An amazing authentic army backpack found by April in Romania:
We printed some images of whale hunting for the first room and put one next to an image that I got from Romania of the Parliament House (The House of The People):
This is a small work permit from the Communist times that April found in Romania at a car boot sale:
Alice de Barrau, animation student, drawing the well illustration:
At 3.30 pm on Sunday the actor came to the university where Daniel had a studio booked for the recording of the voice over and to pose in the last room as Jonah.
Unfortunately we had very little time to do everything and the recording that we got in the end was not good enough to create the atmosphere that the installation needed, even though the actor had a good voice. Another downside of the fact that I left this so late is that I never had an audition with the actor before he came to the uni and he did not have the right look for Jonah.
The voice over can be found here:
And here are some of the images that I took of the actor but which I will not be using in the final submission:
This is what I selected from the text, to be used as a voice over for the installation:
– (Screaming) Jonah!
– (Coarse) Jonah!
– (Coarser) Jonah!
– At least the emptiness should answer. The echo! My echo…
– (Sigh) But that is long gone…
– It is not acceptable to scream when at sea.
– On the shore, maybe.
– But not at sea.
– I scream, you scream, someone else screams. The noises gather.
– The waves start vibrating.
– Just as soldiers marching on a bridge. It collapses… (sounds of marching soldiers as radio interference)
– So will the sea…
– Or a storm would come about!
– There certainly must not be any screaming at sea.
– But… What of the shipwrecked?
– Not even them! Well, they can scream, but only one at a time.
– Otherwise, there would be a complete chaos.
– The sea would rise in anger!
– (Wisely) That is why each should mind their own business.
– And be quiet…
– I think I caught the big one this time!
– I’ve been watching it for a very long time. I even dreamt about it!
– If I were a forester there would only be trees in my dreams.
– Even from the first night I would dream of a million trees.
– With me sitting in their shade.
– What a thick shade a million trees must cast!
– Thick as honey.
– And I would lay my head on a root and follow the squirrels.
– You don’t have to catch squirrels.
– Hah! That’s what would be missing… Chasing after squirrels in my damned sleep!
– (Light starts dimming down) Is it me… or is it late?
– It is starting to be late in me. Look, it got dark in my right hand and in the tree in front of the house.
– Still, I am not so tired.
– No matter, you must sleep!
– When I spend a whole day without catching anything I grab the fishing rod and throw it in the fishbowl.
– The one that catches… I throw it back in the net.
– This water is filled with baits, all sorts of beautifully colored baits. Us, fish, we swim through them so fast that we might seem loud! Our golden dream is to swallow one, the biggest one, of course. We set our mind on a hope… and soon realize that our water ran out…
– (Light starts dimming down and the radio static starts getting louder) Oh, fisherman, who sits high upon the shore! At least leave clear our path towards the bait and do not cloud it with your shadow.
– Help! (Coarse) Heeeelp!
– If only I had an echo.
(The light is out completely in the first room with only a faint ray coming from the outside)
– I once heard a story about a man being swallowed by a whale. (windmill sound)
– He was fishing and then… (Ceausescu’s speech from before the revolution will start playing, his speech is then interrupted by people shouting and the revolution started)
– I want to know if that man ever got out.
– If I got out, the only thing I would build would be a wooden bench in the middle of the sea. (Light slowly turns on in the mirror room)
– The problem is now, how do you get out of anything once you got in?
– (Tension starts building through sound and the water droplets begin to be heard. The light from the well starts shining through the door wall. The tension is still building.)
– If there are no windows, they must be invented. (Light slowly comes on in Room 3)
Jonah will be sitting on a stool watching a TV that is only showing static. From time to time he will get up and sweep the sand off the carpet. The fan will sometimes come on and blow the sand back on the carpet.
We had to order the sand. When we went to Wickes to get the paints we decided to get kiln dried sand and sharp sand.The kiln dried sand was around 3.70 for a bag when ordering 10 and the sharp sand around 1.30 so we would get 10 of the kiln dried one for room 1 and half of room 2 and 10 bags of sharp sand for the other half of room 2 and for room 3. The problem was that the delivery for the sand was 25 pounds and we were hoping to get the uni van to transport them but it was not available. So eventually we had to order it.
I talked to Craig from the scenery bay about lighting and he gave me some good advice as to what to get. Then he suggested me to speak to Denis Matthews about fitting it. Denis agreed to fit all the wires for the installation and that was immensely helpful.
On the 1st of May Andreea and another friend named Radu came to help us. We put the mirrors up and then tested the plastic mirror sheet that I received from my parents. It looked interesting but we eventually decided against it as we thought it did not fit with the other mirrors aesthetically.
Then another friend named Vie came to help us as well. We all managed to put up all the mirrors, to put up the rest of the wallpaper from room 3, and started dressing the first room, then at the end of the day April, Andreea and I put up the shards of mirrors in a pattern. To stick them to the wall we used strips of carpet tape and no more nails glue. On some of them there was not enough glue so they slid off by the second day. We replaced them with smaller ones. Also some bits of the bigger mirrors on the sides cracked when putting the screw in.
