To film the walking footage I decided to use my iphone because I did not feel comfortable using one of PCA’s cameras for this kind of filming. The reason for this was because the camera would be pointing downwards toward the feet whilst moving and I was worried that there might be the possibility of the camera getting damaged. I could have hired a GoPro camera – which I understand is specifically used for active filming but decided that I didn’t have enough time to get inducted in using this equipment.
I initially tried to film myself wearing similar plimsolls but after watching it back several times, I felt it did not give the impression of a child walking. I wanted to film a child’s footsteps as opposed to an adults so it would relate to school.
As I also wanted to use footage of an apple in a tree, I decided that I would experiment with adding an apple or apple core to the walking film. I initially started filming and then threw an apple core to the ground and kicked it as I walked. This did not create a steady visual and the footsteps became disjointed in rhythm.
I then decided to place an apple on the pavement in my pathway. The apple would only be visible for a second or so when walked passed. I felt this would give a subtle glimpse of the apple to the viewer and would not be too overpowering.
Several days later, I decided to ask my daughter is she would help me this this set of filming. After numerous takes and re-positioning of iphone camera (sometimes her feet weren’t visible or she had her finger over the camera), we managed to get some usable footage. I was also happy with the sound of the footsteps as well as the background sound of the birds as it felt more natural and less constructed.
After some online research I realized that I would not be able to film an actual ripe apple tree because it was the wrong time of year. I tried to look online to see whether I could find some stock footage but unfortunately there was a charge to get the footage/remove watermark and I would probably have to credit the film-maker in my work.
I decided to be a bit inventive and hired a Canon 600D from PCA’s ERC. After researching online, I found out the shape of the apple tree leaf so that I could find something similar in the park. However, when I got to the park I could not find a tree which would be suitable. On returning to my house, I noticed an overgrown plant/shrub of some sort in my garden with similar leaves to an apple tree. I had bought an apple with a stem still attached and carefully taped it to a branch of my garden plant. It worked surprisingly well so I filmed about a minute of footage with the apple having a similar composition to the plimsolls and Newton’s Cradle footage.
After I had filmed the apple, I loosened the tape a little and began filming again. This time the apple detached itself and dropped to the floor. I was extremely pleased with this effect and felt it related to education (i.e. physics) as well as the many cliches which one may remember on witnessing this (i.e. an apple never falls far from the tree, one bad apple spoils the barrel etc). There is also a sense of freedom or breaking free which I also felt worked well with my ideas of school and perhaps feeling that time is dragging and you’ll never leave.
Filming the Newton’s Cradle was a particularly frustrating task. I had purchased a small cradle online but unfortunately the motion of ticking only lasted approximately 10 seconds before slowing down. Also, because of the sphere’s reflective quality, I had a problem with what would be reflected and visible in the film. Furthermore I was not sure at what angle I wanted to film the cradle, so made several experiments as follows:
Image by Helanie Moore
As the images demonstrate I tried several different angles and lighting to create as many options for myself as possible. I could later decide which would be the most suitable during the editing process. I felt that the last piece of footage (as per the image directly above) would perhaps work best with the plimsolls footage because they had a similar composition (spheres and plimsolls were toward the upper right of the screen). I thought these two films would compliment each other more effectively however, I would keep the rest of the films in case I was wrong. I also felt that I preferred the films which only used three spheres as this gave the impression of a central figure receiving ongoing pressure and tension from both directions.
I hired a Canon 600D and tripod from PCA’s ERC Department and set about filming the plimsolls.
My first attempt at filming was fairly straight forward however I was unable to focus in close enough to the plimsolls. Also when I watched the footage back, the dull, dark sky made the film particularly eerie. Although I wanted the piece to perhaps insinuate a slightly negative feeling, I felt that the lighting gave a far too sombre effect.
I decided to borrow a stronger lens from the ERC a few days later so that I could shoot some more focused footage. However, I was unhappy with how much detail was on show and didn’t like that you could see the brand of the shoes as I felt this would be too distracting. Also, I was incredibly sunny on the day of filming and I felt the colours were too strong for what I wanted to achieve and would not create the slightly darker mood that I wanted. I needed to find a happy medium between the two.
I went back to the original use of the camera without the stronger lens a few weeks later but unfortunately I could no longer see the plimsolls clearly because of the leaves that had grown over springtime. Although I was not particularly happy with doing so (I did not think this would be as credible) I reluctantly decided to recreate the image using some old plimsolls that had belonged to my step daughter – which ironically had been abandoned in my under-stair cupboard for the last 2 years.
I went to my local park, found a suitable tree which was easy to reach, checked that the sun would not be directly behind the plimsolls when filming and flung the shoes into the tree (I made sure I was able to retrieve them after filming). This was a slightly frustrating experience as the park was fairly busy and some dog-walkers let their dogs run directly into the tripod but fortunately, after I had managed to get some reasonable footage, I saw the funny side.
I was happy with the film during this attempt and felt I had found a balance between the earlier two films – in terms of colour and lighting.
BA (Hon) Fine Art, Critical & Curatorial Practices