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W06E03 | Combinations and constraints 3

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  2. Transcript
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  4. Student work from 2020
    1. Lighter by Mohammad
    2. Thumbs up by Niké
    3. untitled by Berendine Venemans
      1. __ by Elisabet
    4. It tastes good! by Thya
    5. Wind by Nasrin
    6. Do you want the television in the background? by Valeria
    7. Hidden love by Yang Yu
    8. buildings in decay by Linda
    10. Fuuu~ by Sixin
    11. BEAM (final) by Clara


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Hello and welcome to the third and final podcast this week. Let’s kick off, as ever, with a free-write. Today, the prompt is directing. Five minutes, keep that pen moving, let’s go!

[5 minutes]


Welcome back. Today we’re going to do a slightly longer exercise. You’re going to take the constraints you made yesterday, and use them to make a short film.

The first thing that you’ll need to do is choose one of your lists of constraints from yesterday. I guess you probably have a large-ish list there. Let’s cut it down to between three and six constraints. Any more and there will be too many things to balance in your mind, and any less and you’ll be a bit too free. So, go through your list and find three to six constraints to work with. Make sure you have at least one formal constraint, at least one methodological constraint, and at least one conceptual constraint. If you don’t have a list of three to six constraints, please pause the podcast now to compile them, and come back when you’re ready.

There is a link on the page for this podcast episode to upload the constraints you’ve chosen. I would love it if you could fill this in, so that I can see what constraints you decided to use. I might use them in later iterations of this course, too, so if you’d like to contribute, please fill that form in.

Now, you have your constraints, it’s time to set about making your film. Remember, you can shoot a film that isn’t about your subject, but just using the constraints you made. It might be interesting to try to shoot a short film about love using the constraints I made yesterday about a fish – or you might want to go completely literal, and shoot a factual lm about the subject, but also using the constraints.

Whatever you do, make sure that each time you make a decision, no matter how small, you consult your constraints. These constraints are your script – that is, a set of instructions – that you will turn to when you’re doing anything to do with this film. Brainstorming ideas? Refer to the script. Writing dialogue, or making diagrams for shots? Refer to the script. Shooting footage? Refer to the script. Editing your footage? Refer to the script.

Work fast, and don’t over-think this exercise. You won’t be producing something that is technically perfect, it will have the artefacts of the constraints all over it. It might not end up looking like a conventional film, but the success criteria – and I can’t emphasise this enough – are how you used the constraints of your script. Use whatever you want and legally can to make this film. There are no restrictions on the media, the format, the length, or anything else, besides the ones you’ve put on it yourself.

MIVC students, there’s a link on the web page for this episode that you can use to upload your film. If you’re not at MIVC, I’d also be interested to see what you made!

I don’t want to keep you here too long, because you’ve got a film to make, but just wanted to say that this technique is one that I use myself – in fact, I used it to create a film for the Seoul Museum of Art and Palais de Tokyo, called Network / Intersect, and I wrote about in my PhD by Design. I call it Reflexive Scripted Design, and if you want to learn more about it, or the work I’ve done with this process, I will probably publish something about the process soon - just check my website at for updates.

Thanks for listening, good luck with this exercise, and enjoy working with the script and constraints that you made yourself.

See you next week!


Upload your constraints + Upload your film

Student work from 2020

Lighter by Mohammad


Short, fast, use different lights

Thumbs up by Niké

### Constraints

Edit chaotically, say sorry, make it between two people, make it a dialogue, let it end in a good way and make it non linear

untitled by Berendine Venemans


Make it foggy, each shot needs to be contrasting patterns and colours, music that a human cannot make, quilt, mystic feeling

__ by Elisabet


Make it green, shoot close up, film it slowly, film object with different textures, shooting outside

It tastes good! by Thya


Methodological constraints

Wind by Nasrin


Its Gray and white, slow motion, meditate

Do you want the television in the background? by Valeria


No Narration (FORM.), Child point of view (METHOD.), Make it workhaolic(CONC.), Make it Unserious (CONC.)

Hidden love by Yang Yu


Make it in a shiny state(Conceptual Must zoom in and zoom out to take pictures(Methodological Fuzzy(Formal

buildings in decay by Linda


with a focus on composition, fairly static, with some irregularities, dusty, footage that has already been made, after collecting the footage not adding something later on in the process



  1. use your own concert footage. 2. film it while dancing a bit or jumping up and down. 3. sing along. 4. use live music. 5. make the order of the music/videos unexpected for yourself

Fuuu~ by Sixin


  • Make it in the air
  • Make it with multiple layers
  • Make it transparent

BEAM (final) by Clara


tunnelvision, jump cut to different scenes, flickering, make it tense and sharp