Delving into Research – The Melbourne Psychic Expo

This weekend my film-tv group decided to get out into the world, do some research and develop some connections! Conveniently this Sunday the Melbourne Psychic Expo was being held at the Malvern Town Hall, and what better way to find out more and get involved with the psychic world than to attend an event specifically for that community?

I attended in the afternoon and found the experience to be quite invaluable, I developed a few connections and got a bit more of an insight into what Tarot is really all about. One of the first lady’s I talked to named Carla, who was actually the sweetest lady ever, gave me quite a bit of information regarding the way Tarot works. She explained how Tarot cards are a channel for psychic energy rather than the means of it, describing them as a kind of vocabulary: just as each word in the english language can have a variety of meanings, so to do the Tarot cards, the readers intuition needed to interpret and decide which meaning is accurate for the individual. Having had 10 years of experience, and doing it for fun; Carla was truly passionate. I found it particularly interesting how she described having to put trust into the cards, and just how daunting it was; particularly if the cards reveal something negative, the reader faced with an ethical dilemma of whether to inform the querant or not. Then to further inform me of how the cards worked and to display the difference between what she called ‘warm’ and ‘cold’ readers (cold readers being the kind that regurgitate what you tell them back to you), she decided to give me a free general reading, asking me to give her no information whatsoever before hand. I was then asked to shuffle the cards as many times as I liked to get my personal energy on them. What she told me from just a very quick general celtic- cross reading, was actually rather accurate!! I was quite impressed! Then to further show me how the cards worked, she asked me to have a shot at reading her in a quick 3 card spread, just based on what I got from the cards and my own intuition. It was quite a daunting and funny process!! Carla also informed me of a healers market in Watsonia where we may be able to gather further information for the doco, she was also very keen to participate – and I felt her demeanour, genuine nature and passion would definitely be perfect in showing the contrast of tarot readers from the hollywood stereotype.

Another potential participant I spoke to today, actually happened to be one of the tarot readers I had been emailing prior to attending the  expo. Her name is Elizabeth and she was quite the quirky character, with a background in entertainment and a willingness to participate. Her own words, that she was happy to ‘amp it up’ a bit, which was fascinating. She explained how she worked from her home (which had cats running around everywhere) and a couple of us would definitely be able to come and interview her sometime. I think she was quite the character and would be fabulous on camera.

At the expo I also attended a free workshop which was called ‘Past Lives and Tarot’. In this work-shop presented by a woman named Lana McKavanagh, the connection between past-lives and tarot cards was explained. She spoke about how in being a tarot reader one of the most common things they are asked are about relationships, everyone wanting to know when they will find love or if there partner was the real deal. It was really

quite fascinating to hear about the belief that almost everyone you meet in this life you have most likely met before in a previous life, and how often it can take many lives for a relationship to work out. She then passed around a deck of Tarot cards getting each individual to shuffle the deck and pick any two cards, so she could analyse a relationship from your past life. The two cards I pulled did not look particularly hopeful!! I pulled the 10 of wands and the 10 of swords, and to impart the reasoning for my impressions on you let me explain the illustrations on each of these cards: the 10 of wands features a man faced down with 10 swords in his back, blood pouring out and the 10 of wands features a figure struggling to hold up all 10 of the wands. My presumptions seemed pretty correct as Lana took my cards  and let out a simple “ooof” haha. She explained that these cards suggested that in this particular relationship in one of my past lives I had met the other person a lot later in life, when they were dying and I had to be the strong one, the one to care for them and carry them emotionally. She said the number 10 was very significant as the 0 represents the end of something, but the 1 suggests beginning of something else. She said that it means if I am to meet this person in my life now, it will be as they are going through a period of great change whether it be a big move, going to university interstate or coming out of a big break-up. I found this past-life talk to be rather fascinating, and think Lana too could be a good potential participant in our doco!

From what I’ve heard Simon and Neha who attended at different times during the day were also able to develop some good connections!! So its all happening, now we just have to decide the direction and visual style of our film so we can get shooting!!

Getting All Experimental …

Experimental Video – Found Footage Excercise from Lauren Burgueno on Vimeo.

The first task for my Experimental Video class which involved having some fun and experimenting with Final Cut using found footage.
Soundtrack: Latch by Disclosure ft Sam Smith
Video Credits: Julien Mokrani- Beauty Reel

Pondering Stares, Deep Answers & ‘Abstract’ Footage AKA The Interview Task

During the first tute of the semester we were presented with the in-class activity to go out and record a documentary style interview in whatever manner we wished, so into groups we split and off we went … after a brief struggle as we tried to rekindle our technical knowledge. Our group interviewing Simon had a nice flow and I think we did a pretty good job, Simon was a good articulate participant, Amy worded her questions well, Neha was good on camera, AND I was fairly average on sound (not my strong suit haha). We got a few various angles to play around with and some classic cut-away shots of Simon gazing out the window pondering life’s mysteries (as much as he hated doing it). I thought our edit job was pretty good and despite a bit of over-exposure and a too high gain resulting in lots of background sounds. We definitely could have used more cutaways too, and perhaps discussed the direction of the interview a little more to have obtained more of a progressions/ thread. It was definitely an enlightening exercise which left me with a lot to ponder when it comes to the actual interviewing stage of our actual doco.

Come second week, and back out with equipment we went, this week to capture abstract footage for cutaways. Neha back on camera and me back on sound we headed out to capture our footage. I am not too sure what exactly happened to our mental states this particular morning, but its safe to say we lost the plot just a little  almost completely, and got quite silly! And whilst we definitely had a fun morning, this resulted in a variety of the most random footage you will ever see, which had no relation to anything what so ever, and no usable nor abstract sound as we talked / laughed through it. (These were actually recorded pretty well though this time, I must say). My mood when reliving all this footage was at the same level of silly and the cutaways were added in quite horrendously. I mean there is an arrow spasm at one point and a few too many terrible crossfades, the works. BUT definitely learnt a lesson in putting more thought into obtaining cut-away material, as it really can add more interest value to an interview and has the ability to look visually spectacular. Having some ambient sounds could have really have made more of an impact also!

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 10.09.22 PM
Dat crossfade action