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post The studio

March 16th, 2008

Filed under: CHAMELEON PROJECT — Tina @ 12:06 pm

its been a busy few days in the television studio. I have two set ups – one for individual shoots and one for group shoots. I have four HDV cameras, and a nikon D300 for stills. The lighting is simple – black background. More theatrical lights – bringing up lines in face. sort of chiaroscuro – lightness/darkness. I am not changing it for each person. I don’t want lighting people on the set.

I have kept the studio quiet – just myself managing the cameras. Its an intimate shoot, it feels private – so, I feel to get the best response from people and to let them feel as comfortable as possible, its best to keep the studio quiet, calm and intimate. – I am inviting people into the studio to act out six different emotions. I am doing it in a range of ways, shifting the shoot depending on what people are willing give. Its taken a while to get comfortable asking people to evoke emotions. Its been exhausting, because it feels so personal. I have sourced some of the artists around campus, some of the actors, some of the workers. Its been a varied response, ranging from deep deep crying for half an hour to more laughter and very light expression. Its been hard to watch people cry and stand over the other side of the camera documenting it. For some, sadness has been very close the surface, and recent events of loss making sadness the easiest to access.

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setting up the studio

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pablo sleeping in the studio

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I am shooting in a range of ways – first of all just stills – very quickly expressing what people see the different emotions to be, then video – with the video I am asking the participants to either express different emotions on their face, or talk to the camera about those emotions, for example, reliving an emotional experience, or imagining it. I am asking them to talk to the camera as if the camera was the person they want to argue with, be sad with, be surprised with. Another option was to generate the emotional response as reactions – for example, showing some of the films that probed disgust that I made for Hugo Critchley’s research last year. Potentially asking people to put their hands in ice cold water for a while. Its taken a while to get comfortable directing, testing, and also what you can ask people to do – What is needed for the project. I am asking people to give a lot, and trust me – its hard to develop trust to such a quick shoot.

Reading a lot of performance art – marina ambramovic, vitto acconci, joan jonas, gary hill, yoko ono.

Also reading dylan evans “emotion”, and chris friths “making up the mind”.

notes from chris
Pain: Put hand in bucket of ice cold water
Disgust: provide a suitable smell
Happiness: tell joke?

Bob Monkhouse, famous English comedian, “When I was a boy I told people I was going to become a famous English comedian and they laughed at me. They’re not laughing now!”

Surprise should be possible

I am not sure about anger and fear.

Find out about very emotional event in their lives and get them to talk about them.
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