Spoon Fed No.2
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Fitzcarraldo project :: Ruaidhri Ryan

Werner Herzog’s movie, Fitzcarraldo, is about a would-be rubber baron, played by Klaus Kinski, who has to pull a steamship over an impossibly steep, Amazonian hill in order to access a rich rubber territory. The production of the movie was riddled with problems, ranging from budget issues, to a violent relationship between Kinski and the director and the death of a native extra, all of which was recorded in the documentary depicting the making of Fitzcarraldo, Burden of Dreams.

In addition to these ordeals, emblazoned in my mind is the famous scene in which Herzog madly demanded that a 320-ton steamboat were actually moved over a hill, without the use of special effects. The tale of this task was something of an unbelievable myth to me and upon viewing the movie, some years ago, an impossible image to forget.

The project is in the early stages of research, but my hope is to recreate a version of this scene in 3D CGI. This version of the movie will call into question the uses of CGI, the benefits and pitfalls of the medium, as well as our relationship to virtual and augmented reality and our pervasive, digital, screen culture.

The money received from Spoon Fed would be used to fund mentoring sessions with a CGI production house in Bristol. Through these sessions I would benefit from much needed advice about the processes involved in CGI, oversee how to operate the various programmes required to render CGI, and begin developing this project from its infancy into a reality.

I recently finished working for Picture This, an artists’ film and video commissioning agency in Bristol and I currently act as studio manager for John Wood and Paul Harrison. I am a video artist living and working in Bristol, my work has been shown internationally in film festivals and galleries.

still from 'Fitzcarraldo'