Sunday, 22 May 2016

Colourkeeper ' its a bit of a crap title isn't it' (cue tears)


 ( The above clip is one of the short animations of which there are over a hundred or so which later got incorporated into the final 2009/10 version of my film, Colourkeeper, but by then it was called 'The lost art of keeping a secret' a still from that sequence would eventually be turned into the painting below)

Last bus ( film exit) 2010

Rowena came up with a rough script which she had titled Colourkeeper and with funding from Offaly county councils art office I went shopping for the hardware I'd need to put together to work on something longer and more complicated than Jaw Jaw . Over the winter I was house sitting in Tullamore and had access to a reasonably fast Internet connection so began sourcing material I could use in the video , Rowenas paintings and the script she had given me had a lot of war and conflict related imagery but her paintings alone wouldn't fill the envisaged 15 minutes . I also realized I was going to have to do a lot more stop motion animation using images from her paintings combined with props which fitted the ideas I had as to the look and feel I wanted to achieve . In a big sense Rowena's paintings were merely the starting point for ideas which eventually filled dozens of dvds and to this day take up over 200gb on my external hard drive , along with 3 or 4 distinct versions of the final film, it became more my ideas than Rowena's as she had fairly quickly lost interest in the whole project . I told her of ideas that I'd had and directions I was taking the film in , and showed her rough cuts of various scenes but after the initial script her involvement in making it was fairly minimal.

Getting the first version made was a nightmare , then as now I build up all of my own computers , but back in 2006-2007 I was still using windows xp to create and edit. The finished film was eventually shown at a short film festival hosted by Birr theater and gallery , the weeks and months before that were a nightmare of photographing , building small stage sets in my mobile home and dealing with a computer which constantly crashed and burned half way through a particularly long series of edits . It got so bad , and the software so unreliable that I would burn DVDS of works in progress taking a snapshot of the directory the program lived in so that I wouldn't lose any edits I had made as the program periodically reached a save point . I was so frustrated with the whole thing I had to get a second computer and nearly kicked the first one physically out of the door of the mobile . I had to have something to show Rowena and the arts office so I managed to get this, the very first edit together.

I still like this very first version , it was a struggle to put it together, frustrating, but I could feel the story at the back of it , at the time both my and Rowena's work dealt more or less with our shared childhood past , so images and ideas within it would make sense to either of us, which is why I felt confident in taking the film In the direction it went in. But I will deal with the later versions and why they came about in the next few posts.

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