Wednesday, June 13, 2012

1-6 Ratings for my 6x1 Class

1: Cameraless - because it was a different way of making a film, and it was my first time working with physical media.
2: Multi-plane - Honestly, because I was obsessed with making stop motion stuff as a kid, usually pixilations, and this took me back to middle school days. Also, I enjoyed adding the multi-palne technique to my skills.
3: 3D - I was able to practice my After Effects skills, and expand my knowledge about the program I will likely be using the rest of my life.
4: Viral - Same as the 3D. I especially liked teaching myself the workings of simple text animation.
5: Rhythmic - this one I simply didn't like because of the way the prompt had us edit the project. I did not like putting the final project into separate frames. I would much rather have had to edit the final project to a song. In Fact I think that would be the suggestion I make for the class. Editing the rhythmic edit to a song rather than simple numbers would be more fun, allow more creative freedom, and could produce some really cool pieces of art.
6: Long Take - As I stated in my post earlier, I did not enjoy working with the Bolex, and found the amount of freedom possible on this project to be minimal due to time, and material restraints.

TED Talks Response

I must say, I did not enjoy these videos. I know what they were trying to say, and I am appreciative of how much research these men put into these theses, but it all seemed a little overstated to me. Essentially what these me talked about is why videos go viral. They spoke of the participation factors, and the people (Tastemakers) who endorse the videos, and a few other points. While, again, I am not saying the research was in vain, I am simply saying all their points were a little intuitive. Of course if a celebrity talks about a video, or reposts it on their blog more people will see it. And of course if people can have some sort of personal connection or participation with a video they will be more likely to watch it. This, to me, is like saying, "A high traffic street is more likely to have a collision.", or "A more populated campus houses many more people for one to become acquainted." I don't really think I am explaining my point very well here, but in a nutshell I am saying these videos talked about points which I had already figured out. Due to this I found them to be quite boring. Which is a shame because I usually like what TED Talks publishes. I find the actual act of a video becoming viral to be fascinating. Just the idea that one person can post something, and, in the case of Rebecca Black, have millions of people see it in less than 24 hours, is amazing. I love to know how connected the world is through the internet. I am sure that is exactly what these two men were approaching in their reports, but the way they did it simply didn't hold my interest. However, I did pick up a habit from these videos. I now look at the statistics of most videos I see on YouTube, and see what the best websites are for distribution of a short video are. It is quite interesting to see the different 'Communities' at play in actual scenarios.

Rough Theatre Response

As I understood Rough Theatre, it is simply using what is given to you, and making the best of it. Maybe a little cliche of a description, but in essence that is what I gathered to be the lesson. It's funny that we talked about this in class. My group for out 3D project went through a little bit of an argument dealing with similar notions. We kept getting more and more collocated with our ideas and set-up, that I finally had to say "Look, instead of trying to add more stuff in all this, why don't we just make the best film we can with out spending any more money, and any more time than necessary." I am all for making a product you can be proud of, but there comes a certain time when you have to step away from the "possibilities", and focus on what you have in front of your own two eyes. In fact, just as this article suggests, using the simplest of materials can actually create a more meaningful product. No, it may not be a hollywood summer blockbuster, but in the end that is what makes it so amazing. It gives the product character. many times the film industry is bogged down with many individuals forgetting that there is a certain romanticism in the independent film. It is so easy to get caught in the wonders of thousands of dollars worth of gear, that we forget how film started. The very root of this art form is the avant-guard experimentalist, the one who created something never seen before. Sure people pay good money to produce and see a popular movie, just as they to produce and listen to a popular song, but the one that stick out in history are the ones that set the bar a little higher. The ones that history preserves are the ones that took what they had, no matter how little and showed the world just how much that little bit could make.

The Long Take Assignment

The long take assignment... ahhh... well. I suppose the long take would have to have been my least favorite of the 6 projects. As is comes down to the theory behind this, I am a little confused. Just a second ago I was writing a post about how thrilled I was when I worked on the camera less, because it allowed me to feel the film, and work with the physical representation. One would think that working with an older camera, from the middle 1900's era, would produce a similar response. I didn't mind transferring the long take to a digital format... I didn't mind editing it... and creating the sound track to accompany the visuals wasn't hard either. What really mad me not like this project was actually using the Bolex. I suppose it all comes down to the fact that I am spoiled. I am spoiled by the ease of filming in the digital age. Instead of looking through a cramped glass filled tube, and guesstimating the focus of a shot by how far the subject is from the lens, I am able to look at an LCD/LED monitor and preview exactly what I am shooting. But other than the cramped feel of the viewfinder, and the inability to hold that camera in a natural way, I was satisfied by our long take. It is not a project I am going to brag about in the future, but as far as the experience goes, I am glad to say I can now make, develop, and transfer a short movie in a few hours. The ability to deal with actual film on a basic level seems a pretty valuable skill to possess.

