Watched “Father & Daughter” – an animation by Michael Dudok de Wit in which a young girl says goodbye to her father who goes on a journey but never returns…
I didn’t take many notes in this session but was struck by the sophisticated vocabulary and knowledge of the boys who’d participated in the project last year.
Exercise 1: ‘A passes from one space to another and gives something to B’. Simple and precise the exercise gives huge amounts of latitude; the temptation is to fill it with narrative. There were 3 groups of 3 boys working on their stories. Efforts were made to keep the narratives as sparse as possible to enable the theme to emerge from the camerawork. Once their individual premises were set, storyboarding allowed for much debate on choice of shots and camera angles: “Let’s do a tight shot over the shoulder” / “Cut in for a close up” / “Cover it in a wide shot”.
It seems there’s a temptation to want to keep talking about the possibilities and Emma had to tell them to “Just start!”… A preliminary walk through of shots is very useful for orientation and eventual productive filming.
There was an interesting dynamic with some of the boys who were less vocal in the group planning stage, but more involved when it came to filming. As if the camera provided: some kind of material instrument that enabled expression / a protective mask or barrier to stand behind? / an empowering ‘doing’ device / a specific, defined and finite role.