Final Project: Future Reflections

My final project went through multiple different concepts and versions until I settled upon this particular edit and idea. First, I wanted to do a video essay on the importance and craft of Makeup Special Effects but I quickly realized it was far too ambitious and I didn’t have enough time to get the video put together in time. Then I decided to do a montage to visions of the future from various different films. But when I got my hands on all of the footage I wanted to use, I quickly realized how tall of a task it was going to be to edit a complete video with that much footage to cull from. So finally after hitting a brick wall I discovered by the breakthrough concept. Instead of using nearly ten films and grabbing clips from those, I would just use two of them and use them to tell a story. So I could put on display not only various different forms of montage, pixel cinema, and editing but a cohesive and simultaneous story from a creative lens.

The concept of my video is quite unique. The first half of the video is more of a traditional type of montage for a series of films. Just taking various different clips from both Blade Runner films and putting them together and matching them to the beat of the song and some of the lyrics. The second half as Deckard begins to daydream is where things become less traditional and much more abstract. This is where the uniqueness of the concept comes into play. Deckard daydreams about not only what will occur in the near future but also in the distant future as well. His daydreams are a simultaneous combination of different aspects of the plot of both Blade Runner films connecting him and Ryan Gosling’s K in a truly original way. The edit even ends with Deckard being shaken out of his daydream and brought back to reality and the present day. The whole theme is about reflections of the future and it is incorporated all through the edit once it lulls you in with the introduction focusing on more of the visual aesthetic versus the overall theme.

I really tried to match the clips with particular beats of the song Future Reflections by MGMT. The very start of the video syncing up the flash of fire with the guitar pluck, the spinner flying around the building in Blade Runner matching up with the part of the song that descends slowly with the beat, the little riff pairing with the shot of the piano being played and Deckard’s eyes opening up as the beat drops in. I did the same with the lyrics as well. “The rush of blood” meshing with the sequence of K bleeding from his side and showing his bloody hand to Deckard, “familiar but new” with footage of both Coca Cola advertisements in both of the films, “pale and thin” paired with the shot of Daryl Hannah’s character in Blade Runner spray painting her face with her pale skin, and various other different moments where I made the attempt to sync particular lyrics up with hand-picked clips from both films to create a remix, a new way of telling the story of both films and a montage all in one. I even used a filter for the moment in Blade Runner when Deckard shoots one of the replicants through the glass. I used a rainbow effect because the scene itself is rather colorful and I wanted to amplify that and create a surreal scene that matches the psychedelic trance that the song goes into with its beat at that very moment. This is also how I was able to add some aspects of Pixel Cinema to my final edit. And the song’s title itself “Future Reflections” I incorporated into the film as well with various different clips from both films. In particular Deckard and K’s scenes with a piano. I edited those in a way to make it appear as if they are direct reflections of themselves and to further solidify the connection between not only the characters of Deckard and K but their stories as well.

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