We mixed about 20 tea bags with very little water and used that color to dirty down the forest bit of the wallpaper in the last room the walls of the first room. April did the wallpaper and I did the walls. For the walls, at first I used a roller dipped in the water and then used my hand to get rid of the obvious marks and then only used a sponge for the last wall in the first room and for the door.
We gathered a few construction bits from the space next to the 3D workshop for the pile of rubbish in the last room. While I spread 5 bags of sand on the floor of the first room, April arranged these things in the last room.
I called and e-mailed a few prop rental companies about the TV and only Superhire seemed to maybe have what we needed but they would not send images of the props via e-mail so Andreea and Radu agreed to go to the company and see if they had anything. They did, but they required some documents from uni that I could not get in time and a deposit of 200 pounds for a 35 pound rental so we eventually did not get a TV.
April brought a small TV in from home but we decided to use it for the last room while only using a radio in the first room.
April’s cousin helped us with his car to bring some props in from where April was living and to also pick up some props on the way. They brought the TV, a fan, a fishing stool, fish bait and also picked up some speakers that I bought from Gumtree. On the way they also came by my house so we could transport a single mattress for the bed to uni.
This proved to be a bit problematic because it could only be done in the evening when April’s cousin would finish work. We arrived at uni at 9.30 with all the props and could not get the key to the workshop anymore. But eventually we found someone in halls who agreed to have them in their hallway for the night and the next day we took them to the workshop.
For the fishing rod, I found some on e-bay and eventually got this one for 5 pounds: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-2-piece-greenheart-fly-rod-/131173192317?pt=UK_SportingGoods_FishingAcces_RL&hash=item1e8a88127d
On the Saturday before the deadline, I finished some last bits in the installation, such as blocking out the windows, mounting the spy hole that I got for 4 pounds, mounting the stands for the objects that would be seen through the holes in the door walls, finished putting up some of the last pieces of mirrors and cleaned all of them. Radu helped me by cutting the bits for blocking the windows and a curtain to hide some parts of the room that would not be needed for the installation from a large sheet of plastic In the meantime, April went and collected the fishing rod and bought 3 fish for 12 pounds.
Here are some images that I took through the spy hole before mounting it:
At the end of the day, April and I spread out the rest of the sand and arranged the last bits in the last room.
I spoke to the actor on Saturday and he agreed to come on Sunday to record the voice over.
On Sunday Andreea helped us by cleaning up around the installation while we finished the last bits of dressing and setting up the Dedo lights for the stands outside the door walls. My friend Alice also agreed to make an illustration of a well for the second door wall. After everything was in place I tried filming the installation as a visitor would experience it but I would not have had enough time to film it in a way that would look good so I decided to only take photographs of it.
Here are some of the final notes and things that we did:
This is a test done by me for the well illustration. Not a very good one.
Daniel made some tests for the mirror room and for the windmill space. They can be listened to here:
When listening to the mirror room sounds I made the following list of how I would see the sound and lighting synchronized:
I am now writing the voice over which will be playing all throughout the first two rooms. It will be composed of quotes from the play recited by the actor who will be playing Jonah. The first room will only have the voice of Jonah and some static from the TV with very little ambient sound. The revolution sounds would start playing when the light would dim to complete darkness in the first room and then the light would slowly start shining above the windmill.
While people would be seated on the bench in the mirror room the ambient sound would be very subtle and after a few minutes when the light would shine on the well the well sounds would slowly start to play leading the visitors into the well space. When the light is dimming on the well the light in Jonah’s room will come on and the visitors will encounter Jonah endlessly sweeping sand off the floor which will then be blown back by a fan.
Regarding the speakers, Daniel recommended that I get these at first but I did not win the bid for them:
After that he recommended to get these for the first and last room as they did not need very powerful speakers:
So I got them. They seem quite good but we would have to find a wire long enough as they would need to be one in each room.
Then for the second room I got these:
There would be the same wire issue with these ones as well but Daniel said he would find the right cables.
On the Saturday before the deadline, Daniel made the finished sounds which can be found here:
The indications that I gave him were:
Room 1 – radio static that would slowly tune into the sound of marching soldiers and then into the Communist national anthem – around 5-7 minutes.
Room 2 – Windmill sounds for when people look through the crack in the door and see the small porcelain windmill. Followed by Ceausescu’s speech from right before the Revolution which was interrupted by people rioting. This would build up after which it will slowly dim to quiet while the light above the wooden bench would come on. There would be a few minutes of quiet and then an atmospheric sound would start building up and creating tension (my way of explaining it is not very good as I don’t have much sound knowledge but Daniel found the right sound for it) after which we would start hearing water drops as from a well when people would see the light shinning through the crack in the doors where the well illustration would be.
Room 3 – For room 3 I eventually decided to not have any ambient sound as I was thinking that there would be static sound coming from the TV and we would meet Jonah who would be sweeping the sand off the rug.
The final sound for the presentation video can be found here. I used some bits from Daniel’s sounds but most of it is mixed by me using Adobe Audition CS5.5. The samples were taken from freesound.org: