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Response 3 - Make a (Film)Trailer


Dear Alan,

Thanks for Task 3 and the opportunity to finish a trailer for the Fieldwork In The Body project. I enjoyed working with the clear and concrete parameters and it helped me to quickly look through hours of footage and make swift decisions to meet your instructions. However, this week I do not feel like I engaged myself much in a practical task – there was no physical activity involved (which opens up a discussion about what is implied by ‘physical activity’). I understand, this is retaliation to oppose my ‘process-heavy’ task 2 instructions. In any way, thanks for prompting me to do this work. It has been very useful.

The purpose of setting parameters is generating an unexpected outcome, as you point out with the quote you gave from the organisers at your Middlebury workshop – ‘formal parameters lead to content discoveries’. However, the task you gave me did not seem to deliver an ‘unexpected outcome’. I was disappointed with my own abilities to see something new in the material after employing the parameters. This may be down to my own shortcomings but I feel that the trailer I have producedis perhaps true to the instructions but I feel it is not uncovering unexpected aspects of the work Mette and I do. I think this reveals how focused I have been on satisfying parameters and finishing a product rather than being open to a process of discovery that could potentially lead the result in all directions; simply because I was afraid that the outcome would be useless because it did not represent the work accurately or indeed make any sense! I wonder if this is a pitfall of bringing in actual work that has to be done: it is difficult to see past how the end product could/should be useful.

Making a trailer sent me on a web-search for ‘how to make a trailer’ which became a discovery of what/how/when to ‘say everything that needs to be said about an actual film’ in 120 seconds. How do I get an audience curious to see more/know more about the project? How do I represent the work in a fair way? Below you can see a photo of some initial ideas of a timeline to start making the trailer.

Some reflections on meeting your parameters for the trailer (see below):

  • I had to bend the obstruction – that requires me to make the trailer exactly 120 seconds long – to accommodate the artistic need for flow and rhythm between soundtracks and images. The trailer is 132 seconds.
  • It was a useful exercise to go through video material with the particular aim to find 20 seconds continuous footage that:
  1. was interesting and relevant and giving an impression of the work
  2. had images in a good quality
  3. had an audible soundtrack
  • I don’t think I quite managed 50 still images but I tried to use them to the extend it was creatively possible. Stills gave a different rhythm to the trailer which was a great opposition to the continuous footage which (in this case) often had a slower pace. It provided me with an opportunity to show many different ‘captions’ (where we are in different clothes and are in different situations) in a short space of time and thus give an idea (I hope) of the time span of the project.

I am very happy to have finished this trailer and it gives me a good indication on how to proceed with the actual film. Thanks for that.




See here for next task.