I’m experimenting with using blogging to document the production of my new film – working title ‘Flabzilla’. Please comment and let me know what you think, as if it’s successful I will be doing more of this kind of thing.
Flabzilla – Sparking Ideas
I have been developing several ideas for films to shoot in Super 8 after being given two reels of black and white reversal stock. I’ve also been given a fully-working Eumig Nautica (underwater Super 8 camera!) and I already own two Chinons so am keen to experiment with my first small format film.
Usually I would select my kit based on the idea for a film, but on this occasion I have worked back-to-front in the way that I’m developing an idea to allow me to play with my shiny new (old) toys. I’ll write more about the kit I’m using for this film in my next blog.
I haven’t shot in black and white before so I wanted to do something where I could play around with this. A lot of my recent work has involved a thread of striking symbols and motifs (tribal body painting, for example) and themes of empowerment and bodily function. I had a few ideas around using the contrast of my skin and black body paint but hadn’t come up with anything that excited me content-wise.
The idea that I’ve decided to work on came to me on the train journey home from work on a Friday evening. I was listening to Yma Sumac’s Virgenes del Sol and checking out my social media feeds when I came across a fun photo that interested me (left). It was one of those silly inspirational-quotes-stuck-on-a-photo type affairs and I was analysing where the power was in the imagery, and thinking about the perspective. I was imagining how my fat body would look from a similar – probably more extreme – angle, shot from below, and how I could play with my own physical power in this way.
Flabzilla – Themes
In this project I want to play with this extreme angle and use dramatic lighting to present and frame my fat body and its physical power / presence. I want to use the themes of sexuality and body-confidence that exist in my work and also focus on the physicality of my body and its weight, size etc. I began to think about familiar imagery and tone used in old monster movies like Godzilla and Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman.
From my perspective the demonisation of fat people in our society is a fact which depresses but also entertains me in its ridicuousness. I am constantly told that myself and all other fat people are unattractive, undesirable, unhealthy, greedy and out of control. These negative attitudes run through the media and people’s attitudes more explicitly than ever. Taking part in Hamburger Queen 2013 introduced me to lots of people and ideas regarding this matter that I wasn’t familiar with. I didn’t even know that fat activism existed! I have had to ask myself why I had never given these matters much thought. I think part of it is that in actuality I – like the vast majority of people of any size – don’t fit the mould of the monster fatty. I am an attractive, desirable, healthy, indulgent, obsessive compulsive creative woman who either has not experienced this negativity or just not paid attention. This isn’t a good thing – I should have been paying attention, the same way I would pay attention to any other form of discrimination and prejudice. I’m blessed with an outrageous abundance of irreverent body-confidence which I feel I am almost duty-bound to share, to challenge and provoke negative attitudes which harm people.
So, that’s what Flabzilla is about. I’m going to poke fun at fat-hate with my naked body and a city of cardboard buildings and tiny people…