In this project, not only did I play the role of Sarah in the video, I was also mostly in-charge of setting up the installation along with Azizah. We had two elements to our installation – the locker and the video.
She was hardworking, obedient and a very sentimental person. She would keep things significant to the events that happened to the relationship and we wanted to reflect that in the installation. For Sarah’s locker, we were looking for something plain, practical and organised. Since she led 2 different lives we divided the locker into 2 with a shelf/stand.
The top shelf is where she kept her academic belongings such as textbooks and assessment books or her calculator. The bottom shelf is where she hid her secret relationship. The top shelf being on eye level meant that visitors will see that first before venturing to the other sections of the locker; just like how Sarah kept her relationship secret.
Top shelf includes textbooks, umbrella, calculator and some paint, palettes and paint brushes.
The box is doodled to show Sarah’s artistic talent and her love for Denise. There are also subtle hints of their relationship on the box e.g. you can see 2 girls at 2 corners of the box.
Inside the movie memory box includes 2 bottles of empty coke, an empty popcorn carton and a Karaoke student membership card.
The jar of quotes dear to the couple that also links back to Sarah’s blog.
List of Quotes:
1) I don’t know how you are so familiar to me—or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are.
2) Every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before—in another time, a different place—some other existence. ”
3) I love you more than love allows.
4) “Here in time,
you are mine;
my heart has not
5) I do not know
why I love you so—
the clock knows not
6) I can’t get close enough.
7) Your smile sort of looks like it makes flowers grow
8) You are so special – how did the universe come up with you?
9) I try to think of a word that is closest to love, and the only thing that comes to mind is your name.
The calendar indicated the start, end and significant events in their relationship.
The Calendar starts with the current month – November because the locker the depiction of the present. The video in the past and the blog tells the full story.
Museum brochures. These are the outings that they’ve been on together. We made sure that brochures place within the duration of which they dated.
We also had a stalk of wilted red rose to show that their forlorn love is in the past. The flower was also carefully place beside the drawing of Denise in the sketchbook.
Originally we planned to display the video on the wall on the right. But the lockers were too high and because of the narrow space, the video was too small for the height.
We then thought to put our projection on the pillar to guide our audience towards the designated locker. This also solves the small projection problem as having it on a smaller surface area makes its size look just right. There is just too much empty space on the flat wall.
I really like having the projection at a low level because of its obscurity but we decided to have it on eye level for easy viewing.
We had trouble finding the right chairs for our set up. The first was too small and curvy to hold the projector upright. In the end we borrowed a chair and a stand from the drawing studio.
We really liked the idea of projecting the video on a collage of pictures as if it is a flashback of memories. The images used were screenshots from the video.
Sadly it didn’t work because the images that we printed were too colourful and it fought for attention.
We had the pictured around the projection instead.
Our first proposal was rejected because our character personalities were too vague and there were too many elements that we wanted to address. We had the conservative parents, the lesbian relationship and cancer for extra dramatization. It was too complicated. Thus we narrowed the story down. Focusing on just Sarah, a star student holding on to a forbidden forlorn relationship.
What draws them together?
– Common love of art: for Sarah, it is an escape from the rigid structures of her life. Denise isn’t very good at drawing but she appreciates art for its beauty (which she thinks is very important in life)
– Opposites attract: Sarah drawn to Denise for her extroverted, charismatic personality, which is what she cannot be. Denise drawn to Sarah for her meticulous, detailed drawings and gentle personality.
– Denise draws Sarah out of her shell, teaches her how to live life on the edge.
Why did they break up?
– Sarah’s timid nature starts to get on Denise’s nerves. Denise thinks she’s not adventurous and not living life enough, starts to get bored of her and thinks Sarah is weighing her down
– Denise finds the fact that they have to hide their relationship too annoying.
Sarah thinks Denise is too crazy and doesn’t think through her actions enough. Things that previously she found cool, like Denise skipping school, starts to bother her
– It gradually becomes increasingly apparent how little they have in common
Fight about each other’s lifestyles
– Denise gets a new girlfriend who is equally as crazy, but Sarah cannot move on and keeps their gifts in her locker
The story is told in a non-linear narrative through a blog, a video and the locker installation. The blog would tell the whole narrative in text posts. The video is a flashback of happy memories and the locker shows how Sarah is unable to move on from her broken relationship with Denise.
I played the role of Sarah for this project. The shooting went fine other than the bad weather and the awkwardness of acting. It was quite a struggle restraining our laughter and getting into character for the intimate scenes.
I was trying to seem infatuated but being a person who rarely show any expression it was difficult. Also because I cannot really control my face muscles for the desired effect I just look tired of Denise terrible guitar playing skills.
