Conceptually, my video represents a state of mind. Swimming is, in my personal case, not a physical activity but quite the opposite. For a moment, It liberates my body, my mind, and my imagination from my usual reality. Being surrounded by water puts me in a state of mind where everything becomes unimportant: matter, space, and time.
At the beginning, I thought that showing water, and how its appearance changes depending on light and the time of the day, was going to be enough to represent that state of mind. However, I realized that water was only the bridge. The important thing was how that element affects me and how my mind finds a way to escape. Some people use drugs and others need prayers and beliefs. There are as many rituals as there are people living on this planet. What I needed to say was… let’s escape through water.
With this in mind, I decided that still images, instead of actual video, was more appropriate for my purpose. Since the idea was to create some kind of illusions, and take that concept further to show hallucinations, I needed Photoshop to transform the images of water into something more dynamic and surreal. I needed to change its colour, its texture, and then combine images of myself, water and images of galaxies, fractals, and other illusions.
For two days I took several pictures of the pool, during different times of the day. I added images of myself walking, touching the surface of the water, etc. After that, I spent some time putting everything in order, creating different folders that I called “walking morning”, etc. That helped me a lot to create some sort of narrative.
Since I didn’t want to have any kind of dialogue or sound effects, I started looking for a soundtrack. I listened to different options carefully before deciding that “Heaven”, from the band HEALTH, was the appropriate song choice. What I liked about it was that it was not the stereotypical sound for introspection. Before importing images into iMovie, I put the music in and that gave me the rhythm. The music lead me to the idea of dividing the story into three segments.
The first segment was going to be the moment before getting into the pool, and then the images of me walking inside the water, kind of the first steps into another world. At that point I decided to add some kind of text, and after some research I came across a part in the movie “Caravaggio” by Derek Jarman. I thought it was perfect, because it was poetic, kind of surreal, and very descriptive of a specific moment right before waking up, like coming from a dream to reality.
From that moment the process became more difficult in terms of work. I had the concept and the other two segments very clear (2nd segment: hallucinations, final segment: coming back to reality). I spent three days mixing all the pictures, searching for images of fractals, caves, and other kind of resources, and kept adding them into iMovie. Keeping the same palette of colours and the same dream-like texture was very important.
The final segment, which is the shorter one, was a challenge, since I wanted this to use pictures without any retouching, to show somehow that the mind was coming back to reality. But I needed them to match with the rest, especially with the segment of hallucinations, which is very vibrant in terms of colour and texture. The key was to find the perfect rhythm.
Overall, I am very satisfied with the end result and the experience of this project. It achieved what I wanted to communicate, as well, aesthetically it is very pleasing in my opinion. It was a challenging project, but it was a nice ending for a very interesting class.