While I’m waiting for the project to upload I might as well publish my essay here.
To access the PDF file, click here
A visual autobiography, made subconsciously.
When we first started making the sketch videos I assumed it was to improve our skills in filmmaking.
Of course, I could have read through the course guide and figured out the purpose of these videos during the first week of this semester. Could have, would have, should have, you might say. Well, I think this visual autobiography is as true and personal as it could possibly get, precisely because I wasn’t aware that I was making it. If I knew from the start that my videos would eventually end up as a representation of me, there is a fair chance that I would have paid more attention to how I would be displayed to other people, than to make a collection of videos the way I wanted to.
One of the few tools I had to tie it all together with in Korsakow was text. It allowed me to make some of my random videos a bit more comprehensible, to put them into context; if not with the other videos, then at least with me. It opened up for a whole world of possibilities; should I use the text to explain the meaning of each video? Should I place the given assignment to that specific video, so people could see how I have interpreted the task?
I decided to use a single word for each thumbnail. After all, the autobiography is a journey, and the viewer should be able to decide which video to go to without too much persuasion from the author. It is a hypertext narrative, and giving the viewer the opportunity to drift around without direction might create stories I never predicted.
The words I’ve used are feelings and actions, like “longing”, “dance”, “move”, etc. They relate to the video they are displaying, and help to represent what I felt while making them.
The caption of the actual video is longer. I’ve used it to emphasise the feeling or meaning of the film, like with the video “Risk”. The text I’ve used is “My heart flutters. My heart bleeds. Please treat it gently”. It describes the vulnerability of being in a relationship; even though the video is very idyllic and doesn’t reveal any traces of trouble, I always fear that I will get hurt.
The captions on some of the other videos are humoristic and maybe even sarcastic, like “Trying to match the world record with the use of editing tools. Only the left side of my brain works.” This is the caption for the Rubik cube video, and describes me as a person whose brain is mainly functional on the left side, the creative side. The shift between serious issues, to random, everyday elements, creates an image of how my life is right now, random and unstructured.
Then to the other tool Korsakow supplied to let me construct my project: Keywords. There isn’t a complete story in a single video. The stories are found in the relationship between the videos, in the links.
Quite a few of my videos depict my vulnerable sides. Fear of being independent, feeling homesick, etc. I’ve used the keywords to bind these videos together, as they have some connection to each other. It is not, however, a closed circle impossible to exit. Yes, I know I am contradicting myself here; I did say that I wanted to allow the viewer to create a unique path that might lead to unexpected juxtapositions. The reason I have constructed it this way is simply an attempt to show why I, for example, feel intimidated by the tasks of an adult life. If a person looks at my project without knowing me, it might be hard to understand such a video in the middle of bananas and kitchen utensils.
The project starts with the video showing how it is being in-between two countries, as I thought this video would be the best to establish whom the project is about. If the viewer understands that I’m a Norwegian living in Melbourne, other videos make more sense.
I’ve used a standard, black background, as I don’t want to draw attention away from the videos. I kept a clicking sound for a while, but after hearing it over and over again it became extremely irritating, so I deleted it. The project also has a start page. It is simple, but perhaps a bit ambiguous. However, it is a good description of what the project is. An autobiography, made subconsciously. Most people wont gather much from this, but “Welcome to my head” makes it a bit clearer.
I’m genuinely pleased with how this project turned out. Although it wasn’t the intention of the assignment, I did put quite a lot of effort into making the sketch videos, and ended up having 20 videos instead of 12. The intentions of the videos were to make do, to take what is around you and create something new with it, and I did it whenever there was an opportunity.
The structure, like I mentioned earlier, is deliberately made but still very open; I have put it together in a way that allows all videos to be visited in a random order, but liked it up so the relationship between the videos are clear.
It is hard to pinpoint what the most important thing I’ve learned during the process is, as I’ve been introduced to a complete new way of thinking throughout this course. We have been learning about how the reader is essential for a text, as it opens up for different interpretations, imagination, re-creation and so on. To some extent Korsakow is an example of this process: We put together different videos that constitute a whole, but without a reader the project wont physically move on without his or her interference (clicking on a new thumbnail), and it won’t make sense unless the reader can relate to and interpret the video and text. It has taught me a new way of writing, filming, and doing, which intentionally depends on the cooperation of the people to who the product will be shown.