I’ve been putting a lot more thought into my documentary film recently. I’m really interested not just in telling a story but in using the film to look at how you can choose to tell stories about trauma and mental health. I’m also interested in working out how you tell stories about people in a way that doesn’t reduce them being ‘that guy that the thing happened to. I’m not sure I’m there on that yet.
At the moment the majority of the actual film footage I have is of interviews. Personally I really like the style of doc where the film maker lets a person tell their story like this. However it’s visually not that interesting to look at. One of the aesthetic decisions I have made is to try to animate some sections of the interview footage, and to animate where I only have audio material. Here’s a photo of an experiment with papercut walk cycles. I’m going to photograph these, and then feed the images into adobe animate to create a couple walking. I’ll let you know how I get on with that.
Animation, especially using a papercut style imagary that I really like to work with, is a really time hungry process. As I’m squeezing in an hour here and there around a full time job it’s taking me weeks to produce a few seconds worth of footage. It’s slow going but I’m pretty happy with this. I like using sections of footage that visually suggest the story is a construction – as much as the footage is of someone telling their own story in their own words, it’s still it’s my take on it. There could be other ways of telling the same events.