A 007 parody

Posted on February 7, 2005

I received a video art assignment that read:

Though relatively young, the use of video as a medium has already developed into various genres… Each of these has established a certain format that is readily acceptable by a board public in a smooth uncritical way… All I am asking you in this project is to look at one of these traditions and cast doubt on them through disruption.

Basically, I needed to find one or more points in a use of video and replace the element with something else to find out the results. Initially I wanted to use footage from Friends and replace the dialogues with something unintelligible to the common people but preserving the annoying laughing tracks. But I did not really like the idea, because I needed voices of various people.

So I decided to make fun of my childhood favourite – 007. In Silver Dancer, I wanted to replace the “toys” and gadgets in the Bond movies with real toys, whilst retaining the classy cinematography, and action sequences.

But time was not on my side. I had only 5 days left when the idea was solidified. However, I still went ahead to write a “script” that includes a scene to introduce the agent with a license to kill to a room of computers where he copied off classified files, but in doing so triggered the alarm.

He then escapes from the building, only to be chased by goons. A bicycle chase scene is then possible, with nice “missile” firing between them.

Progress and Results

Being inexperienced with action sequences, I underestimated the time required to shoot the video. I skipped the storyboards because I thought it was unnecessary.

That was not quite a smart move. As I have learned but never quite remembered, planning now saves time later. I took forever to compose shots during the first day of shooting, achieving only 1/3 of my goals. Many of them needed to be reshot on the next day. Furthermore, I had a hard time finding a place to shoot the computer room scene, because the rooms in school were all occupied.

So the computer room scene was dissolved. I had to drop the bike chase scene as well due to time constraints. I also had a hard time finding sound effects for it.

Luckily, He Nan, a generous friend of mine was willing to help me shoot for two days. I had the second day a second chance to rewrite the script and re-shoot the scenes that were discovered to be inadequate on the night I went editing.

The results were not bad, although too short. I wished, during the rewriting, that I included more shootout scenes during the escape – somersaults, jumping down a flight of stairs, guard rolling down the stairs, fist fights, etc.

Perhaps Another Day.