November: First Thoughts
The first month in and I’m already bending the rules. For my first film, instead of shooting something new, I am going to edit some old footage that has been sitting around. Back in September of last year (2009 if you’re reading this in the future), I attended a Jazz Age lawn party on Governor’s Island.
The party essentially consisted of attendees dressing in outfits reminiscent of the 1920s, dancing to jazz from Michael Arenella’s Dreamland Orchestra, and other events, like a tug of war. I was there with my Super 8 camera and shot a few rolls of footage. It just seemed wrong to capture the sights on anything other than celluloid.
My plan was to edit the footage together and set it to music. I’m hesitant to use the term music video since I wasn’t commissioned by any band to shoot this. One of the more interesting (and peculiar) phenomenons of the You-Tube era has been the “fan video” where an amateur shoots his/her own version of a song’s music video. The results can be incredibly creative (see Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around”) or just plain embarassing (see 95% of the uploads on YouTube). Some bands have even gone on to make these fan videos their official video, as in the case of Tanlines’ Reinfo.
What I intended was something akin to the fan video, but something that could stand on its own as a piece of pure cinema. I wanted to pair it with an example of the lo-fi and bedroom-made music that has made such a resurgence lately. The look and feel of Super 8 film reflects many of the themes of nostalgia that this music explores (more of that in a future post). I used a similar approach to an earlier video, Barclay:
Needless to say, I had the film processed and the footage has sat on my hard drive for a year now. Over the next month I will edit it together, choose the right music, and try to find some cohesion in everything I shot.