exploring art and writing

The Dark Studio – Filming with Iain Morrison.

In Film and Documentary, Interview, Music on May 10, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Watch The Dark Studio here.

The Dark Studio is extremely different from my Recital videos for several reasons. Firstly, it assumes the guise of a television-type documentary, in which Bristol-based singer Iain Morrison performs various songs and compositions. The footage is woven between an interview of him speaking about his general experiences as a singer. Secondly, the set-up was almost the opposite of what I am familiar with: a black room fittingly titled The Dark Studio, with no windows and only artificial lighting, and Iain himself was far more energetic in his physical movements than my previous subjects. All these were challenges that were very much appreciated, in particular because I felt that a change from the ‘recital format’ used in Emily, Molly, Rhiannon and Miriam was necessary before I left university. By moving my work in a different direction – even if it’s one I don’t continue to follow in the future – I feel less bound by the construction and format of how I am now used to filming and editing, and I feel much more prepared for the big, bad artworld. Or maybe just the world in general.

Despite these differences, the documentary has been edited in a similar, although far simpler, method to my previous Recital videos. His beautiful rendition of Last Time I Came Over the Mure (lyrics possibly by Robert Burns, tune composed by himself) is also the focus of the latter half of his interview. I felt that asking Iain to eventually hone in his dialogue onto one song would give the video a direction and make the ultimate performance a stronger finale. The dispersed footage of his various performances prior to this was intended to reflect the subject matter being discussed as well as Iain’s various abilities and his artistic journey as a singer and performer.

The Dark Studio has been created as an intimate portrait of a performer and their practice and recitals; whilst not perhaps having the intensity of the continuous close-ups and repetition that my other recital videos possess, I am hoping that it is a happy medium between the general informative nature of documentary and art as an intimate, more personal observation of a person and the events that they create.

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