Tuesday, July 31, 2012

L U C I M A | Condition One: Concept/Ping

Transition between Jessica and Codi

[The following is an excerpt from the Fashion DSLR Video Workshop lesson plan]


Borrowing the technical term of Internet connectivity, I love bouncing ideas off of like-minded individuals. Like Jacqueline or Rick [Craft]. And if you haven't read this article, it's a must read. I'm not supposed to say this because it's self-serving. But seriously, in the interest of your education it makes one very important point:

Because for the last couple videos, I can honestly say, "I couldn't have done it myself". Hell, there isn't a single video that I've created that I could say, "I could have done it all by myself". Even the Siren Song video with Jordan. Consider how ugly it would have been to see my bare ass instead of hers in the video.

All jokes aside, I don't go the pre-production stage of each video with all the details written down. On the contrary, I usually go into each video with a seed (idea) and let several people take turns watering the seed and sprinkling their special mix of fertilizer. Yes, sometimes they throw shit on the idea. But for what it's worth, the resulting flower grows stronger and better. Because ideas usually get better as more people toss it around in their own heads and contribute pieces of their own ingenuity. Like how Jacqueline provided the whole wardrobe representing emotions idea [in Lost].

When I sat down with Rick for the workshop video the conversation went something like this:

CL: "We got 3 girls, this studio, makeup/hair, and some fantastic wardrobe. It's a workshop so we have to be able to execute the idea within a single day in the studio and then post-process it on the second day. The idea I've got in my head is something along the lines of the Kate Compton video but without nudity but still edgy/sexy. I keep seeing a dance-off type of situation where the models square off and show their moves. But on some level that seems like a cheesy idea. What do you think?"

RC: "We could make it like a casting? That way each model can showcase her moves? What about if we do this thing where the models are showing off their portfolios and the pictures in the portfolios start moving and we cut to inside the picture where the model showcases different wardrobe styles and different moves. Kind of like the way a portfolio would be in a perfect world, a collection of disparate moving images that tell different stories"

CL: "Hmm, I like that idea. It's kind of like an alternate reality kind of deal... and we like alternate realities and blurring the line between reality and fiction"

[long pause]

CL: "Have you that movie where the girl gets lobotomized and the plot is about how she and her friends are trying to escape this mental institution? I like how they blended reality and fantasy. The fantasy was way over the top and we couldn't do anything on that level but it was visually amazing with a great storyline"

RC: "Sucker Punch?"

CL: "Yeah!"

RC: "That was a great movie."

[long pause]

CL: "If it's a casting call, each girl can come up to the stage and show off her moves... but the transitions would be ugly. Because it would be a huge letdown for the audience to get all worked up to the music and the dancing and then have to wait while the next girl comes on stage. Because there are 3 girls and that would have to happen twice. Ughhh."

RC: "What if instead of waiting for each girl to come off stage we do this thing where the girl shakes her head really hard and she morphs into the next girl?"

CL: "That's brilliant! Have you seen the movie Identity? Where there are all these characters at a motel and one by one they get killed off and they're trying to figure out who the killer of and the twist is that they're all the same person because what's really happening is that this one mental institution patient is getting rid of his split personalities."

RC: "I've seen Identity"

CL: "What if we did something like that, where the 3 models are actually the same girl, but she's so deep and talented, not to mentioned troubled, that she morphs into these different characters during the casting?"

RC: "Nice! And the casting director can be holding this clipboard and writing her casting evaluation while she's performing..."

CL: "Ooooh even better, what if it looks like a casting but it's really not... it's actually a psychological evaluation! In the beginning we'll see what looks like a long line of models waiting at a casting and we cut to the casting director with a clipboard and a stopwatch. He'll call up the first model [Jessica] and say something like, "Okay, go" and she goes into this Sucker Punch-like trance and starts dancing and the whole mood/room transforms. Then we use the fast head shakes to morph her into our other models. This way each model represents a facet of Jessica's personality. Perhaps somewhere in the middle of the video/song she starts to randomly transform into different girls symbolizing instability. And at the end of the "casting" the casting director says, "Thank you Jessica. You can leave now" and we see the him write on his clipboard, "Persistent schizophrenia. Continue medication. Not ready to re-enter society"

RC: "LOL! Nice!"

And a storyline is born.

Of course this wasn't a word-for-word transcript of our conversation. Very much abridged. Our conversation lasted 2-3 hours and went all over the place. We talked about everything. But you can see we draw from our experiences. Another inspiration was Fight Club which is one of our favorite movies. We kind of have this thing for alternate realities and wild goose chases. Movies we had watched. Things that inspired us. Rick showed me this music video he had worked on with magnificent post-processing and motion tracking capture and editing. I was in awe. You know how some people tell stories and say, "One thing led to another and the next thing you know..."? Well, that's kind of how it happens but without the sex, drugs and rock & roll.

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