The Creative Process

April 2, 2007

Production Project Idea #1
This is how my creative process for Production Project 1 started. A morning walk down La Trobe Street to uni, I saw a Caucasian lady at the POST building cleaning the building’s glass windows. That’s really nothing to shout about or be attracted to, she was just doing a simple, commonplace job. But I couldn’t stop looking, because I noticed she was middle-aged but very beautiful. She wasn’t the Hollywood prototypical beautiful, but a lady you wouldn’t fit into the ‘cleaner’s’ stereotype. For a moment I wondered if I would’ve stopped in my tracks if it were an older aged person, someone less enrapturing in looks, or if I’d have thought twice if she / he were … Asian.

It’s funny how things like color can put some on higher esteem than others, typically how the color of skin puts us on ranks of the social hierarchy. My initial thoughts was to do a mockumentary, and I had some sketchy thoughts…

  • A white lady, a cleaner. She is a commonplace woman, just doing her job to make ends meet. In a white society or a white dominant country there is nothing much to be alarmed about her. But take her out of her social comfort zones, and put her in, say, Chinatown. She is happy there, speaks excellent Cantonese, goes about her job oblivious that the rest of the world finds her odd.
  • 2 people, a couple, blind from birth. They’re walking, with aids on the city streets, a dog accompanying. We don’t see their faces, only their feet as they walk. They are making casual conversation – they discuss their route to Chapel Street, the meeting they’ll have with an old friend, his new cellphone their idea of what color their cellphone is… [imagine a conversation scene from Before Sunrise / Before Sunset]. They’re trying to describe color, the strength of fierceness of red, the happiness of orange, they have their personal reservations about green, they think blue is a ‘detaching’ color.
  • An outdoor art class, an interracial group of students (maybe early primary school) are painting a wall mural. Their painting starts off ordered, but soon a paint fight starts, they’re first flicking paint at each other, then splashing larger blotches of a variety of colors. Everyone joins in, gets dirty, but they’re happy. A picture of unity.

Production Project Idea #2

(taken by Gloria Wong (2007) Used with permission.)

Part 2 is actually Gloria’s initial idea, when she went by The Old Corner Shop, better known as Russells (La Trobe, King Street), she went in and chatted up with the elderly owners George and Lola Russell. Their tiny cafe on the ground floor and their living space upstairs has a history that goes back decades (109 years, to be exact) and two to three generations. The couple has many stories to tell. Gloria ‘s been brave to go right in herself and talk with them like they were old friends. When I told her I was interested in being part of her project, Gloria took me down to Russell’s to meet them. What struck me was how rooted and rustic Russells was, admist the cowering modern day office buildings and imposing popular food places. Going right into Russells, it made me feel as if I had been transported to quiet suburbia, removed on the rowdiness of Melbourne’s CBD, very surreal.

I liked Gloria’s idea because my first good impressions of Melbourne were in it’s architecture and it’s preservation of many old structures and establishments. Based on her idea, we as a team have decided to make an episodic series of the forgotten and old places of the Melbourne CBD. Russells shall be our pilot. I am also keen to develop an interactive site containing video interviews, history and visual tour of old and forgotten places of Melbourne. Our inspirations are Vietnam Nurses, usmob & Route to Routes, just to name a few.

We’re now a 4-people group, Gloria, Haslina, Jenny and I – a good mix of researchers, production, edited and conceptual girls. We’re at the research stage and will be going around the city looking for the forgotten or hidden gems of the CBD. Very exciting!


One Response to “The Creative Process”

  1. […] is difficult to break stereotypes, especially those that are culturally ingrained. I wrote about my initial production idea about a film that reverses social and cultural norms. Should I have gone ahead with my idea, it […]

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