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Secrets and Lies

Experimental Films

My approach to this film project is to explore my daily life and the reality of living with a debilitating illness. In capturing this part of my life, I want to expose the reality of the government cuts and legislation that has seriously impacted people living with serious heart conditions.

Using my personal experience and filming myself doing daily tasks from dressing, household chores, shopping and traveling I hope to educate the viewer that although I’m able bodied this does not automatically mean I should not be classed as a disabled person.

As a society with have unconsciously been educated to think being disabled requires you to be in a wheelchair or have a physical disability that is apparent from the moment you see the person. The current icon for a disabled person is a wheelchair and user, this image impacts people like myself on a daily basis. These forms of discrimination range from parking, using toilets, shopping and using disabled support checkouts or checking services at events or airports.

International Handicap Sign

I intend to film my life from the perspective of not suffering from having a heart condition, leaving no visible signs throughout the first half of the film. With this perspective my intentions are to leave the viewer wondering what this story is about, and why am I watching somebody’s daily routine. With this in mind I will endeavour to create an idea of questioning the narrative of the film, and with strong sounds and visuals to facilitate that you keep watching in the hope you will get answers.

The second part of this will depict the loss of government support for disabled people and the serious dangers that can occur due to this. This will be portrayed by replicating the video footage from the first half of the movie in short bursts but these clips will be extended to show the impact that the different tasks had on my condition.

I intend to show my daily medication in the second part of the movie educating the viewer that the visual persona I give out is I tiny reflection of the complexity of my condition. Adjusting the film to be black and white I want to portray that old adjective that nothing is ever truly black and white, and from a visual point of view to help create the feeling of bleakness and despair. I have taking this inspiration from David Lynch’s movies and also Spielberg’s Schindlers List who are both Oscars winning film makers.

David Lynch (Eraserhead)

Steven Spielberg’s (Schindler’s List)

During the final part of the film I’m going to fade out to black and use audio clips to replicate a call to the ambulance service, followed by the sound of a travelling ambulance ending with the sound of a defibrillator try to resuscitate myself. As these sounds resonate in the viewers mind, they will hopefully be able to create a visual picture of what is happening behind the blackness as sirens of ambulance and Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are something most of society has seen on tv or in movies.

During the blackout part of the film I will be scrolling information about the impact of government cuts and the deaths that have occurred since the reform from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to the new Personal Independent Payment (PIP).



During the process of making my film it came apparent that although the movie did match the criteria of Secrets and Lies, its documentary style didn’t help express a strong visual feel from an artsy point of view. Believing it lacked imagination and seemed very formal, I decided to make a second experimental film.

Using the same subject and some of the original footage I set upon creating second film that would display a visual journey that is in keeping with experimental films which I had previously watched. During the process of making the second film I discarded the normal approach of creating storyboards and collating ideas to follow the narrative of the film. In doing do I decided to go with my gut adding and cutting scenes until its completion.

With this freedom of not being tied to a storyboard and having no script, start or end point, the creation is in itself entirely from my subconscious which I feel impacts the process and elevates the movie. Deliberately opposite to the planning that had went into the first movie, both of these movies have drawn on my personal life, showing my limitations, fears and my daily journey.

Whilst viewing my first movie I was confronted with the problem of how the audience would perceive the second part as its fictional, throughout my life I have come close to being this ill but ever to the point of collapsing which is portrayed within this film. My wife may disagree whole heartily with me saying this from an objective observer, but during this analysis and reflection of my own limitations, it came to the conclusion although this may be fictional for the second part of the film, it’s a reality that I totally understand.

Whilst I am privileged that I would never be without my own car, I have had to work along with my wife to ensure I would never be put at any severe health risk.

Unfortunately, some people don’t have that support or security, in reflection applying myself to the same situation my health would be at extreme risk.

The main reason for this film is to help educate the audience of hidden disabilities and the dangers of having such an illness, hopefully this will invoke a greater understanding and break down any prejudgements that able bodied people are not arrogant by using disabled facilities, but have a genuine need. Society will always have people who abuse these facilities but hopefully people will be less judgmental from watching this film.

Throughout the process of my second film I wanted to mislead the audience to think they maybe on a drug infused journey of the subconscious, using imagery that leads from on extreme or medium to something completely different within second. In my first film I kept the colouring normal and only transitioned to black and white for end of the film. During this journey I wanted to obscure as many different filters that would still be innkeeping with the tone and story of the film.

Using stop motion came into fruition whilst sitting taking my daily tablets drawing on this, I started creating the footage but I wanted this to also say something in a very subtle way. The idea of using tablets to create the smiley face and then change this into being sad reflects on my own personal dislike for being medicated for life. The footage suggests that I’m enjoying the drugs but struggling with the morality of taking tablets.

I don’t have a fear of hospitals but I have a fear of one day needing transplantation, the abandoned hospital reflects my idea of being forgotten once I no longer exist on this plain and the reality it is only within these walls I can survive. Envisioning the hospital in decay is direct representation of myself, suggesting in my passing the hospital can also no longer be able to function.

Using my subconscious and spur of the moment ideas has helped to create what I think is a blend of worlds from conscious to unconscious imagery not knowing which is the true reality. Telling the same story of living with a hidden disability but giving no reference to this at any part of the film.

In conclusion I feel creating both films using the same subject matter and making them polar opposites of each other has helped me grow creatively and inspired me to create more work that contrast each other but have the same subject matter. In making the two films I wanted the viewers to believe that the films where created by different artists, allowing for myself to not be stereotyped as just being able to create one type of medium or visual.

Both films can be viewed in the video section

Film 1 Detrimental

Film 2 Hypoxia

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