Already since 2005, set upon a path of making films that reflect a significant meaning to an audience and because there’s no end to the twisting of colour, sound and consciousness into magical experiences, finally in 2020, I coined the name of this style of movie making, ‘Kaleidoscopic Filmmaking’.
In this art form, using the tools available to the filmmaker in the form of visuals, music, narration and timing of these, films automatically transmit their meaning to the viewer due to their geometrical layout that has been skilfully created to express a multi-dimensional shape.
This one whole shape has been collated, itself containing many other shapes of different colours and sizes, either complex or simple. The shape itself not only resembles the places and people of the movie and their various facets, but also holds the keys to meanings of Universal Truths in terms of how colour, spacing, use of shape and photographs is merged into the timing of visuals, the music and the narration.
The photo collage art work or art piece is then embedded deep into the timeline of the movie, encompassing and hence emanating the very meaning of the visuals, music, narration and timing of these. Becoming its primary layout, a fractal form of it is then repeated itself every relevant aspect of the movie, causing the patterns and flow of this shape to be thus embedded into its very fabric.
Not static, but evolving level to level, twisting itself inside and out again, just to come back to the beginning, depending on emerging rhythms that relate to the meaning of the themes in each section, the requisite pace of the frequency of whatever’s going on in the visuals and music balances the individual within that requisite place, pulsing deeper and deeper to expose the nuances required to maintain the meditative state.
In this way, each aspect of the movie is woven into a rich multi-dimensional tapestry resonating every layer of the symbolic picture, into its highest expression of Universal Truth that emanate from its various facets.
On the surface, the visuals contain people, places, what’s going on and other relative factors, whilst the exposure of the inner and secret symbol is silent, except to the perceptive, who can read this art form of ‘Kaleidoscopic Filmmaking’ at all its various levels.
Book, ‘Visions of Bosnia’, describing ‘Kaleidoscopic Filmmaking’
The making of the Bosnian movie from initial moment of the process, to actual production is described in much detail in my up and coming book, ‘Visions of Bosnia’.
Using the art form, ‘Kaleidoscopic Filmmaking’, here two photo collage art pictures, ‘Crystal of Time’ (2019) and ‘Diamond Lens, Doorway to Infinity’ (2020) are embedded into the timeline of the movie.
‘Kaleidoscopic Filmmaking’ Workshops:
‘Freeing your Inner Light’, Nov 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Please click on the link here below, for information about this workshop
Building a Pyramid at ‘Children’s Workshop’, Oct 2017, Pyramid Valley, Bengaluru, India:
Please click on the link here below, for information about this workshop
Filmmaking career of Susan M. Griffith-Jones
Gurkha’s Wounds: The first film I ever became involved in was in 2002, as the narrator for the Nepali Gurkhas in Kathmandu’s film about their plight to win rights in the UK. They gave me the script. I edited the English in it and then read it out in a sound recording studio. They paid me my fee. That was the extent of my involvement.
Building the Buddha: Then in 2005, I was asked by Tagyal Lama, a senior monk of the monastery of His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, who looks over his extended activities, monasteries and centres worldwide, to be involved with writing and reading the narration for a movie he intended to make and then show at Rinpoche’s up and coming 85th birthday celebrations.
However, the situation with the visuals was dire! He had many videocassettes of footage that various monks had taken over the years during the building of Rinpoche’s new monastery in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, but most of them were unusable because the person holding the camera had either sped it too fast across the crowd or scene while recording, or whose hand was shaking so badly because the camera was being hand held rather than fixed on a tripod.
Due to this we had less visuals to work with, so along with Tagyal Lama, I ended up helping to order and arrange them onto the timeline in a coherent order, as well as choose the music, plus creating and reading the narration at the sound recording studio. ‘Building the Buddha’ was born in this way.
Holiness Trip to Mustang: The next movie I was involved in was the making of ‘Holiness Trip to Mustang’. This happened fairly quickly after ‘Building the Buddha’ and again I worked with Tagyal Lama from Rinpoche’s Jamchen Lhakhang monastery in Bouddhanath, Kathmandu, on both the direction of the editing of visuals, choosing the music, as well as the writing and reading of the narration.
Delivering the Dharma: My next movie was one for the Abbot of a monastery situated in the Upper part of Mustang, a district in the very North of Nepal, next to the border with Tibet, showing the daily activities of the little monks at his monastery and where it is located.
