Weekly Log 1 (Tuesday 3rd November 2015 – Thursday 5th November 2015) – Ghost Stories

To kickstart the Weekly Logs I produced for the Ghost Stories Project, here is the first Weekly Log from the Ghost Stories Project, and this one is based on what I did in my first week back at Croydon College in November for the Ghost Stories Project.

Research / Context

During the course of the first week back, I have been looking up certain ideas based on how uncanny certain aspects can be, and what I’ve done is that I have made sure to look at certain ideas that refer and connect to the Light Play Project that I had most recently completed, and have put them to good use. I have looked up a various range of words that connect to the Ghost Stories project, as well as how it connects to the word, Uncanny, and the use of the words I have researched relates to my own experiments in terms, for example, I’ve used words, such as mixture, supernaturalism, ghoulish, mysterious, tension, strange and horrid to create an idea based around what I feel is uncanny, and how I can explore it in certain aspects.

To develop my understanding of the processes and the image meanings for the word, Uncanny, I did some research on this word, to find out what else would connect to something that’s uncanny, and I found that supernaturalism does connect well. As well as developing my understanding of the processes and the image meanings of the word, Uncanny, I watched much of the 2002 version of the Japanese film, Dark Water (with subtitles), as it showed a mother and her daughter experiencing bad visions after her daughter picked up a red bag, with the name: “Mimiko” stitched onto it.

Practical Tasks Done

In terms of the process, me and two other students headed to the car park behind Fairfield Halls to shoot some video-footage, where I would act like a serial killer (not really) by putting one of the students in a headlock, and pulling them back, to make it look like as if I was strangling them to death, and then the process there was to make it look and appear as if I was dragging that student’s lifeless body on the concrete of the car park. The concept of the process was surrounding Ghost Stories, but also with a formatted process of lifelessness.

What was difficult? What I thought was difficult was the editing of the recorded footage, as I have never used Adobe Premiere before, though I wanted to make sure that I could familiarise myself with the program and the way it works while I was editing my first experimentation video.

What worked well? What I thought worked well was that I was able to produce my first experiment video in the Adobe Premiere program, with my experiment video lasting about 20 – 30 seconds, as I wanted to make sure that my video got straight to the point of the concept, but also at the same time, capture a feeling of fear, to make it look and appear like as if death strikes you when you least expect it.

How could I improve it? I can improve on it by making sure that the video footage is a little bit longer than 20 – 30 seconds and opt for a video that is more than 30 seconds, if not, a second experiment video that lasts for about 45 – 50 seconds, so that I can build up the overall plot of lifelessness in the video, and to also get a genuinely better idea of what it is about, without it becoming compromised with something that lasts only 25 – 30 seconds.

Critical Analysis

In terms of composition, that’s including framing, the positioning of objects, the line, tone, cut, pace etc., me and the two other students in question came up with an idea that would not only surround something that is uncanny, but also something that is also related to ghost stories. We used the idea with the purpose of creating a certain mind of aspect based on something that can create tension, but would also build up that tension to thicken the plot of lifelessness in the video clips that were produced. The dutch angle, the close-up angle, the cuts etc. had helped me and the two other students in question to produce our own experimental videos in a ghoulish, yet interesting format where it would help us to capture the audience off-guard when they least expect it, but in a way where it brings out the full overview of the concept that I want, and what the other two students in question wanted as well.

I feel that my research/contextual studies can be applied to help me develop my experiments further, and I also feel that by applying my research/contextual studies to the Ghost Stories project, this can help me to really produce a very precise amount of work to a standard that is high, but a precise amount of work that could help me to develop potentially broadened ideas further.

The first Weekly Log from the Ghost Stories Project has officially come to an end. Make sure to check back tomorrow for the second Weekly Log.

Alex Smithson

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