Each time period and the memories linked to them are represented in different film forms:
• Part 1: Mockumentary
• Part 2: CCTV/ surveillance aesthetic
• Part 3: Subjective point of view
These forms are commonly used to depict or comment on reality and remind the viewer this is ‘found footage’ that has been appropriated to become part of someone else’s ‘film’.
I used improvisation in order to build the characters and the shooting script for part 1 and part 2 of Mnemophrenia and intend to use it as well for part 3.
I use improvisation as part of an organic approach that I want to apply to the whole filmmaking process. I believe that realistic dialogue and performances that are achieved through improvisation contribute to the intended blurring of the distinction between reality and fiction. To maximise the film’s authenticity, for the first part which is shot as a mockumentary, I interviewed real scholars, researchers and scientists about mnemophrenia. All the interviewees played along with the fictional conceit, talking as if they lived in that hypothetical future themselves, to fully explore the idea of mnemophrenia and its possible ramifications.
Part 1 needed to be made first and edited in order for the actors of the following period (part 2) to watch it and build their characters’ experiences from what they have watched; according to the premise of the film these videorecordings become part of their memories and identity. That is the process that the actors of part 3 will need to go through as well; they will have to watch the first two parts.
This technique allows for an organic development of the characters and dialogue, which is a result of the creative collaboration between the actors and myself. As a result, I consider and credit all my actors as co-writers of the film.