After deciding I definitely wanted to do something on Alzheimer’s and being fascinated by the idea of the toaster being re-toasted again and again I posed the idea to Nick, the lecturer. He loved it! He liked the idea of that the noise of the button being pressed to be used as the soundtrack. So I got to work.
For my first attempt I used my Nikon D800 and a 35mm lens. I knew I had to reshoot I just wanted to see how it would work to begin with.
This was my first try:
I liked the tones of the video but not much else. I showed Nick, he felt it was a good start but it wasn’t abstract enough. You can tell what everything is, you can see the context of the toaster next to the microwave and the plugs. Kind of like this video you immediately know what is going on and what you are looking at. You can see the process from start to finish of how they make the bread. He said I would need to zoom in. Make the viewer guess what they are looking at, make them work harder to understand. So I did exactly that.
I also wanted to use a GoPro camera to see what it could do because I knew In could get more interesting angles using it and it can be slowed down without too much lag. Here is my second attempt with the video:
I showed Nick and he felt it worked at lot better. I did too but I still didn’t like something about it. I thought I would try a different sequence because this version the clips cut from the toast being burnt to it being bread to half cooked to not cooked etc. I felt it didn’t make sense even though I knew it was meant to be experimental I felt it just didn’t work. I also wanted to reshoot the opening clip as you can see the context of the toaster.
This attempt it worked a lot better, although I still needed to reshoot the opening shot I felt it worked a lot better.
- I used the second shot because I felt the bread on it’s own was quite dull, but I liked the clip because only at the end can you truly understand it is bread.
- Throughout i tried to contrast the blue-y purple of the toaster, the colour of the bread or toast and the warm orange of the inside of toaster, which is why some clips go from orange to purple and back again.
- I tired reversing clips and sounds to enhance the idea of forgetting what you have done or what is happening.
- I also layered over a clip from the GoPro looking down on the toaster. The clip is an entire length of time the toast was in the toaster. I like how you can see the toast move. Because the aperture is wide the shot is not abstract enough which is why I layered it with different clips.
I showed Aaron Sehmar and his response was:
It’s really cool!
I think that there’s enough clicking at the start, but the end is particularly awesome! I like the crescendo but it gets a tad loud!
I really like how loud the crescendo gets, I really wanted to create a sense of panic, how someone with Alzheimer’s might feel once they have understood what has happened.
As I had used the GoPro over the top of some of the clips in the video I wondered what it would look like if I used it over all of them
I thought it looked quite interesting but for the clips where I liked the contrast between the orange grills and the purple toaster this didn’t come across as well because the GoPro clip dulled the colours down. So I decided to keep the GoPro over the few sections I originally used.
After doing some research I looked at ways to improve my video:
The first was to keep the linear story but to edit in shots of the burnt, to show the viewer something bad will happen. This was to contrast the colours of either the purple toaster, the pale bread or the orange grill. This was inspired by this video.
I’m not sure how well it worked because there isn’t enough shock power, with the video I watched you see a dull room with a man talking about his day job and when the camera cuts to something a bit more interesting the viewer pays a bit more attention. Whereas showing the same thing (bread/toast) it doesn’t deter too much away from what you are already seeing.
I then saw this video using grids. I thought that this would be a good way to enhance this idea of repetition is to see it too, not just hear it. So I added the grid half way through the video to enforce the idea of repetition.
I used this tutorial to learn how to do it and created myself a grid to guide me:
I then thought this could be a better way to show the idea of repetition in my final piece so I started a new video purely using the grid. But after doing about 20 seconds I thought it became too boring.
I still want to keep the grid element in my video as I feel it gets my point across.
After all this I felt happy with my piece.
The reasons I chose certain elements:
- I wanted to layer the two clips (3 seconds into the video) because I liked how the purple masked the white of the bread but also it made it harder to understand what was going on. I like the clip of the bread because you can’t completely understand what you are seeing until the last second before the clip changes.
- I used the clip at 13 seconds because I like how the camera moves away, mimicking how a person with Alzheimer’s might forget what they are doing. I also faded it in and out to enforce this idea.
- At 15 seconds I use the same clip twice but the second time it is reversed. This again is to enforce this idea of forgetting.
- I then show a clip of toast then the orange elements in the toaster. This is to show a similarity between the colours. I then contrast it with the purple toaster.
- At 27 seconds I do something similar to what I do at 15 seconds, which is reverse the sound and video, again to enforce the idea of forgetting