Experimental Narrative 1 Minute Piece

For my experimental brief I have been asked to create a 1 minute long video based on either the topic of one of two themes. These themes being:

  • Memory
  • Time

From considering these topics I have come up with these ideas.

  • Memory

– Looking at the mind as if it is a box of prized possessions.

– Looking back at the past. In this way I thought I could walk the streets of which I grew up in, the ones that had been redeveloped and bring in the memories of what I remember the place being like when I was younger. This is my chosen idea.

  • Time

– Sands of time. Showing redevelopment from how the landscape was to how the landscape is now.

– Description of time that could describe anything.

Artist Research

From watching the David Lynch video I felt I wanted to capture a video like it. Where it focuses on darkness and sounds of the surrounding areas. This I thought would be a key element due to memories usually being sparked by things we see, smell and hear. While the darkness would hold a sense of the unknowing for what lies ahead the scariness of the size of life around me. Looking further into my research.

Marthius Andrius

Within this video I was interested by the experimental outlook the way in which the high speed moves, the use of extra light and the close up of areas. Plus added effects to help enforce the mystery instead of showing clear scenes. Alongside the use of sound found in the areas so to add an extra expression and interest in the scenes. This also interests me of how it is shown through the eyes of the person creating it or the person viewing it so to bring the viewer into it more. I feel this would work in my piece as it denotes the route traveled but also it influences me with how i can capture the scene around me in my imagery so to make it an experimental piece.

Beowulf Ru

This video on the other hand captured more of the location of which I would be focused on. Walking along the streets and capturing the presence along the way, showing the trace of life that is about from things happening or from what is left behind from where people have been. So to document the way in which the area is. This is something I feel I could incorporate into my piece as it shows the presence people have on the area and that enforces an opinion of the place from it. I also think that from this I could incorporate some still imagery through my route somehow so to enforce what is still the same even though the area has changed over time.

Sherif Samy

This imagery incorporates two scenes together the reality and something that has been seen in the area before as a sense of this person was lost here in this location but their memory remains as this was the last place they were seen alive. This aspect brings in an idea of how I can bring in the past scenes as I can’t record them now with a camera. So, if I later draw and insert images that document the previous scenery of how the area was before. Then I can also incorporate the past scenes for what the area was like and how I recall it being as I grew up. Bringing the two scenes together and emphasizing the memory.

Take On Me

Viewing this video, I felt it could influence me so to help me draw out my memories onto paper format towards it being merged with the recorded version that is seen nowadays. An interesting part I thought from this was the blank space and my memories all merging into one. So this could make the area more interesting to view.

Background of the Area

Over the time the area has seen many changes, highs and lows. This impacted on my memories from being a tidy, clean, bright place to a dark mystery. Key points of the area…

Screenshot 2014-02-12 00.06.26

This is the area in which to cover. It is mainly known for it partake in the war due to the land being used as an air field.
However, also seen as a swampy and wooded area due to Roman and Saxon time.

1960’s – People moved back

Welcoming area with a future.

Endless community and sports activities available.

Freshly decorated youth center.

1990’s – Cracks, floods, loose paneling appeared in infrastructure. Colour not as vibrant.

Empty shops.

1993 – Some of worst health statistics. High crime rate.

2000’s – Better housing – easier to heat, good infrastructure. Vibrant colours.

New shopping area.

Low crime rate, better health rate.

Gang trouble declined, tidier place.


For my video I have decided to follow this route as it is most poignant for me from it being based on the areas of which I grew up in and live nowadays.


Change of Direction/ Strengthen Work

After thinking about my work more I have decided to consider more of perception, consider the angle used. As the memory piece is from when I was a child, the world seemed larger to me, the buildings taller and the distance further. So I thought from this I could see the world from my eyes now and from when i was younger being a lower level.

Technical Aspect

From looking at this piece I feel it would be tricky to create as I have to consider many features when recording. Here I need my idea clear of what I am shooting and how am I laying it out before even picking up the camera. This is due to me having to consider how I am going to bring the drawing aspect into my video with it lining up and also fitting the video properly. Luckily I am able to draw the aspects after but still I need to consider them through my recording also.

For my video recording I want it to have a documentary feel, a sort of lightness to show how the area is good and the world is more clear to me now than it was before. Plus to give an honest sense of what the place is like as a whole.

