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© 2018 by Noor Dhanju.

KEVIN GERMANIER

MOVING IMAGE AND VIDEO EXPERIMENTS

The first thing I wanted to do for the Video was to use objects from my "Germanier Around Me" physical research and see how they moved or how things looked through them. 

Experiments 2 and 5 were very successful because of their abstraction, colours and haziness, both of which involved my kaleidoscope glasses so I'll be using them going forward.

Since Kevin's work was likened to the Kira Kira app, plus he has used on his social media as he tagged the app, I wanted to explore the app as a potential Germanier lens. I used objects that were in my "Germanier Around Me" list, and I loved the visuals the app created, however it felt like an obvious choice and I didn't feel it was innovative for the brand. I want to push the brand in a new direction and give it a higher level of critical sophistication (new age and challenging), which this line of experiments doesn't do.

When I was photographing the blue bags, I crushed them into interesting silhouettes with the idea that I could collage things into those shapes. However, when I crushed them, they started to unravel before I even took a picture and I thought it looked so beautiful and poetic that an inanimate and toxic object could look alive, as if it were waking up or breathing. I did this with various shapes and I especially liked the shapes in Experiments 1 and 3 because they are abstract yet are reminiscent of organs like lungs and a heart, personifying the bag further.

Since the bags looked like they were alive, I experimented with copying the clip, reversing and repeating this, then speeding up the footage so it looked the bags were breathing organs or pumping away. I adjusted the light and contrast as well since the actual footage looked dull and wouldn't make the final cut.

Out of these 3, I liked iteration 1 ("bag 1") the best since it felt calmer than "bag 2" and "bag 3", both of which were haphazardly shaped and looked a little brash. "Bag 1" unfolded nicely as well, and felt like something I could watch on repeat. That being said, I want to do some experiments with "Bag 2" as well since the shape is compelling and could be seen as a visual explosion that aims to challenge the conventions of the fashion world, just as Kevin does. The juxtaposition between the visuals of "Bag 2" and the calm sense of a breathing organ were well received in feedback from my peers. My peers also said music would accompany this really well, as well as using the Germanier logo would help me make my decision, so I will attempt to create a full length video for the campaign to see my process so far.

Expanding from the feedback I received, I created two videos of the Breathing Bag, both with sound and the Germanier GIF at the end to tie it to the brand, one keyed out. I liked the second GIF one better because the object is abstracted further, and it ties in with the bricolage theme of the campaign, hence I will use that. However, my peers said that it wouldn't be as enticing to watch because both the visuals and the soundtrack are slow paced, and they need some more fun and excitement that comes through from the brand. This was also the opinions of my tutor as well.

One of the first ideas I had for this brand after minimal research was my burnt plastic series - I have for some time been burning found plastic so it contorts into abstract shapes, turning that into artwork, dresses and silhouettes for dresses, scanning them and reflecting light through them. However, I didn't want to leap into this trail of though immediately because as Daniel says, the magic happens outside the comfort zone. It's important to have a niche but constantly producing that won't help you grow. So, after much research and a clear vision, I burnt the plastic bottle, hoping to use some footage of the final shape being formed and contorted in the final video, which is why I shone light through my kaleidoscope glasses in the background. This wasn't a successful experiment but showed my process, which is what I liked. I won't use the footage for the final video but I will shine light though it because when I set it down it looked very interesting. The reason I used a plastic bottle and not another form of plastic is because Kevin's latest collection uses fabric made of plastic bottle waste. Turning that into art is keeping in line with the brand identity.

There were three things I wanted to do with the plastic bottle for the final video to give it the Germanier vibe: shine light through it, reflect light from my glasses onto it, and film it through my glasses. As a video, the most successful of the 3 is Experiment 1 because its visuals are so stunning and abstract, and they are calm and immersive as well. It was also the one my peers and friends most liked through a poll on Instagram and sending that across.

Stepping away from plastic, I wanted to tune into the fun vibe of the Germanier brand, and I feel a reference to disco is key in a subtle way. I filmed a disco ball in the Holborn campus and zoomed in so they looked like flickering squares and was abstracted. I added some filters and colours to it to further abstract it however the experiments weren't as successful, though I liked the footage. I will keep it in the back of my mind as I continue to make more experiments.

Inspired by the Kintsugi and Wabi Sabi themes, I wanted to use references of gold in my work. I had taken these photos a while back, and turned them into a video with "Fight against Time" by Waveshaper as the soundtrack. I thought it didn't work out for the Germanier brand at all since it had no relation, however the blurred reflection of light that the gold leaf gave off was really nice and I may experiment with the leaf later on.

Coming back to the idea of collaging into the blue plastic bag, I created some iterations of a fish swimming through it as it expanded. For me, the second experiment was the most successful as it was abstract yet intriguing, and received approval from my friends as well. I also personally felt the overall set of experiments was really successful.

Having created a playlist on Spotify of songs that were inspiring me for the video, three songs worked really well in a fashion film and Germanier brand context. I used these songs and paired them with footage I was experimenting with layering into and over the breathing plastic bag. I also took the gold leaf video I wanted to which worked really well on top of my hand. I blurred the lens to give it an updated Kira Kira effect. Out of the three songs, Exxus (Patten Remix) worked the best since there was visual dichotomy with the visuals being so loud and noisy, and the song being calm. The song also worked really well because it sounded so cacaphonic, like a collage itself, with elements of nostalgia and disco as well so it seemed futuristic. It is also challenging to the norms of music used in Fashion Film, and for the actual outcome I imagine Glass Animals working to create a similar sound, but wholly unique for the brand.

Going with the collage theme, I mushed together a lot of footage in fun ways to create a dramatic piece which thematically explored stepping inside the Germanier world, alluded with the expanding plastic bag silhouette in the beginning. There is imagery that responds to various landscapes and overall was very successful.