I would absolutely do it differently. Probably start with better interview question, hopefully have more time to work one on one with someone since we were split into a group of three. I would have dug deeper with questions, most likely tried to use my own camera equipment as well as the things provided to take video, set up some more scenarios. I would have established a more specific, strategic outline/storyboarding on how I wanted to tackle the project and hopefully follow through with more precise execution. I learned how complicated the process involved in making a film really is, and how many different tedious little things have to be done to make it just right, also that operator failure in some cases is inevitable and unfortunate. The editing process was challenging and instructive for me, at times giving me a headache and others a great sense of revelation at what I was able to accomplish. It’s difficult to say whether or not I’m truly happy with the work, it’s very rough and I honestly wish I could change the whole thing and it shows that I do not have a grasp on the production of an entire piece on my own, and that I’m not even close to being ready for something bigger than this. The project was definitely a learning experience for me, probably in more ways intended, I know now how to go about doing an interview, much more on the process of how to make a film.
The Underbelly Project is/was an art installation that took place in an abandoned subway tunnel in New York City, with murals of large magnitude painted onto the subway’s walls. This video from the New York Times documents its conception. As far as sounds go in the video, the only noise to be heard is the soundtrack, which is a simple piece of music that accompanies the piece well; the idea of the gallery under the city is sort of fantastical and the sequence of film shown is almost otherworldly, by setting it to this specific soundtrack it alludes more to the sense of fantasy that is being created. They used different methods in editing the film together, from stop motion with a camera to a time lapse and extended exposure times. Using a time lapse to display this idea of a gallery remaining eternally under the city is quite clever. They’re showing how it went up over time but also alluding to how it will be there forever. The stop motion also worked as a good walkthrough, to display the different things going on and the movement within the tunnel without just rolling along on a camera. Had they chosen to run actual footage through the tunnel it wouldn’t have the same sense of non-reality, a world apart. The cuts, although obvious from being stop motion, blend together fairly fluidly; there’s never a question of how we got to one spot from another or where the story might be going.
For the sound walk, I spent an hour wandering the streets of my neighborhood, Chinatown and the Lower East Side/SOHO. One of the spots filled with the most cacophony and intricate sounds was the stairwell of my apartment. In the five flights I walk up, I heard various pots clanging together, breaking the air harshly, coupled with the shouts of various dialects of Chinese, harmoniously mingling with the patter of footsteps frantically coming down the stairs. The rats in the walls added a non-conformist rhythm to the mix of sounds. On the street outside, the sounds were amplified by the wind that was howling on this particular day, the hissing of a steam vent up the block and the rumble of cars slowly moseying down the street. Music, the whine of an east Asian instrument floods the air, rising above the honks and revved engines down Chrystie St. Chinese chatter again saturates the air nearby, coarse, rough shouts and the crinkling of cash traded. Scuttling and splashes of live crustaceans and fish break the exchanges. The honking of Bowery becomes dominant, cars speeding and breaks squeaking intermittent. The sounds alter drastically as SOHO approaches, unfamiliar tones of Chinese switch to listless English, loud, and intrusive. Tourists chortling about shopping, matched with the screaming silence of New Yorker’s, making no noise other than stomping on grates. A subway whips past below, the screeching momentarily deafening, with the muffled voice of the announcer jumping to join the city life. It’s amazing to hear the drastically different sounds of the city coming together to form some unnaturally synthesized symphony.