Monday, April 24, I handed in my last assignment for the Winter Term; that signals the end of term.
Monday May 8th is the beginning of the Spring Term, running until June 14th. Following that is the Summer Term, running until September. Just one class, twice a week, in the Spring Term; no classes in the Summer Term.
The reduced class load is intended to provide time for thesis work, which is in large part, the creation of a documentary. There are several forms the documentary could take, but broadly the options include film (i.e., cinema), photography, some form of installation, or some combination. My current thinking is a combination of cinema and photography. More specifically, photography encapsulated in a cinematic work.
There are a couple reasons for that choice: first, photography is the medium I’m more familiar with; a cinematic work entails a long learning curve, and I’m not sure if that’s the right choice for me over the longer term. Second, I will likely be working with archival material, specifically photographs.
To provide some additional context for the decision, last term we did a lot of work with Adobe After Effects, which is a composition tool. The key learning here related to composing moving and still pictures, and hence the current approach.
My work will document my father’s move from Calgary to Toronto. Su Friedrich made a film, I cannot tell you how I Feel, documenting her mother’s move from Chicago to New Jersey, that offered an example, or at least, confirmation that the subject matter was legitimate.
The work is unscripted, other than some notion of key move-related events I need to capture, so I start off following an observational approach. This allows the story to unfold on its own terms.
While I’ll take some photographs, and video, I am more focused on capturing conversations. The reason for this is it is these conversations that I think will be interesting, and recording voice is relatively innocuous; I simply attach a wireless microphone to my father. Capturing video changes the environment, the cameras distract and stifle, similar to the observer effect noted in physics.
My next steps include a couple of trips to Calgary to help prepare and then conduct the move, further work to explore the final form of the work, and additional research.