Loz and I had planned for a big day in a local abandoned building where we’d shot back in 2016. We’d discussed a few of her ideas and as usual I was in the dark a bit! I’ve learnt to not worry about that and just go with it. Her ideas are usually more conceptual than literal. When it comes to shooting something, I tend to be looking for something concrete to latch onto because I'm actually thinking about OK what do I point the camera at; but often the ideas haven’t formed fully until shoot time and that’s fine. Scripting just doesn’t work and never has for us. Best to just have a starting point and start working, letting things evolve organically at the moment of shooting. There will be mistakes, but mistakes is the wrong word, and these are usually left included in the final edit. Perfection takes the edge of things, and pushes things toward a more polished outcome, which is not the goal. My compositions during shooting often don’t adhere to the usual formulas and are deliberately random – whilst still being carefully designed. Things can be ‘wrong’ but they have to be ‘wrong’ in the ‘right’ way.
I’ve approached my video work in the same way I approached still photography over 35 years ago. I deliberately didn’t want to learn from someone else how to do it. And I didn’t want all the technical rubbish. I literally started by switching the camera to video mode and shooting. My life has been engineering and maths, this couldn’t be the same, and that approach seems to have worked just fine. My left brain doesn’t work well in creative mode. So the end result is you’ll see sketchy pans, skewed compositions, rough timing and then all the rest in the edit too. That all works perfectly for the kinds of ideas we’ve realised with video.
So, this was the chat convo a couple of nights before the shoot:
Loz: "Now I just need a heart hahaha. Got any local butchers that would have an animal heart?"
Me: "Oh dear...
Me: "Serious though? "
So next morning I shopped around for a few hearts, not knowing how they would be used. Didn’t need just one, but a few. Got a 4 pack at Woolies in Katoomba – they looked like hearts too and were a good size so all good. Oh, some gaffa tape was required, so I got that too.
So we shot about 4 videos in the end I think (plus stills), HEART being one of them toward the end. All up we were shooting continuously without a break for about 10 hours. Then I lost my phone kind of.
We both ended up both editing and assembling the pieces into the final sequence. I found some cool music for it and voila.
More videos currently on the editing table. Stay tuned…
Please read Lauren's description of the concept behind the film. That's what it's all about and it's a concept that's important.
Concept: Lauren Michelle
Featuring: Lauren Michelle
Video: Mike Stacey
Edit: Mike Stacey & Lauren Michelle
Music: Ori and Humanfobia - 'Lux Entities Invasion'
Filmed in the Blue Mountains, January 2018
And finally here's some random footage of me shooting Lauren painting and Apollo being cute...