“How can I use unconventional forms to express myself?”

It feels wrong to break art down to a science. But in a way, it is. That being said, not everything necessarily falls into one category, and the world of art is far from simply black and white. So this entire unit was about pushing those boundaries yet still being able to understand the basic forms of art. It’s hard to explain, but it’s easy to understand.

In this unit, I began to understand the basic principles of film, while also learning how to use the entire Adobe Creative Cloud, and even dabble in soundtracking my own films using GarageBand and Logic Pro X.

In my English class, we pulled out a conceptual statement at random to attempt to use to base our films and poems. Mine ended up being “I am exploring the feeling of denial through the experience of destruction.” It didn’t take long at all for me to figure out how to relate this to my own personal life and create a story out of this sentence.

The first thing we did was a photo haiku and a video of that photo haiku spoken. This would later become the basis for my experimental film.

I really enjoyed creating this photo. It was a photo of my friend and classmate, Richard, holding a torch made of paper in front of a garage door to create a darkened setting. I originally set out to use a match, but he insisted on using the paper, which he claimed to be safe. Regardless of if that was true or not, nobody was hurt in the process and nothing burned down… somehow.

I then spent the next week or two adapting this photo into a video in which I spoke the words in the background. I had fun timing the text’s appearance, matching the music to the text, and adding little extra flairs in the background. I had to change out the font due to saving issues, but ended up preferring the new product more. I decided to end it with my own personal message: “2018- a fresh start”. The poem, though hiding intense and convoluted feelings and distress, revolves around cutting ties within a toxic friendship. The poem itself is a story, taking place in November of 2017.

Meanwhile, in English, we were busy writing poetry and learning about different styles. While I had previously written hundreds of poems in the past, the majority of which were potential lyrics for songs, the first poem I ever wrote for the class was an ekphrastic poem responding to a piece of art I saw on our trip to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The piece heavily criticizes modern art in a much less crude way than I would in real life, and at the same time shows the story of someone who cannot settle for anything simple and won’t stop looking for something they’ll never find. And when they do find it, they lose interest quickly and it’s back to the streets again. It’s told through the perspective of this person, and tragically displays a simplistic and materialistic feeling of hopelessness, loneliness, and insecure confusion.

In this conceptual project, I made my first experimental film, as well as the first film I’ve ever created. This process put me on a much tighter time frame than I ever would have desired to shoot and edit a film. My first rough cut of the film was rushed due to an insanely tight time frame, resulting in thirteen minutes and four seconds of random clips mixed with long periods of black space. Talk about humiliation.

On a brighter note, I learned how to use Premiere and countless different effects within the program. My vision remained mostly constant throughout the process, though I cut about two minutes worth of footage out of my final installation, as it was clunky and screwed up the pacing of the film. I am proud of my experimental film, but my concept was fueled by emotion and narrative, thus being harder to translate into a true experimental piece. Instead it became a narrative story told with experimental ideas and locations, standing in as metaphors for other objects. The film I created follows the exact same narrative as the photo haiku, only elongated with much more focus on the inner turmoil.

The film in question, entitled “Neverface”, follows the story of a man (portrayed by Richard Fukuda; though the character is intended to represent myself) who continuously walks through a door, only to come out of it beaten up and defeated. As it gets worse and worse, he finally realizes that he doesn’t have to open this door. No one is making him walk through it but himself. But as he attempts to get away, he finds himself trapped in a world in which there is nothing but black space, him, and a truckload of doors surrounding him. Once he is out of this nightmare, he walks back to the door, and is about to open it, only to find that the person who’s been beating himself up the whole time is a clone of himself. As he tries to escape once more by hiding in his sleep, he dreams about murdering both the old version of himself that continuously walked into the door as well as the perpetrator within. Upon waking up, he is able to walk past the door, satisfied with the world and finding solace in himself. He isn’t avoiding the door anymore- he just doesn’t care. The film ends with a teaser as the door opens a crack, to remind us that there really is no ending to this story. He’ll never be free from that door.

Or, of course, you can go ahead and watch it yourself.