I have struggled with the script for the symposium video. What I have done, is write two very different drafts. The first, dense, allusional; the second, descriptive, easier to understand. Which way should I go?
I have felt all along that it is important that the narration should be my own authentic voice. As I read out the second draft, for a test recording, I felt it stilted, it did not flow. I felt, as I read it, that I should be changing what I read as I went along. The silent reading the words on the page was fine, but when it came to speaking them outloud, it just did not gel. I had originally rejected the first draft, which incidentally took me minutes to write rather the days. I rejected it because I felt it was too personal, too much about my relationship with the process and not enough about the process itself.
After discussing this with Jonathan during the latest tutorial and Janet. it became evident to me that the first draft was my voice and said far more despite it containing less overt information. I was able to put the case for it much more persuasively, because I believed in it more.
This means that the imagery in the video becomes doubly important. Images not only illustrate, they add another layer of descriptive information not picked up in the audio. As Donald rightly said, there are ten minutes of information in the video, 5 of images and 5 of audio. Combining the two can convey far more if looked at that way.
Interestingly, not only did the second draft take much longer to write, it ended up being nearly nine hundred words which I had to reduce to 672. The first draft was a mere 402 words. I have incorporated some of the second draft into the first and edited it a little. The final word count is 555; it takes me four minutes and twenty seconds to read slowly. This gives me time to read even more slowly, introduce pauses and have an intro and credits with ease.
I mentioned above, that the original draft was too much about my relationship with the process and not enough about the process itself. It is clear too me that the two are inseparable, I am part of the process and it is part of me: that is how it should be. As far as I am concerned, that is a aspect of being an artist.
I have learnt a lot from all this. It has drawn out the essence of my practice. Statements will change, context and purpose alter, but the core will in all probability remain constant into the future. This does not mean that I am locked out from other work or contexts but quite the contrary. I will be able to understand future briefs, commissions, contexts and audiences in the light of my core concerns and be flexible enought to deliver an authentic response without feeling that I have not been true to myself. Conversely, I will know what engagements to set to one side. And should those ideas contained in my process change, that is all part of the process itself and I shall be aware of exactly what is going on… somehow, I think this unlikely.