Sunday, 14 September 2008

Frieze Film 2008 - "Memories of Falling Ash"...

So I'm perusing around the internet, as you do, last night and came across this thing about Frize Film doing a thing about short, experimental films related to The Road, a book by Cormac McCarthy.

I find this out on September 13th, and the deadline to get your films uploaded to YouTube is September 15th. I ponder over night what I could do for it, and revisit the site today - the 14th - and decide to have a go. So I went away, looked through a bunch of my previously shot, but as-yet unused footage, and put together a short experimental piece, in high contrast black & white.

I used music previously provided to me by Brian Wright (I've used his music previously on a few of my shorts) and just dived right in and put it together quite quickly as I was quite enjoying the immediacy of it all - especially getting to use footage I'd shot ages ago for projects that either went nowhere, or shots that were simply never used on other projects, or simply footage that was shot to just have - just in case they were needed, such as now.

So, with the project being about a post-apocalyptic road journey, I decided to follow the 'ashen landscape' route (which is one element of the visuals mentioned in the book - so I've read about anyway, I haven't read the book - but now certainly plan to do so, as it sounds right up my street).

I took footage of driving along a road, which was fortunately mostly empty (so I cut out any passing vehicles) on a rainy, dull day and combined it with footage I'd shot a good couple of years ago now of when we last had snow - which, in high contrast black and white, looks like falling ash upon an ashen landscape.

The notion of the film, is that we're seeing the perspective of a passenger who is journeying through a barren landscape, but keeps having flashes of memories (that appear almost like photographs) of the ashen landscape - these memories denoted by quick fades between the road and the memories, to signify the person blinking in and out of reality.

So indeed - that's what it's about, and I'm currently uploading it to YouTube - so check it out there within the new few hours (it's September 14th at 6pm as I'm writing this).

I've certainly rarely put something together so quickly, and rarely had as much fun and sense of freedom as I have done with this little experimental short.


Just thought I'd mention the tractor with trailer at one point, in case anybody thinks "er, post-apocalypse with a tractor, you wot?" - well, for one, it's not an apocalypse where everyone has died, and for two it's a reference to an idea in the videogame STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, in which they have "death trucks" that bring dead men out from the centre of the zone - so the tractor and trailer in my little experimental short, that's supposed to be a sort of death truck if you will - that's the idea behind that shot, so just in case you were wondering, there you go.


Danny Smith said...

man you would love to make a movie just exploring the zone wouldnt you?

i bet if you break into the big time you fight tooth adn nail for the rights to a new version of roadside picnic huh?

Nick Thomson said...

haha, you know me well Sir.

Heck yes, Roadside Picnic and/or STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl. I'd own that franchise on the big screen, none of that Resident Evil wank.

You just know one of these days, I'm gonna have to do the tourist journey to Chernobyl/Pripyat itself, don't you?

Obsessed? ... indeed.