Click to view my video piece, One Shot.
Upon receiving the prompt of creating a video using only a camcorder, with no editing or cutting capabilities, yet with some implications about the environment — I felt extremely limited and claustrophobic. It was this sense of containment that then led me to the conceptual grounding of thinking of the environment not as a vast and glorious prospect for discovery as I was initially inclined, but rather thinking about breaking down a viewer’s (and my own) spatial expectations of the environment. Ultimately, I wanted One Shot to be a reflection of my own anxieties about space and illusions of depth that were ironically borne from the parameters of the assignment.
In choosing a scene to film, I ultimately decided on filming from the window of a car speeding through the Lincoln Tunnel. This scene was ideal to me not only for the claustrophic space of the tunnel — which is a common anxiety-inducing phobia — but also for the formal elements of lighting and the resulting high contrast that it rendered. One Shot is my first attempt at aligning myself with my preference for strictly formalist, non-narrative, and “self aware” film-making that Paul Sharits and his fellow formalist filmmakers have produced: a style of filmmaking that embraces the nuances of medium of the video camera as a filtered lens of reality. The lights in One Shot thus enhance the spatial confusion that I wanted to achieve not only because the speed of their movement as a reference to the flicker of a camera shutter, but through the reflection on the glass lens of the camera itself that creates a slight effect of glare.
While One Shot is ultimately a non-narrative formalist piece, it ends with just a moment of clarity in the environment in which the spatial confusion is resolved through depth and the intimation of life, such that there is a depth to the piece beyond the flatness of the image.