Exhibiting WBS

The exhibition build for WBS is well underway! Only a few tweeks will have to be made before opening night… Right now, focus for me is on assessments! I will be showing a brief overview of the three videos (all together they are more than 8min long, too long to show it all in a short assessment session), followed by a proper pitch for White Blank Space, and a talkthrough of this exciting, complete, and loooong process…

Then in about a week’s time, it’s opening night for the Wimbledon College of Art Undergraduate degree show! I need to make sure the screens (made of shower curtains!) hold properly, the projectors are well adjusted, the sound is clear, my portfolio is finished (ah!)… And from Thursday morning, the magic begins and it is out of my hands. Scary!

ImageA look at the space (unfinished) with one of the screens

But not too fear, so far everything is looking good, the films benefit from being projected on a large screen (appx 1050×595), and the space is caracteristically minimalistic (no prints except for the poster on the side; very small description tickets, two blank walls and one painted, sourced straight from our set!)…

ImageSetting up in our allocated exhibition room: The Wimbledon Space, public gallery in the WCA college, just in the entrance next to reception!

ImageOne of the WBS screens. I take up a huge amount of space in the gallery as I have two back projections, each requiring at least 1500 behind the screen, and a private access. Woops 🙂

Armelle

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UPDATE

It’s been a while! The whole crew including me, have been busy on different projects… As for White Blank Space, it is in its final edits, and should soon be ready for projection…

While our lovely Asli is busy editing, I am planning the exhibition for WBS @ Wimbledon College of Art in June. As I’d mentionned, WBS is meant to fully incorporate an installation aspect, so that it is not just a video but a fully immersive experience.

With limited means implied with screening at a college, the prospective scale of the whole installation had to be revised in order to fit into my allocated space. I have gone for back projection, allowing for bigger screen space than any LCD I would have gotten by hands on. It also means being able to take up nearly all the wall space provided, rather than allowing for a frame for a heavy screen.

The idea was to make the video as large as possible, so that screened on walls arranged together at an angle, the spectator could immersive himself a bit more into the scale and feeling of it all.

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That being said, the walls had to be angled in a certain way so that the space wasn’t too cornered off (in order to fit into the general design of the exhibition mainly, and as well in order to welcome the spectator in rather than make it a hostile claustrophobic space).

In an ideal world there would have been three screens;  on each wall, screening a sequence each. But again, with the means available, it was scaled down to two (three would have meant 3 projectors & speakers, and a considerable amount of space), which’ll alternatively be looping all the sequences.

That way as well, the middle wall can be used to pin the poster, the project description and my portfolio, requirements of a degree show exhibition 😉

Right now it is still at planning stage (figuring distances, finding material for a home made projection screen, ordering and building flats and shelves…), but build starts next week, and all should be in place in the next 2-3 weeks! Exciting and nerve wracking!

Wrapped and ready for post

A good shoot wouldn’t have been possible without a kick-ass cast & crew and a small army of helping hands, so A MASSIVE THANK YOU to Marcella, Poom, Asli, Tuna, Boas, Jonny, Bora, and Jazz. Special thanks to Dave, Mark, and Katie, for set & lights, and another special thanks to Eli, Charlie, and Fabiola for giving me the green light to shoot  at WCA.

And once again, Thank You to our Indie Gogo backers, who placed their trust in this project: you will soon be rewarded with some great pictures and info, and most importantly the sparkly finished White Blank Space video. Stay tuned!

Armelle

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wbs shoot days 2 & 3

The WBS shoot is over now, and all I can keep saying is “I can’t believe how smoothly that all went”… You’d always expect something to go horribly wrong on a shoot wouldn’t you? I do. I did.
But none of that! We ended a tad behind schedule on Day 1, but easily caught up on Day 2 with those last shots we had missed on Day 1. Thanks to Poom (cinematographer), who pushed to try it out, we even got a shot I was going to give up on !

Then came the time to move on to sequence 2. This would be a much more relaxing day than the previous. Not only because it was shorter (we only had a half day) but also because the sequence was meant to convey a complete opposite feeling, one of total peace and relaxation…
So from the moment we wrapped sequence 1, this was playing in the studio:

We had to shoot quickly before everyone fell asleep! So this is where I let Marcella work her magic: I watched in awe as she moved gracefully along to the music, in this tiny claustrophobic space where she’s been screaming hysterically just the previous day… It wasn’t always easy to call Cut, I just wanted to let her dance! But we have to move on…

This sequence being more straightforward, with less of a build up and less of a “story”, it was very very quick to shoot: less than 2 hours! And in this time we got some beautiful wide shots, some interesting, more abstract and blurry close-ups, and impressive slow-motions… So Day 2 ended on a relaxed and satisfied note, exactly on schedule (and even a bit ahead!)

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Day 3 required a bit more preparation than putting on some spa music… The day was to be MESSY. So the morning was spent prepping the studio for a colour apocalypse, finishing gathering our saturated liquids and other fun props, and figuring out ways to Not sound like I wanted to improvise the whole thing (in the end I did completely ignore my fancy storyboards, so yes, maybe there was some improv in there).

For this last sequence we were to film “happiness” and freedom, to use this creepy space as a blank canvas. While I at one point attempted to step away from the cliché “let’s go all Pollock on this thing”, I then figured, why not go a bit cliché, if it is just what seems right for the situation? Yes, it’s been done, many times probably; but if everyone who had done it had avoided it, well our screens and canvases may have been a bit less messy and colourful.

