Password videos: Master2019

Exercises and tools to improvise

At the beginning of the master’s, my focus was very much project oriented. A lot of time I got stuck because of my perfectionism. I was constantly searching for the perfect frame to tell my story. I wanted to find the message directly and all the answers which I gave around the concept had to be clear. Partly, this was down to having no space to experiment, the need to write clear ideas to get funding and working in tight schedules. This, of course, froze all the creativity. With small exercises, I began to research my themes and form. The research could then begin to lead more towards the project and so the form became less dictated by what the plan of the project was suggesting. The work in itself began to speak more in the direction of what I was looking for and wanted to say with it. From there, I could question which direction I wanted to go to.

Rise (letting the material speak)

Rise was the first real exercise and experiment for my master’s research. It involved taking a random object as a starting point which was in this case, a brick. From there, I began to go to museums about bricks, look to the history of buildings and began to imagine what the brick itself could represent. The work began to speak for itself and in the end, it was carrying a message that I had not previously planned to find, carry or tell. This exercise helped me to experience how an image can speak for itself without first having to put a theme into the material.

Skin (reframing existing material)

In this experiment, the exercise was to use existing material to tell your own story. I began to decompose the complete material and cut out objects. The skin became the basis of my story. I liked the associate way of working and the distance I had in working with someone else’s material. I took away all meaning and I was able to make a new vocabulary of the existing images. It showed me that you can do anything with every material and restructure it again and again. It helped me to become more playful and less holy towards the material in general. I found that everything can be combined and led to a certain meaning.

The Library (constant reframing)

In this exercise, I played with the concept of chance related to the material. I made a picture of burst images and constantly chose one picture of each series, therefore, was constantly able to make new combinations of the pictures.


This exercise is all about collecting data and then selecting and reordering the material. I think I also used this way of working eventually in the project Touch. It helped me to to see the camera as a device with its own perspective and subsequently I was able to use it in a different way than I would have done otherwise. I no longer felt the need to directly guide, judge or force my view upon the image.


The plague (participatory filmmaking)

Based on a method called Viewpoint, I made the filmmakers into performers and composers of image and movement. This way of creating material was really interesting for me because I could give a guideline or general gestural route. Within that, I was getting more personal images and material which I then could compose and edit. It helped me to see the filming process as a performance itself.

You shall not (combining different material)

First I was directing the work more towards the theme of losing control and my interest in absurdism. I was thinking about Macbeth and the witches. At the same time, I was reading The Rebel of Camus. I was wondering if I could combine the two. The main question of the work became: Who is losing control? The police/state or the rebels? 

Presentations as a place to research.  

Because I was mainly stuck in my mind and overthinking a lot of my work, I tried to get in balance again with my feelings towards my characters, themes, and images. Therefore, I decided to use fewer words to describe my process and to talk more through images instead. In exam 2, I mainly showed images with some small text as guidelines or explanation and in exam 3 I made a PREVIZ film where my improvised voice-over guided us through my mind.

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The mind map as a script 

Explaining and presenting my research during exam 3 was difficult. I had to talk about a process which had yet to be fully completed. I was making frameworks for the shoot but had no idea how they would work so it was difficult to reflect on a method. Eventually, the commission decided to give me another exercise before passing the exam. This exercise aimed to help me find the guidelines for some scenes to shoot. I came up with a mind-map which consisted of 10 chapters. Each chapter described a situation followed by one or two things I wanted to research and a test/experiment of how I would frame this research. This circle became the basic script to work from. It was an easy way to get an overview of possible situations. The circle can still be read as a linear progression of scenes but drawing out the map in this form sets my mind into another way of thinking.