The platform and I are gradually settling in. I still have to resist changing the shot and let go of that bit now (although bizarrely I have been neglecting the one thing I do have control over – and have found myself making a mental note each day to check my bloody hair!)
Strangely the process is already making feel like time is going slower – I notice how long it is between filming one day and filming the next. This is maybe due to my own impatience, I want to make the entire film now, but I can’t help wonder whether there is an unconscious part of me that has devised this whole exercise just to make myself slow down and stay in one place for a while. Right now it feels good. It removes a whole area of decision making from my life and like choosing the shot it actually feels good to relinquish control. Instead I can get on with making work, and allow things to happen here, which is partly what this project is designed to do. I still don’t have quite enough money to get me through the year yet but I do have some time to figure this out. And I have lots of plans for fun projects as well like spending the year learning the Ukulele.
Knowing I am going to be in one place for a whole year also weirdly opens up more possibilities for surprise. I know that every year of my life has brought change and unexpected events, but I can’t begin to guess what these might be this year. Will things change more or less by staying in the same place? So despite giving up travel and work away from home these feel like exciting times.
If you get chance listen to this fantastic radio program from NPR about our experience of Time featuring Oliver Sacks.
So the process has begun! Karen and Andy have helped me to build a platform from a pallet and a sheet of marine ply which sounds basic but it has been banked up with a lot of gravel and staked to the ground so it doesn’t move (for the next year anyway). I have lovingly varnished it with yacht varnish so it survives the weather, put slots in for the tripod and drawn on footprints so I stand in the same spot.
Over the last few days I have spent an endless amount of time making minute adjustments to the shot changing it slightly each day only to find I preferred what it looked like the day before. It’s taken a few days to remember that this is the whole point of the film – the same view changes radically every day, but I guess this single shot is the only thing I have in the film I really have any control over.
I’ve also spend some time thinking about the function of this blog. It’s meant to be a record of the process of making this film. In the simplest sense this means get up, do some exercise, have breakfast, go out and set up the tripod, wait til 9.30, set off timer and film. (I record for five minutes each day). What changes each day is what happens when I turn the camera on. My aim is to remain present, engaged and open while filming. Conscious of what I am doing without being self conscious or performing in any way. I’d also like it if I wasn’t frowning. Each day this experience is quite different. Some days it’s much harder than others but I’m not sure how I can translate this in to words for this blog. I’m also not sure how interesting this would be to others even if I could. So I will do my best, but I think it is probably as interesting to use this space to document my relationship to this place – which is what this project is partly about. So, I guess the first thing to do, will be to try and explain exactly how I ended up living here in the first place . . . .