Me, Myself and MRI

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I am the video artist in the MMMRI project. My role has been to work with the students and look at how video can be used to create a portrait of an individual, to create the exhibition video portraits of the six subjects and to edit and produce the interpretation video The Making of Me, Myself and MRI .

Creating the video portraits for the exhibition

The video portraits were created in two stages. The first stage was to record the subject being interviewed by Mark. This produced just over an hour of video for each subject, nearly 7 hours in total. I then reviewed the video and edited out all the sections where the subject was talking or responding to Mark's questions. I had also asked each subject at the end of the interview to look directly into the camera and to try and recall what they were thinking about when they were in the MRI scanner. This left me with about 12-15 minutes of video where the subject was silent and listening to the question or thinking about how to respond or looking directly into the camera. I then edited this footage so that I had about 3 minutes of video for each subject. The edit was aimed at capturing those moments when the subject was giving clues about their personality to the observer.

In the second stage, the edited interview sequences were played back in locations that allowed the observer to create their own story of who the subject is an what they might be like. So I obtained the agreement of the BBC to play the video of Tajinder on the Big Screen in Centenary Square, Bradford. Tajinder lives in Bradford; the Alhambra Theatre is in the background - Tajinder is a writer. I set up the video camera in Centenary Square and recorded a series of single locked-off shots. I selected the one which represented, for me, the optimum recording. This was then used without any further editing as the video in the exhibition. The video of Richard was recorded in his church; Dean in his classroom; Christine in a television showroom; Tony in his gym; and Seonaid in a doctor's waiting room (actually my back bedroom dressed as a waiting area).

The 'Making of...' Video

Creating The Making of Me, Myself and MRI was an altogether more ambitious and time-consuming process. I tried to capture video illustrating each element of the project. Where this wasn't possible, I used footage recorded by other organisations (thank you to Yorkshire TV) or still images taken by other members of Geodesic Arts. This was then edited into three slightly different versions for each of the three venues. The video had no soundtrack at this stage as it was displayed in the same space as the main exhibition. The final version with soundtrack was edited over three weekends by Damian, Mark, and I working in my editing suite in Scarborough (aka my attic studio). The soundtrack, including a voiceover by Kirsty, was then added by Damian.

Tools I used

I used a Sony VX1000 3-CCD video recorder. All editing was done on a Apple MacBook using iMovie6. A simple, inexpensive yet highly effective recording and editing solution.