Friday the 16th, 5 pm
All excited for the marathon, I went outside to wait for the bus. After a mere forty minutes – worst bus line of the whole city : not just late, not even there ! – the bus took me to deep down into a quite inhabited quarter. The Fabrique Pola is a somewhat strange place, I have to say. We had to make a big detour to get to the entrance, when the building was just there, next to the bus stop. No big deal, the sun was shining. I registered for the marathon, got my film, ate loads of free candies, and waited for the themes. I was also waiting for Lyv, who was having a fashion shooting and could not get to the place any sooner.
As I was playing with my phone – actually socializing with far away people -, the lab’s lady ran all over the place with papers, declaring “The themes are out ! Themes are out ! Here are the themes.”. 6 pm exactly, how punctual. A nice bunch of words, very inspiring for some. I chose to sit on a bench to reflect upon them. I needed unity. Something to link every picture… I then had a very precise image : shadows. Staged scenes cut into paper, and projected on a wall. I drew whatever came to my mind for each theme.
The themes :
- Ça ferme tard – Closing late
- Danseuse tartare – Tartare (female) Dancer
- Coeur croisé – Crossed heart
- Exquise saucisse – Delicious sausage
- Qui a fait ça – Who did that
- Toi j’t’aurais – I’ll get you
- Imminent et définitif – Imminent & definitive
- Je suis désolé(e) – I am sorry
- Mécanisme pour une entente – Mechanism for an understanding
- Passez-moi le sel – Give me the salt
- A deux doigts – Close on / with two fingers (double meaning)
- Tout est affaire de décor – Everything is about the set
My first idea was the one for “imminent & definitive”. I actually thought of a break-up scene. Later on, I reversed it, and drew a proposal scene – too much irony, I could not resist… To list a few other, here. For “I’ll get you”, a fisher waiting for a fish, followed by the same fisher with his fish caught for “give me the salt”. A guy drinking beer for “closing late”. A child wanting to give his angry mum a flower for “I am sorry”. Someone contemplating a painting for “who did this” – others were thinking of kids’ slip-up, I wanted to be a bit original.
Lyv arrived, registered, got a camera, and we were good to go. Brainstorming session in a bar, what could be better ? I had to wait for the night to have the best conditions to shadow my papers… Sadly – or not at all -, when I came back home, I felt awkwardly sleepy – had not been for days -, and headed to bed. Just before falling asleep completely, I put the alarm extra early. Needless to say, it turned out totally useless…
Saturday the 17th, 11 am
I could not drag myself out of bed before that time, so I had to be quick with my scenery and tests ! I drew the proposal, cut it patiently, and tried out my little montage : threads taped to the ceiling to hold the paper, a desk lamp, and a dark corner of the house. Big disappointment came out of it : to see correctly, the paper had to be too close to the wall. Even if it looked quite good, I could not take pictures of it.
Saturday the 17th, 12 am – six hours left. Ideas, I had plenty. But concretely… I had nothing. New approach. I came back to the basic idea of using a little character in the picture, and chose this little wooden guy.
Instead of shadows, and pictures that all look the same, I would make the story around him ! Keeping similar scenes with actual objects. An engagement ring, flowers, fishes, beer… I had yet another constraint to my challenge : the camera I used could not do macro. I had to be approximately one meter away from the main focus. To capture a fifteen centimeters figure, this was definitely a new level of difficulty.
I eventually got a bit of help from my brother and a friend (this one) to put everything in place. It was a lot of fun, and mostly a lot of rush. We finished the shooting in a hurry, messing the place. Throwing yogurt on blankets for example. We were at the bus station at 5 pm, when the bus was not arriving before 5:32 pm. Better too early than late ! The film cannot be returned after 6…
Lyv got in after two stations, and we happily talked about our pictures. Laughing on how we took them, and criticizing. I mean : the pictures probably did not turn out that well. The pre-shoot with a digital is very different, especially with to macro option…
Just before giving our piece of art, another contestant asked us to pretend kissing. So, for this marathon, we will be on both sides of the lens !
Let me add a fun fact very quickly. Second row, third picture, for “Who did this”. An art piece of a kid’s slip-up. Photoception… But not just that : this is one of my winning pictures from the last marathon I participated in. Nod to you, jury !