Today I presented my pitch to Johny and Colin. It began quite well and I felt I was coming acros as confident and my speech was flowing smoothly. But I got to the part of the presentation describing the themes of dystopia and the connections to todays society when I just froze up. I stalled and unfortunately this totally knocked my confidence. I found it hard to get my speech flowing again and couldn’t fully recover.
After I had given my presentation, Colin and Johny give me some feedback. The main issue they had with my pitch was that I didn’t explain the final idea early enough and got too bogged down in the themes and concepts of the final product. There are still positives I can take from this experience though, I feel that my presentation looked impressive and the part in which I took a macro photograph of Johny’s eye helped overall.
I finished my presentation ready for tomorrow afternoon. I am happy with the way it looks, I feel that I have incorporated everything that is needed to show my thought process in developing my idea.
I start off by talking about the origins and early visions of the future and how science fiction was portrayed as being a prosperous place. Then I move on to the rise of dystopian science fiction and the darker visions of the future (and touch briefly on the imagery of the eye), which leads on to our modern predictions that if the human race doesn’t stop being so arrogant and self destructive we will doom our selves to a post-apocalyptic future. Next, I speak about how these apocalyptic visions tie in to themes of decline and decay in both metaphorical and literal senses. This links to the idea that fear is what is driving us towards this future but fear is also what we need to realise we can not carry on the path we are heading down.
I then go back to the imagery of the eye and what it represents. The eye is an important symbol that I will be incorporating, quite heavily, into my final piece. This then brings me to the use of macro to convey these dystopian themes. Macro is there to symbolise the unseen details around us that the majority of people don’t notice and how it is that ignorance that could be the downfall of our race.
The rest of the presentation is taken up by my thoughts on how I intend on lighting the shoots I do and some test shots I have already taken.
Reflection – After a couple of nervy weeks when I wasn’t confident I was going to have a strong idea, I feel I have found a subject meaty enough to get my teeth into and really get something intriguing out of it. As long as I keep my cool in the pitch I think I could do quite well.
Eye imagery is becoming very prominent in my idea. Its relevance to the dystopian idea, and also to the use of macro, has given me the idea to film as many peoples eyes in macro as possible. I am going to have them doing different things and hopefully get them to show different emotions. I find the fact that the movement and dilation of our eyes gives away our sub conscious thoughts and emotions to be extremely intriguing and I think that this can be used to a great effect in my final product.
Suren Manvelyan – During some macro research, I came across an Armenian photographer named Suren Manvelyan who released a series of macro photographs centred around the eye entitled ‘Your Beautiful Eyes’. He also did a macro series of animals eyes which is incredible to see because of the amazing different shapes and colours in the animal kingdom. Here are some examples that I found particularly striking.
Reflection – The eye has had a massive impact on the direction of my project and I feel that it will be the focal point of my final video, mixed with various representations of the other themes that create a dystopian atmosphere.
I feel that the best thing to do in order to understand what is going to be in the final product, and indeed what it is supposed to represent, is to break down the recurring themes of a dystopia.
Decay – One of the main themes of dystopian fiction is decay. It is portrayed in both a literal sense and a metaphorical sense. For example the decaying of buildings and man made objects in a post-apocalyptic world would be a literal decay, whereas it can also be portrayed in the metaphorical sense in the decay of morals and society as a whole.
Fear – This is the crux of a dystopia, whether it is the fear of an oppressive government, the fear of survival or the fear of the unknown. Fear can cripple us, but it can also be an incredibly effective motivator.
Time – We convince ourselves that the dystopian fiction we read or watch is not only unrealistic but that it is set in the future and that we are out of its reach. We asure ourselves that time is on our side, but time is relentless and we are fast approaching a future that the majority of people do not feel positively about.
Oppression – In almost all dystopian fiction, there is an oppressive force. There are also the characters that struggle against these forces and strive to free themselves. It is the age old theme of good versus evil.
I had the idea of using florescent/neon lighting to light the objects that I am going to be shooting in macro. I got the idea from watching Blade Runner, the neon cityscapes that are portrayed in the film conjures up images of red light districts and seedy areas of cities.
I like the idea of using different colours to represent different attributes and traits such as red representing malicious intent and purples and blues giving off sort of bruised colours representing damage or a victim. Green and yellow to me represents innocence or even ignorance.
I found a company, leefilters.com, that sell coloured sheathes for florescent bulbs which slide over the light to give it colour. I think this will be a lot cheaper than buying multiple coloured bulbs. I will leave a link below.
Apocalyptic Manchester – James Chadderton
Some fantastic photographic artwork by James Chadderton. The photos depict a ravaged and decaying Manchester in the wake of an apocalyptic event.
Reflection – These photos had a big impact on me the first time I saw them, to see somewhere so familiar in such a state of destruction was a real eye opener. It brings that fear of a post apocalyptic future to your doorstep. These photos have been a great inspiration in my Dystopia project.
I have been doing research into modern views of dystopia and how recent fiction has portrayed what the makers have visualised our future to be like. It seems that the early vision of dystopian future focused more on the moral corruption and stagnation of the human race and how, even though the major powers have strived to create a utopian society, we have payed for it with our freedom and live in a time of oppression and control. Recent fiction has focused heavily on an apocalyptic future in which the human race has been crippled and society has totally collapsed. The same themes run through all dystopian fiction, themes of decay, destruction, oppression and fear whether they are metaphorical or literal. These are the themes that are going to run through my final video piece with the eye representing the stark realisation that future generations may have to come to terms with, but it will also represent how current generations need to open their eyes to the fact that there is a very real threat of the human race heading towards a very real dystopian future.
Reflection – I am feeling a lot more confident that my dystopian idea has the power and depth to hold the viewers attention, my only worry is that I won’t be able to convey the message as accurately as I want without explaining it to them. Maybe there should be a short explanation at the beginning of the video to establish the point of the video.