Within my short film Katalysis in order for Moa (playing Anna) to experience loss and to recognise a particular trigger for this emotion, I set up an extended version of an intimacy excersize that had an abrupt break to 'severe contact'.


I mediate and directed the session as per this document from the rehearsal day (pdf to right).


The result was powerful for the actress and we tapped into this emotion months later during shooting.

Experiment A:

My line of thought is that this process could be beneficial to non-actors also. As such I will attempt to use intimacy excersizes in order to explore the potentiality between the director/cinematographer and the actor. Where this leads I am not sure.


My first attempt was to invite back Athena who helped give Moa the previous experience; an understanding collaborator. Extracts from my process notes;


  • I think running the same intimacy excersize that Athena ran with Moa will open up a new way of me seeing a subject prior to (simple) visual (looking). The idea being to read and pre-visualise through touch and some form of spiritual contact.
  • I tell Athena that this does feel a little self-indulgent but she thinks it’s a cool idea.
  • I am nervous. So is Athena. I only find out she is nervous at the beginning of the excersize. 
  • She stops the excersize - which is the right thing to do. I can not but feel rejected, even after only 3 minutes in.
  • Instead I suggest; We keep eyes closed and run a few more excerizes inc a vaiant of “I am”. This loosens us up. We then try some basic Meisner line repetition excersize which is fun (remembered from a Matthew Allen class). 
  • We both now feel much more connected to one another. I can look at her, and she can be watched, without feeling awkward.
  • We both think a 3rd person would have helped in these excersizes.
  • When we come to photograph we are both in a good mood. I feel that I can really look at her, and she feels far more comfortable being watched than I think she would have otherwise.
  • Athena says that after we did the fun actor excersizes we could have then made the meditative excersizes - she would have been more relaxed.

Experiment B: Preparations for Preparations for Preparations


(A scene in Katalysis requires paintings as key-props. I decide that painting them from my own photographic work is the best methodology, and I re-appropriate the session to work with this research.) 


I repeat the excersize as reported above but with a new actor Eline, who cast for the film, didn’t get the part, but nevertheless intrigued me.


The excersize goes well. I conduct it in a large studio surrounded by props and in atmospheric studio lighting. In 15 minutes we both say how it feels that we know each other extremely well. Yes, we are both nervous, me more so perhaps, but this is overcome. The photo shoot is the most natural and enjoyable I think I have ever conducted; rather than directing and photographing a stranger I feel as though I’m working with a good friend. There is no doubting that this pseudo-familiarisation came close to alluring; an atmosphere had been created as a by-product of the excersize. The merits of which, if balanced correctly, can infuse the work with the same energies. 


I am convinced that action via intimate collaboration could create meaningful new work but the territory needs to be managed better than my beginnings. I can also imagine that this communion can operate between self and objects, thoughts, etc.

In describing this process to Anders Bohman (DoP / tutor at Uniarts) I draw this white board image.

Vrubel's "Pysche with Blue Lines" from this work. (Painting to be used in Katalysis).