Nov 292013
 

I’m embarking on an exciting project here in Breda: a one minute promotional video for an organization called the House of Visual Culture. Part of our assignment for the Masters course I’m doing is to document the event closely, so I will be blogging and posting updates on the Facebook event often.

What Facebook event? This one.

As you can see my video will be a timelapse of people drawing a giant map of Breda from memory. I chose this idea because I felt it was appropriate for the brief we were given, creating a film that points out the prevalence of visual culture in our society. By asking people to visualize their city themselves, from memory, I am in effect asking them create an example of visual culture, and pointing out how much we are indeed visual creatures.

This is my attempt to draw Breda from memory.

This is my attempt to draw Breda from memory.

I’ve always loved maps and knowing where I am. In art school we were given the exercise to each draw a map of the world from memory. Turns out this is quite a common exercise and it’s meant to show you how well you may know one part of the world, and how little you know about another part. I thought it would be fun to involve the citizens of Breda in such an exercise, but make it a collective one. I vacillated between making it a map of Breda or the world, thinking that a map of Breda might be too easy for citizens to draw. Based on feedback from my instructors, however, I settled on the map of the city, instead, and I’m glad I did.

I cajoled my classmates into doing a little test for me the other day, and asked them to draw Breda on the blackboard, and it turns out that even people who live in Breda find it difficult to draw it from memory, so I don’t think the city will be too easy for them.

practice_map_video_composite

I also chose this idea because I’ve been wanting the experience of directing a shoot like this. Most of my work is created in a small studio almost all by myself. I don’t normally have to work with anyone or tell anyone what to do. However, I realize that when my animated projects grow in scope, or occur out in the real world, I do need to delegate and manage a team. I’ve done this once before, with my short The Whale Story, but I feel like I need more practice

When this assignment came up, and it was explained to us that part of it was that we were supposed to collaborate with someone, I felt this was the perfect opportunity. In addition to a cameraman who will document the event, I wanted to find a line producer to work with. I would learn how to share responsibilities with them, more about my role is as director. Unfortunately, when you are new to a city and don’t have a big budget to work with, finding a line producer to help you plan an event is hard! In the end I am taking on those responsibilities and working with a cameraman and a team of volunteers.

Want to get involved? Leave a note on the Facebook event or email me at tess@tessmartinart.com.

Stay tuned for more updates on the location and equipment!

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