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A Brief History of John Baldessari

John Baldessari is a visual and conceptual artist. This 2012 film is supposed to give a sense of his character and life and work.


Let's make something like this, about you. It will probably go into your portfolio as an example of your editing, but it might also exemplify your cinematography, editing or writing. DO everything well, but if you KNOW what you want to make it an example of, then make sure you spend your time and attention on that thing!

The video shows a really innovative use of montage, sound and narrative to create a sense of what this unconventional, bohemian man is like.

Your turn.

Think of some aspects of your character to emphasise. Start with facts - get some content together.

 - Where are you from?

 - What hobbies do you have?

 - Family?

 - Where do you live?

 - Pets?

 - Ambitions?

 - Fears?

Grab some visual elements

 - Your 'places' - favourite place, bedroom, least favourite classroom, favourite website

 - Your 'objects' - childhood toy, favourite piece of jewellery, phone... 

Write your narration (in first or third person)

 - I am...

 - I'm from

 - I believe...

 - I hate...

 - I love...

 - I hate...

 - I've never told anyone...


 - MAKE A PRODUCTION SCHEDULE. When is your deadline? Start from there and work backwards, putting in your own deadlines.

 - START EXPERIMENTING. How are you going to shoot your bedroom? Are you talking direct to camera or more obliquely?

 - HOW ARE YOU GOING TO EDIT THIS? Do you want the funky, left-of-centre, animated style here? Is that the kind of person you are? It's going to take a while, so build that into your production schedule.

 - WHO IS YOUR NARRATOR? You or someone else? Approach them. Book studio. Book any other equipment you need while you're at it. 

 - DO YOU NEED CREW? Get them sorted.

 - LIGHTS. SHOTS. CAMERA MOVEMENTS. They need planning. REALLY planning. Storyboards, blocking diagrams, sketches, colour schemes. 

Think about...

 - Location shots

 - Introduce the character

 - Close ups at opportune moments

 - Move the camera - glide, track, pan, handhold.

 - Selective focus

- Composition of images

  Control of mise-en-scene

 - Match cuts

 - Montage edits

 - Jump cuts

 - Split screen

 - Layover

 - Animated

 - Text on screen, perhaps animated

A Year 10 example of a similar task

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