Filmmaking - With an artist a film can become a world of wonder...


Barbara Agreste’s Filmmaking

In my artwork I always alternate the figure of a real woman to the one of a doll. Reptilica is a good example of it: the real woman is always appearing in fast cuts, and close ups, small parts of her body, usually feet, legs and hands are shown in the frame.

The doll on the other hand appears in her entire figure: there is a rich variety of objects that can be put beside her, and it is very easy to create a setting using miniature elements, it also becomes more interesting to to look at weird reproductions, or distorted reflections of what surrounds us, like if the film frame and what it contains became a parody of the real world.


If you own a video camera, you can basically film anything around you, but most of the times, if the film is not focused, or structured, and if the shots are taken at random, on the streets for example, the outcome can really become uninteresting, too common, too obvious, or too flat.

With an artist a film can become a world of wonder, and treasures, if the right attention is given to the actual images that are shot. With only a medium sized box for instance, filmmakers can do amazing things, without the need to go outside their own house, the choice of objects, backgrounds and combinations is infinite.

The camera becomes the tool through which whatever existed as a very tiny idea inside the artist’s mind transforms into a visual construct which simulates a real space, with depth, corners, colors, and life.


A film is mainly made of images

A filmmaker has to understand images, therefore photography is the key factor, how to make even only one photograph is very important when the time comes for shooting a film. A film is a succession of moving images, dancing images, rushing images, thunder images, storming images…

The succession of frames could be fragmented and a possible narrative could be nonsensical or distorted only thanks to the way a film is edited. A film is something to be done with a focus in mind because the camera will then be used to “focusing on things”, a very important part of filmaking is the “close up”.

If you really know how to put together a number of close ups, then you’ve understood a lot about how to make a film, a landscape is better drawn and packaged by oil painters, they will definitely do a better job with it, unless you have a wonderful setting constructed in a studio, never zoom out too much when some movement is happening in the scene, if you don’t want to bore the viewers, and if you haven’t got the right equipment.

Anyway, this “close up strategy” is what has worked for me, please note that even in the Hollywood studios a lot of shots are taken with the help of miniature settings, or computer generated 3D animation.

Why a lot of artists have this attachment and fascination for fairy tales? A rabbit in a box recalls Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland, and this particular story is very dear to artist today, as I have seen many interpretations of the characters and the objects taken from this story. Animation, paintings, surreal art, many authors dig into this imaginary world of the unconscious which is often found in the content of fairy tales.

Stick with me to the next chapter.




Leave a Reply

Join Barbara Agreste on Facebook

Video Art Reptilica animation