For a fragment of our unconventional documentary we went to Broadmead, a street filled with shops, to capture some establishing shots. Here we focused on capturing all the technology shops such as Apple, EE, Tesco Mobile and Carphone Warehouse. Even though we could have got found footage for this part we wanted to create our own establishing shots to set the scene of our documentary to give the viewer an idea on the narrative. For one aspect of the establishing shots we filmed one store for around 5 minutes. Our aim for this is to created, in the editing process, a timelapse of the shop to show people coming in and out and its popularity. There were a few issues we had to overcome while conducting our filming. The majority of the shops that we wanted to shoot did not allow us to film inside, however we were lucky that a few allowed it which enabled us to get some shots in a shop. We also filmed a lot of the signs of different shops, which we aim to cut into a fast edit to show them all.
Apple 1984 commercial
This advert for Apple Mac shows a mass of people who all look the same walking to a hall in a zombie like matter as a voiceover commands them. The people are all walking in lines homogenously to sit and watch a screen. The voiceover reads ‘a garden of pure ideology’ suggesting that technology is part of shaping our identity. The overall idea of this advertisement is suggesting that technology and Apple Mac are leading to a homogenous society. This advert in particular interested our group as we were discussing our ideas as we want to focus on how technology is impacted our lives. It relates well to our overall idea as we are aiming to show technology as an addiction and the masses of riots that we are going to portray in our short video resembles the idea that technology has become a new form of ideology.
Black Mirror is a TV series created by Charlie Brooker displaying different realities often involving advanced technologies and the affect it has with individuals within society. Although Brooker is setting these scenarios in the near future they address contemporary issues. Fifteen Million Metris is one of the episodes out of the series in Black Mirror, which shows a group of people trapped in a place consisting of advanced technology and the only way to escape is through an audition staged competition. Everything in this reality is technologically based with virtual characters and merits controlling what you can and can’t see. Similarly to the Apple Ad, 1984, this episode can represent the concept that technology is becoming an ideology as everything they see and the way they have been bought up consists of this advanced technology. The characters in this episode are all part of a homogeneous society in which technology is the ruling factor. This indicates that advanced technology will take over whether we want it to or not. Our video shows the influence technology has over us. We aim to fabricate events and riots to showcase a world that has lost control due to the addiction of technology. The constant information and technology that is available to us may become overwhelmingly hard to not succumb to the pressures that the technology holds. This allows certain people to become addicted to this technology, as they wouldn’t know how to live without it.
One of the main influences we discovered while deciding how we wanted to construct our own video was aspects of the film Age of Stupid. The Age of Stupid is a film set in the future about a man reflecting on old footage of climate change comparing it to the end of the world as we know it while asking the question why we did nothing to stop it? The main aspect of the film that we want to incorporate into our own video piece is the experimentation between space and time. In the film the time is constantly changing between the future, the end of the world, and the past, the footage on climate change. In our film we want to construct a documentary comparing a subject that is experimenting with no technology to fabricated found footage of a world that is addicted to technology. We aim to play with space and time by not putting the events in chronological order to enhance the difference in time. Another aspect of the film that helped us decide how we wanted to construct our subverted documentary was through the use of a diary cam. Our aim in using a diary cam to film the subject that is experimenting without technology is to subtly add a different view and to create a different atmosphere while comparing it to the found footage and interviews, which will be filmed using normal cameras. By using the different cameras it will also enhance the idea of time and space.
‘A documentary is a recording of an event, generally based on people’s perspectives and/or genuine facts.’ Using this as a definition of documentary, the main way in which we are subverting the conventions is because even though the issues raised about technology will be true, we are creating events that haven’t actually happened through the experiment of our subject and also through the fabricated footage, therefore they are not genuine facts.
Conventions of documentary:
- Voiceovers- these are often authoritative and give of the idea that what their saying is ‘the right opinion.’