I also had to do recording for the narration of the video which took several tries because we had to match the length of the video. Also because I had to get into character and try to carry Sarah’s emotions across. I was going for a solemn tone. Something serious, sad and empty. Something melancholic. I try to start out happy and sweet as if I was talking about a dream and change my tone at the end as it turns into a nightmare.
The narration script:
I remember our highs in hues,
like the color of her eyes
as the sun was setting;
the pale of her hands in mine,
and the blue of her smile.
I remember our sorrows in shades,
like the gray of the shadows,
which loomed that day,
and the white in her lie
when she promised to stay.
Original pacing lasted only 30 seconds and our video was a little over a minute.
Final recording of one minute after Syadza helped guiding my tone and pacing. We counted about five seconds interval between each phrase.
Syadza was in charge of the video editing; you may head to her post for a more detailed explanation-> https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/syadza001/documentation-of-the-last-letter/
Higgs, S. (2017). Finding Nemo in the Three-act Structure. Screen Education, (85), 90-97.
The 3 act structure is basically a linear narrative with more elements to it.
I did not have time to watch 2 hour long movies to study the story-lines and I know that we watched “I’m Here” in class. But I wanted to study something that we did not go through in class as an exercise. so I went to look back at some short animated films that caught my interest. One of them was Patchwork which really surprised me with its plot twist.
In Act I (Set up), they introduced the characters, background and aim of the story. We know that the characters is this man and this lady; presumably his wife or girlfriend. We also know that he is a sculptor and he is trying to create a realistic sculpture of the lady; who seems to have left him. (I think she is dead.) He is a perfectionist as he made many sculptures and still was not happy with any one of them although they all look beautiful to the audience. His frustration and anger also revealed that he is of violent nature.(probably why the lady left him, but that’s not the point) He sits down and looks at a flyer about speed dating which tells us that he might move one from the previous relationship which leads us to Act II. So basically, the man’s aim is to find a new significant other.
Act II is the longest. It shows the man meeting women after women during his speed date, unable to find one the he likes. According to the three act structure, this would possibly be the ‘obstacles’ where he is unable to find the one. The rising action also starts here where we see him circle certain body parts of the many women he meets during the speed dating sessions in a montage. It raises curiosity within the audience as to what the man is up to.
At first I thought this is in act III but after some thought about it being a turning point ( a tragedy is about to happen) of the narrative, I decided it was the midpoint instead of the previous scene where he and the woman fell in love in the bar. A new aim is also established here.
The rising action continues as the man invites the woman into his home, they dance and had a great time. Until he kills her which meets his aim and is the climax of act II. The descending action starts from here.
Next we jump right into the climax of act III where we find out the one killed was the man and not the woman. (conflict unravels) The resolution was that she too was a serial killer and murdered him before he could murder her.
From what I understand, a non-linear narrative is told by going back and forth the story line; meaning the use of flashbacks. It is usually used to in detective/investigative genres to slowly reveal the case and have the audience piece the pieces together themselves.
Plot VS Story
“The plot goes beyond the story world by presenting non-digetic images and sounds which may affect our understanding of the story.”
“the story; the exterior; sum total of all the events in the narrative and events that are not presented (inferred events or character’s interior world”
Because a non-linear narrative does not necessarily starts from the start and jumps around the timeline of events the plot and story needs to be established clearly to create a proper narrative in the minds of the audience.
This short animation from Overwatch had a short flashback where the good robot now taps into the memory of a fallen comrade and learns his origins and purpose. Despite that short scene it actually feels like a linear narrative because the robot initiated the flashback??? Because usually, like memento, the flashbacks are skillfully cut and transited… This is non-linear.
“A multiple narrative describes a type of story that follows several protagonists rather than focusing on one main character. ” These multiple narratives came from traditional theater for example… (they happened to both be musicals)
This type of narrative is very interesting. Its quite similar to non-linear narrative as the audience has to piece multiple stories together on their own. However, there is a lot of planning involve in creating the characters for a more dynamic story with no stereotypes.
Story Ideation (Rejected)
There are many topics that I am interested in – Placebo effect, Butterfly effect, Schizophrenia etc. But they weren’t giving me any inspiration. I thought of dyslexia which was also one of the things that I had wondered about. My cousin has dyslexia and he is actually really smart and has a great memory yet he does so poorly in school. Why does it happen? What does he see when he reads? This topic is much closer to home, I could ask him some questions and the results would be more realistic.
However, after discussing with the group the idea was dismissed as we favored the lockers as our location. The story that I proposed was not revolving around the locker so it was rejected; sadly.