The Beast Within [video installation]

At Cambridge University, many colleges celebrate May Week with a May Ball (which actually falls in June). However, King’s College has instead held a June Event since the early 1980’s, which is a more informal version of a May Ball with fancy dress. It’s known as The King’s Affair. It takes place annually on the Wednesday night of May Week, and is attended by around 1,500 students.

A good friend of mine is a Cambridge student and was on the arts committee for the 2013 King’s Affair. She asked me to make a video installation piece that was to be projected during the event. The theme of this year’s King’s Affair was titled ‘The Beast Within’. So using this title and the idea of ‘man turning into beast’ I had to come up with something that would fit this idea.

I wanted to create something that had lots of different elements – a bit spooky, trippy, mythical, enchanted and ambiguous. I storyboarded a few different ideas and decided to go for something with more of a structure.

My video is based around the idea of a guest at the party who has slipped out and is not really aware of his surroundings, nor is he in control of his own mind. The zebra mask indicates the fancy dress. As he stumbles around he keeps seeing a figure (possibly another guest from the party), whose face is covered by a mask and a bunch of roses.  He’s unaware as to whether she is real or part of his (slightly influenced) imagination. At the end of the video his eyes turn red and as he is walking towards the figure, a flurry of birds attack him and he turns into a beast. He reaches out to her but she shoots him with her bow and arrow.

Yeah… it’s a totally crazy video. It even scares me a little if I’m honest! The video originally was silent as it was made to blend in with its surroundings. But I felt for me to upload it, it definitely needed music to help emulate the atmosphere of the imagery.

For the music I used ‘Theme From Retro’ from Blur’s self-titled album. I’ve always wanted to use it in a video and I felt it had just the right amount of eeriness to fit in with this video piece. I also used a reversed ‘Battle’ from their album 13 for the last 15 seconds.

Anyway, if you took the time to read this blog post and watch the video – I hope you liked it and found it chilling! I’ll be posting stuff on here as much as possible about photography, art exhibitions, film reviews and other random things.

Click here to watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcTcs5ewQ-M

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