Video Selfie: Using your iPhone or computer with photo booth (or similar Webcam video software), create a one minute video of yourself that constructs your selfie as an “artistic alter ego:” the artist or designer you want/choose/aspire to be!
To go about doing this, I had to understand what an alter ego was.
An alter ego can hence be understood as “the second I” – another different version of me who sometimes comes out.
Here, I’m expressing my singer alter ego – more specifically, my R&B singer alter ego. I express this through the usage of Snapchat’s AR function, transposing Rihanna (my favorite singer)’s face over mine. I’m singing to her song, Unfaithful, too.
We got feedback from Ruyi on our proposal that there were too many things going on – the strict parents, the lesbian relationship, Sarah going missing (and eventually dying), and Denise having to find out.
We also did not really portray the romantic aspect of the relationship, with Ruyi commenting that it looked more like a friendship, which we definitely agreed with. We tried to make it more romantic in our final video with an implied kiss scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aKxPyMCPgs
We also got feedback that the two characters could be different in terms of personalities, Ruyi suggesting “Blue Is The Warmest Colour” as a reference. Hence, we redeveloped the story, paying more attention to the two characters’ distinct personalities.
Blue is The Warmest Colour explores the relationship between Adele and Emma – Emma is the more free-spirited, “Artist” type. Apart from using it for the cinematic reference, we also referenced the “I Knew You Were Trouble” music video for its portrayal of Taylor’s love interest as one who is crazy and wild, whilst Taylor is the ‘good girl’ who later becomes more wild as her relationship with her love interest progresses. As we had run into problems giving Sarah and Denise more character, I referenced this video to give both of the characters more distinct personalities.
I did a lot of the writing, including the quotes for the jar, blog and the development of Sarah’s and Denise’s personalities. I also did up the scenes for the storyboard. I took a lot of inspiration from poetry, specifically Lang Leav’s works. The storyboarding was also pretty fun because I rewatched some Korean dramas for some ideas.
I ran into some difficulties while making the blog. I had to find a theme which did not show the post date because I was posting all of these posts on the same day, which did not make sense for the story. This was a lot harder than I thought it would be, especially because I needed the blog to look like a teenage girl’s blog. Here are some other blog themes I tried out:
I tried to have a mix of word posts, poetry and picture posts to simulate a tumblr blog, as well. I also tried to have a relatively large number of posts – 28, to be exact – to make the blog seem believable, as if she had been writing in it for a long time.
Acting as Denise was actually pretty hard for me because I could not stop laughing. While I had acted for theater plays previously, I found it super awkward being filmed, especially for the “intimate scenes”. Ying Hui made it a lot easier on me though, because we both found kindred spirits in each other’s awkwardness.
I also learnt a lot about character development, as I came to develop the characters more after the feedback on the proposal. The character profile really helped with that, especially with research into Character Archetypes.
In hindsight, we could’ve paid more attention to details – one common feedback was that it was confusing why my name was Denise when I’m so obviously Indian. Honestly, we had initially named our characters D and SO based off what we learnt in 3D class about Dominant (D), Subdominant (SD) and Subordinate (SO), and Denise was D because she’s the more dominant one and Sarah was SO because she’s the “subordinate”.
I thought about having the sound of heavy breathing for the above frame, that I recorded myself.
c) Fairy wand sound?
I also thought about having a fairy wand sound for the frame that Qis opens, the book, but decided against it because I thought it was too cliche.
d) Crying sound vs thunderstorm music
I thought about having an actual crying sound for the scene where Qis is crying, but again, I thought it was too cliche. I felt that having thunderstorm music would be more cinematic and appropriate for the fantasy theme, too.
e) Low, buzzing sound
The low, buzzing sound when Karen is sick is also inspired from the sound 3:05, which gives me a very unsettling, nauseous feeling.
Felt that low angle is more dramatic, also gives feeling of the book going to fall.
Thought of maybe using this for the frame where she gets startled and hits the bookcase, but it’s too static.
Lower angle to make it more dramatic and static, but decided to use two hands for the bigger action created.
I also thought of using this shot, but I figured that we already established that Qis was reading the book. I thought the more central shot emphasized the importance and large presence the book is going to have later on.
Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsPuXCUDcqY
A huge part of this project for me is learning how to use Premiere Pro CC. I was initially just going to use iMovie, but realized I was very limited in terms of what I could do with sound.
Premiere Pro was very initimidating at first because I always saw it as a software that professionals use, and I’ve only ever made 1 video in my life, and that with iMovie. However, with the help of YouTube tutorials, I learnt how to use it! The basics, at least. It was very challenging at first, then I’m really proud of myself that I got over my fear of using Premiere Pro – I’m a lot more confident with video editing now.