Shoot 1

From doing my shoot I found that I was happy with the setting for the colour being strong and the video was effective as it gave the viewer the impression of being able to view it through their eyes. However, I used my own camera for this that only allowed 30 seconds a recording. From this I could easily lose the area and there was too many scenes of the ground captured or the set-up was not straight. So I have decided that I will record the video again making sure that I capture the imagery focusing on the layout for it to be kept straight and for all the recording to be captured without parts missing.


Shoot 2

When doing my second shoot I felt it went much better as I knew how my imagery would appear from holding my camera. This was made more helpful by during the space between my first shoot and my second shoot I had also brought a strap that I wrapped round my wrist, that helped me to keep a better grip on my camera. In visiting the route again I decided to walk the same way but through the route I changed my path so to shorten the time of the video from 30 minutes worth of footage as I had previously captured. However, due to the alleys being closed off this didn’t work out well for me as it meant I then had to walk a longer way until I got back on track to my original route.


Research Affected Photography

From looking at my research, my idea was enforced more to look at the difference between the light and dark side. The dark showing how the area was down and harrowing to me yet the light showing it now and how I have over come the worry over time. This is enforced more with the background of the area as it shows the area is safer and more welcoming now as compared to what it was. So there is less danger about and I am also more use to the place and finding my way around it. The research also made me think instead of just capturing the route also consider what is around me, capture the closed off areas and also look at what is reoccurring that shows a presence to back than as well as now.

Extra Development

From thinking about what the area was like, the part that stood out was the alley ways that have been removed and the underpasses. Due to this I have decided to record extra footage of walking through a passage way to run for the whole minute as an extra layer. So to enforce the journey that my memory and the journey has taken. Also applying more of a grungy look to the video.

Shoot 3

As there was no underpasses in my area any more I decided to go to Spaghetti Junction a place not far from me and that I know has many underpasses. Here I set up my camera so to record walking through it,after deciding which underpass to record in. I focused on the one towards the city center as it had the most run down and burnt out look to it due to the crumbling wall and markings on the floor. This enforced the grungey affect I wanted to capture.



After capturing all my footage I pieced it all together in Premiere Pro. From this I already knew there was some troubles I would have to over come. These were:

  • Length of the video
  • The off course route
  • Change in light and shadows
  • 30 second clips

So I focused on piecing the video together in the order of the route. However, as I need the clips at different lengths I decided to split the clips into five pieces. While working the maths out to be:

1 minute long video! 2 main areas of 6 seconds long each = 12 seconds.

60 seconds – 12 seconds = 48 seconds.

48 seconds split between 3 = 16 seconds.

After working out each section I decided to export it so to form the one piece of the 16 or 6 seconds depending on which option it was. However, the video showed as I wanted it to on Premiere, yet when I exported it in different formats. Section 1, 3 and 5 became all lined, pixelated, altered the colour and created a ghost like form of the scenes captured. This led me on to then using quick time scree recording and recording the video playing in Premiere which gave me the outcome that I was expecting to be recorded. These were then imported so to all become one clip.



Getting to the part of drawing I tried to draw out the layout of what the area was like however this was hard to do so instead I decided to map out the main area captured in my video. This way it could jog my mind as to how the area was laid out before adding the detail. This is the map I drew…

While doing so I found this image of the area which I felt represented it well but from an arial view.


Change of Plan

From the speed of the footage I felt the drawing would not work as well plus as not all the area has been changed some scenes would just be the same as the video recording. Instead I decided to go through my video and find the scenes where the area had changed. Here I would only focus on the aspects of what are new and draw in the old instead. Afterwards I created my drawings.


As the past is seen as a dark time my thought was then to change my images into black and white and form more of a dark animation style. This I felt was the better option to go for than colouring them in black and white as the colour gave different tones rather than trying to create different tones of grey with ink. Here I used adjustments to alter the levels to make the image darker, then turned the image to black and white where I also altered the tones. Giving me these final pieces.

