“I am under pressure; I have two hours to prepare the experiment and myself. A window of opportunity has been found and the day’s collaborative group seem willing. Thankfully I have ruminated on this beginning for some time so all I need to do is use my resourcefulness and mental preparedness to action a quick gathering and share”.


The idea is for each collaborator to privately pre-visulise a particular environment/space through listening to and being lead on a descriptive spoken journey. Then for each to experience the space, for only a minute, and to make a single smart-phone photo that somehow relates to their pre-visulaisation. Followed by a group discussion.


I re-purpose a film set in the film studio, set props and light the scene accordingly. I gather my colleagues in the adjacent studio. I gather 7 colleagues; an artist/documentation consultant, a scriptwriter/director, an animator, a film editor, a documentary filmmaker, a film producer and a journalist/filmmaker.

Elements I want to take from the discussion;


  • A fun ‘gallery’ moment. 2 participants are less keen to show their results. I ask for the images; 4 of 7 are sent. 
  • This experiment is less about the ‘evidence’ and more about the process. 
  • One or two had difficulty with the pre-visulisation process and thus felt they couldn’t properly engage throughout. 
  • Most relished some ‘time off’ to relax and breathe without guilt - apparently a rare pause for all. 
  • In retrospect I was glad to have scrapped a 'control' person or to have split the group into placebos. Inclusion is preferred

Editor: “I didn’t want to enter the room, as it was so nice in the black space,... I had a reluctance”. 

Artist: “We were very aware of the black room, through the guidance”.

Animator: “It’s actually very powerful to ask people to close their eyes a then describe an image”.

Editor: “It effects you, it may also put boundaries on you,... you put your armour on and narrow”. 

Me: “The team may go off in different directions!” (Regarding this experiment working as a group).

Editor: “You could build so much artefact into each element into the room,... it is a strong thing to close your eyes and build”.

Me: “To have the freedom to change and edit the room, to build it, and then take the image”.

Doc Filmmaker: “I felt that I was peeking,... an erotic feeling”.

Me: “Yes it felt forensic, this wasn’t my intention”.


  • I have no control in this work at this stage. I was scared of naivety, and this is naive, but it is not a problem. 
  • This work is as much about absence as it is about focus; what is missing? Not just in my design but also from the imaginings vs reality. Differences are more discernible than similarities. Reduction. Some have ignored details, simplifying the space. No one mentions that the reality is more complex than they envisaged.
  • We talk about this work’s relation to film processes. Through a question, I speak for the first time about my idea that this could be the beginnings of a sort of ‘collaborative, psychological script reading’. In externalising this idea, after sharing the work via collaboration, is very powerful / motivating.


Me: “In a classical approach, as a cinematographer, you don’t have time to prepare your own real heart or soul into a project,... I’m interested in finding specific times to actually delve deep into your own being in order to find what you find interesting within a scene”.

Me: “A storyboard is a way of exporting your imagination, but your imagination tends to be limited at the paper,... most boards are stickmen in a bland world”. “This is more about a complex dynamic space”.


  • Producing relationships with imagined realities. Did they have a relationship with the scene? Could they feel that through this technique a relationship could be produced? An ownership?
  • An invitation for engagement, a shared space, a simple task and a discussion. 

 The script;

5 minutes;

  • We close our eyes.
  • Breath slowly.
  • Breath from the stomach.
  • Hands on your stomach.
  • Breath deeper.

A further 5 minutes;

  • Imagine you are in a silent black space. 
  • In front of you is a open door to a white room. 
  • You walk to the doorway.
  • You see a room with two windows. Dull winter light comes through the shear curtains. Otherwise the room is quite dark.
  • There is a circular table in the room.
  • And a chair.
  • Both are wooden, and early C19th.
  • A red carpet - torn - is on the floor.
  • Keep trying to hold all these in your mind - and fill any details as you wish.
  • A pair of mens black boots are by the wall.
    You enter the room.
  • The floor is grey and dirty.
  • A book is on the small circular table. It is open showing medical diagrams.
  • Next to the book is a small paper bag of sugar.
  • A woman’s coat lays disregarded on the floor. It is black and thick.
  • Now hold this construct in your mind and begin to focus on aspects that have some importance to you.

Pause, ~2 minutes

  • Now open you eyes
  • Now, without discussion, we all go to the scene and one at a time be in the space for a single minute and then to take a single photo that relates to your imaginings. And then we discuss our relation to the image we have made.