Compose a one-minute video sequence in landscape format, HD resolution (1920 x 1080) pixels of the chosen location with the soundscape.
I listed down thirty places that I had never been to in Singapore. Haw Par Villa is the place that made me curious. I heard about it long time ago but had no chance to visit. Therefore, Haw Par Villa was chosen as the location for this project. Haw Par Villa is famous public park because of its range of Chinese folklore status. The status includes Monkey Mountain, Courts of Hall and etc.
I visited Haw Par Villa on a Saturday afternoon. The whole place is relatively quiet and, there was only a few foreign tourist visiting. I was attracted to the vibrant colours of the statues. The outdoor area of Haw Par Villa is bright with the blue sky, while the indoor area only has some spotlights shining on the statues. The contrast inspired me of my video. I did around 70 test shots with my phone when I first visit to try out different angles and scales.
I started recording sounds before visiting the place. It is because interviewed some people about their opinions of hell. Most of them told me that their stressful daily life is like hell. Thus, I recorded thirty sounds with zoom recorder from our daily life, such as the sound of the curtain, door lock, turning off the switch, the MRT train moving and etc.
RESEARCH ON THE VISUALS
The video contents both still images and videos. Wide shots are used to show the environment at Haw Par Villa, while close-up shots are used to capture the facial expression and emotion of the statues. Both overexposure and underexposure are applied to show the peace and darkness. Flashing light effects are used to direct audience’s attention. Further, distort visions are used to evoke chaos.
Lastly, I referred to some experimental videos on Vimeo. Some are simply using colours to create the mood, for example, the video above (https://vimeo.com/143827409). Therefore, I applied colour theory to create visual contrast just like my first encounter of the location, the peace of the outdoor area and the darkness of the indoor area. Blue associated with stability. It symbolizes peace and heaven and has the calming effect. It forms a strong contrast with red, which associate with danger and power.
RESEARCH ON THE SOUNDS
Many say that horror movie is less scary when you mute the sound. Sounds play an important part in a video, and also has perspective like images. My video contents foreground and background sounds to create space of sounds. The rhythm will be regular and irregular at different parts, while the intensity will transfer from soft to loud to achieve the acceleration of the emotion. Also, there will be sudden changes of pitch, and speed to create chaos.
I did a low-fi storyboard and a draft video to determine the rough sound effects and the timing of each sense. The video starts with peaceful sense with soft cicada sounds like the morning. The sound gradually speeds up while the senses become dark and cruel. Several feedbacks are gathered after the first presentation, and it helped me to understand what still images, videos and sounds I need to add in and improve to achieve the idea effects.
After experimenting with images and sounds, I realized that the purpose of my video is to evoke certain emotion. Therefore, I rethink about the structure of my video and came up with an emotional graphic.
Further, I added in flash of the scary image and random sounds at the beginning based on the emotional graph. Keyboards and some other sounds are added to boost the emotion of the video. According to research, the minor chords are able to evoke negative emotions, while major chords are able to evoke positive emotions. Thus, I experimented with minor chords and came up with a short background music for the last two third part of the video. Also, I punched my bed to create drums beats, as drums help to create a solid beat and rhythm.
The video is edited in Premiere Pro. Many video and audio effects are used in this video, for example, adjusting the blend mode and transpose ratio for the last one-third of the video to achieve the distorted effects.
I named this video HEW PAR VILLA, as ‘H’, ‘E’, ‘L’ and ‘L’ form the word HELL. This video uses visual elements and sounds to evoke fear. Yet, the senses are made to be a combination of fear and pleasure. All the sound effects are created by using the daily objects, such as plastic bag, bed, door locks. It is more like a symphony instead of horror movie trailer with jump shots. The precise structure and the uses of elements, such as colours, are able to bring the audiences to walk through a museum of hell in one minute.
ALL IN ALL
This project is challenging as this is the first time that I creating my own soundscape. I used to edit video using existing background music, so I could follow its rhythm. However, I had to create my own rhythm. It required time and efforts for me to explore and execute. I am glad that my professor, classmates, and friends gave me constructive feedback along the way.