Under Construction


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Video Design: Sam Skynner

Video Design Assistant: Chris Killada

Videographer: Sam Skynner

Primary Editor: Sam Skynner

Aditional Editing: Hanah Tran, Doaa Ouf, Ein Kim 

Director: Sivan Battat 

Set Designer: Omid Akbari

Costume Designer: Theo Dubois

Production Details: 

Shot on: Cannon mx2 super 8 

Film Developing: Negativeland 

Wish You Were Here was a play performed at the Yale Repertory theater. The play was directed by Sivan Battat and written by Sanaz Toosi. For this production I was the projection designer and conceptualized and shot footage on super 8 film to be used in my design. 

The story takes place in the 1970’s-1990’s and is set in Iran. It follows the friendships and departure of five women in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. The play celebrates female friendship and togetherness at a time where the position of women in Iranian society is being altered drastically. 

The video sequences take place during transitions between scenes in the show. There were eight transition sequences in total, usually spanning from one to two minutes. The purpose of the video was to visualize the main character’s pre-revolution memories and to demonstrate to the audience what the relationship between these women was like before some of them departed. These transitional videos occurred when the automated set began to move and helped the audience stay engaged with the story while the actors were offstage. 

I shot these video sequences on Super 8 film due to the presence of the medium in the 1970’s and as a result of the relative accessibility of the format in comparison to 16mm and 35mm film. Since Super 8 was a stock of film that many people used to create home videos in order to archive the history of their family and communities, it was a great way to make the video relatable and to give it a handmade look. It was also interesting dramaturgically, as before digital video, people had to be a lot more conservative with the amount of material that they captured with their cameras as there is a direct correlation between the amount of film shot and the cost of buying and developing the film. In the age of the iPhone, the amount of film that you shoot is largely irrelevant after the iPhone is purchased outright. When people were shooting on film, they were more selective about the images and video that they would take, and as a result, the moments captured were often special to some degree. The Super 8 film gave the footage a memory-like quality that I was very interested in and added the extra layer of meaning.

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