By William Sansom
William is a film producer based in the UK and this week he writes a guest blog for us about Producing film and visual imagery in these times when our spacial movement is restricted.
You can see more examples of his work on his website www.closerangefilms.com.
Producing film and visual imagery in a time when our spacial movement is restricted is not easy. The key ingredient for any shoot is the location, and recent events have taken away our means to explore interesting places. Projects are on hold, incomes and expenditure are reduced making for an uncertain future. The rules of the game for the time being have changed, so how do we play on?
The key is to adapt to our environment. Our limited means to shoot and produce new imagery has resulted in a homogenous advertisement aesthetic born out of this period of lockdown taking the form of multiple self shot videos offering re-assurance and support in these uncertain times. They all look so similar that it is hard to differentiate between an advert for banking, life insurance, supermarkets or devices with Zoom functionality. Due to the fact that right now, the only way to safely film yourself is to film it yourself.
It provides some form of comfort to see we’re all in the same boat, yet although it unites us, individuality has been lost in the multiplicity of screen shots. Adverts are reduced to talking heads in a picture frame. When it comes to identity association and recognition, we’re playing a game of Guess Who with a bunch of friendly faces. Who are we in all this?
We are fixed in a frame locked in our domestic geography and for now the law and circumstances dictate that we cannot break out of this mould until it is safe to do so. Whenever that is. Has the managing this virus taken away not only our geographical mobility but our identity as well?
Maybe for a little while. But what it has given us is an abundance of time to take stock of our visual identity through the archives of our professional and personal images that we’ve stored away over the years. We have time on our hands to take regular trips down memory lane. People are posting old images of their younger selves. We can apply the same approach to our creative endeavours. We have been given an opportunity to look back over our canon of work. This temporal lull is a gift allowing us to take stock.
When we are repositioning our visual identity in a brave new world we have the opportunity to air old favourites and potentially put them in front of new audiences. Perhaps we can re-voice our existing film and video content with a narration of awareness for the times we face. Its time to indulge in the striking aesthetics that were available to us when we were free to roam the planet.
I have terabytes of footage from trips and projects which often get backed up and lost in the endless flow of hard drives. It’s been nice to get the opportunity to unearth lost footage and approach this material with fresh eyes. Motivation is a bit lacking at the moment, so it’s rewarding to produce short form content which offers a sense of escapism back to a time of global mobility and endless laughs.
Its time to play our collective film and video highlights to one another, and use this time in the economic doldrums as an opportunity for celebration of our collective cinema. This is the time to inspire one another by enjoying the best of our creative endeavours and landmark achievements that have aided us on our unique trajectories that have delivered us to where we are lucky enough to be today. The films needn’t be fully formed, they are just ideas designed to inspire and spark creativity when the restrictions are removed and we can get back to what motivates us.
Isolation heightens our sense of wanderlust. Feed this need by showing your captive audience of who you are and what you can do. So that when normal service resumes they will thank you for replaying the good times and reminding us of all the things we can look forward to.
Jethro Haynes (Instagram @jethrohaynes www.jethro-haynes.com
Submarine Photography in Mallorca.
The Tanzil Rahman Experience
My first feature length music documentary shot at multiple locations around India in 2007.
Architecture of my Uncle Mike
As a cathartic method of dealing with the death of my uncle Mike in 2016, I shot some iconic locations and models of the architectural designs displayed in his study.
Will Sansom is a film producer based in the UK you can find out more about him here www.closerangefilms.com or follow him on Instagram: @williamsansom