Degeneration by Laurence Chan

Just a minute: Short film success

The GSA & Big Screen recently organised a one minute film competition as part of the Glasgow Short Film Festival. First and third places were both picked up by MDes Sound for the Moving Image students.

1st Place, Chiara Cabri
Chiara was the overall winner of the The Art School and Big Screen’s One Minute Short Competition for her film “Fluctuation”

Getting a message across in just one minute can be a very challenging task. In “Fluctuation”, I wanted to create an engaging experience, in which the viewer had to feel part of the action. As a sound designer, I wanted to generate a feeling of immersion. The making of the film was driven by how I wanted it to sound like, rather than to look like, and I believe it is greatly enriched by it.

I decided to participate to the one-minute competition as I felt it was a good opportunity to experiment something new and show it to fellow filmmakers, especially concerning what I have learnt during my time at the GSA. Winning was unexpected. I was pleased by the fact that the time I had spent on the project had been rewarded and it pushed me to further test myself. Moreover, this gave me the chance to participate to the conclusion of the short film festival, where my short film was showed again at the Centre for Contemporary Arts. Overall, this experience has given me confidence and the drive to pursue new challenges in the future.

Laurence Chan, 3rd Place
3rd Place runner up for the film “Degeneration”

The piece employs VHS generation loss (multiple dubbings to the point of noise). Successive dubs causes various video glitches and are overlayed to show the transition of degradation. The subject is Justin Bieber’s mugshot. It alludes to his progressively reported degenerate adolescent celebrity lifestyle. The single audio sample of his debut single ‘Baby’ is rearranged and slowly degraded (Plunderphonics) to noise, furthering the theme of transition and degeneration.

The one minute constraint was an interesting creative challenge to convey the theme of transition. The experience of the short film festival has been thoroughly rewarding and participation is highly recommended.

Posted by Brian Loranger, the DDS’ postgraduate interactive visualisation lecturer

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