MEDA101 – Project 3 – Inertia

Project Statement

Inertia – “a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.” Sometimes, we get swept up in life’s inertia – unable to stop ourselves as we are propelled by a constant stream of deadlines, responsibilities, and commitments. We just mindlessly drone on, unaware of exhaustion the strains of our busy lives have plagued us with. Until one day, it all becomes too much… My piece aims to enter the mind of an individual who inevitably spirals, and represent this descent in the form of a visual poem, accompanied by muffled spoken word taken from my reaction to George Lyon’s poem Where I’m From (written below). The dark imagery which forms the poem leaks onto the screen, as I explore both classical cinematic conventions and subvert these using experimental techniques.

Depth and breadth of research into both conventional and experimental audiovisual works

For this piece, I paid close attention to the works shown throughout the lectures. Lectures 7, 8, and 9 particularly resonated with me, as I was able to understand what some classical cinematic techniques were (Lecture 7), and how to subvert these using techniques such as discontinuity editing (Lecture 9). Lecture 8 held particular significance towards my work as it reinforced the art of cinematography (and the film composition that we focused on in Project 1) as well as the importance of colour scheme, which is seen through the colour scheme below which I applied to my piece.

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.42.27 am

Works/theories that had particular impact on my piece include:

  • OFFF Barcelona 2014 Open Titles by Lorem Ipsum / Atelier a visual poem I found on vimeo, which features a progression of strong visual metaphors, in montage form. I liked the non-temporal progression of the piece and the simplicity of vivid images against soft music, so I decided to emulate this throughout my piece. 

  • Persona (1966) dir Ingmar Bergman (opening sequence) – the distance created by placing a hand against a surface interested me – I liked the isolation and disconnection it conveyed. This also related to a line of my poem:  “I, from dust, blood, abode and entity,/ Am safe behind mine false armoured glass -“. Thus, my piece appears as a progression of random visual metaphors drawing heavy inspiration from this work.
  • Miley Cyrus – Fitzpleasure – the dark imagery, tessellations, cloning, kaleidoscopic editing, and the hinge effect at the close of the piece heavily inspired the editing techniques I used in my work.
  • Italian Neo-realism – the concept behind the remoscopes used in project 1, and the Lumiere Rules, intrigued me as I found that creativity stemmed from placing restrictions on myself. So, for this project I mostly followed the Lumiere Rules (Static shots, no sounds, no zoom etc.) but subverted these rules by using them in combination with post production special effects and discontinuity editing techniques. I also began my piece using a non-actor, and then signify a switch to pre-orchestrated movement through a black-out cut.
  • The Kuleshov Effect – I considered this effect when the subject sits at the beach and it cuts to a POV shot of the water.

Conceptual exploration of the topic and theme

I originally intended to translate my re-written Where I’m From poem onto the screen, using synchronised spoken word and a backing track. But as the project went on, I found that the poem became more of a basis rather than a storyline which propels the piece. I focused on where I’m from physically in project 1, and focused on realism in sound scapes to create a narrative in project 2. So, for this project, I wanted to focus on the type of film-making I enjoy – abstract conceptual art pieces, which mostly come in a form similar to a music video. I believe that music is integral in creating mood, and when paired with symbolic visuals a compelling story (even if this story is not temporal) can be told. So, through this piece I wanted to present the internal spiral of an individual, using the black-out cuts to signify major shifts within them (as the style of editing shifts with each cut), with the sudden shift in music intending to raise tension for the climax of the piece. This climax comes in the form of the paint-smothering sequence. Which becomes an extended metaphor for the tainting of oneself – whether it be through self doubt, fear, self-destructive behaviours, the torment of mental struggles, or personal adversities – this metaphor is intended to be specific for the individual viewer. For myself however, I wanted to represent the potential for anxiety to become debilitating and the frustrations of trying to overcome it in order to the live the ‘peaceful’ life which opens the film accompanied by serene music.

Effective use of audio and visual media in conveying meaning

The piece was mainly driven by the visuals, however I had a clear idea of what I wanted the audio to do. I wanted the audio to create a mood which is emulated by the visuals which accompany it, so I created a song which begins very calm, but has moments of ‘glitchiness’ (represented by glitch effects on screen), the song then takes a dramatic shift as the visuals become heavily edited and abstract. Voices are then heard, but it is unclear if they are being heard within the subject’s mind or if they are completely non-diegetic, this is paired with hazy visuals portraying the confusion and cluttering of one’s mind when they are anxious. I produced the song entirely in Garage Band using MIDI recordings, and edited the clips using both Premier Pro and After Effects. Some stock footage such as smoke was used as overlays to allude to aspects of my poem.

Execution and presentation of ideas through the audiovisual form

I became very ill during the course of this project, making it very hard to shoot all the footage I originally wanted. So, I had to work with what I had and adapt my project so it still fulfilled my concept. I also had to decide to cut certain shots out if I could not colour grade them subtly enough to fit the colour scheme (some shots featured too much green or red). I definitely learnt that sometimes you have to sacrifice small elements of the work in order to serve its grander purpose.

Please enjoy my project, Inertia which is embedded below, accompanied by my poem which inspired it.


Where I’m From



Bustling skies

That stand silent in a vacuum-sucked smog.






Whilst foamy sopping fingers scrape coarse grit. 


God’s pattered tear drops

That lull softly, softly to sleep.

Like tottering trains,

Endlessly droning nowhere but

Bleak devastations, once grand –

Veiled by time-ripe tumbling vines.


Frightening lightning,

Thunder claps. Heat waves left long,

Longing for stale-bitter bites

From frosty winter mornings.




Scorched behind

Blue sheets of deep.

I, from dust, blood, abode and entity,

Am safe behind mine false armoured glass –





Limbs stumped in

Molten tar forever struggling

Straining, scrawling, writhing, thrashing, fighting…

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