The Monks of Wat Bo was created from achieved footage filmed in April 2015. As described in the blog link above. I felt that I had been maybe filming using a Cinema Veriete style and hadn't actually acknowledged this. I wanted to revisit this footage, as firstly I hadn't really done anything with it and I actually wanted to analyse my own work. When I wasn't necessarily really thinking about what I was doing, and it was more of a case of just "being" with the camera and present in the moment.
I am not really a fan of the stablised version. I did it because some people had commented on how "shakey" the camera was. So I placed a warp stablisation on it, technically it makes it look, very "trippy" and it cuts a lot of the shots in. I actually think it really removes away from that "raw" look. Some people really liked it, but for me I wasn't so keen.
When I compare all of the films, I have created this term, the monks still sits as my strongest piece. I feel this is more, to do with the environment I was in. The sounds of the chant and the image submersion the audience gets when watching this.
All of the monks, seem to have one identity, which is of course the orange robe & shaved head. The only thing that sets them apart is their age. The original monk we see banging the drum in the first shot, becomes lost in the one identity of a monk, when all the monks come together to pray.
If I was to submit this film as my final peiece for the the zero project, I would increase the chant by an extra 20 seconds to bring the time up to 3 minutes. Firstly the feedback I have had from people, who have watched it, have actually said that they get completely submereged into the film, especially when their sensory to the image had stopped and they are just left with the sound chanting.
When I have played the film to an audience, I have made sure that they are sitting in a dark room, with either head phones on or the sound turned up. I want them to be totally submerged in the experience of watching it. For me as a photographer I have never taken away the actual physical moment or ambience of the place, as photographs don't allow for this.
This is where the photograph comes to life, and the audience members are viewing a place, feeling the sounds as well as hearing them. I want the audience to leave the film, feeling calm, like they have had an new experience and been privy to something special.
JUST shut up.
I like to talk, however when I am filming or photographing, its the one time when I am silent. I feel I am inside the camera and my thoughts are not present. The environment and colour of my surroundings play a massive part in my own creative methodologies. When filming the Monks of Wat Bo, I was applying myself more as a photographer, and during the raw clips, you can hear the shutter clicking. I now have an understanding what Roach means by term shoot,shoot, shoot. And if I were to do this again, I would make sure that would only film.
"I'VE ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT PHOTOGRAPHY IS A WAY TO SHAPE HUMAN PERCEPTION. " JAMES BALOG
I believe that Balog is correct in what he is quoted as saying. To add to this I would say that cinematography solidifies the emotion. By applying theories such as Veriete and direct documentary, in filmmaking it is a way to transport, human feelings through submersive ethnography.
I have chosen to submit the Monks of Wat Bo for my Zero project. I feel that this was the most submersive of all the films. The way that individual identity of the monks banging the drum, is lost in the identity of all monks.
The monks of Wat Bo is a time capsule and like all cultures, these traditions have been time- capsulated for centuries. In a way it is beautiful that Cambodian Monks have managed to keep their identity considering the genocide that took place between 1975-1979. The Khmer people lost two-thirds of their population. Many of these people were, academics and creatives. So the fact, that an essential part of Khmer culture such as Buddhism survived, is a testament to their belief system. It was carried through a period of time, when the Khmer Rouge tried to implement at Utopian ideology, and stripped away all life & identity.
Beyond the wider scope, technically and submersively it is interesting. I have now increased the chant time without the image, to 45 secs. This means the audience is left with a sound scape and if viewing this correctly,( earphones and lights off environment) they will become totally submerged in the experience. My only technical problem with this is I want to further develop the way I have overlaid the chant, to take it up to three minutes.
From the zero project, I feel I have more grounding in the creative theories of documentary film making at a grass roots level. I certainly need to experiment more with what I am creating and this experience has identified that environment is very important for that freedom to explore and create.
Famous quotes at BrainyQuote (1971) Available at: http://www.brainyquote.com/ (Accessed: 20 November 2015).
Harry Fabel (2013) Man Of Aran. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iK2PaU_g7g (Accessed: 27 September 2015).
Pink, S. (2010) What is sensory ethnography by Sarah Pink. Available at: http://www.ncrm.ac.uk/resources/video/RMF2010/pages/18_Sensory.php (Accessed: 20 November 2015).
Stanford Pursuasive Tech Lab (no date) WHAT IS CAPTOLOGY? – Persuasive Tech. Available at: http://captology.stanford.edu/about/what-is-captology.html (Accessed: 27 September 2015).
Tech.London and sensory Media (2014) Sensory Media. Available at: http://www.tech.london/startups/sensory-media (Accessed: 27 September 2015).
http://monoskop.org/ (2015) Sensory ethnography. Available at: http://monoskop.org/Sensory_ethnography (Accessed: 14 November 2015).
www.mitpress.mit.edu (no date) Available at: http://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/titles/content/9780262630580_sch_0001.pdf (Accessed: 20 November 2015).
www.pbs.org (2015) Timeline: The history of Cambodia and the Khmer rouge | enemies of the people | POV. Available at: http://www.pbs.org/pov/enemies/photo_gallery_timeline.php (Accessed: 20 November 2015).