RESEARCH & PRE-PRODUCTION
Saturday, 22nd September 2018
On our first day back in the studio, I felt thoroughly lost for ideas of narrative, structure or even form. I was starting to feel a quiet panic building in me that I knew I couldn’t suppress for long. That evening, in a conversation over tea with my friend and mentor Dr Malcolm Knight, I was introduced to the work and life of Carl Jung. A new idea came about, that I could potentially dramatise key aspects of Jung’s life and then manifest particular aspects of his work - such as archetypes, the shadow, the anima and animus - as characters and setting. I grabbed on to this idea, excited that not only had I potentially found the form and content that I had been searching for but that the subject matter was something that I considered mature and of value – rather than a fairy-tale I conjured up.
In this past week, I have lived in this new direction and have researched various aspects of Jung. My sources include the books Man and his Symbols and C. G. Jung: Memories, Dreams, Reflections , as well as Wikipedia’s page on Carl Jung, and several others on his theories. At the moment, I feel more secure in the knowledge that I have a relatively unexplored animation topic in Jung, and a wealth of material to feed off of, but to be frank, so far, I’m not in love with this idea and feel like I am still searching.
The Tragical History of Jackson Pollock is a filmed performance of a shadow-puppet play written, designed and directed by Apostolos Doxiadis. I was introduced to this by Dr Malcolm Knight, as an example of how to tackle dramatising the life and work of Carl Jung.
Oblique Strategies is a card-based method for promoting creativity, jointly created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. I was introduced to this by Jared, as a method of overcoming my difficulties on getting started.
Monday, 1st October 2018
The professional pitch was the first day of week three. Two weeks into the project, I only had a concept and plan of approach to present. I prepared a script which I memorised and believe I presented well (see below). I planned to interview individuals who had had vivid dreams and record their emotions and their relationship to their dream in the days that followed it.
In response to my pitch, the feedback was unanimous; I should focus on my own dream experiences and focus my attention. My initial reaction was not positive, as at the time my dreams were too entwined with my personal life and by then I knew enough from my reading on dream studies to understand that if I went digging too deep into those dreams, I wouldn't like what I would potentially find. I wanted to avoid soul searching in this project, especially in one that would last such a long period of time. I wanted everything to remain as light, fresh and organic as possible.
In the week following the pitch, I was bed bound with a high fever. I was unable to do much in the way of productive work, so instead of immediately picking myself up and working through the feedback, my ideas were left to stagnate. I believe that this was a considerable factor in the continuing difficulties I experienced in the next few weeks prior to finding the poem that I had written over the summer.
So, the feedback was onto something easier than I understood at the time,
Monday, 8th October 2018
In my first week, I was considering making a film which dramatised the life and work of Carl Jung. In my second week, and for the Professional Pitch, I reverted back to my summer idea of working with dream and emotion, while integrating Jung’s work as a primary element. I developed a premise and an approach. Based on feedback from the pitch, I decided that I needed to refine what I was doing.
At the beginning of week four, my thoughts had been along the lines of animating a character who was struggling to get their creative thoughts and ideas on paper. I was concerned that all of my ideas were still in my head, and I was struggling to develop any real substance on paper. I resolved to start a new sketchbook, illustrating my working process and thoughts so far. I felt that I had been focusing too much on making something abstract and experimental, and I found myself craving a traditional story narrative that I could methodically work on and develop. This lack of direction was becoming draining, and I was continually fighting back the worry that time was passing much too quickly. With each conversation I had with tutors and friends, I found myself both reassured and yet more lost than I was before. I wanted to take every opportunity I could for advice and potential help, but now thought that I needed a stretch of alone working time to find the answers in myself.
Saturday, 27th October 2018
I have found the structure that I have been looking for. After much time spent searching for a solution that felt right, I found a diary that I only write in when I am in a particular mood. Flicking through it, in the hope of finding a hidden answer, I came across an entry that I had written in response to my dream experience. I realised all at once that it was, in fact, a poem, though I hadn't intended it to be so when I had written it. Suddenly I had a framework within which to build my film, and I was overwhelmed with relief. Interestingly, I have returned to my own dream experience as the source of my film; the very advice that had been so unanimous across the feedback I received from the Professional Pitch.
Poem recorded at Allison House. Monday, 26th November 2018
Tuesday, 27th November 2018