"Night Game" is a performance piece Based on The New York Times article "36 Questions That Lead to Love" (published in 2015). In the article, writer Daniel Jones cites Mandy Len Catron's Essay "To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This". In it, Catron discusses the research of psychologist Arthur Aron on the intimacy between strangers. The full article can be found on the New York Times website.
"Night Game" was inspired by the idea that many of us consume video content from our smartphones. The compact and convenient device has made it easy for us to become more intimate with technology. In the 90s, there used to be a debate about having a TV in the bedroom; whereas today, we watch YouTube videos while sitting on the toilet. As the world moves more and more towards transhumanism, what relationship are we developing with technology?
"Night Game" is a conceptual character workshop piece that explores the theme: Digital Intimacy. As a Motion Picture Medium graduate, Charlie studied -- among others -- the work of Sandford Meisner at university. Meisner's approach to acting relied heavily 'on the moment'. Using this technique Charlie uses the camera as his scene partner. The relationship between the human and the machine is the basis of this piece.
To prepare, Charlie applied Stella Adler's approach to building a character: research! Psychological, sociological and economic research revealed sources of inspiration which have been used in the project. The series incorporates elements of ASMR, Role-Play, Story-time and hints of Love(nurturing) expressions of Sexuality (see Michael Ivy/Michiel Germishuys Fego DNA Schemas).
The film language and execution of the series has been broken down into sections (not limited to) including: Image (processing), Camera Angle, Lighting, Semiotics, Identifiers and Color Palette. Each of these sections amplify the the: Digital Intimacy. Briefly:
1) Image: the Image, is shot in 16:9 aspect ratio to give a boundless feel from the edge of the bed to the character. The lens is fixed at f/1.9 ISO800. This gives the image a wash of digital noise. The digital noise is symbolic not only as a literal manifestation of digital technology, but also of the Male Gaze (see Laura Mulvey's essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema).
2)Camera Angle: The camera angle is a simulation of the angle a human would would take in the bed. It is used to create an obvious sense of sympathy or empathy for the character. It highlights his physical loneliness in an obvious way (the performance should counter-balance this by challenging the idea that technology makes one lonely). The angle is frames as a comfortable Medium Shot: It was important to not sexualize the character.
3) Semiotics: The character's personal colours consist of a rich deep blue and touches of silvery-white. These colours have been named Mermaid Blue and Moonlit Silver respectively. These colours signify the beauty of nature and it reminds us that technology is a part of nature. Evolution Theory states that man evolved from a single-celled amoeba into what he is today (and continues to do so). Mermaid Blue signifies an organic version of transhumanism. Similarly, metals come from the earth, so in essence, computer chips and smartphones are a natural part of nature. The colours also exist between some great distance in nature. Silver is mined from deep beneath the earth and the ocean is contained between the land that holds it. In the same way, the silvery-white moon exists 384 400km away from Earth, yet it has a major influence on the oceans. This distance, can also been seen between the character and his Digital Lover. The Signifiers include: blue and black striped pajama top, blue basketball shorts, silver and white bracelets in smooth and tactile textures. Note how the lines on the top are echoed through the lines in the lighting and on the wall. This design feature of the aesthetic signifies Digital Interlacing and the idea that these "bars" could either be protecting the character or keeping him from his fully realized self-expression. It begs the question if technology is helping us or hurting us (again, the answer comes through the performance).
This was just a brief overview of "Night Game". A more in-depth breakdown of the Aesthetic and Performance Treatment will be available after this season.
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