4D Final Submission: Flicker

Concept

Immediately after receiving the project brief, our group (consisting of myself, Justinne, Sylvester and Viena) began researching on possible fairy tales/nursery rhymes that we could possibly base our film on. We came across the full version of the popular nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which is as follows:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When there’s nothing he shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, through the night.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

In the dark blue sky so deep
Through my curtains often peep
For you never close your eyes
Til the morning sun does rise
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are

Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are

Most of us are only familiar with the first stanza of the song, but looking at the rest of the lyrics, it’s actually really creepy and stalker-ish! When reading the lyrics alone was able to send shivers down our spines, our group knew that this was the nursery rhyme we would be working on.

Storyboard

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While the drawing of the storyboard was done by Justinne, all of us came together to think of the actual plot and elements of our story. Based on the lyrics of TTLS, we knew that the story would be based on the theme of obsession and stalking/voyeurism. Very quickly, we came up with the basic storyline of a girl stalking a guy who ends up kidnapping him. Seems simple but to us, the important thing was not about having a convoluted and complex story but rather in how we set the mood and visuals of our shots.

When doing the storyboard, it is also important to take note of things like location and props. After we came up with our storyboard, we began to come up with a list of props and equipment that we would need while shooting. Most of the equipment or props was either our own or rented from ADM, but some of it had to be borrowed from friends. Location wise, we had decided that our film would mostly be in a home/apartment setting hence I asked my aunt if we would be able to film at her place since I knew it would be vacant and she kindly agreed. Since she lived in an area where there were a lot of junction-like paths and hidden roads, we decided that we would also film the running scenes downstairs as it would create a maze-like effect when viewed in the film.

Research/Inspiration/References

Animals-Maroon 5

This was one of the major inspirations for our film. From it, we gleaned the motifs of using a camera as a tool for stalking, as well as the idea of the stalker taking photos of his/her “prey” as they are sleeping.

American Beauty

From this trailer, we referenced 2 things. Firstly, the use of the camera as a symbol of stalking and voyeurism (similar to the first video). As you can see, the use of cameras is very prevalent in stalker/obsession movies hence why we decided to incorporate it into our own film.

The next thing we referenced from this trailer was its beginning. In the beginning of the trailer, the setting is painted as a very peaceful and tranquil day-to-day scene, like you would see in any other neighbourhood. We did something similar in our own film by showing the 2 characters going about a regular morning, and as the film progresses more and more seems to be amiss.

American Psycho

From this iconic movie trailer, we matched its pacing and momentum by having the start of the film seem quite slow paced and normal, however it very quickly and suddenly spirals into madness.

Shmutz – Let It Rot (Feat. M Rose)

Some of the key scenes that is in the video is referenced from this video we stumbled upon from this film. We particularly like the colour (which we developed in our film as the red room scene), and the toilet roll scene.

Snap out of it – Arctic Monkies

From this music video, we observed how the actress is able to show her obsession through her facial expressions. Also, we tried to emulate the lighting and placement of items in the kitchen scenes in the music video.

Challenges

I think that for us, the biggest challenge we faced was time constraints. Our individual commitments and schedules meant that we were only able to film on the weekends, and we were unable to let our filming drag over several days as we had used my relatives’ houses as our filming locations and did not want to inconvenience them too much. Because we were filming with natural daylight, our filming time was limited and there were certain scenes which we would have liked to have gotten more takes of but were unable to. Nevertheless, we managed to make it work by compromising in some ways such as by filming certain scenes (e.g. carpark and lift scenes) in school, which was more convenient for all of us.

Equipment wise, one thing which was initially a setback but turned out to be a success was our use of red plastic bags over lights to create a red lighting effect. We knew that we wanted to have a “red room” scene in our film because it would really add to the haunting and unsettling effect and, knowing we wouldn’t be able to get that effect using colour correction, we tried to obtain red transparency paper but were unable to do so.

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As we were setting up the scene of our filming, Viena had the idea to use a red plastic bag which we had found on the spot to cover the lighting in order to create the effect that we initially wanted.

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It worked! In fact on hindsight we think that it turned out better than it would have if we used red transparency paper as the transparency paper would have let too much light through and wouldn’t give us the muted red colour that we were trying to achieve.

The last challenge we faced was with regards to our lighting. We had filmed in 2 different apartments, and while most of the filming was done at my aunt’s place, some scenes such as the balcony scenes and the male character’s breakfast scene were filmed at my grandma’s place. Initially we wanted it to look as if the 2 characters were living in the same house in the beginning of the film so we tried to get the lighting in the 2 scenes to be as similar as possible.