As he was trying to raise money for the renovation and expansion of the building so he could accommodate more monks and give them an education there and was to embark on a trip to South East Asia within the coming months, he wanted something he could show to people as he was going around.
This time I went to a different studio to edit and complete this movie, taking the full driving seat as coordinator of the film, laying out the visuals and writing and reading the narration.
Circle of Immortality: Fate must have now deemed me ready to produce my own movie, as I found myself suddenly on the road towards creating my very own film, ‘Circle of Immortality’.
The next 3 years were dominated by producing 3 versions of this movie, culminating in the first Kaleidoscopic film – ‘The Circle of Immortality’, Version 3 with English subtitles’
I was in charge of every aspect of the movie from concept to final production, had a blank piece of paper in that respect and could therefore move it in any direction I required. Finally, I could really play.
After discovering what I was doing, I embedded an art piece that I made in 2005, also entitled ‘Circle of Immortality’, into the layout of the movie. I then thought that if the requisite aspects, like music, narration and visuals of a movie were laid out into that shape that itself holds the meaning in its very form, then it would theoretically be able to hold the meaning of that shape within the movie and transmit it to the consciousness of the viewer upon watching it.
Another art form, Photo Collage Art that I was just developing in those days too, started when I used an amalgamation of photos from 2 trips to Muktinath in 2005, forming them into several pictures, one of which, ‘Two Keys, One Lock’, the first version of which I made in 2005, and second version in 2007.
This second version of ‘Two Keys, One Lock’ was included in the film, ‘Circle of Immortality’. where it was depicted at the start of the different sections of ‘The Circle of Immortality’ movie, to highlight the section headings and explain their significance. Its shape holds Universal Truth within its very form.
The lifestyle of local people, Tibetans and the Lamas of Tibetan Buddhism living or staying in different areas of Nepal are seen throughout the Visuals of the movie; from the highest Himalayan valleys, to the middle hills of Nepal and the flat lands of the plains touching those of North India at the border.
Story of the making of versions 1, 2 and 3 of the movie, ‘Circle of Immortality’ is told in my book, ‘The Living Pyramid’
Kudung: My next movie was ‘KuDung’, which encompassed the ceremonial activities around the Paranirvana (death of a high lama) of His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, in Kathmandu, Nepal. Again, I helped with the editing of the visuals and writing and reading of the narration.
Su’Dance: Then came a short, playful rendition of a Sufi ceremony I’d attended with my husband in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. Reading a Sufi tale over a photo slideshow of our overnight trip through the Nubian Desert on a bus adds another dimension to the visuals of the Sufi’s dancing at their Thursday night meeting. I called it, ‘Su’Dance’.
Ganga, A River in Distress: Invited by a friend of Mrs Leela Sarup to make a movie to campaign against the environmental atrocities occurring on the River Ganga, this tells of the plight of Ganga as she’s being used for so many manmade purposes, without proper care for the consequent environmental damage being inflicted.
The Golden Bridge and Crossing Bridges: After moving to the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, I met Mrs Leela Sarup and Dr Mulk Raj Dass there. I was to spend the next 3 years making a movie with them that in its first version is called, ‘The Golden Bridge’ (2009), which in its second version (2011), becomes ‘Crossing Bridges’
Bosnian Movie: The Bosnian movie saga began in 2016. Three trips to Bosnia, culminated in 2 new photo collage art pieces being made, ‘Crystal of Time’ and ‘Diamond Lens, Doorway to Infinity’ (that were thereafter embedded into a first draft of a movie on the Bosnian pyramids.
Here, Susan describes the making of the Bosnian movie in terms of ‘Kaleidoscopic Filmmaking’
Ganga movie: – Having completed taking visuals at many identified points along River Ganga during 2007-2020, and having already made 3 movies on Ganga, I’m now starting to create a new photo collage art piece, whose shape and internal make up will be embedded into a comprehensive movie about the River, as well as segments of it into separate movies.
Which symbol will emerge, which theme of photos, which undercurrent of wisdom will be exposed through its precise use of shapes and their colours? This is the story of Ganga, of life and death, of wondrous magic and of healing.
The journey I am about to take will uncover the deeper meaning, which I can then place into my Ganga movies, so that transmission of those essential meanings may take place. Mother Ganga talking to people.