“If it [what is ugly] is concealed, it must be uncovered in the light of the comic way of looking at things; if it is noticed only a little or scarcely at all, it must be brought forward and made obvious, that it lies clear and open to the light of day… in the way the caricature comes about”.
Jokes And Their Relation To The Unconscious.


Ugly is beauty. I like the idea of a film that focuses on the over-looked formats/forms that exist within the commercial / consumer nature of moving image. 
[VCR menu]

Why not use the aesthetic and interactive interface to produce an animation?
A film taken such form would allow the authorship to be visually depicted within the film. The director is controlling the shots, able to alter reality in a god-like manner, similar to the voice in John Smiths “A Girl Chewing Gum”.

[The Girl Chewing Gum  dir. John Smith 1976]

The menu set up would be more in keeping with a camcorder menu than VCR, a VCR menu would be setting up the film while a camcorder would be adjusting live action within the present?

[Camcorder Set-up Menu]

Perhaps a film using such a tool could articulate the philosophical debate of freewill vs determinism?  Whilst deconstructing the illusionistic qualities cinema posses over an audience, the film can explore a narrative of…

The ‘menu’ represents the audiences (whom ever that may be?) / a persons freewill that is due to limitations, controlled by that of an author/creator. As the menu is displayed in a video format/technological realm, it would allow observations of consumerism/ capitalism to be explored.

filmmaker_headset-copyHere is a GIF I made… sort of addressing the true motivation behind what a filmmaker desires from screening their work. The format of the menu to show the true psychological motivations for individuals could be funny.

This GIF also cuts to the chase, filmmakers do not care what an audience think of their work but it is only to entertain the film festival programmer. With not caring about their audience, their intention for creating films is purely to update the CV. This sardonic statement is reminiscent of Zappa mocking the authenticity of hippy subculture. A monologue from a protagonist can be heard while they vocalise their plans to look the part from said movement:

“First I’ll buy some beads
And then perhaps a leather band
To go around my head
Some feathers and bells
And a book of Indian lore”

Song: Who Needs The Peace Corps?
Artist: Mothers Of Invention
Album:We’re Only In It For The Money

Having a menu device at the start of the film already sets up the intentions and wishes of the filmmaker as they are SELECTING the films agenda. ‘Film to pull the heart strings of an audience: Selected”.
30/09/16 : Moving Image used as interactive games.

Put It On” replicates a game where an audience are spoken to directly. Reminds me of the VHS Board game, Atmosfear. Atmosfear was the first VHS Board game. The board game has a gatekeeper character who speaks directly to the audience that is playing along to the VHS. 

Similar to AtmosfearParty Mania addresses it’s audience but in lighter fashion. I prefer the angsty dismissive relationship that the gatekeeper has towards his audience. Still the shadow of the Reagan years looms throughout Party Mania, characters are made to do chores so they can attend a party; It all feels too white, too american and inherently pushes the capitalism idealist view on to it’s players subconsciously.

I like the idea of the audience being made aware of the films duration with a timer device, I also like the idea of them being given tasks to complete. There is a humour watching these youtube uploads, not having the board game or playing along the viewer is subjected to periods of five minutes where nothing happens… just the visual of a clock ticking. That simple motif makes an audience realise that time is ticking; Their time is ticking and the films time is ticking.

STOP>Menu.  [I like  the pink menu screen very much]

If a film was to stop and an audience was taken to a menu screen which exposed the inner workings of the filmmakers intentions whilst making a film and then, comically, shed light on their choice of directions. It exposes the authorship of filmmaking in a clever light, exposing a list of editorial decisions and highlighting that the objective nature of documentary is illusionary.

What elements can this cinematic space satirise?

Pre-Production: (Menu is showcased prior to the official start of the film)
A selection menu for the films Agenda.
{A plan for what will happen during the films duration and a plan for the films distribution plan, see GIF}

Menu to select how characters are represented. [Using this idea in documentary plays on the notion that documentary is objective. Highlights that the depiction on screen is an artificial reality, selected by it’s author. And makes a joke that an on-screen character  whose actions appear natural are in fact selected by the filmmaker.

