Critical Point

  • John Vincent
    Director
  • John Vincent
    Writer
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Sci-fi, fine art
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 43 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    750 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - John Vincent

John Vincent is an Artist and Film Maker based in Letchworth Garden City. His work ranges from short experimental films and video/audio installations to digital art and painting. Experimentation with digital media has led to further exploration of his interest in technology and the interplay of analogue and digital often manifesting in surreal and dreamlike imagery and sound.

The subject matter of Vincent’s work is often informed by a background in painting, local history, the utilisation of archives and memory blended with contemporary scenarios and imagined futures typically through a personal geographical relationship with a location.

Within his work there are also notions of a contemporary suburban Gothic with elements of horror that touch on science fiction and time travel with a distinctly British feel. These ideas have led to the exploration and representation of eerie atmospheric interpretations of everyday life and tend to be represented by missing or hidden elements within scenes often conveying a sense of mystery by alluding to events that have already occurred (or are about to).

Vincent has received a number of commissions for digital projects over the last few years resulting in some exciting collaborations and research based work.

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Director Statement

'Critical Point' was my second commission by SparkedEcho (Now Electric Medway) to research and create a short film for the Kent based digital festival, Electric Medway 2021.

The film started with research in to a moment back in the 1960's when a young mother lost her life after falling in to a 'Dene hole' - an ancient mine shaft - after the cover fell in. This tragic moment showed that man-made intervention can affect the environment many years in to the future.

The geographical focus was Strood in the Medway area. Research involved online searches, visiting the archive centre to acquire information and images, and on location filming. The film included a large amount of animation and ‘re-animation’ in the form of bringing old archive images back to life.

Returning to the idea of climate change, the commissioned film responded to the festival theme of ‘Synchronised’ and sub-theme of ‘disrupted reality’ in a number of ways. First, this was an experiment with dual channel and split screen video where both parts go in and out of synch throughout the film. This visual interpretation of the theme allowed detailing of similar scenes and the juxtaposition of opposing or contrasting scenes. Another response was through time by linking past to present with the pairing of events or objects such as windmills - which were a feature of the landscape during the 1800s - and comparing their natural power gathering capabilities with modern day turbines.

The idea of climate change was emphasised through the contrast of the present and a dystopian future world over video screens in a scene at Broomhill Park, a local green space and nature reserve which also includes a reference to the Bosch painting ‘Magpie on the Gallows’ in this sequence; a reference that alludes to an event that has already occurred.

The film also features a 'digital' poem connecting the past and future to the present by way of social media and, in turn, its piling up of digital waste.