We began the project by breaking up into groups of 4. Mine was myself, Yehimi, Laurel, and Kathryn.
As a group, we were blind folded and given an object to feel and determined what it felt like. It was a very soft, rounded object, with a fluffy part to it. We were in agreement that it felt like a plush toy, and Kathryn and I brought our childhood associations into is, assuming it was a Charmander doll based on the elongated bit ending in fluff and the rounded, fluff-less top.
I came up with the concept of a child’s bedroom, since that was what I associated plush toys with. We knocked around ideas on what other child-like places we could film for a while, trying to figure out what would be appropriate, when Yehimi suggested filming in our own bedrooms. We exchanged contact information and made a facebook page to contact each other with and then set up a time to meet to film.
We went to each others rooms in groups and found things to film, Yehimi in charge of the camera itself. It was really hard working around our different schedules, and Kathryn had to drive me home on filming day because it was dark by the time we were done. While filming, we noticed Kathryn’s Disney Tinkerbell cup next to some of her medication and we decided a juxtaposition between the very child-like and very adult would provide a good demonstration of how we viewed our object: looking back on something childish from the standpoint of an adult.
Yehimi put together the video and as a group we came up with what we would do for the actual performance. Kathryn, our dancer, put together the base for a dance around spontaneity, to mimic children playing. It was very loose choreography, not meant to look the same twice. The rest of us were to be “dolls” and only move when interacted with. Laurel brought toys to also be interacted with.
Upon revision, we scraped most of the performance in favor of a more structured choreography for all of us to follow that created a bigger juxtaposition between “child” and “adult.” We wanted sound for our piece, something that also juxtaposed child and adult.
It was hard to meet during the snow days, given that I’m a commuter student, but we found time to meet and looked for inspiration. We found a video of a baby dance class on youtube and used it as a base for our “childish” sound. We put together a script for a preschool teacher and had me read it out loud in my best impression of Glinda the Good for recording. We then put together a recording of us all talking about adult things, talking about classes, what’s stressful right now, reading from textbooks, etc. We actually had to record this twice, because the first file would not work on Yehimi’s computer. Once everything was nice and recorded, Yehimi reworked the footage into a new video that aligned with the sound.
We put the choreography to synch with the shifts in the sound between school teacher and adult talk. The movement was designed to be following the baby dance instructions and move like children would, and to doing motions that simulate stress and worry. We practiced this and reworked the exact movements several times before putting it into practice.
We also had to change locations, because the blackboard in the original room cut into the video projection too badly. We thought about the studio, thinking the mirrors would have an audience inclusive effect, however we were not able to use it. Instead, we asked Leah if we could move things around in one of the other rooms and were able to use a blank wall.