by Gerundio Will Reblando
In my free time I am an amateur film buff. I watch movies and log them on Letterboxd and see what other people have logged and ranked. Last year I regularly saw the name Andrei Tarkovsky on the top of rankings and must see lists. So I sat down and watched his film Stalker. It was a long nearly three hour watch, but it is the most profound movie I had ever seen. It posed questions of my innermost desires, humanity, and the world. I became enamored with Tarkovsky, watching all his films changed how I thought about myself and the world. I believe this self and worldly reflection is something that everyone should be able to experience.
The films of Andrei Tarkovsky are a powerful tool to increase self and worldly reflection, but the way modern social media has conditioned young adults ages 18-25 to fast paced, short, and easily digestible content, makes Tarkovsky films, being slow paced, nearly three hours long, and require constant attention from non-Russian speakers to read the subtitles, very inaccessible to this audience.
How might I make Andrei Tarkovsky’s films more accessible for 18 to 25 year old young adults who don’t know about Tarkovsky, to have his films be a tool to increase their self and worldly reflection?
The 18 to 25 year old generation has grown up with the internet. Fast paced communication and all the world’s knowledge at their fingertips. It has conditioned them to absorb a lot of information, and absorb it fast.
All the media today surrounding Andrei Tarkovsky is positioned to cater to the film buff and people already engaged with Tarkovsky’s work. My work does not intend to reach this same audience, because Tarkovsky’s work has the ability to create a tool of self and worldly reflection that anyone can benefit from.
Andrei Tarkovsky has a very organically calculated way he goes about crafting his films. To better convey his ideas I did extensive research into his personal background through online bibliographies, and through reading his book, Sculpting in Time.
I also went out in search of what media was already available on Tarkovsky. I found Tarkovsky and film Instagram Accounts, Reddit threads and subreddits, and the film review social media platform Letterboxd. Based on them I conducted interviews and found them all to be not engaging for a non-film buff and because this subject is relatively niche it must be sought out and when my target doesn’t know about Tarkovsky they won’t be looking.
Design Process + Testing
To create a successful design it must fulfill three key requirements.
- The content I create to be able to be seen by a random audience. This excludes creating a website or Facebook group, because these methods are only shared by word of mouth or paid advertisements. To fulfill this requirement I have decided to create content on TikTok and Instagram’s Reels platforms. My target audience already uses these social media platforms and being able to harness their algorithm to be put in front of a wide audience is a perfect place to engage the target audience. This will mean that the content is short videos, less than a minute in length.
- The videos I create must prompt self and worldly reflection. I have found several quotes from Tarkovsky’s book that feel very profound, truthful, and thought provoking and have put them into the video for the audience to be able to read.
- The videos I create must be aesthetically engaging. I have done this by editing together visually striking moments from various films and overlaid them with the quotes in a moving dynamic typographic way. This way it will capture viewers attention long enough to engage them through self and worldly reflection.
To test I tried several different typographic styles to find something that was engaging yet was still easily readable. I got feedback for improvement after each iteration to create a style that worked the best to fill both the second and third requirements.
The end product is aesthetically engaging videos pulled from Andrei Tarkovsky films, less than a minute long, with quotes from Tarkovsky that prompt self and worldly reflection. They can be found on TikTok and Instagram Reels. I chose the name Sketching in Time for the brand of the accounts based on the idea of a sketch being a small, quick representation of a masterpiece, and Andrei Tarkovsky’s book Sculpting in Time.
While TikTok and Instagram Reels do a good job putting created content in front of viewers, it still takes a lot of time to organically gain a following to reach a wider audience of people within their algorithms. After testing with peers and interviewees however on my final designs, my end design solution seemed to complete the requirements stated above and was successful.