gained this understanding after watching, Bring Me The Head Of Tim Horton (2015),  co directed by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson. There is so much creativity and uniqueness behind an experimental film… if you take the time to enjoy it. It is actually a shame that this genre of film is becoming more and more underground.

I would like to actually utilise these learnings in creating my own style. Unlike my fellow filmmakers, I am struggling to find a style or aesthetic if you will. I find that I really stick to what I know and I don’t allow myself creative freedom. I believed, in my naive mind, that trying new styles, exploring difficult subjects, utilising abstract techniques etc. would come at a cost. To bluntly put it; the film might turn out shit- why? All because I wanted to be a bit a little different & indie.  I guess with what I’ve learnt, I realise now that, I am on a journey, I am merely a seed in a rainforest that is the film industry (wow how poetic). The best time to experiment and try things is now. I don’t have the stress of complying too a client or straying away from a budget. I need to embrace my creativity and release the inner child within. I think in future I would love to create more experimental films or even create short-short films exploring new realms of the worlds character.

So firstly, I created the idea of juxtaposing the media shown to the subject in order for us to observe the physical mannerism/character change of the subject, as I explained prior. I also made the artistic choice behind the lighting, I was heavily inspired by Adele’s latest music video, Send My Love (To Your New Lover).’ I like the idea of a stark black background and a close up of the person face – giving the illusion that the viewer was in the same space and mind as the subject in frame. I also didn’t want the subject to be evenly lit, to add a bit of dimension and character to the frame but also a sense of mystery (as if the subject was hiding something); thus the prominence of shadows. I did, however, ensure that the eyes were clearly visible.  

Whilst I was pleasantly surprised with the final product, I will be the first to admit there was a lot we could change if we were able to tackle the project once again. What we could have improved on was, the fact that we used ourselves as subjects. With the time allowed, Fedya made the executive decision to use yourselves due to time constraints. In future, we would seek out subjects, which might have allowed for greater/true expressions, as unfortunately we had all seen the juxtaposed media prior to filming. What also could have been changed was the duration of the final edit, I feel we still could have cut a lot out and shortened the edit from around 7 minutes to about 2-3 minutes. A shorter edit may have proven to be more effective in terms of also creating heightened confusion for the audience members.

All in all I really appreciated the project and feel as though I have put another foot in the right direction in terms of bettering myself as a filmmaker and gaining  confidence in my decisions. Hope you enjoyed this little blog – you can find me here again next week.

“This is why I stay behind the camera” – #Pri2016