When I take night walks, I tend to stop at the playground for short rests. I noticed some swings there, so I would sit on them and just let my mind go wild while swinging back and forth when no one is watching. That became my routine for a while, somehow this very simple movement has brought me a lot of comfort. I guess the association to childhood and play is comforting to people, to bring out the inner child in us.
When I saw the prompts for the final project, I immediately thought of the swing set and decided without thinking much. I didn't draw mind map or brainstorm, but went out to shoot the scene.
It was such a warm and beautiful afternoon, and I did notice a lot of things that I would have ignored without my camera.
The light and shadow of the swing interacted nicely with its environment.
Suddenly a little girl came into the composition and started playing with the swing in a way an adult wouldn’t have. I was pleasantly surprised.
Her grandpa and dog came in and out of the composition, which added to the layers of the scene.
Just the light being reflected on the playground has a sense of beauty to it.
I was lucky enough to have an adult being the star of my show. Thankfully my boyfriend is very patient and supportive of being filmed. (Thank you David)
More kids have came into the playground and they were swinging rigorously. This really made the environment lively.
After gathering the footage, I talked to James about the narrative and was undecisive about the storyline. He suggested to film more maybe in the night time or even sunset. So I went out again to gather more footage.
The darkness of the night contrasted well with the warmth of the daylight. The metallic hardware shimmers against the streetlight brought an unsettling feeling to me. (According to Chris Field, Twin Peak, thank you Chris and David Lynch for the inspiration.)
As I started editing, the serenity of the scene wasn't very attractive to me anymore. I wondered how to subvert a beautiful, atmospheric scene to something that it is not. I have always converted things to beautiful visual language, or tried to make things look polished. But I have never intentionally make something unpleasant. As I was editing, I realized how important one’s editing style can impact the entire narrative. And by sequencing the footage, I could get a specific plot developed in the viewer’s mind.
After the critique, I do wonder whether I could push the video itself to deliver the creepy feeling without the audio component? Or if I could unpack more of the dark side of the human psyche?
This video has pushed me to think outside of my aesthetic comfort zone, it has taught me how to edit a video intuitively. I would love to explore more of this methodology in future projects.
Thanks for all who have participated in the filming/editing process.