Haunted Mountain has evolved out my previous work that has aimed to document the processes of adaptation between humans and nature. Since living in Kelowna, I became interested in Mount Boucherie as a pseudo-wild space, a remnant of a stratovolcano created nearly 60 million years now criss-crossed with dozens of hiking trails, situated in the midst of expanding suburban and industrial development. My intent with this project to make collaboration an integral part of the process, from conceptualization to completion, as a way to push both my ideas and the realization of those ideas—filmmaking, soundtrack and installation—further.
Haunted Mountain will be an experimental short film shot on Super 16mm and will be presented as a digitally projected, three-channel gallery installation. Building on previous film work like As far upriver as you can go before having to switch to a pole, the film will have also have a synched soundtrack using stylized and processed sounds along with an integrated score. The multiple screens will allow for simultaneous viewpoints from the footage that will be shot on and around Mount Boucherie and the the multi-channel soundtrack will augment the visuals by shifting perspectives between the screens.
I am imagining that the overall running time for the film will probably be somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes. Depending on how the project takes shape, there’s the possibility of making a single-channel, stereo mix cut of the film that could screen in more of a cinema setting.
I am planning to periodically film on and around Mount Boucherie at the start of 2019 to at least the summer time, when the fire season starts. At the most, I will be filming bits and pieces for the entire year. I’m hoping to cut a 90-120 second proof of concept out of the 16mm test footage that will include a rough idea of the soundtrack, so that by early March I can use it for gallery proposals for this project.
There should be a Research and Creation grant coming up at the Canada Council in early April 2019, but I plan on putting together a grant proposal for this project by early February to submit. And I’ll be applying to the BC Arts Council for a Media Grant in May 2019.
STRUCTURE OF THE FILM
I want the film to begin with an overture, during which there will be a dissolving series of still images. The first section of the film will take place on the mountain, documenting the changing seasons, intercutting macro shots of the plants and rocks on the mountain with shots of Mount Boucherie taken from across Okanagan Lake and up in the surrounding hills. The second section of the film will start revealing the human development around the mountain, the suburban development, the highway below, people hiking on the mountain, etc. I envision the tone of this second part to feel like a horror movie, using creeping zooms and pushing the soundtrack in this direction.
16MM TEST FOOTAGE
Three-minute rough edit of colour and b/w footage shot in October 2018 near Eain Lamont park and trails on the north side of the mountain. I just purchased a 16mm Bolex camera this summer, so it was an extended test of the camera and lens, but also to try out different filming techniques with the zooms and pans, exposing the film to light leaks, and generally getting a sense of how the landscape is going to look on film.
Photos shot in November 2018 on the east side of the mountain going up the Andesite Grinder trail and descending the Boucherie Rush trail.
Photos from October 2018 shot near Eain Lamont park and trails on the north side of the mountain.
The main point of inspiration for this project is the 1982 Godfrey Reggio film, Koyaanisqatsi, specifically in how, using no dialogue and almost no text, a narrative is communicated to the viewer between the juxtaposition of the visuals and the soundtrack. I don’t necessarily see the Philip Glass score as a direct inspiration for this project, but I am interested in how the repetitions and arpeggios reflect the repetitive patterns in the film’s images. Also, I like that the only voices heard in the film are in the musical score, mainly chanting. I found a copy of the movie (in a 9-part playlist) on YouTube, included below for reference.
The playlist is quite extended, I’ve basically included soundtracks I feel that have both an applicable tone and ones that I’ve just been listening to a lot lately. Other than Koyaanisqatsi and the Tangerine Dream soundtrack for Sorceror, most of the scores are from the last few years.
I can add notes on the specific scores and how I see them relating to this project.
SPECIFIC MUSIC FOR REFERENCE
A couple long progressive soundtrack favourites that I couldn’t find on Spotify (Phaedra is on there, but it’s some weird new version, and it sucks).
The Akira soundtrack is probably one of my favourite soundtracks of all time, and Geinoh Yamashirogumi’s album, Ecophony Rinne, which came out before this soundtrack is also amazing.