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FFRESH Festival

Ffresh is the Student Moving Image Festival of North Wales, the festival was held at Glyn Dwr University over three days in February 2013.

‘Now in its 10th year, ffresh – the Student Moving Image Festival of Wales – features the best student work from Wales, the UK, and abroad, along with masterclasses, panel sessions and workshops with some of the industry’s most renowned and respected figures.’

The first presentation I attended was FFRESH works: Dream, this was a 1 hour show reel of a mixture of European and UK films – there was a very broad collection of styles presented in this very short session, a mixture of animation and film was presented. The flow of the pieces presented was a little bit dis jointed and lacked a sense of direction, it was also difficult to understand who the pieces were by!

The first video was called ‘Momentum’ this was the only video in my opinion that stood out from all of the rest, it is a beautiful mixture of lyrical and stunning visual content. The video starts off with a man in a derelict looking building, he is talking about a party or a disco that he attends, the idea is that he picks up a tortilla chip and then starts to dance with the chip, this progresses into some very dynamic dance and a constant narration over the visuals that describe the act of dancing in a passionate and flamboyant way.

The video was clean, crisp and extremely dynamic, the use of ambient lighting throughout combined with the textures of the distressed walls and floor, there are autumn leaves ankle deep throughout the scenes that interplay with the characters movements very similar to the particles effect in Cinema 4D. The video also used some very technical elements such as the character being duplicated in the same scene, also graphical elements were composited onto the footage. The compositing was seamless, the lighting was characteristic of tangible lighting and textures used throughout.  The story was very clear from start to end which gave a sense of connection to the piece,  I felt as though I was drawn into the movements and environment in my mind, my body started to move to the rhythm of the piece. The music played a crucial role in the success of this piece, the piece had a lot of pace without being chaotic or amateur.

I felt that this piece was the most mature of all the video’s that were shown, from the concept to the final presentation – one thing that stood out in particular was the level of typography used, the other pieces felt as though the typography wasn’t important and was an after thought but this piece although the type was only the credits and a few other items, the typography had been well thought out and executed, from the choice of type face, to the application in the piece, it would have been simple enough and probably effective to have the text scroll down the screen, but the designer had used the text inside of the visuals, in this I mean, the text was placed on the background image, with a sense of perspective and texture.


Here is the trailer for ‘Momentum’

The last presentation that was a particular favorite was the talk by the Designer Dylan Kendle of Tomato (an artist/designer collective in London). Dylan started off his presentation by playing the show reel for Tomato. The show reel contained some very exciting and unique pieces. Tomato are an inspiring collective of musicians, writers, artists, illustrators and designers, who all work cross disciplinary. Dylan was very inspiring because you can hear the passion he has for the work he does, should I call it work if its love? Dylan’s talked a lot about making stuff with your hands, in an organic process ‘getting dirty’ and making a mess! this I really thought was inspiring, it’s that love of making things then using the technical tools such as the computer after to present the work that is really special, this harks back a lot to the arts & crafts – this is particularly important to designers, or at least should be as there will be no individualism in the work that is produced en mass if we just all learn a particular function in Photoshop and apply that to everything, but if we get ideas from the materials and the world around us first, we will come up with unique answers to design questions – ones that will be unique and individual depending on the artists skills and imagination.

Dylan’s typography is really unique also, Dylan showed us a typeface that he had created for a project, it was a very unique Sans Serif face, he had cut out the letter forms and had given them to his friends toddler son to put back together, he had documented this process and was very interested in the way that the child documented his own experiences using a camera phone, and also the way that the child put the letter forms together was clearly of interest to Dylan. This seemed more of a social experiment in one way, it is a way to see into the minds of users to gather an understanding of comprehension and usage from people that are not necessarily trained in the visual arts, this understanding of people is clearly of great importance and not to be dis-regarded in any way.

Dylan Kendle Show reel

I was lucky enough to get my photo taken with Dylan Kendle of Tomato!