Mumi | the trailer

Here’s a brief outline of the though-process behind the trailer:

The trailer combines the use of still images and audio taken from the main project, Mumi a timeless fellow, and is presented as an embedable video sequence. The aim of this 1.5 minute trailer is to bring attention to the main project without disclosing too much of the more intimate material. The trailer does not tell a conventional story (with a clear beginning, middle and an end) but instead tries to create interest by posing questions designed to hook the viewer into proceeding to the main project.

Whilst the trailer is linear and allows only limited interaction, the main website is a non-linear collaborative multimedia project: http://mumi.pbenj.net It documents aspects of Mumi‘s life and presents them in a dateless blog form. The content is arranged in a particular order but nevertheless allows the viewer to interact by enabling him or her to navigate through the project. The project has it‘s own website and therefore it‘s own identity. If the images are removed from the project and published elsewhere, they are removed from their original context. The audio slideshow allows the material to be arranged in a neat package which can then be easily embedded elsewhere, for example, a blog promoting the photographer‘s work.

The Mumi trailer combines images and audio arranged in sequence. The images, some of which show Mumi as a child, tell a story from past to present. The story starts with Mumi as a toddler and culminates with him looking back at the viewer. Parallel to the images we hear Mumi introducing himself and even making reference to the project itself. Photographs are inherently subjective and are greatly influenced by the photographer, i.e. choice of camera, choice of composition etc. Mumi‘s voice offers another layer of information which complements the photographs and allows him to literally tell his own story. The use of audio empowers him and helps restore a representational balance.

The trailer attempts to mirror the development of the project and what it might be like to get to know this person. Mumi introduces himself first and you get to know him before hearing and seeing more intimate aspects of his life. Therefore the trailer leaves out many of the intimate issues shown in the main project because the viewer simply does not know him enough. Whilst this approach is unusual and might feel unfamiliar to a mainstream audience, a subtle approach is more in keeping with Mumi‘s personality and the main project itself. It would have been easier to have pushed Mumi‘s disability to the forefront in order to have made a more obvious hook to draw in the viewer. Whilst disability is an important aspect of Mumi‘s life, it is not all that he is about. Reducing him to a set of images would be akin to reducing him to the purely physical. The trailer avoids using overly intimate images and introduces his disability with text rather than image. The viewer is told through a caption that Mumi is disabled, there is no image of this at first. He is left to wonder about the severely disability mentioned in the caption and what it might be.

The trailer tells a story without a clear beginning, middle and end. It avoids implying that it it in some way complete and definitive. It introduces Mumi in a way that reflects his character and discloses just enough of the person to create interest without being overly intimate or exploitative. His voice adds an indispensable layer of information to the images.

The trailer tries to subtly hook viewer in to the story by posing questions that remain unanswered.

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