Steven Crichton - 2010 MSc Media Arts and Imaging Duncan of Jordanstone
Steven Crichton is an industry recognised Photographer, Director of Photography, VJ and Web Developer. This website is an online accompaniment to his 2010 Dundee Masters Degree show that runs from the 26th of August 2010 until the 3rd of September 2010 in the Duncan of Jordanstone art school of the University of Dundee. It describes the artistic intentions and the background to all the pieces on exhibit and also has a portfolio of supporting material that has been collated over the final semester.
To view current work or an archive of images please visit my flickr account at Zuiko 1ne Flickr
For web based work please enquire at stevencrichton AT mac dot com
The working title for my show was Disjointed. From a very early stage in my life I have always felt, when alone, a certain uneasiness within myself in my interaction with a space or a surrounding. My desire to explore this feeling has been combined with an insterest in the fragility of the human form, even though, we as humans through science and modern medical advancements have been transformed into a system of definable and replaceable components.
Our interaction and our physical reactions are not always as understandable as the environments within which we are contained and as such the mind is led to explore the possibilities of many scenarios of fate that could randomly occur within these, when left in isolation from others. It is possibly this slightly self obsessive evaluation of myself that has led me to produce the following works. I have tried to project myself into the eyes of the viewer as in Charo, the characters within the films Krakatoa, Doppleganger and Here.
The fragility of humans as systems is the central theme in the photographic pieces. The body parts themselves are interacting with the space in forms which are sympathetic to the surroundings, or in a way that we might, were the pieces that construct us organised in a less than perfect order. This systematic approach to the body and to space interplays with a random order or a surreal notion of destruction within ourselves. It can be the driving force of self evaluation and from my personal perspective, as I start a journey into my 30's where my body will be subjected to new criteria, in my life that further it is the force that makes me more aware of just how fragile we can be and relates to my hopes that I can avoid being part of statistical mortality in our society.
In german fokelore, from which the word is derived, meeting your Doppelganger results in instantaneous death. They as your physical double cannot inhabit the same space as you and to glance once at your Doppelganger will seal your fate. In this short music video the characters on the two sides have the knowledge that they are driven together, in the same way as we must wonder, 'Does our Double exist?' One is driven the other led by clues and their fate is sealed ultimately to be drawn together to their eventual demise.
We miss many things in the places we inhabit. A friend once mused that even if we were to spend every holiday until our dying day visiting and staying within our home region of Fife, we could not experience all it has to offer and every journey would reveal more in this familiar space as beauty. In the short space of one journey, Charo depicts the well-trodden path of exiting the centre of Dundee - a distance of no more than a quarter of a mile. It is this microcosmic discovery of creative energy that mimics the Situationalist's definition of creativity by their surroundings, re-interpreting them for new narration.
Everyone has picked their nose. Like most socially frowned upon actions people will do it. It is this personal pleasure in the awkwardness of the actions that drives this film. As the character becomes more agitated his awareness of his surroundings is overcome by the personal desire to continue in his task.
Lena Zavaroni stands as an enigma of the 70's, not for her singing talent, but for her public personal battle with depression and anorexia. The film is shot in the Rothesay, Zavaroni's home town and the place of her discovery. It explores the inner thoughts that we hide and our self-destructive tendencies. The film pays homage to the painful story of her life as she battled her demons right up to her invasive cranial surgery, which led to her death.
A collaborative film with Andy Sim ATM is the discovery by the lead character that the ATM machine is falling in love with him. The machine's sinister actions towards Gary gain momentum as their relationship develops and retracts. This is illustrated by the machine's desire to spend. Director of Photography and VFX roles fell to myself. The chosen cold depiction of the machine rekindles the early green-screen ATM's, which until upgrading had clinical precision in their task no human attributes appearing on the screen.
