How experimental can historical fiction be?

I always knew that I was never what you would call an "experimental" artist or filmmaker, but I didn't realize just how safe I was. I followed the rules and conventions, and did a large portion of my work by the book. But when I would look for something to watch, it was normally something that was daring or different, and rarely done.



So I began to wonder why this was - because obviously I didn't avoid risks because I didn't enjoy the end product. I boiled it down to a fear of screwing it up. I was afraid of trying something out of my comfort zone and not having it be as "successful" or look as visually pulled together as someone else's might. The symmetry and the planning and the clean-cut approach got the job done, but I always felt like there could be more there - but I was too scared to experiment.


This clean cut approach has reared it's ugly head again in the form of me choosing to do a historical fiction narrative piece. There's not much room for experimentation here, so I felt safe and as though I HAD to do it in my regular style because how could it work any other way?


But in the back of my mind, what I truly wanted to do was to research how experimentation within this genre would work out, and how it would look on screen. I am afraid that perhaps it would be too distracting - any audience that shows up to watch a period piece rarely wants to watch a piece that is done in any way other than the traditional "Pride and Prejudice" or "Outlander" style. But I can't think of a film in the genre of historical fiction where it was KNOWN for it's experimentation...


So that is my new goal: utilize more techniques outside of my comfort zone. I will do this by researching films within my genre that have been experimental - either with camera angles, edits, or audio/visual effects. Once I have found them, I aim to pinpoint these characteristics and try to recreate them myself.


In the meantime I have used footage I shot to test out these techniques. I am exploring haptic visuality a little deeper, and finding what I need to physically do with the camera and lighting, and what choices I need to make in the editing room, to elicit a physiological response, or even a sense memory recall, from these images. My theme was the Danish concept of Hygge - a way of life that revolves around the feeling of comfort and coziness. My goals were to use long transition times and images of physical touch to convey this feeling.

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