IMG_0002 2FINAL IMG_0003 2FINALIMG_0001 2FINAL IMG_0003FINALIMG_0009 2FINALIMG_0006 2FINALIMG_0011 2FINAL IMG_0007 2FINALIMG_0005 2FINAL IMG_0010 2FINAL  IMG_0004 2FINAL IMG_0008 2FINAL    IMG_0012 2 copyFINAL


After bringing together the footage of the recordings and altering the length of the route through the under pass. I was happy with the outlook given, a eirey dark feel yet holding light in the imagery. However, it did not hold much past so ging through the clips I inserted my imagery. Before I was going to do this through running a split screen.

Instead I placed the images in order and focusing on only the layer for the video recording and the layer for my pictures I lined them up at the length of time and altered the opacity in the layer so to make it lower so both scenes were shown together. However, through this the images had a faded look which was better for me as it resembled a sort of distance, like a history appearing while travelling through the here and now. From over lapping the three levels though I got a final look.



For the sound I decided to use the effects of what you hear around you. That way the viewer would not only see the route as if it was through their eyes and recalling the past but also hear it so to give a familiar sound of a pedestrian. Along with giving the impression that the viewer is walking the route also. This I managed to create by repeating the sound from an original clips and altering it to give different speeds to work alongside the imagery. However, as I wore trainers for the walk you could not hear my footsteps so I went and recorded the sound of walking in shoes so to give the impression of footsteps.

Final Piece

From this I came up with this final piece..



From past exhibitions I had been to I had an idea in my mind of how I wanted my video to be projected.


The one option was for it to be portrayed through a sort of television screen, in a small cube so the viewer would be brought into the scene and would have it encapsulate them. Through the aspect of them looking closer to see the video playing. This has changed in my mind for projection to be a white box with the image appearing on the box.


While the other idea was that of a large scale piece like with this piece. Here it would hold more of an appeal for the audience to fit into it by the way in which the video would have more of a familiarity to the area around it through the scale of the projection. Due to this reason, I chose this option as the best way to portray my piece.


For my project I focused on memory, capturing the change of the area in which I live from a trouble hotspot to now being an area that’s not too bad to live in. This was through drawing the memories of the time in the past and documenting a route that is key to me from it being a place that has been familiar throughout my life

From this I felt the final piece worked well as it captured the memories and built on my skills through video. In addition, allowed me to create something that is different to what I usually do. This project also allowed me to make use of my ability with video more often than what I usually do. In the project it self though, it was successful as the images expressed the memory in an effective way that emphasized the darkness while holding the light. I am also happy with how the video forms an eerie feel to it.

Although I am happy with my outcome there was things that I wasn’t happy with. This mainly was the quality of the video recording from walking around and all the clips being in 30-second pieces. On top of how my drawings appeared in the video.

If I were to do this project again I would use a different camera that would allow longer than 30-second clips before having a save mode cut in. This way I wouldn’t have to consider speeding the clips up by 3000 times. Moreover, it wouldn’t be so jumpy as the clips wouldn’t be cut so messily. From this it would be much easier for me to draw the animation alongside as it was with this version. However, I am quite happy with how this version has turned out.


Martinas, Andrius (14th Decamber 2013) Reminising Memories Along The Marshes [online] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgYZYXKty1k

Beowulf Ru (25th March 2013) Walking in the Streets, Havanna, Cuba 2013 [online] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuMkJG254G8

Samy, Sherif (unknown) Pain Killer [online] http://www.dripbook.com/shrex/illustration-portfolio/experimental-memories/#65507

Baron, Steve (1986) Take On Me by A-Ha [online] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914

Bateson, Geoff (June 2005) History of Castle Vale [online] http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/castlevalehistory

Google Maps(2014) Castle Vale [online] https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF-8&q=Castle+Vale&fb=1&gl=uk&hq=google+maps+castle+vale&cid=17259331202210212103&ei=WiswU6nWH4eP0AWHsoH4DA&ved=0CJYBEPwSMAs

BBC News (Friday 4th March 2005) Midlands:On The Vale by Patrick Burns [online] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/politics_show/4314049.stm

Best Premiere Pro Quick Tips (18th July 2013) How To Create Split Screen Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro [online] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEQ8xJ_Fon8

LLA Software Art (August 2009) Exhibition: See This Sound @ Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz [exhibition] http://www.liaworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/2009_see_this_sound_exhibition_02.png

FourFiveX (December 11th, 2013 ) Creative Research by Kai [online] http://fourfivex.net/blog/?cat=42



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