The final video piece produced during a week long artist residency in Margate.
Building on the ideas explored in the previous piece, I decided to evolve the square framing and slide-like presentation to include simple shots of shapes and colours I found around Margate. However this time worked with a centre division in the frame, juxtapositioning two different shots.
When I was out shooting I did have this in mind, so I concentrated mainly on rectangle and square shapes, lining shots up in a way that would work with this format. The edit was more a proof on concept, it’ll be interesting to see how I can expand on it and use it within something more substantial.
Continuing with the residency in Margate, here’s the second short video piece:
I wanted to provide a different perspective on Margate from yesterday’s piece, so as the tide receded I spent time down in the harbour capturing the orange and blue tones of the sunset set amongst the beached boats.
I was drawn to one boat in particular, named Sea Horse, which featured a curious Seahorse shaped ‘S’ on its stern.
It was a beautifully clear evening, so as the sun set, the sky was awash with intense oranges that slowly gave way to deep, inky blues. In terms of grading, I wanted to preserve these colours so I enhanced the contrast and deepened the blacks, but did little else. When shooting these scenes I shot in a flat profile and exposed to the right so that I could pull down the blacks in post and maintain the deep blues of dusk.
Finally, I decided to add in some sound design to play off the mostly static shots. The sounds of lapping waves, gusts of wind and creaking boats are suggestive of motion and act almost like ghostly echoes of movement.
The piece was shot entirely on my Sony A7s, using two old M42 lenses:
Why is death such a difficult subject to talk about? From hospital mortuary to the grave, The D-Word explores our complex relationship with death through the perspective of those who deal with it on a daily basis.
Recently featured on Transom.org, The D-Word is an audio documentary I produced last summer on the subject of death. I’d urge you to visit Transom and explore their excellent site, but you can also listen to or download my piece below:
The documentary was made in part for my MSc in Science Media Production and explores our relationship with death through the perspective of those who deal with it on a daily basis.
The piece experiments with a braided narrative weaving between interview and actuality recordings, taking the listener into a hospital mortuary, inside funeral homes and across a church yard to explore the concept of death from a number of personal perspectives.
This documentary is also a response to my own experience in dealing with the death of a close friend and you can read more about this in my article over at Transom.org.
In addition to this piece, I also produced two further shorts from the material recored for this documentary. These short audio vignettes experiment with form and sound to explore some of the themes touched upon by pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton.
Last year I interviewed sound recordist Chris Watson on the subject of noise for a piece exploring the use of birdsong at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
Chris is one of the worlds leading sound recordists and is well known for his work with the BBC Natural History Unit, including the recent Frozen Planet series.
There was a lot of interesting discussion during this interview about the nature of noise pollution and the considerable threat it poses to our quality of life. Worrying still, it appears that our noisy modern world is drowning out the natural soundscape and interfering with species of wildlife that rely on sound for communication.
What seems to be most alarming is that we’re largely ignoring this problem – our world certainly isn’t getting any quieter – and with more of us living in urbanised environments, noise pollution is fast becoming a significant health problem.
As only a portion of this interview was included within the Alder Hey piece, I thought it might be interesting to share some of the additional material. The interview was recorded at FACT in Liverpool, back in April of last year and explores some of the causes and concerns towards noise in the modern world.
Further reading on the health effects of noise: a WHO report on the burden of disease from environmental noise
Nature on BBC Radio 4 is recommended listening if you want to hear more of Chris and his stunning wildlife recordings.
Touch Music also releases sound work by Chris, you can browse his collection here.