Cameraless Assignment Experiment

This assignment was honestly my favorite of the entire class. And that is saying something. I love editing, and the fact that the one project I fell in love with had nothing to do with technology surprised me. In hindsight, this is exactly why assignment one felt so interesting. It was actually my first time holding, and dealing with film stock. The notion that I created an 'Avant-Guard'ish film with nothing but carefully cut plastic, a few chemicals, light, and the arts and crafts supplies I found in my apartment is an awesome thing to ponder. I also loved the fact that I could actually take a physical representation of my film home. I now have the roll of camera less film in a donut under my bed. Instead of simply being able to show someone the digital copy of the final project I can show them where the images come from, and explain the process. It is an amazing feeling that only a film major would geek out about. :) Long story short, I am thrilled to have had this opportunity, and will remember it for a long time.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Response to "Projection of Sound on Image"

I would be lying if I said this article made complete sense to me. I was pretty lost most of the time, but what I did understand was interesting. I was pulled in by the first topic of the book. When the author was talking about the two movies, Bergman’s and Tati’s films, I thought about how cool this concept is. It is true that even though film is considered the art of the moving image, it would be a fraction of the art that it has become were it not for the audio design. A few years ago I actually did a case study for a class evolving this audio-less movie phenomenon. We watched select scenes from “The Shining” without sound, and wrote about what happened. We were not told the title or genre of the movie, and most of us had not seen it. The scenes included the scene when Nicolson’s character talks to himself at the bar, and also the scene when the mother and child are wandering through the hedge maze. At first the scenes seemed cheerful, and effortless. Then we watched the same selections with the sound. The visuals meant something completely different then. The ominous music created a horror tone, and the pure insanity of the bar scene became apparent. Through this article’s writing I have come to a realization of just how important the sound is to a movie. It can freeze time and enhance emotion as the author describes with opera’s high pitches. Sound can make a stream of disconnected visuals flow together and create a single message. Sound literally has and endless amount of uses, and were it not for the slightly droll tone and overwhelming technical jargon that this author used I would have enjoyed this entire piece of writing. Overall I would say I have walked away with more knowledge, but no sense of respect for this author in particular.

Response to "Notes Towards a Theory of Animation"

This was an interesting topic about which to read. Being a 90’s child I have grown up with the modern Disney, and think of the older Disney as the ‘unusual’ portion of the company’s work. However I have seen enough of the older skits to understand exactly what he is talking about. The author argues that Disney’s films rarely tell “the audience of its interest in the color, design, and material of its making. Instead, it prioritizes its content, concentrating specifically on constructing character, determining comic moments and evolving the self-contained narrative.” I have to agree with this statement. Though I love Disney movies they are content driven. Yes the graphics look great, and the characters are always loveable, but no Disney film (with the exception of Fantasia) challenges the visual portion of the brain. The author then goes on to argue that there is a certain “absence of the artist” when it comes to the Disney genre. As I see this ‘orthodox’ animation, there is no artist in the work. That, or there is a very small number of artists portrayed through the artwork. Modern day (Hollywood) animation is all developed in a small conference room, or small art studio. Character designs are chosen and stay constant through out the film… unlike experimental animation where artists are constantly showing their inner personalities on the screen. Each line of every frame bleeds with the artist emotions, and traits. The author expresses this idea by saying “Non-objective animation is without a doubt the purest and most difficult form of animation. Anyone can learn to ‘muybridge’ the illusion of representational life, but inventing interesting forms, shapes and colors, creating new, imaginative and expressive motions - ‘the absolute creation: the true creation’ – requires the highest mental and spiritual faculties, as well as the most sensitive talents of hand.” This could not be closer to the truth. One cannot simply sit down and throw inks and other mediums onto a film. You cannot make non-representational art of any kind without reaching deep within yourself and finding the innermost meaning of your life. According to the author, the most successful artist/animator says “I will animate my painting”, not ‘I will make something that is going to sell to the masses.’ Overall I really enjoyed this article and will look further into more of the authors works.