The below GIF shows that the filmmaker is in control of reality far beyond that of the normal human.
By using this ‘menu selection screen’, on a universal level it can be a way to discuss and explore: FREE WILL, DETERMINISM & QUANTUM THEORY.

Are we in control of our actions? Do we make our own luck? If there is more than one of us, what is the other one doing?

Seeing this idea represented in the above GIF reminds me of interactive books from my childhood or can this set-up be seen as a parody of interactive films?

In reference to the introductory quote, the Ugly that the film will be caricaturing/aspect that will be ‘brought forward and made obvious’ is the editorial control of the filmmaker. It is providing the audience with a false sense of interactivity, they are watching the decisions of a filmmaker editing/designing his film/world/universe.

The world of the ‘Main Menu’ Cinematic space should be a homage to this ‘UGLY’  aesthetic, VHS distortion with the up beat by the elevator music… music designed strictly for commercial purposes.

Amazing music, use this music is a MUST!! From The Ceefax House Band. This aesthetic has a sort of vaporwave touch to it.

More from The Ceefax House Band.

What will the observational documentary be about? To understand that I need to know who the character of the Menu Screen is, what it represents (symbolically) and then I can pick a narrative that plays with those themes. Is the menu a pop-up screen that appears after every narrative turning point? Making the film, a retro-esque interactive documentary… (the VHS aesthetic would be contradictory of this, VHS is not a interactive medium unlike a DVD selection therefore I like this inner conflict within the work)… if so why not just make an interactive documentary… the menu itself needs to come to a structural climax… does the menu breakdown? Rebel?  Does all it’s routes lead the audience down the same path… death! Then it becomes a satirical look on life in how we have the illusion of choice.

“To Trick A Women make her think she did it her way” – Jack White,
Song: You’ve got her in your pocket.

There needs to be a narrative structural progression of the character of the “Selection Menu”. How does it progress, does it’s intentions get darker and darker. After all, the illusion of choice is a device used by a manipulator. Does the ‘Menu Selection’ character have Histrionic Personality Disorder?

An example of the ‘Menu Selection’ getting darker as film continues. It becomes nearly Santanic. Does it begin to then attack the audience?

The film/machine begins to glitch much like the music of Macintosh Plus, revealing it’s true colours. Macintosh Plus deconstructs music similar to The CeeFax House Band, perhaps this treatment of The CeeFax House Band allows the film to go into a new narrative avenue. Does this film act similar to the videotape mentioned in The Ring?

Observational footage would be 4:3 to fit with the video look of the “menu selection’ character, also live action footage would be 4:3 therefore making the scenes appear claustrophobic.




Uses the setting of a karaoke machine (commercial use of video) to promote their up-coming festival.

Stills from ‘Generacion Artificial’ … 2mins 27 seconds in… this film is a visiual heaven!
Screen Shot 2016-11-06 at 21.58.36.pngScreen Shot 2016-11-06 at 22.01.15.png

The sound of the world should be inspired from JIM CHICKEN a mixtape made by Connan Mockasin. Mockasin presents a “100% oriental” mix of Japanese pop, traditional folk songs and music from the ’80s anime Maison Ikkoku.

This soundtrack is reminiscent of the ideas of Vaporwave, a influence or saturation of commercialisms affect on society.



So what did this research and thinking lead to?

GSFF 2017 Trailer showcases the notion of glorifying the ‘ugly’ plastic feel that comes with commercialised use of moving image. Set within a karaoke machine, a fantastical location that would be the pinnacle of commercialised media, early
computer graphics glitter the film with camp comedic charm.

The sense of a documentary participants freewill is played with as the karaoke text displays commands for the character instead of song lyrics, “10 seconds to promote Glasgow Short Film Festival 2017”.

With no shame and not denying that the whole purpose of this film is to advertise, the text brings a subconscious element to the piece. A sardonic sneer once again and a contemplative response to the celebration of commercialism.

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