I had a flash today while listening to a Democracy Now report on http://storycorps.org, a huge oral history project catching the compelling eloquence of regular folks. That’s sort of what ALM is about too – finding extraordinary answers to global survival in ourselves.
I was thinking how cool it would be to visualize Storycorp histories with maybe animation or collage. It could be fun to listen to these stories and make sketches, to draw what came to mind and then match the sketches to the audio later. There’s power enough in the human voice alone, especially when the speaker is recorded in a dark room without the distractions of camera, bright lights and staring interviewer. With a shift to the internal world, memory playback becomes more vivid and descriptions more intense and compelling.
The brilliant colors that fire in the dark theater of imagination could be rediscovered. Rather than complementing narrative audio with contextual b-roll or a sync shot of the head that’s talking, interviews could be illustrated from inside that head. Then it hit me, this is the enhanced b-roll idea I need for the ALM interviews.
Backstory – While talking to Steve Elrick about his thoughts on the November 28 ALM sneak preview, I proposed the idea of enhanced b-roll for the interviews. I’ve got these heads talking and some cutaway imagery to edit to (b-roll), but we’ve seen all that before. It’s the same old, here’s the talent speaking and here’s some contextual shots to cover the edits. But what if there were b-roll custom built from scratch that took the moment to another level? What if we could see what the talent saw, an impressionistic glimpse of the talents own experience? Is this an opportunity to innovate the whole technique of b-roll beyond present art, redefine b-roll? Perhaps…
So here’s how I can start. I identify the audio for the segments I want to use and sketch some new visuals, forgetting completely about the live action. I can pull from the vast vocabulary of animation and live action to visualize them – cell, collage, clay, 3D, visual remix. I could recruit a slew of visual artists to help, especially my talented visual friends currently sucking wind in the not yet recovered economy. Viola, turbo b-roll. Illustrate it as if it were oral history, that’s the ticket. Make art, yay!
The “evolution” of Hello World is already leaning in this direction. The stop action treatment works, folks like it. Andrea said it was projected my delightful personality more accurately than my actual live action improvs. Sounds like a direction to me.