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Charrette week at Newcastle 2018 addressed the theme of ‘spectacular, failure, help’. It was a challenging and thought provoking brief that brought together students from across the school and departments, encouraging them to combine their unique experiences and skills to create a creative installation surrounding the theme. Myself and four others were challenged to create a film installation guided by a professional film maker and architect. The title of our project was ‘people watching’ and we were tasked with creating a video of people at Newcastle airport. We began by highlighting the importance of ‘coming and going’ or arrivals and departures within our brief and set about to document this ever changing flow of people. The airport is in a constant state of motion and change and we therefore rarely saw the same person twice. We initially considered methods of stop motion however given the enormous flux/ change/ flow of people, we found a time lapse video to be more effective. Beginning at Haymarket metro station we filmed a journey towards the airport and observed the change of people throughout the carriage and their possessions. Using several video frames we placed views of the inside of the carriage and the passing outside scenery to show the juxtaposition between the movement of the people within and their ever changing external scenery. It also helped us to understand their individual journeys, where they would climb aboard, and where they could alight. We used sounds of the metro doors opening and closing and the gentle clatter of the tracks below to convey a sense of the journey. We used a fish eye lens on an iPhone camera to imply a sense of a persons entire world and journey being captured within one frame. Once arriving at the airport, we grabbed a trolley and wheeled it through the airport doors, stopping to observe the arrivals and departures boards along the way. Using multiple video frame we also showed images of the departures lounge and arrivals which we played alongside our journey through the airport. We did this in order to achieve a sense of journey, movement and the constant coming and going of travelers. By mirroring some of the screens in a sort of butterfly effect, the people appeared to walk away from one another whilst at the same time come together at different points  of the video. Voices of the journey goers trying to navigate the airport served as audio which we continually layered to give a sense of increasing numbers of people and overlapping journeys. We filmed the movement of feet, the stillness of people resting at cafes and waiting areas and the journey? Of people on escalators. We also reversed some of the video frames and played them side by side to once again subtly transfer this idea of arrivals and departures. When we had finished filming at the arrivals and departures lounges, we climbed back aboard the metro and traveled home once more into Newcastle where we took to the task of editing our footage on premier pro. On the night of the charrette exhibition we displayed our video (consisting of several screens) across a blank wall in the architecture department. We turned off all the lights and cleared a large central space, encouraging people to sit on stools and on the floor. From multiple speakers positioned around the room we played our travelers soundtrack to immerse the viewer in the journey itself and enjoy the aspect of people watching. As the film drew to a close, the multiple screens gradually disappeared one by one until only one image of the metro airport sign remained.

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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