Exercises in Procrastinatory Videography

Having plenty of other things to do always tempts me to take on Projects That Are Not The Things I Should Be Doing.

Thus, I've been making strange videos.

One didn't take long at all because it was just a mash-up for Press Play's Vertigo contest, a contest designed to find all the varieties of movies that Bernard Herrmann's "Scene d'Amour" music can fit into, now that Kim Novak has expressed her horror that it was used in The Artist. (For more on that, see Press Play.) I decided to go with a relatively obscure film, 1931's lesbian classic Mädchen in Uniform, mostly because I happened to have it on my computer, so it was easy to manipulate.

That's good fun, but it didn't really achieve my procrastinatory goals, because it took longer to upload it to Vimeo than it did to create it. It also didn't let me achieve my lifelong goal of making a science fiction movie.

For that, I had a meatier project. A bit meatier than I expected, actually. I thought it would be easy to grab a few clips from old newsreels, public service announcements, and informational films and then create a soundtrack from old radio shows to create a new story about alien invasion, colonialism, and apocalypse. Why I thought this would be easy, I don't know, but I ascribe it to the same psychology that makes procrastination's temptations irresistible. I happily collected all sorts of clips -- everything from the San Francisco fire to travel movies to atom bomb test footage -- and then found a wealth of great old radio shows and ... well, creating an actual story from it all proved more than I really had time for, so I settled for apocalyptic dreaminess...

I like a lot of what's in that, but I still had a little bit of time left over, as well as some clips I hadn't used, and I thought it might be fun to deliberately create a piece without any story, something that was more of a collage along the lines of Stan Brakhage's work or Derek Jarman's short films. Because I had Brakhage and Jarman in mind while creating it, "Remnants" ends up being a bit more reminiscent of them than I would have liked, but I'm fond of it nonetheless.

I have now fully achieved my procrastinatory desires, and must return to my regularly scheduled duties...

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