Although at times the image coincides with the voiceover to illustrate a point, I have avoided using a didactic approach. In this way I was able to incorporate images that Adilzhan and I feel reflect his life and attitude in general, rather than trying to match image and text exactly all the way through. This indeed creates space for absorption and meditation.
I called the Assessment team when I was in the UK and they advised me to send in prints with my final written work, even though it is in digital format. I have decided to use screenshots, since this is the way video work is presented in catalogues or brochures. The idea came to me as I was uploading one of the films to Vimeo and it was assigned a thumbnail at random which was a quality image with a particularly poignant subtitle. The size will be A4.
What is most interesting for me when comparing the films of Adilzhan and Dinara is that they are in fact not only personal stories, but reflect wider cultural values. Adilzhan speaks of the need for a man to go to work and provide for his family, while Dinara loves shopping for clothes and longs to be a mother. Although these may seem like stereotyped gender roles in Western society, in Kazakhstan gender roles are still very fixed. This demonstrates the importance of my taking a back seat in directing the narrative content: I will not adapt or edit to pander to the tastes or values of any audience, to do otherwise would indeed enforce a polemic.
Getting decent shots from unpromising situations is something that I have come to know and love. This is why I always have a camera with me, and take every opportunity to shoot material. In my experience the situations that sound the most promising from the outset are often the least rewarding in reality. I recall the research I did on W.A. Allard for level 2, who claimed that he never actually sought out situations, but rather left it to serendipitous chance to reveal something interesting to him. As a non-studio photographer, I totally agree.