Ryan Bradford and Emily Butler
Lone Pair Prelude | Summary
Lone Pair is an experimental narrative film about construction and data clouds. Lone Pair Prelude serves to illuminate the context of Lone Pair in an intimate and poetic way. It is centered around our three main characters— Aralia, Dana, and Lisa. “Their” voices are ambiguous and provide context to the visuals, and Lone Pair itself. It gives an atmospheric understanding to the longer narrative film. The call-and-response type of voiceover gives us a sense of the characters who are trying to access their own memories. In this way, they act as memory logs. They provide concrete answers, assurance, but are also curious in nature. The narration is in third person because the voices of the “characters” are not the voices of our actors who played Dana, Aralia, and Lisa in Lone Pair. However, they repeat lines from the film and respond to each other in order to create a subconscious and dreamlike feeling. The images are in-between moments from the film, in which there exists discovery, confusion, absurdity, and planetary phenomena.
The world of Lone Pair is at mercy to the cloud, an ecological disaster that has slowed the rotation of the Earth and is possibly affecting human memory (scientists are still researching). We follow Dana Leigh and Aralia Cran, a working couple who are pushed and pulled by the movement of the city, routine construction, and the unmoving sun above. They struggle to remember their dreams, their plans, and their reasons… They, and everyone else, are being monitored indiscriminately by a group of scientists, further complicating the details of Aralia’s forgotten dream and amplifying Dana’s paranoia of data collection. The scientists try to collect information in order to 1) understand the cloud 2) understand their waning memory 3) understand the growth of algae and ladybugs. Meanwhile, Lisa L., an intern at the Center for Memory and Recording Research, thinks she knows how to uncloud the cloud, and suspects something looming above them all.
Our ideas were produced in the context of living in La Jolla, while grappling with the “pristine” nature of this city, against the sounds and drama of construction. Observing huge machines and construction cones opened up a sweet and gentle understanding of this construction. The workers and machines that build these huge structures suddenly were separate from the political nature of construction. Lone Pair features matter-of-fact construction, and material that exists separate from its economic and political value. Weobserved this work that replaces itself in constant transiency while simultaneously lacking a single “maker”. The world of Lone Pair is an attempt to understand this, while it parallels with our own experiences and re-understanding of ourselves as students and young people. The prelude is a more intuitive way of processing our observations, as edited moments. The narrative of Lone Pair is the string that made our idea more curated, cohesive, and cinematic.