Studio Advisor Meeting Notes
Had a positive discussion with my studio advisor touching on a number of things. The key touchstone used was the film "Pawn Sacrifice" (2015), and its portrayal of the ascent of chess great Bobby Fischer and his concurrent mental decline. We discussed some of the formal approaches of the film, the ways in which sound and visual cues were used to suggest his mental state. For example, exaggerated sound at moments to suggest vague threats, e.g., a threatening knock at the door, and visually, frequently blurred, disoriented views.
We also talked about the ways in which realistic documentary style footage was used to give a compelling "realistic" feeling.
We talked about the narratives inclusion of the Russian counterpart's mental illness as well. This seem to hammer in the point that the title of the film suggests, that those vulnerable are sacrificed for the larger corporate/national interest.
I was particularly interested in considering how the audience was invited to identify with Fisher. Caroline noted the interweaving between are seeing through his eyes and watching him objectively, which she felt made it especially compelling.
I was interested in the way that his unique mental state and the formal devices used to suggest it ultimately seemed tpo take a backseat to the narrative momentum of the machination of the "biopic".
I suggested that it did not represent mental illness in a way that was wholly consistent with my experience of viewing it firsthand in my immediate family. While its approach was extremely compelling, it seems essential that mental illness not solely be reduced to limited formal devices but instead be allowed to 'infect' the narrative itself, and leave the viewer somewhat unmoored, experiencing the confusion between possible realities that the individual with mental illness may be experiencing.
Formally, the film had a muted pallet that seemed inconsistent with Bobby Fischer's way of viewing his own relationship with the world which seem to be much more aerobic and romantic, which would seem to suggest saturated, Rich romantic colors.
On the training front, we spoke about my setting up a training regime to learn after effects and create a small weekly object – – working on a micro Woody Allen workflow style [year mapped to production specific tasks sequence] and more generally setting timetable for aspects of projects that need to be completed.
I also noted that I was excited about the texts that my research advisor had provided me concerning Transmedia, and their potential to expand my practice.
On a personal note, I screened "Pawn Sacrifice" just experiencing a family crisis in which I needed to arrange care for my mother and needed to navigate the not-necessarily-friendly-waters of the American 'care' system:
During this viewing, as I watched Bobby Fischer struggle to cope with a mental illness that he did not ask for, I was filled with both a lot of compassion for my own mother, as well as compassion for myself as a child, and the absence of certainty that one's central caretaker had the capacity to provide one with care.
All of this personal, and previously mentioned academic threads, as well as formal interrogations, I see informing my establishing my methodology of my practice.