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Response 17 - Talk Film


Dear Alan,

Thanks for the conversation that the film is documenting and for this task, which was an opportunity to listen back to the dialogue and work with the material. Thanks also to friend and collaborator Mette Terp Høybye for chairing and facilitating the dialogue! It felt like a big job to go through an hour and a half of footage and reduce it to twelve minutes. My luck was that there were only two cameras and one voice recorder, so my constraints were to some degree given as I tried to string the conversations together using these pieces of footage/sound only.

I decided to focus my attention on our relationship, as you advised in the task, and my strategy for selecting material was steered by moments where we gesture, exchange looks and react to each other. I was also scrupulous about dividing the ‘talk time’ evenly between us. I timed our individual talk time in my final edit and this is the score:

Marie talk time


Alan talk time


Almost a tie!

These were my editing preferences, in order:

  • Foreground relationships: gestures, eye/physical contact and reactions to each other’s comments
  • Distribute ‘talk time’ equally between us
  • Alternate who talks to give a sense of dialogue
  • Alternate between length of clips to give rhythm while keeping the pace dynamic
  • Alternate material from the two cameras to vary angles between footage of you/me and you/me/Mette, to indicate a skip back/forward in the conversation
  • Avoid rambling answers and unflattering images
  • Cover as many topics from the conversation as possible to give a reasonably accurate account of the talk

With these constraints applied, the film became less preoccupied with the content of the conversation. I only became fully aware of this after returning to editing the film after working on something else and realising how incomplete the conversation was. As the task required me to avoid illustrating the points we made with additional audio visual material of actual tasks or responses, the film dips into topics without contextualising these points. Instead the film tells a story about the connection between us and this aspect I feel is essential for the collaboration and how we continue to build the project. The film itself reflects the meta-aspect of the project: it is the accumulation of the clips that create the film and the overall impression of the project rather than any individual arguments or discussions. Through honest and direct responses to each other’s arguments and through teasing and laughing the film imitates the ‘rally’ of the project and illuminates the rapport between us.

Finally I want to make a comment about the role I have (taken on) for the project. I have decided from now on to let go of the ‘underdog’ role and embrace my agency as an artist, dancer and scholar!

Here's the film:


See here for next task.