Just like Lauren Pokorney, I too took Video I my spring semester of freshman year. On top of individual final projects, there were also individual experimental projects.
Experimental films can really be anything. There is no emphasis on a story, but instead on editing, camerawork, or theme. There have been experimental videos I have found disturbing, pretentious, boring, or beautiful. The only parameters for the assignment were to shoot, edit, and explore the medium.
The Shoot: This assignment was given almost the first week of spring. The flowers were just starting to bloom in beautiful colors all around campus. However, the trees still did not have leaves growing yet. I was struck by the dichotomy of the moment in both the beautiful new life and the plants that were still clinging to winter. I decided to use nature as the center of my piece. The whole film was shot in a small picnic area outside one of the class buildings.
The most difficult shot in the movie was the 360 degree panning shot around a grove of trees, right above were the flowers were growing. I had a tripod on top of one of the picnic tables and slowly had to walk from bench to bench surrounding the table to create the smoothed pan I could. This shot is featured as a background for the majority of the video.
The Edit: My main exploration in this video was how visuals can enhance music and vice versa. I used a number of Final Cut composite features to create the layered look to my experimental video. I took hours and hours to cut the images to fit the beat of the video, especially in later parts when the music becomes more and more layered.
The Music: The music is called Nov01 by a dissolved band named “hellenkeller”. This particular song has a old sounding speech (that seems to have been made just for this video, as I can find the quote nowhere else) that I think speaks to most people. As well, the beats were beautiful and strong, something I thought worked for this video. You can listen to hellenkeller’s old music at http://20room.com/. Just in case there are any other fans out there, one of the members of the band is Ryan Robbins, known for his roles on Sanctuary, Stargate: Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica.