I took advantage of having to commute all the way to New Cross in South London to get some footage.
I thought this would be a good old opportunity as I could do two initial ideas; filming in the London Underground and on the streets, and emulating Pennebaker’s Daybreak Express as part of the commute took place on the London Overground.
I stuck the camera into the granny trolley/dolly and started wheeling it all around London, focusing especially on abnormally excellent light areas. It was a very fortunate day as bright sunlight pervaded throughout, perfect conditions. I filmed around Baker Street Station, inside the Baker Street and Canada Water underground stations, on Waterloo Bridge and on the Overground line to New Cross Gate. I documented the process photographically too.
The raw footage looks promising but will require heavy editing, as I mostly shot long takes inside the trolley which will need to be cut down.
This street-filming approach fits in nicely with previous and future (hopefully) projects where I’ve looked at depicting cities. I started to think about early modernist films with the same goal, like Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera. I want to try and emulate Vertov’s rapid industrial montage when I start editing.
Dziga Vertov- Man With a Movie Camera
I also came up with the idea of emulating the great experimental filmmaker Bruce Conner, an associate of the Beat Generation and hippie movements. He made an installation for three projectors called Three Screen Ray, which I saw with some friends in New York during the summer. It is a fantastic film in which lots of different pieces of film are edited into an insanely frenetic montage to the Ray Charles song “What’d I Say”. I might try a similar approach, editing to music, with my footage.
Stills from Bruce Conner’s Three Screen Ray