The whole idea of the video came from a challenge that my good friend Ries Straver proposed to me while a was attending my trial at Fabrica: “Shoot a film about an object that you find here at Fabrica, you have two weeks, you can tell any story you want.” I loved it immediately. I started looking for something interesting, but the problem was that every object I was surrounded by in that place was beautifully designed and crafted, and I always had a crush for the ugly, the misfit, the deranged. So I thought: “I will find the most useless and forgotten object, the one that cannot help me with his aesthetic and I will write a story about it.” Fuck aesthetic, long live Idea!
I found this bended, rusty and lonely nail on the floor, and decided to use it as my main character. I then started writing a story, trying to speak about THE object rather than AN object, when I bumped into this quote from one of my favorite books, The Doors of Perception: ‘A rose is a rose is a rose. But these chair legs were chair legs were St. Michael and all angels’. “What if I explain how we perceive an object, telling the story of an object, that is actually another object, because without the subjectivity, every object would look the same?”, I thought. It was not really making any sense, but in my head it was more than clear. Ries was popping in from time to time asking me how I was going with my project; I had no idea how to explain the concept to him. I showed him these references, and fortunately he trusted me.
I was basically asking myself questions about this topic, answering them and writing them down. After one and a half weeks of writing the script it was time for me to shoot. I didn’t have any money to spend on this project so I worked with found material. The first day of shooting I thought: “Yeah I’ll go in the photo studio, place the nail on colored paper, use my hand to have a little bit of contrast. Everything is gonna be fine.” Ten minutes later I was looking in the camera (a Canon 550d with a 50mm Contax lens that I found for 25 euros) and thinking, “This nail and this paper looks like shit. I am fucked.” I went home depressed without any footage…
The next day I started looking around for some material, I found: one strangely shaped stone, one broken mirror, one broken turntable, two shiny pieces of wood and the hand of a girl I met while I was biking. The incredible thing was that the girl had matching colors of nail polish with the pieces of wood and the paper! So I shot for more than twelve hours trying to figure out what was working and what wasn’t, experimenting with composition and the slit-scan technique that I ended up using in the final part of the video. Then I spent another three days (sleeping one or two hours per night) for the editing and the post production.
So yeah, that is more or less the story behind A Subjective Story of an Object. My mom asked me what I was trying to say with this video, well I don’t know? I tried to share with other people what I learnt thinking about what an object really is, and how do we relate to the reality that surround us. I imagined this other reality where you can perceive the true essence of everything, without being overwhelmed by your faulty senses.
MarBelle has a strange compulsion to watch as many films as he can get his hands on and find jobs that give him a legitimate excuse to drill filmmakers about their work. Directors Notes is the latest incarnation of this disorder and so much cheaper than film school. Twitter: @MarBelle