- ‘Technicality of realism’- natural sound and lighting
- All events and footage are real
- Narratvisation – putting event in order so that it is more understandable for the audience
During our film there isn’t going to be one consistent voiceover throughout. We want to do this so the audience isn’t getting told what to think as we want them to think about their own addiction through the use of what they are being shown not what they are being told. Having sound coming from different places such as a radio undermines the idea of the sound being natural adding to the dramatic effect that we aim to display. As we are fabricated our found footage by making it seem more chaotic than it would have actually been and also by creating a false experiment on a subject the event and footage shown are not going to be real. We aim to mix up the order of our short film by not putting it in chronological order. The reason for this is so the audience is a bit confused to what is actually happening and then it should become clearer later on in the video.
We called our project ‘Unspoken Addiction’ as we feel that technology itself is and can become an addiction that people rarely address as an addiction. Our intentions are to create a subverted form of documentary that highlights how technology limits our physical interactions and to show the process of this addiction. We aim to do this by taking and filming a subject that is ‘addicted’ to technology and show his withdrawal symptoms as technology is taken away from him. We want to compare this to events such as ‘Black Friday’ and ‘The London Riots’ and fabricate these events to show a world that is crazed by technology. This will show the effects that technology has over us and that in a way it is taking over society, as we know it.
During our presentation questions were raised in how we were going to present the subject that we are ‘experimenting’ on. The issues were about having the subject speak and writing a script and directing the actor to make it believable, as we haven’t got experience in that field. The ways we have chosen to address this is by cutting out the subject speaking and get our message across through other variations of sound. This sound will include voiceovers and adverts and other types of dialogue, not from the subject himself, coming out of radios and playing over the actor. We aim to create his persona without using his voice but by using the other sounds to confirm the process he is participating in.
The three main briefs that we aim to focus on are:
– A video that subverts conventions of either fiction or documentary
– A video that recontextualises found footage, through the techniques of montage, to create new meanings
–A video art piece that explores the theme of ‘transformation’
How we came up with our three briefs:
Initially looking at the variation of briefs we had to work with our group was immediately drawn to: ‘A video that subverts conventions of either fiction or documentary.’ The main reason our group was in agreement with this brief in particular was because none of us have ever focused on a documentary project before and we believed it would be an exciting new route for us all to explore. As the brief’s aim is to subvert the conventions of documentary we started to brainstorm ideas that we could work with. Our initial thought was to make a spoof and comedic documentary in a music video style. This idea occurred through examples such as Brass Eye which is a parody documentary dealing with current affairs and also Kanye West- Bound 2 You video that was recreated by James Franco and Seth Rogan. However we found fault with this idea through the fact that not everyone shares the same humor and what might be funny to someone may be a taboo subject to another. A less taboo but equally as comedic Mockumentary style documentary is the ‘Revolution will be Televised’ which also helped us to create our initial idea.
Still set on the idea that subverting the conventions of a documentary should be our main focus, we started to think of conventional topics of documentary that we could maybe subvert. We had ideas of capturing big and global events however we realised this was an unrealistic approach given our time frame. However we still liked the idea of using footage of global events leading us to incorporate another one of the briefs: ‘A video that recontextualises found footage, through the techniques of montage, to create new meanings.’ We want to fabricate this footage in order to continue to subvert the conventions of a documentary.
After realizing the different aspects we wanted to include within our documentary we then explored the subject of our documentary that would incorporate these. As our group all do the same course, Media Culture and Practice, our knowledge on technology in terms of culture and society are of the same interest. We all felt that it would be convenient and would also expand our knowledge to explore a subject that we feel comfortable with. A couple of us had already watched a few documentary style videos incorporating the idea of technology such as Black Mirror by Charlie Brooker. The main issue that we decided to focus on was the use of technology in everyday life. We wanted to figure out a way we could film our own footage in conjunction with the found footage. The film Age of Stupid gave us the idea of playing with the different time and space flicking from past and present footage.
Reality shows such as ‘Big Brother’ and ‘The Only Way is Essex’ came up a few times while discussing our ideas as we enjoyed the idea of filming someone of something in a CCTV like operation. This allowed us to come up with the idea of filming a person that has been stripped away from all technology leading us to incorporate the final brief of: A video art piece that explores the theme of ‘transformation’. Showing different days and aspects of the subject dealing with a life without technology will show the transformation he, as an addict, is experiencing. Also by showing fabricated found footage we aim to show the effect technology has on us as a world.