Words and Thoughts in RGB is my most successful piece of work to date. It won three Best Documentary awards and a Jury Prize in local festivals, and has been selected to a few important festivals both in Portugal and abroad. Not bad, for a small documentary shot and edited in under a week, and which was not supposed to be made.
Way back in the third year of film school there was this optional mini-documentary exercise. In haste I wrote a small voiceover text in English and asked my South African friend Joana to read it. Having done Type Seven (also in video) a few months previously, my intention was to make a small educational documentary as a PC demo, then take it both to film festivals and PC demo 'compos'. A nice plan, hence the English. However, other things happened and I dropped the project.
Skip to a year later. I had spent most of the fourth and last year of film school preparing a 'serious' documentary about immigration to / emmigration from Porto. However, my most definite lack of production skills meant completion at that pace would be years in the future, and the scarcity of good material I had with just a month until the deadline left me completely demoralized. So I had a conversation with the prof, and we agreed I would deliver a smaller project. Time to dust off the old Words and Thoughts in RGB voiceover tape. I decided to cut corners and make a proper video so no more PC demo, even though I used some effect sequences I had designed in Demopaja. More so, 30% of the video running time is filled with the same out of focus shots of headlights in the dusk, which I shot two days before deadline after I decided to go to the movies to unwind for a couple of hours and then watched the starting credits of Paul Haggis' Crash.
(I had cut so many corners in fact, I am ashamed to admit, the documentary has two serious factual errors: the visible spectrum wavelengths are between 400nm and 700nm, not 300-700nm, and blue is close to 430nm, not 700nm.)
Anyway, the documentary was finished, then submitted to festivals. It won the Jury Prize after its first public exhibition at the Ovarvideo festival. My expectations for this hasty documentary were so low I hadn't bothered to attend the awards cerimony and didn't know I had won for a couple of days until someone from the festival called me early in the morning while I was asleep. Suddently a small work of mine had earned me enough money for a laptop, and I realized this festival thing might be the way to go whenever I finish something... So, even after a very discreet mid-week, mid-afternoon appearance at the important Vila do Conde festival I had a distribution offer from a small producer and distributor, Andar Filmes, and a couple of years later the chance to reshoot the whole thing in HD and proper non-hasty conditions, under request of the Coimbra University Science Museum. And hopefully, it'll be the first of a 5-part series. Words and Thoughts in RGB had gone a long way, baby!
Today I finished editing Segredos da Luz e da Matéria: A Cor, also known as Words and Thoughts in RGB 2.0. For your viewing pleasure, here's the original. Enjoy.