Friday, December 4, 2009

statement for show opener

My show is about performance—of the mostly unpaid variety, the type of performance that might happen on the fly, while under the spell of a moment. Moments that most people would contain in their mind and shrug off with a chuckle, my show is about free spirits who must live life in the now to its fullest capacity.
I began with photographs of myself dancing. (Vanity disclaimer: Alter egos are a driving force in my life. Either film or video, I am able to will myself to do almost anything. I have found that photo directing other people takes as much skill and supreme commitment on their part as imagining the shot, in the first place.) My initial plan was to create a stop motion about a closet dancer—someone who is too shy to dance in public, but becomes a superstar behind closed doors. Then plan B went into effect. Over thanksgiving, my epiphany was to commit, random acts of dancing in public, and so I recruited a friend. The theme broadened to performance art.
above are shots of process: the fabricated stage and my cut out placed in it. I thought hand-written title text was appropriate to the unspoken anyone can be an artist of performance theme, but no, it failed; too sloppy, I agree.

the original storyboard below: (although during the creative process, plan b went into effect)The communication channels, I chose to apply to my show opener are image (video and still), music and text. The hierarchy is as follows: video absolutely drives this opener. Narrowing down the information to essentials from three separate performance scenes was difficult. The thirty-second time limit was both suffocating and helpful. I wanted to put in everything, but I have learned, a story becomes weak when too much repetitive information is given.

The music is strangely melancholy; a better description would be thoughtful. I wanted to avoid at all costs a mindless, superficial electronic dance beat. In some and maybe most cases, performance is something that originates within the fragile spirit and evolves into an expression previously possessed by the deep recesses—slightly melodramatic, but true. It’s fun and freeing, but absolutely not a superficial experience; that’s all I wanted to convey.

I chose to fabricate a stage with paper, drawings and fabric since the stage before me is only imaginary. My influence was the Science of Sleep sequences when the character, Stephane flashes back and forth, in and out of reality. To contain the text in a resonating manner, I placed it within the rays of colorful spot lights. My stop motion “me in a red dress” shots in the fabricated stage background are powerful and could have overtaken the hierarchy, but my need to allow the video to include intro shots to establish the scene (i.e. me walking into the laundromat) and crooked stares from each of my victims, reduced the space available.

performance art (of the mostly unpaid variety) from tammy shell on Vimeo.


Sean said...

within these two clips are moments of fresh fun and excitement. The title page looks like It could use a little spice so I was extraordinarily happy to see the second footage file. The shots of you dancing are wonderfully fun and They go on for the correct amount of time.

I would suggest splicing the separate information of the show between the scenes where you are dancing. This would be a nice mix up and keep the flash from becoming repetitive.

The cuts were very strategic and gave a feel of constant dancing between without making the viewer actually watch the entire dance. The differences in shot and placement give me new interest in the piece each time it cuts.

SO in short I really like what you did with the real dancing in public and if you played that up while letting the information be the cutting mechanism between dance scenes I believe that this will become quite a fantastic, funny, fresh, television show opener.

P.S. I already want to watch it.

Luke Babb said...

First off, the aesthetic quality of both your elements that will make up your opener are great. They have tons of personality and contrast. The relationship between each of your channels works very well and the addition of a music track would make this great. The incorporation of the type within the sketched images works well and definitely gives itself presence on the frame. The channels also form a great relationship with the frame itself, there is a great sense of dimension with the images and text placed on different planes within the piece. The music in the first piece is a nice supportive piece to the imagery and does not overpower.

The contrast of the hand drawn pieces with the photographs really works, it supports the idea of expression and works very well. However, I would work on the duration of the text so that it is able to be read. The color palette and quality of the images also capture the personality of the show and you definitely took the right approach in that aspect.

I regards to the video clips, they are great and I would love to see them incorporated with the image sequence with effective transitions. Your approach with these was flawless in my opinion, they really give the sense of the environment and the many 'stages of the world.'The interaction with people within the environments adds humor and a fun, exciting feel. The only criticism of the clips I have is to pay attention to the cuts of sound, in and out, with the shifts in perspective. A music track for each specific environment with transitions from one to the other would further justify the piece.