The Representation of Emotion in Found Footage

After deciding to work with found footage, I started to explore deeper the concept of emotional loss and symbolising emotions through scratching and colour.

Initially when testing what some of my sample scratch tests were viewed like, I had some issues with the film not running through the projector properly, which consequently crushed my film and deemed it unworthy to use. A problem that I had to be careful of in the future when splicing, but also scratching and hole punching.

film 7 film caught

The main scene I wanted to focus on was a couple walking together down the beach, as it was so simple, yet using these techniques could exemplify so much and depict the life cycle  of a relationship and its history, in such a short of amount of time.

As scratching could ‘eliminate’ a person from a relationship, I needed something to represent emotions. I chose nail polish due to its range of bright colours, which are vibrant and symbolise heightened and electrified emotions. They also gave the film an affect similar to one of the previous examples of found footage I had found earlier with Charles Pieper’s ‘American Patrol’.

film 8 nail polish both colour

With these colours and the scratching symbolic of emotions and metaphorical messages, such as the loss of importance in someone’s life, as I gradually scratched the woman’s head away. The stark variations of colours used, demonstrate all of the various emotions evoked in a relationship.  The gradual blend of colours I painted over the sunset alludes to the symbolism, that even though a relationship may have its ups and downs, and may end, the memories and emotions shared along the way cannot be tarnished, and it will still remain a poignant period in a person’s life.

Initially, I was worried about making mistakes outside of what I had originally intended to paint onto the frames, but then realised the symbolism prevailed throughout, as mistakes are part of the film, that contribute and are part of the end product, with something to learn from, much like mistakes are part of a relationship.

film 6 nail polish issue

Before working with a lot of the film I eventually used, I didn’t want to view how it actually played before editing. This was because I thought I wouldn’t be able to form my own storyline from the footage with enough of a fresh mind, whether it be linear or non-linear, if I had previously viewed the footage.

When eventually recording the film into digital files, there were continuous issues with the film jumping whilst being recorded, which eventually couldn’t be avoided. Although initially appearing as a setback, it continues with the consistent symbolism, representing the emotional turbulence that relationships can contain.


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