Tyger, Tyger (A Short Film)

What immortal hand or eye, could frame thy fearful symmetry

Next up we reach roughly October/November of last year when discovered two very important people to my work. First is William Blake. Blake’s poetry is reasonably well known (at least the most mainstream stuff, I doubt many people have read the Book of Urizen), but what is less focused on is the form it took on the page, for example:


To me, Blake has a lot in common with the kind of imagery I’m interested in, combining different layers of image and text and using that form as a metaphor for the multi-layered nature of his poetry. I’ve always been a fan of the highly complex and ambiguous meanings behind his works and I chose to make a film with Tyger, Tyger (simply because it’s my favourite and reasonably short) in order to experiment with these combining my techniques with a narrative. I wanted to see if the layers could be employed in an extended story rather than simply capturing a single moment.


The other great influence was filmmaker Peter Greenaway. Greenaway’s films (especially The Tulse Luper Suitcases) are filled with composite images and I wanted to test out if I, with a DSLR camera and Premiere Pro could recreate the level of complexity he was able to achieve.

Tyger, Tyger then for me is the opening of the door into narrative and into a number of techniques I had never used before. It was my first venture into combining sound layers. It also has a thematic layering of trying to understand the interpretations of a text. Some of the readers within knew the poem, some didn’t, some weren’t native English speakers, some were nervous public speakers. With all those elements and the overlaying of the text itself I wanted to hint and the life that a poem exudes, that is not a static object, but an interactive experience ready to be awoken from the page.


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