Sonder Melbourne is a short, non-narrative, experimental film made for an online platform. The film is a mix of abstract (close-up) shots and wide shots collected from in and around the city of Melbourne. The idea is to explore Melbourne and the diverse culture present here. The film is meant to be a kaleidoscopic compilation of the people, their activities, the famous things around Melbourne like it’s coffee, the day to day existence here, events around the city – like food and wine festivals, the fashion, the transport, the hidden places like a pier on the Yarra, with a view of the city, the architecture, etc. The compilation is wide and covers various topics but the reason behind this is to capture the city as a whole with it’s vibe. The film is an immersive experience of the city and what it has to offer.
The thread that holds the film together comes from two different sources – one is the treatment of the film, with it’s camera movements and extensive effects in post-production and the other is the unfathomable thoughts of the different, beautiful people who live here and make the city come alive.
The film includes different and constant camera movements, which is done in an match boxing style. This means that the end of every shot is graphically matched to the beginning of the next shot. The video taking style differs with the shots as well, and play with hyper-lapse and time-lapse will be seen throughout the film as a method to capture entire distances without the use of fancy technology to help the camera move. Though the movements are fast, they are very controlled. The edit itself will be very extensive with the effects used so as to match shots and create a surreal look as one would imagine if he took a short trip through the city, without having the time to think and process everything.
The audio is very important in this film as it consists of music which is very original to Melbourne and will be created by 2 different music artists from the city. Also constant voice over, jumping from one person’s thought to the next will be used. The film will start with the thoughts of an Australian girl who moved here two years back. It is just a portion of her thoughts in the moment as she walks to her class in university. As she passes by her favourite cafe, the visuals shift and the thoughts jump to be of an Italian man who has been working in the cafe for years, trying to collect money to travel. From here, the thoughts jump again to a businessman running late for work as he stops by to grab coffee and so on.
The locations that are featured in the film include the hustle bustle of Flinders Station, the art of Drewery lane, the life size chess at State Library, the wine out in yarra valley, the street music in front of Melbourne central, the flying balloons at Williamstown, the great surf at Elwood beach, the coffee plants at Botanical Garden, the best coffee at Gloria Jeans, the hots dogs at Victoria Street Market, the fashion on Chapel Street, the South American who raps at Asian Beer Cafe, the man who gives haircuts in his coffee shop, a boy making music at a whisky bar, to name just a few.
More close up, abstract shots include the fern design in the man’s coffee, the hand playing a guitar, a tattoo coming alive as a man hits the punching bag by Flinders Street, the nose ring that a girl who serves vegan food wears, the hands of a couple, a foot as it splashes water, a girl’s joined hands as she does yoga on the pier, the canoe paddles going in and out of the river, etc.
With everything put together, we have a journey, a journey through the city, shaking hands with the soul of melbourne, the people and drinking their famous flat white, suggesting what makes the city Melbourne. The film suggests a cultural perspective of what I found in Melbourne and how it’s so hard to say it in a few well-written lines. It is meant to be an unguided meditation for everyone to discover from themselves, what the city hold for them.