Exercise 3.3 Sequence – but I aint no fucking clown!

11th December 2019

Make a sequence of photographs.

Experiment by placing images together either in Photoshop or as prints. Notice how one image resonates with another image and how the two combine to produce a new meaning.

If your sequence would work better as a slideshow, use PowerPoint or download Open Office to create one.

OCA Foundations in Photography course folder pg103

For this exercise I am continuing to work from films and TV. I am looking to show a time based sequence of events within a short period of a film.

The first sequence that I have created is called ‘… but I ain’t no fucking clown.’ This is the introduction scene quote from the killer in the film ‘31,’ (2016) Produced by Rob Zombie, Production companies –

  • Bow + Arrow Entertainment
  • Spookshow International Films
  • Protagonist Pictures [2]
  • Windy Hill Pictures
  • PalmStar Entertainment
  • Spectacle Entertainment Group

I began to watch the film with camera in hand and was waiting for a scene to appear that caught my eye. I was very lucky that the opening scene to this slasher horror is very dark, harsh and dramatic. It oozed atmosphere, suspense and got me wondering what was going on straight away. I took some shots within the first five minutes and then I created my first contact sheet which can be seen below (left) it contains all of the shots that I had taken. The second contact sheet (right) is the adjusted images which have been cropped and their tone altered.

Just by looking at the contact sheets you can see a time based sequence that shows a figure walking towards the viewer. My next decisions were how many images I wanted to use and how I wanted the sequence to begin and end.

Before I began to work out my sequence I went through the images and took out those that I thought were not dynamic enough and/or did not fit in well with the sequence. The first reduction of images can be seen in the contact sheet on the left and then after further reduction the final contact sheet can be seen on the right, below.

While I was working through the images I decided to create a sequence that had a decisive ending. I had to figure out what this ending would be. Within the shots taken there was one of a victim covered in blood which had just been hacked by an axe. However, this didn’t relate to the walking figure enough to set a narrative – walk, walk, walk, walk, victim. The question would have been was the victim the walking man? Was the walking man finding the victim? Was the walking man the murderer?

I therefore had a re-think and thought I could complete the sequence with the walking man’s face as it is quite disturbed, black and white and covered in blood. This would be a straight forward sequence – walk, walk, walk, walk, face close-up.

Yes, it did have a good feel to it but I wanted just that little more. Having pondered over the images even more and asking how I could engage the viewers to question more, I came up with the following idea.

We have a figure of a silhouetted man walking towards us, his frame getting larger as the sequence progresses. The questions the viewers can ask so far are (1) Who is this man? (2) Where is this man? (3) What is he holding in his hand? As the figure gets closer you can make out the rough shape of the axe. (1) Where is he going with this axe? (2) What will this axe be used for? Due to the fact that the setting of the scene is dark, harsh, foreboding and we cannot make out any details, the viewers are led to the conclusion that nothing is good about this sequence.

I then thought, How could I keep them guessing a little longer as to who this man is? I came to the conclusion that I could put in an out of focused portrait of the man so yet again although we know it is his face we are still not presented with any details. This worked well, so I followed it with a full, detailed portrait of the killer. This means the sequences progresses like this: walk, walk, walk, walk, undecipherable portrait, detailed portrait.

Because the sequence had been arranged from images taken from a film I decided to present them as moving images. They work very well together but on reflection, now that I have completed this sequence, it is obvious that they would work together as they are all part of the same five minute opening of the film.

The final slideshow of the sequence can be viewed below.

but I aint no fucking clown!

Creating the slideshow was easy in the end as I used the creator that WordPress has. HOWEVER, I was not to chuffed because within the OCA folder it said to create the sequence within PowerPoint which I did. Then the problems began. Once created I couldn’t upload them without paying £240 for a Business upgrade so that I could install the appropriate plug in that would embed the slideshow.

I tried other ways by watching Youtube videos and following peoples instructions but due to WordPress changes since the instructions had been published and also software updates, I couldn’t embed the slideshow that I had created. I even to try to make one in Photoshop and then Lightroom but they didn’t go well either.

I even managed to get locked out of my WordPress blog by WordPress because I paid a sum of money thinking it was the Business upgrade but found out it wasn’t and that they had taken me to another upgrade page instead. I therefore blocked the Paypal payment and in return had to pay a WordPress fine to unlock my blog. I was not impressed as I phoned up college in a panic, phoned up Paypal to reverse the blocked payment and eventually I had my blog given back to me, a little poorer though. I am not a happy bunny!

Very stressed I found by pure chance the slideshow creator in WordPress although I had searched for one and nothing had previously come up.

Now that I have completed this one and it fits into the ‘5 mins in’ concept I am going to produce a second sequence that is not connected with the film and TV concept.

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