Introduction and requirements
Looking at the AoP award entry requirements (https://www.aopawards.com/details-and-terms/), it is possible to submit a moving image work of up to 10 minutes in duration. Including end-titles, my short film is 10.45 long. It is also a requirement that the name of the entrant should not be included (on photographs, so presumably video) – my name is included on the opening slides and the end titles. Therefore, to make entry in the awards, I’ll need to make a fresh edit of the video; removing my name from the opening title and cutting it from the end titles; I suspect I can easily loose 45 seconds by cutting out the end titles, and would then need to give appropriate credits in the entry form.
I found that the requirements for moving image submissions were different on the written instruction to those on the entry submission portal – the former mentioned a video upload, where the latter a hyperlink to an online video (tricky to anonymise that with account info on display). There is a 2000 character limit on text to be submitted along with the video; which will also need to include information on collaborators etc.
I’ve taken time to rethink my artist’s statement now that there is a little distance from the completion of the submitted BoW. The text of a shortened version and other requirements for the AoP submission is:
Drifting by the Leeds and Liverpool
I walked the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, observing the burden of deindustrialisation, areas of regeneration, and the water’s tranquil flow. Traces of humanity marked possession, use and abuse. A mill’s struggle for redevelopment, a make-shift garden house, detritus framed in shining water. Shrubby undergrowth filled the gaps of humankind’s neglect and trees grew through the ruins of early capitalism, where horse-drawn boats were once loaded. My short film celebrates the richness of meanings and experience found in the everyday condition, along the waterway’s journey through marginal and affluent places. It is portrait of humanity through its traces; a cultural landscape of past activity; and it shares the experience of a psychogeographic drift. These remains of the everyday condition are often rendered invisible in socially shared and publicity images that reduce the landscape to a pastural place of leisure; a spectacle of shimmering sunsets and coloured barges. I would like the film to convey a sense of poignant calm to viewers and encourage them to take a closer look at things that often go unnoticed.
Production was on a tight budget using Apple applications like GarageBand that are freely available outside my core applications of Photoshop and Lightroom. I bartered actor headshots for the voice-over by a professional actor. Like life on the canal itself, the project was more about creative making-do than innovation at a cost.
The photography, words, film and sound recording and production are my own work. Credit to actor Paul Butterworth for his voicing of the narrative and to Ellis Fitzgibbon for his piano composition and playing for the end titles. The narrative includes quotes from Stubbing Wharfe by Ted Hughes and Canal Life by Ian McMillan. Background sounds are from my own recordings and also sampled from the BBC open-source sound archives, including the oral histories. Thanks also go to writer, James Wall, for feedback during my writing of the narrative.
The edited video was shared via a private link (https://vimeo.com/546003571/17472de2d6 – it is not visible on my Vimeo front page) and was reduced to 9 minutes 50 by cutting material from and the duration of the end titles. The front image was also updated to reflect what I am now calling the work.
Notes on method (video edit)
- My images and slides are in Apple Keynote – on re-opening, I had a missing font alert. This was fixed by reinstalling the fonts though Adobe Creative Cloud app and restarting Keynote; must be done manually when a non-Adobe app is using the fonts.
- The cover slide, including my name was created in Photoshop, so an edit in PS was need to create an anonymised cover.
- I cut time from the end titles to avoid any changes to the sound track that has been carefully edit to fit the slide transitions. Cuts were to shorten during of info slide about canal, remove slides with my name/other contributor credits and cut the duration of credits for poets quoted and additional sound samples.
- During earlier editing, I found using an old iMac (that no longer updates and doesn’t support newer app versions) for sound files and my MBP for image work made for inefficiencies in transferring large files between the two computers. But I hadn’t found out how to transfer a GB project and its embedded sound files from one computer to the other while maintaining its integrity. Now, I discover that the GB project needs to be zipped (outside of GB) to allow it to open on a different computer. While this worked, I found that the ‘drone’ effect I’d used on the sound track was from Apple Logic Pro’s space designer (only on my iMac!). So, I’m stuck with transferring for this project but will reconsider for future work.
- I exported from Keynote as a film file and added the sound track back in GarageBand, fading the exit music to within the 10 minute time limit.