Surrealist Picnic II, a new short by Lizzie Thynne, is a quirky take on Lee Miller's photograph, Picnic at Mougins, 1937, an iconic image of surrealists on vacation. The film sees Claude Cahun arrive as an unexpected guest, and so begins a game involving blood and an egg.
Working with Lizzie and composer Ed Hughes (who scored Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, Strike), I was allowed creative freedom to apply my knowledge of effects and artistic skills as an editor.
The original footage was actually assigned to the cutting room floor, not making it to the final edit of Lizzie's film 'Playing a Part: The Story of Claude Cahun'. As it was such a great piece of footage, Lizzie and I embarked on an experimental journey, giving the footage a new life. The original footage was in colour but I decided that sticking with a surrealist format, the piece would be more effective in black and white. Of course that left me with the huge challenge of having to animate all of the frames that included the blood and the red egg. Laborious but well worth it in the end.
Given the score (Sextet) by Ed, I had to work extensively at keeping the film's narrative perfectly in time with the music. Not an easy challenge, since the music had already been composed prior to putting the film together, as opposed to the other way around which is a filmmaking standard. But alas, I like to make things difficult for myself.
The film was exhibited, along with live orchestral accompaniment at Dark Formations, Kings Place (Hall Two), London on September 27th 2010.
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