I started this project by chance. The first image, the one seen in the slideshow icon, was taken at Ardtornish House in the North West of Scotland. Initially a soft depiction of the house for a location reference image, I thought I might as well take a self portrait. The feeling in the house was very unsettling. A 60 bedroom mansion with only 1 other person in it - the cleaner - and little but natural light to see by. It was afterwards, when thinking of how I felt, that I cut the head off. Originally the image still contained it behind the body, as if it had dropped, but eventually it was removed completely to signify the remoteness I felt within the space. As time passed, more of these images had built up, almost as a personal side project. When the time to realise my work came about, the theme had direct relevance to the films that I had made. The same uneasy disjointedness carried on into the pictures.?This set then serves to describe more my disjointed personality and ties to spaces that draw me to them, or in some cases push me away to seek the polar opposite. This emotion inspires me to consider that the absurd can happen, but is also repairable. It is invigorating to have a childlike sense of not knowing the consequences and their outcomes before the event. We learn as we age that fire will burn, falls will hurt and there are multiple cause and effect scenarios. Many of these are assumed knowledge, as I can vouch for the fact that I have never thrust a hand into a deep fat fryer, although I know it will burn the flesh from my bones. We can draw inspiration and experience simultaneously from an environment as we dissect and inhabit it.
Over the past semster the work's aim has been to create new footage and photography as well as to assess how best to develop my skills and my research.
In addition collaborative projects outside and inside the university have, in addition allowed me to expand my experience in creating visual media.
Andy Sim - Shoe Tree Interviews
As a cameraman for Andy Sim's documentary on the mysterious phenomena of shoe trees, my task was to produce a well framed and evenly exposed shot, whilst monitoring levels for audio during the interview. This working setup was not too dissimilar to most electronic news teams around the world and quick framing focusing and creative use of lighting control was required to ensure the shots were of an acceptable standard while working to the set brief from Mr Sim.
Click to Watch Andy Sim Shoe Trees
Laura Whyte - Color Grading
In Laura's animated short, rampaging Little Bo Peep systematically slaughters every cherished nursery rhyme character. While Laura shot digitally with a low contrast and wide colour pallate, we collaborated on establishing a look for the final image to suit the theme more closely. The final image and the overall look borrows much from the horror genre with its crushed blacks, saturated tones, blue shadows and greenish highlights. It also retains the full range of tonal information throughout. Lovingly entitled KRYTO-VISION in the credits, the process was a great collaboration between many cross disciplinary skills.
View Laura's Site Here
Laura Whyte - Documentation Shots
Laura and I worked on creating a set of images to give depth and life to promotional material for her Nursery Crimes animated short. My task was to ensure that all the work that went into the characters was accurately portrayed and the emotional attachments to the characters encapsulated. Working within a self constructed daylight studio, the result was one that both Laura and myself have found very pleasing, and one in which all criteria have been met.
Chris Lawton - Slug Tracking
An unfortunately un-finished project, Bloke in the toilet utilised the skills of myself, Chris and David Blake to create 3d tracking information, for automated character animation. The tracking solution resulted in a 2 camera system outlined by myself, running at extreme frame rates and shutter speeds, removing any previously encountered motion blur with clean marker points. Unfortunately time constraints stopped the project but it is hoped that it will be resumed at some point.
Ed Broughton - BISO : Forever
Ed approached me to be the Director of Photography on this music video shot entirely on greenscreen. BISO involved complex lighting setups, handheld follow focus camera operation and secondary direction. With Andy Sim as my assistant camera operator and grip, we worked to achieve a stylistic look against black skin tones when keyed. With a 60 plus take run, the video still in production was a great success and Ed has been very complimentary of my professional approach to the role of DOP.
Yuck n Yum - AGK Promo
Working once again with Andy Sim as collaborating DOP's we were given the task of replicating the visual style of the Apprentice for the Scottish Art Fanzine Yuck N Yum. The shoot involved many difficult outdoor panning and dolly shots, achieved with self built equipment and creative use of lenses, to maximise the angular depth in shots. As Co-Editor and Colour grader the final output to director Gayle Meikle resulted in a very fun visual promo for the agk.
Goto the AGK Site
Yuck n Yum - Summer Launch
As a participant of Yuck N Yum since their inception, this documentation of the Summer Launch party was a micro project which involved all aspects of production to be within 5 hours. The childlike sound emulated the feeling of the evening as the launch of the 2010 summer issue took place in the Hannah McClure Centre.
Goto the Yuck 'n'Yum Site