Connecting Through Memories

Recently, my friend texted me an article and a video clip of a South Korean documentary called I Met You. As I opened the link and watched the clip, I was moved to tears as I saw a man reunite with his deceased wife through the experience of VR. MBC, the broadcasting channel that created this, developed models that mimicked his wife and memories they had together, so the husband could have one last good-bye. The same station had also done a previous episode of a mother reuniting with her daughter through VR. There were two curiosities that came off of this: how settings can position a place for emotions and where are boundaries for something that deals with delicate emotions that come from situations of loss and trauma. Although I am looking at horror, specifically the branches of fantasy horror and psychological horror, there was something really striking about how to push a viewers emotions through their awareness to their surroundings. I think also being so deep in the realm of horror, I lost a lot of definitions and wasn’t sure what I was looking for. With this documentary, it reminded me that I need a balance and a softer side, especially with such a delicate issue of child abuse mixed with a sometimes inherently negative genre.

VR Technology Reunites Grieving Mother With Her Deceased Child - VRScout
I Met You (Mother and Daughter episode): https://studybreaks.com/tvfilm/virtual-reality-2-2/

After submitting and receiving feedback on the first draft for the project proposal, I have decided before jumping into the project I want to break down my current ideas to create clarity for myself and people examining the project. Hopefully, through this mini exploration, I can start to make clearer connections to the objectives and techniques with my concepts of my project. The approach I decided to take was creating a Miro board. This allowed me to take the broad topics and start to see their branches. As I went through each section, I made some of the circles into stars to indicate it as an area of interest. This actually helped me to narrow specific tactics in horror that I did not consider, like lighting that focuses on underexposure and timing in scenes to make intensity and suspense. I think through the things like consideration to timing, it will help me to place the emotional arcs.

The horror genre to me is something that stems out of the real world by pulling fears of society. It takes these fears and through the use of tactics, like jump scares, dark colors of blue, red, or green, and unrealistic scenarios of magic, creatures, and nightmares, it creates one emotionally impactful final product. This outcome elicits fear in the viewers and creates an adrenaline rush. Palms sweaty and heart racing. While I do not want to scare the viewers or have them turn away from experiencing a message that has importance, I think the proponents of surrealism in specifically fantasy horror and psychological horror can be utilized in a very positive manner. I find myself still feeling frustrated at not being sure how to connect my objectives with my concepts. I think my current questions are where to draw the line and when to utilize the elements of intensity in an animation sequence to invoke both the position of the protagonist as well as the viewer’s empathy towards the situation. I think I also need to understand mis-en-scene better, especially in the horror realm.

After watching His House, I was really inspired by the subtlety of this horror film. It was definitely slower in its pace, but it focused more on the leap between reality and the mind to explore trauma of refugees. As seen in this movie still here, there is a contrasting of colors and merging of spaces taking place in the past, present, reality, and nightmare. These merging elements into one shot is something I find extremely interesting. Because of this film, I have also taken interest in how other directors have abstracted and visualized heavy topics in society with Bong Joon-Ho and Guillermo del Toro being two of recent interest.

His House | Netflix Official Site
His House, 2020

Starting a project is still always the most difficult part and finding the connections proves to still be difficult. For the next steps, I want to go back and reexamine spaces that are associated with childhood. I am also curious about how certain spaces may change based on cultural backgrounds. After this, I intend to start 3D modeling right away. I always find as I am in the process of working that is when a light switch flips on and I branch off from there as I learn what works and what doesn’t.

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