Feb 3, 2009

Urban Jazz (2003)

Inspired by all the early City Symphony films from the 1920's and 30's that I saw in my first year of uni, in the summer of 2003 I attempted one of my own. On a day trip up to Calgary my friend Andrea and I were playing tourist and I ended up shooting a ton of footage from the top of the Calgary Tower. Mixed with some other footage I shot of the old hotels and buildings by the tracks in Medicine Hat, I cut together a vignette of a growing urban landscape.

Like those early classics, Urban Jazz is a contrast between the old city and new city, between structure and chaos, the beauty and decay. Having shot the project almost entirely from above, there are some pretty interesting vantage points and patterns. What makes these city symphony flicks so unique in my view is that as they age they gain even more depth. The city changes, growing and shrinking, and the technology, from the cars to the signs, begin to date the footage.

While this project showcases some of my novice, and rather playful editing, it's also an example of my focus to branch out and experiment (I was 19 at the time). I hadn't really made any serious 'avant garde' flicks before this one, and the year in university that came after this essentially opened the flood gates. To me it's just another reminder that as quickly as time has gone, I created a lot of stepping stones by trying new things and making videos purely to entertain myself. To say the least, I'm happy that motivation hasn't faded.

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