Art Films: tell a story

One of the main outcomes of the Live WELL – COME Share project is a collection of short films that tell stories, using art. This story-telling can be done in a really short time, like a fleeting impression that provokes a shared emotion, or triggers a similar memory.

In the project, we’ll be collecting stories of how our community deals with difficulties. Difficulties of health, of culture and language, or economic challenges – all these difficulties are being encountered everyday, by those in our community. Our lifestyles often don’t give us the time needed to really describe our difficulties to others, to share the hardships and the triumphs. The isolation of the recent lockdowns has exacerbated this, leading to many people who are pretty lonely, right now.

A selection of short films to illustrate our aims

This first short film uses humans as the main content – their faces, the texture and colour of their skin, and environs where they are focused on each other or themselves. It uses a child’s narrative, with English subtitles, to describe moments of importance. In the Live WELL – COME Share short films, we may use a recorded narrative, similar to this example, to give our films their story.

“Time”, produced by Film Supply

This next film is created using simply-drawn illustrations, with small elements in the pictures animated for special effect. While we won’t have the animation skill portrayed in this example, you can see that almost-childlike drawings, in block colours can tell a really profound story. The birdsong, and nature sound effects complete the story.

“The Art of Change: Climate Change”, by Sois de Traca

This is another short film using simply-drawn and coloured illustrations, with added animated bits. It also uses a child’s voice for narration, and in just over a minute, it tells a great little story.

“Supergirl” by Henrique Barone

There are many really lovely short-films used as opening credits for movies and episodes. This one shows how the tools of making and crafting can be used to create a stop-motion, timelapse film to tell the story of creativity. It is an example of what a big budget can produce. We may well use similar techniques to this example, but we will add in participants’ stories of health, wellbeing, doom, or trouble! Our aim is definitely to create art, and share the love of that creating within each group. More importantly, though, we’ll also be seeking to find out how the art-making helps each participant with their health and wellbeing, and tell that story as well.

This next short film is a montage of places. There are still photographs, full of texture and form, and video clips showing human movement without faces. Along with the spoken-word poetry narration, the film describes the story of a place. It’s also about the people who create community there. The imagery is located within the poem – both images and word-sounds telling the story.

“Representing Butetown: Ali’s Poem”, by Gavin Porter

One of the things that I’m really looking forward to in this project is the crossover between art mediums. For example, how can a musician work with a painter? These kinds of collaborations have incredible power to tell a story.

One film I found is a visual interpretation of a poem by Shel Silverstein. It’s really short (less than two minutes) but tells a great story using poetry and theatre.

‘Masks’ (Shel Silverstein) by Laurel Sager

This next film is a big-budget one, and much longer (around seven minutes). As such, it’s beyond what we can create in our little project. However, it’s great inspiration. When animator Patrick Smith heard one of composer Karl von Kries’ compositions, this is what he created to match the music. Watch out… it’s

S C A R Y 😱

but it has a great ending 😊

I’m always keen to see really clever short films. If you happen to come across one, please send it to me!

Arts and Health Gippsland