2. Dr Strangelove.

I do find it funny how I’ve had this keen interest in Sci-Fi this whole time when you look at the political climate we’re now in. In today’s trending topics on Facebook, we have President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un butting heads over potential missile launches. The Cold War was of deep inspiration for a whole era of artists. Not only that, but Donald Trump as a leader reminds me very much of the traditional film and television depictions of a president – proud, over-compensatory, and headstrong. I’m watching “Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb” and the generals in that are strikingly similar in their inappropriateness.

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Opening credits to Dr Strangelove

The font above is one I’ve used in a video this summer, it’s called “Futura” on Adobe Typekit. In this context, the font appears to be asking you to remain calm even though there might be foul play on the cards. I don’t quite know why I feel like that but asides from that, the font has educational connotations (Ladybird books) and the nature of Sci-Fi is to explore the unknown on a life-itself scale, the prospects of which (such as nuclear war) can cause unease. Perhaps that’s the reason why my video suited the Futura font better than any other I’ve used before, it had this “Drowned World” theme to it as the giant face is resting sideways in the waves. See my video below:

Whilst watching this film, I can also draw comparisons to the “Space Tapestry” show I saw at Modern Art Oxford by Aleksandra Mir. The circular shapes, lights and maps. See my review here.

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Dr. Strangelove
Space Tapestry @ MAO
Space Tapestry @ MAO

I really want to draw on this imagery in my next project. Science Fiction has the depth and flexibility to create a great deal based on it so it’s definitely going to be a source of inspiration in the coming months. This year, I’m going to try and tailor my projects so that they can double as portfolio images for when I graduate. Not that I wouldn’t want to include my work so far in any portfolio but I want my work this year to be more focused on exploring a specific and potential career interest on the side of my degree. I don’t want to graduate with a very broad degree under my belt, not knowing where I can go or what I can do with it. Since my skills on the side are writing about art and photographing people and landscapes, I want to bring this back into what I make for my degree. I’ve also collaborated with quite a few Commercial Photography students in the last year. What I’ve found from that experience is Fine Art is great for developing and planning the visual execution of concepts but I’m missing some commercial design and processing skills to produce work that proves I can work to a brief in conjunction with my own ideas. It’s everyone’s dream on my course to continue making art for their own sake and to feed their own interests but I know I need to find an area that I specialise in that proves I’m flexible at problem-solving in a business environment – that I can work to client-dependant briefs.

With all this in mind, I want to create a video as I normally would for assessments, something with a narrative that follows science fiction as root inspiration, something that utilises my techniques in editing and green screen but can double as a fashion concept. A video I can film using a high frame rate and take high-res stills from to use in a potential campaign. For this, I’m thinking of collaborating with fashion and makeup students because collaborating so far has been extremely informative. Note to self: consider working with Acting students when it comes to hunting for models.

Considering my work so far, I’ve been looking at potential places to shoot in Bournemouth. The first and easiest place would be The Crab Drawing Studio at AUB. It’s on campus so it’s easy to get to for anybody involved and the circular skylight fits in perfectly with my Sci-Fi theme. Even on a gloomy day, the lighting in the studio is spectacular. The lack of sharp angles is also futuristic and I’ve known students to book out the studio before to film music videos. Second to that, we have the Russell Coates Gallery. I want to explore the option of The Crab first though before I have to turn to that. Perhaps it would work for another project.

I’ve just remembered that I’ve received a bunch of acetate astrology prints from Southampton’s Astrology and Physics Department – I can scan in and use them this project. That would make any images or videos a triple threat because Southampton wants us to record what we do with the plates so they can hold an exhibition using the work created with them. I have a potential shoot location and some supporting imagery (maps/lights/circles/star plates), now I need to work on the character and the story.


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