So yes, we were going to throw paint EVERYWHERE. This was already promising to be fun for everyone (except the camera crew who could enjoy a whole afternoon of suspiciously looking at what we were throwing towards their equipment)… We started by bombarding Marcella with water bombs filled with paint&water, while asking her Not to flinch. Poor thing. It then gradually escalated from there, and while we got to snap some pretty damn cool close-ups of paint splashes, Marcella got to get in touch with her inner modern artist… And she did a splendid job! With powerful gestures and a gleeful expression, she covered the walls in a thousand (ok maybe not a thousand) colours and patterns, alternatively getting splashed herself with icy cold coloured water. Poor thing (bis). Evil me…

To end the sequence, I figured this canvass needed a bit more work, and dear Marcella must have been tired, so everyone needed to chip in (again, everyone but the camera crew who carefully avoided the few blissful individuals messing about with paint)… The place nice and trashed, we recorded the closing shot and … IT’S A WRAP! One group photo on our masterpiece, a whole lot of cleaning up, throwing away a ruined pair of socks, and off we went to a celebratory [late] lunch.

Photo credit Bora Demirbilek

WBS shoot Day 1

Photo credit Jonny Blackmore

Photo credit Jonny Blackmore

Day 1 of the White Blank Space shoot wrapped yesterday!

Due to certain restrictions, build and setup had to be done in the morning of Wednesday 12th, starting at 10am. Thanks to the help of technicians, the set and lights were put up in a record 20 minutes. The bigger part of the build was then doing all the touch-ups, covering and painting the joints, cleaning the floor, finding some extra paint when we ran out!

The camera crew arrived around 12, followed shortly after by our lovely Marcella. After fittings and final touch ups on the set, I finally had a few quieter minutes to sit down with our actress to discuss the day’s actions… On day 1, we were shooting our first sequence, where the blank space was one of confinement, anxiety, and ultimately panic. So a rather intense day was ahead.

We started from the beginning. Redundant? What I mean is, our first setup was to shoot the sequence opening, an extreme close up on the girl’s eyes… The sequence is meant to start slowly and gradually build up, so the first few shots were rather quiet.

After a late lunch break, things were to get a bit more…tense! Let’s just say, there was some screaming and wall pounding and having to warn whoever might hear us (we wouldn’t want security running in!).

In the end, we achieved most of the shots we wanted for sequence 1. Two or three setups hd to be pushed to the next morning, but were done quite quickly and successfully, as you’ll learn in Day 2 summary. So stay tuned!

Armelle

Meet the cast

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Meet Marcella Carelli, who will be playing the girl in White Blank Space!

Marcella was cast on last sunny saturday afternoon, in our improvised casting office in a room at London Film School, in Covent Garden. The last person to audition, she turned out to be the absolute favourite! Fortunately she was also keen and interested, so we confirmed our collaboration the next day!

Marcella is trained in musical theatre so can dance, sing, and act. She graduated last July and has been working on stage as well as on screen. She also teaches aspiring scene artists.

She was exactly the type we were looking for: petite, with long enough hair, fair skin and strong facial expressions. Marcella is also a very kind, smiling and communicative individual, so we were very much looking forward to working with her!

Stay tuned for news on how it all went down on DAY 1 of the WBS shoot!

Armelle

 

Photo credit Paul Barras on Casting Call Pro

Production update

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a storyboard excerpt

Shooting day is almost here! We start on wednesday, with setup in the morning and shoot as soon as we are ready. Shooting will go on to thursday afternoon, and friday all day. It has been an exciting hassle booking studio space, technicians, equipment, building flats, etc, but all is falling into place, and the crew is confident we should get a smooth shoot…

Painting and sourcing will mainly take place today and tomorrow, so that wednesday morning we are good to go. Flats need to be painted, material has to be found to protect the studio floor in case we get a bit excited with colours, costume has to be sourced, and of course a whole lot of paperwork has to be done…

On another note, auditions took place last friday and saturday! An exciting experience where I and Asli (producer) witnessed some great talent. At the end of the day our mind was very clearly set on one actress in particular… You will be introduced to her here in a future post!

Armelle

The funding campaign for WHITE BLANK SPACE is now over. A MASSIVE THANK YOU to all who helped out by donating and/or sharing. WIth in mind all our generous backers, we will give all we can to achieve a beautiful result.

We managed to raise £500, which is 45.45% of our £1,100 goal. We have not reached the sacred 100%, but in no way does this mean we have failed. The trust and funds you have placed in WBS mean the world to us, and we are positive we can get something great out of the help you provided! With means different from what we initially intended, we will just have to think up new ways to make this piece original and meaningful. In the world of art and filmmaking, it’s those moments of improvisation that force us to be even more creative…

With the budget we now have, we will not be able to hire the camera we intended to. However, our cinematographer has enough equipment to still make for clean shots; So we will place full focus on lighting, and devote most of our funds to the hire of the right lighting equipment and camera filters. As planned, the remainer of the budget will go to art department, and the usual costs of a production (catering, travel, printing production stills and dvd copies…)

Once again, this would not be possible without your help, so a thousand thank you’s for your interest and support!!!

Finally, I would like to give a shout-out to our last backers: Carl H, h.brown003, and two backers who wished to remain anonymous: thank you!!!

Armelle

SHOUT OUT!

Our campaign on IndieGogo is currently at about 40% fulfillment! With 8 days left, we are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping to achieve the great 100.

In the meantime, if we’ve come this far it’s thanks to everyone who saw White Blank Space, believed in the idea, and made a contribution… Therefore I would like to thank, along with the ones previously cited: Marianna, Christian, umurbasar, Brigitte, and two other backers who wished to remain anonymous.

With the shoot taking place in less than three weeks, we are about to enter full-on pre-prod, working on storyboards and shot lists, scheduling, equipment hire…

Stay tuned!

Armelle