By Sumaya Samarasinghe
A rather unusual launch took place recently at the Barefoot Gallery. Moving Images which is a series of short documentaries and narrated still photographic portraits on various aspects of life in post war Sri Lanka, produced by Groundviews, was presented to a select audience who had the privilege of watching and listening to the works of Sharni Jayawardena who collaborated with Tarika Wickremeratne, Menika van der Poorten and Kannan Arunasalam.
To categorise the four producers who presented their work would be a challenge in itself as each of them encapsulate a wide range of talents, from photography, to filming, editing, radio journalism and writing.
Prior to taking a closer look at their work, The Sunday Leader spoke to Groundviews Founder Sanjana Hattotuwa.
Q: Did you at any moment get involved in the production either on a technical or content basis?
A: The producers worked closely with Groundviews. Our help largely technical — being the country’s first high-definition (HD) productions, there were technical requirements some of the producers found a bit challenging to grasp. It all worked out in the end. In terms of content, we took a look at the content as they were being produced, and limited our input to framing and focus, in the sense of honing in on specific issues, processes, events or people featured in the productions so as to make them stronger. At no stage was content censored, or asked to be edited out.
Q: Were the producers given a specific time frame to finish their work?
A: This depended on each producer, but it generally ranged from 4 – 5 months.
Q: Who is behind the idea of Moving Images?
A: That would be me. And yes, the audience reception on the day of the launch and subsequently reaffirm my belief that good multimedia is able to capture the attention of an audience that may otherwise not engage through text alone. One clarification — Sharni and Tarika’s productions as well as Menika’s productions are in fact still images, narrated by the characters they capture. They ‘move’ on occasion because of what is called a Ken Burns effect applied to the photos. Only Kannan’s productions were video.
Q: On the whole, do you feel that this project has been a success?
A: Yes. They are world class, and I am proud of the producers who went out of their way to produce this stunning content.