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We tried whatever tactics we could to get the lighting to be the same, including using a reflector as shown above. However, it didn’t turn out the same as one of the houses was very well lit with a lot of windows and natural light while for the one shown above, it was more dark and we were relying mostly on artificial lights. I guess it goes to show that natural and artificial light just isn’t the same.

Process/setup photos

Here are some photos of our filming setups and journey (:

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Video link and final reflections

Here it is! I hope that whoever you are you will give it a watch and enjoy it (:

While creating this film was challenging and tiring, both mentally and at times even physically, the satisfaction of seeing our final product has definitely made all the effort pay off.

We were also lucky as our group dynamics were really good. We rarely had conflicts or disagreements, or if we did we were always able to quickly come to a compromise. This is probably owed to the fact that we had done all our research of reference videos together so we had a common view of what we wanted our end product to be, which goes to show the importance of research before embarking on any project.

Photo story!

Hi guys! Here is the video for my photo story titled “Self Discovery“.

For this video, I mainly wanted to explore the idea of fear of oneself (captured in the scene where I am looking up at the surgeons defiling my body who also happen to be me) and the idea of self discovery, not just in the emotional and mental sense but in a literal physical way (entering my own body through a wound and swimming through my organs). However, at the same time I wanted to make it funny and humorous to reflect my own personality as I am not a very deep or dark person in general.

In the front of my video, I am shown in a nightclub/party scenario with looks of disdain on my face, followed by myself falling off a building. I was actually trying to emulate the above video, which is the introductory credits to an adult cartoon called Bojack Horseman which is one of my favourite shows of all time. Instead of following it exactly I decided to add my own twist to it by having different facial expressions, as well as having myself in different parts of the shot rather than just a full frontal shot all the time.

 

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One of the more prominent scenes is the surgery scene where I am looking up at the surgeons, both of which are myself. I was inspired by the album cover of the album Seven Second Surgery by Faber Drive, which was one of my favourite albums when I was young.

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My personal favourite part of the video would be the sequence in which I am swimming through the bloodstream. My inspiration was actually the cartoon, The Magic School Bus, which I had watched many years ago as a small child. In this cartoon, the school bus is able to shrink to a microscopic size while the teachers and children are still inside, allowing them to enter the human body through the nose or mouth to explore it which they do on many occasions. This idea of physical self discovery has been prominent in my mind all this time and I have always found it fascinating and simply amazing that the human body is so complex and beautiful and yet it is all contained within ourselves.

Do watch the video and I hope you found it humorous and enjoyable!

Fire & Ice

 

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“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice”

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“From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire.”

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“But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate”

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“To say that for destruction ice Is also great, And would suffice.”

 

We chose to go with a darker theme while editing our images to match the dark theme of the poem. For this set of photos, we chose to evoke the emotions when someone reads the poem, such as loneliness and desolation.

Done by: Viena & Bridgel

Props as Signifier

For this project, the object that I used was my iBanking token. I thought it would be an interesting item to photograph because who doesn’t love money and most importantly, spending it?

Object as icon

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For this set, the first photo I took was of the token against a plain background, showing it as merely an inanimate object which on the surface is not very meaningful

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Then, I chose to take a photo of the back part of the token. The interesting thing about this token is that at the back of it there is a sticker with my name on it. It was put there by my best friend when I passed it to her for safekeeping a while ago, and she labelled it so that it would not be mixed up with her own token which looks exactly the same as this.

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A photo of the token performing its primary function, which is to display a random set of number allowing people to access their money on their devices.

Object as signifier

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I wanted to show the token as a decorative item, in this case a keychain attached to the wallet. The token is representative of money, and using it as a decorative item represents how people tend to flaunt their money and show their wealth to their world, especially when they have a lot of it. The fact that it’s attached to a wallet also gives it a double meaning, as it contrasts the wallet which represents traditional money (cash, coins etc.) with “digitised” money which has only come about in recent years (iBanking, electronic banking etc.)

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This photo was taken with help from a classmate and it shows me hiding in the stairwell behind the door, trying to use the iBanking token. I tried to convey a sense of secrecy by having it taken through the small glass panel on the door, kind of like a paparazzi taking a secret photo of somebody HAHA. The photo is to represent the secrecy that a lot of people have about their money, for instance one might try to hide it from others if they have a spending or gambling problem or are financially unstable, as some people feel there is a stigma against those who are financially disadvantaged.

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This photo is a shot of the token lying among other electronic devices which I found in the 4D room. Like the remotes and DVD player, the token is also an electronic device and I thought it would be interesting to juxtapose them together since in a way, the token is also like the “remote control” of one’s money.