Let’s talk about ideas…

In Commentary, FILM, THEATRE & TV, HOME by Hannah Oliver

Let’s talk about ideas, baby.

Let’s talk about the good ones, and the bad ones too. More specifically let’s talk about where ideas come from. Dali had hallucinogens, Jagger had a love for music and cocaine, and I’ve got coffee. But let’s talk about the more deep-seeded origin of ideas, the driving force which compels us makers to make … something. Some thing, that we can then call art. I’m sure each artist has their own highly subjective reasons for creating the things they create, but my reasons are quite simple, and it’s usually one of the two:

‘People Should See This.’

‘I wish I had made that – I’m gonna make that.’

In the case of the video above, it was very much the latter. Filmed over the course of 3 days during Innovative Learning Week, Fragments of Berlin is my attempt at mimicking the videography, sound design, and editing techniques set forth in Watchtower of Turkey. Created by Leonardo Dalessandri, Watchtower of Turkey is a masterpiece in its own right.

I’m quite happy with my attempt at a recreation, though it doesn’t come close to conveying emotions and thoughts in the way that Watchtower does. This is the curse of being a perfectionist whilst still learning a craft. Perpetual disappointment has to be expected – and learned to be ignored.

By contrast, my future project, which will be a weekly feature here on Prancing Through LIFE, is one of those ‘People Should See This’ ideas. I have been very fortunate to have fallen in with some fabulously talented people here in Edinburgh, and as such I am constantly being casually subjected to art and humour which often has me verbally exclaiming that ‘People Should See This!’

The problem with these moments is that they too often occur when all of us are quite intoxicated. The ideas flow freely through the whisky mists, and the next morning both the moment and the ideas have been lost to a hangover. For most people this is just part of daily life. Drunken ideas are too often left unexplored due to laziness or apathy. Unless of course you are like me, and your passion and foolhardy tenacity compel you to create whatever cockamamie schemes you hatched over last night’s pint glass(es). Most of my lengthier projects such as The Flyerer, Rock Docs: Behind the Music, and Fragments of Berlin, were all spawned in one state of inebriation or another, and usually preceded by the phrase ‘Dude, we should totally …’

In fact, the night before writing this little article I spawned another one of these crazy ideas with the help of some friends, and that idea will soon be joining Walking with Humans and So there I was…as a semi-regular show on my Youtube channel.

So back to where I was.

Talking about So there I was…(abbreviated STIW) is one of these ‘People Should See This’ ideas. Spawned from listening to my friends tell stories from their lives in all manner of intoxicated atmospheres, STIW is my attempt at recreating these moments in a highly controlled environment. With cameras.

The setup is simple. One camera, one microphone, one white photographic backdrop, one storyteller, and a relaxed atmosphere. I will be actively encouraging the storytellers to be drinking or smoking throughout the story, so as to have the performance be as relaxed and natural as possible, despite the menacing camera and blinding studio lighting. First up will be the amazing poet Kevin Mclean, who’s been featured here on PTL before. I’m not entirely sure how this will go, but I am damn excited to see what comes out.

And I think you guys should be excited too.

For now, I hope you enjoy Fragments of Berlin. You’ll be seeing me again soon.

Perry Jonsson

Perry Jonsson is a jack of all trades artist, working mostly within photography, videography, and graphic design. He spends a lot of time hanging out with poets, which probably isn’t great for his perspective on life. When Perry isn’t doing art he’s working towards his engineering degree. He wants to grow up to be Wes Anderson.

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