Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cook Crash Course

Nummer Twee by Guido Van Der Werve

Cathy Cook's visit was a gift that brightened a snowy day. Not only was she a great speaker, but her crash course on film-making techniques and use of text in video was invaluable to our film-making careers. I found all of her examples to be very relevant to our upcoming collaboration with Asha Srinivasan's composition class, but there was one in particular that stood out to me, and most likely to everyone in the class. Guido Van Der Werve's quirky, 2 minute 40 second video Nummer Twee (uploaded above in disappointingly bad quality), is a prime example of how text should be used in film. To me, text should not be used to tell us how should feel or what we should see when watching a video, but instead should be used as a part of the art itself. In other words, it should be used as a catalyst that sets the video in motion, not as a stepping stone that dictates how we feel at certain points during the film. Nummer Twee succeeds in posing delicate questions about life and death, motivation and purpose, all by using about four sentences that set the tone for the entire piece. It is eery and provacative, and has given me several ideas for our upcoming project.

Besides her examples, Cathy also talked about the importance of making storyboards when doing video. I don't think I have ever actually made a storyboard before, choosing to just rely on the chaos that's in my head to help me come up with a more interesting idea, which works sometimes, but not all the time. For this project I will definitely utilize the storyboard when making my video to see what comes of it. Not only is it a good organizational tool but seeing your thoughts laid down on paper can help you better articulate whether or not this is an idea that should be expanded on, discarded, or left untouched.

Cathy Cook's talk enlightened me to many of the things I should probably already know as a beginning filmmaker, and I'm so happy that I had the chance to hear her speak.


  1. Rachele, it is good to know that you will be using a storyboard for your upcoming project because a filmmaker ought to have a clear understanding of what he/she wants to do before taking any major steps. I used to be the same as you; I would just rely on my unorganized and chaotic brain and follow my ideas as I went along. However, after a while I learned how important it is to pre-plan everything because that way, you are well aware of what your goal is and what exactly you are trying to portray through your work.

    As for the example, Nummer Twee, I also found it as very inspirational and provocative. It is such an abstract, yet realistic film that makes us wonder what the afterlife will bring to us upon our death. The background sound and the text are synchronized well together and accompany the film ideally, while forming a beautiful piece of art for the audience to see.

  2. I agree with Anam about the importance of story boarding your project. It's like outlining a paper, it'll help you stay focused on your goals while still keeping your artistic vision in mind. I'm excited to see how Cathy's talk inspires your work.

  3. The elegance of the ballerinas in traditional tutus dancing on the cobblestone street (coming out of a van!) with the enveloping sound transports the viewer of Nummer Twee to another state of mind. The contrasts of sights and sounds and the carefully framing makes it.