I have never used multimedia in my performance work before, I have always felt like I wasn't confident enough to use it well and I felt I would need a big team around me to make my visions come to life. So I came into the multi-media weekend thinking it was something that would be fun to try but that I would probably never use it...how wrong I was!
After the first day we were asked to bring in images, text or sound to play with. I decided to use the below images as visual inspiration, to tie in with my theme of becoming slave to the digital age. I also bought in the sound of texting, with the typing and sending sound which is so easily recognizable to the majority of people.
Using the lights, I initially wanted to achieve the effect of a phone light shining up onto someones face. Please see images below. I found this fairly easy to convey so I started experimenting with having this visual projected onto another surface, so that the audience can see both reality and projection. The sound of the texting added to this effect, and by experimenting with putting the sound through the system and also just placing the phone close to the microphone, I enjoyed finding out how I can make the most of having control over the effects and therefore not relying on a tech team.
I also enjoyed experimenting with moving the light towards and away from the camera. I loved the effect of the light flashing on and off as it came too close to the camera, the color changes and the slow fade as the camera adjusted to more or less light. I saw a theme of circles emerging, and so decided to use the 'word' LOL and use my mouth to echo the circular shape I was seeing in the projections. Please see videos below marking some of my process...
LOL (projection and use of LOL)
Laughter 1 (start of increase, show lighting)
Laughter 2 (show 2nd stage of increase, camera angle)
After this stage, I started looking at moving the light towards the lens and therefore into the audiences eye, and so forcing them to look at the projection instead of me.
Laughter 3 (show 3rd stage of increase, projection)
This shows the projection, I just used a table covered with a white cloth. It works better to have the projection onto white as it reflects the light away as opposed to black which soaks all the light in so doesn't show as clearly. You can see how the light has spilled onto my face and onto the projection, so the effect of looking at a screen isn't as strong as in 'real life.'
I got a little stuck at this point as my work was so static. But as soon as I realized I could move every thing I was using, from the microphone to the camera to the projector I was away!!
By experimenting with having the camera from the side, the audience see a different angle in 'real life' and in projection which I really like as it gives the performance a feeling of being in the round but it is much more manageable than actually having the audience in the round because I can control when it happens, how long it happens for and exactly what the audience see. I also like the fact you can zoom in and choose specific things for the audience to see, that is a privileged only film makers get but now I have realized I can get that in live performance too!
The multimedia weekend really changed the creative path I am taking. Before the weekend I could see a very clear 'world' that I was going to set my group piece in. A world where everyone had to be happy and where this was very quickly established through cheesy music, 'happy' dancing and big smiles. However, I had also been experimenting with the noise of texts and images of emoji's but didn't know how to incorporate this into my work. It felt almost like 2 separate ideas that hadn't quite merged together. But as soon as I started experimenting with the text noise, projection, light and vocals I realized I don't need to be so obvious, I don't need to spoon feed the audience. Instead I can create this world in a much more atmospheric way, and it feels right to be experimenting with using technology in the piece seeing's as it's all about tech!