Crazy Horse West
Crazy Horse West is an experimental work created as part of Joseph's Art, Society & Publics (MFA) graduation piece at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. The film explores the experimental process used to develop the feature film Dance Music.
Instead of starting with a script the project began with a group of actors. Joseph crafted a character with each individually, drawing from a real person they knew and the from the actors themselves. They were then developed through extensive discussion, collaborative writing and improvisatory exercises.
He worked with each actor initially in isolation, each only being allowed to know what their character knew. When they could be in character and improvise for long stretches of time the characters were introduced. Each scene of the story was then improvised, the scenarios recorded and these recordings used as a basis for creating a script.
The aim was to collaboratively create a film with natural performances and a unique voice for each character. Moreover, it would deal with themes and topics that were important to the actors and ultimately be a melting pot of creativity Joseph would guide into becoming a feature film.
Crazy Horse West captures a stage in this experiment before the narrative had begun. It mixes footage of the actors in and out of character, captured in black and white and color respectively. It was originally displayed as part of a video installation at the DJCAD Masters Show 2016 which won the Art, Society & Publics prize. It played next to four other films exploring other aspects of the project - these auxiliary videos can be seen below.
Despite this, the primary film can be viewed as a stand-alone work. Through mixing footage of the actors in and out of character, captured in black and white and color respectively, it explores broader topics than a rehearsal and writing process – from creativity itself, to identity and beyond.
Additional Installation Videos
These videos played on a loop next to the main film during the Crazy Horse West exhibition and could be listened to with headphones. As such they were not intended to necessarily be watched from beginning to end, but rather in fragments at the viewer's discretion. Please feel free to skim through them, or watch them in whatever way you like.
Eli & Charlotte
Eve Shepherd and Kai Durkin working with Joseph to established the joint backstory of two characters – followed by an improvisation of their meeting.
Verbal Chase #1: Pirate Island
Catrin Evans and Julian Joseph run an improvisatory exercise designed to access creativity.
Verbal Chase #2: The Dragon
Gabriel Neil and Julian Joseph run an improvisatory exercise designed to access creativity.
Verbal Chase #3: Monkey Socrates
William Edwards and Eugene Kilgallon run an improvisatory exercise designed to access creativity.
End of first day
A candid discussion at the end of a long and very bad first day of shooting Crazy Horse West. The cast and crew discuss how to approach the film and issues from: The extent that drama needs to reflect reality, how to show character and in turn what defines a person’s identity and beyond.
An improvised scene with Vachel Novesha's character Idris Mirza and guest actor Joseph Black.