There was this assignment from my uni, to create a photo story of no more than 30 photos that tells a full story without any words, and plays with momentum emotions provoked by not only the quality of the photos, but by their emotional value. The per say audience needed to understand the feelings illustrated by our camera skills, that is to say, by our eye of capturing a certain expression or gesture that speaks for itself.
Trying to be creative and somewhat spontaneous, I chose, after hours of thinking plots over, to depict media manipulation and brainwashing by creating Mr. Tv Head for real and letting him run free and infect other people with the absurdity of his content. That is to blindfold them and shove them back into society, faceless and soulless. Here’s the catch: the subject of our choosing for this assignment had to be connected somehow to youth. So I though “Young people are often shifty and easy to temper with; they can easily switch their opinion and then be manipulated.” I transferred my original concept to a suburban area where three young women, students, occupy the same building. Then I planted the walking and breathing image of Mr. Tv Head before their eyes, in an open area, easy to be spotted and interacted with. I imagined him transmitting provocative and easy to translate signals, that drew these three girls to him in a subconscious level, and then actually made them go out and walk towards him.
In addition I introduced a masked anarchist, an anxious, rebellious character found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Within his own plans of mischief this situations plugs itself and he decides to take a closer look only to engage in a combat with the televised villain.
Sadly the three girls have already been converted, a quick ritual that disconnects them from their own morality and own opinions. Thus far propaganda has won and youth is failing to be cautious of the dangers lurking.
The masked hero performs an attack, swiftly defeating the Tv Head with his bat, shattering the boundaries set.
Alas, as he kneels, curiously unmasking the face behind the black screen, he finds himself confused, week before the power of the all-consuming monster that is the media.
The final photo shows the hero as the new villain, a new Tv Head set to continue the manipulative chain.
Not an entirely negative finale, but a realistic one: One masked vigilante initially refuting slavery is not nearly enough to alert all. He falls a victim too. Basically the plot
Making a decent looking TV from cardboard, spray and black reflective foil was the easy part, as all it took was finding a stable big box, cutting a few breathing holes through it, spraying the frame, putting down the foil and voila. My villain couldn’t see anything, but at least he was secure enough with me moving him around.
Now the shooting took a little above two hours. We were lucky to get some sun and an empty field, and before long I had 180 photos of which I needed 30. Cutting them down to the limit wasn’t very easy – though much of the word had my professor – there are some nice shots which alone provoke and also look very creepy!
But after a few more hours of playing with different views and arranging the story shot by shot, I had them. Editing and so on took another day, as I was looking for some gloomy and dark color to substitute the blue sky and sunshine. I ended up with this greenish color that fitted the story. The other version was a burst of apocalyptic yellow.
So now that it’s done, ( amateur and all) I though I’d show it here, and hopefully for your entertainment you’ll watch a short clip of the final product: