Monday, June 18, 2012

Rate all 6 projects

6.) Multi-plane/Pixilation: I had fun learning and watching examples of these film techniques in class; however, actually making these types of films proved very exhausting. It was still a fun experience but it quickly became a tedious exercise to barely move an object from its previous position. Each set up would require multiple checks as well to assure that continuity was persistent, and yet mistakes still occurred. It was, however, a thrill to see the finished version projected and actually moving.
5.) Anaglyph Filmmaking: I loved the way the last shot of our 3D project turned out. It really complemented the 3D effect well. I wish we could have filmed a few more shots though to spice it up a little more. The editing process was also pretty difficult. But as a learning experience I thought it was pretty fun. I have tried to make 3D movies in the past but lacked the correct knowledge of how to do so. I am glad, therefore, that I was able to learn how to make 3D movies. I also enjoyed making the 3D glasses.
4.) Cameraless Filmmaking: I had fun working on a film that required no camera. It was challenging to think of creative ways to express an idea without actually filming anything, but it was also rewarding to see the final project projected. this project required me to think outside the box. I like, also, how it emphasized the aesthetic importance of colors in films. I was able to see, learn, and experience the effect that colors have on a film. I also like incorporating the rayograms. It was cool to learn how to make those.
3.) Viral Video: At first I wasn't too excited about the viral video project because I had no idea of what I wanted to do on such short notice. While the assignment was made clear to us at the beginning of the summer semester, other projects quickly began to fill my schedule forcing me to put off thinking about the viral video project until a week before it was due. However, once I actually posted the video on YouTube and started receiving views the whole project suddenly became very exciting. I think this same assignment in a regular semester would make it even more fun.
2.) Long Take: I thought the long take was very fun to make. I had a fun group with a good idea. I like the day that we actually made that entire project because it was very well organized and ran very smoothly. We started the day with an idea and finished with a digital copy of our film. I also enjoyed shooting on actual film. Learning how to invert and edit a film shot at 12fps was intriguing. The only problems we encountered during this project was that our film somehow got messed up inside the camera while we were filming. This meant that part of our project was lost. Despite this misfortunate event, I still had fun making this project.
1.) Rhythmic Edit: This assignment had its tedious components such as creating the 5,15,5,10,5 sequences and arranging them inside FCP. The instruction were also a little difficult for me to understand at first. However, in the end I think this project was my favorite. This was the first time I had ever shot on film, and even held an actual film camera. I liked trying to think of and incorporate interesting angles and ideas based on what my partner was doing. I also enjoyed changing the film from its original inverted and blue-hued form to what I actually wanted it to look like. I thought it was fun to try and create rhythms and patterns inside the film.

I am glad I learned each of these new filmic techniques and am eager to discover ways to utilize them in my future projects.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

TED talks videos

Both of the TED Talks videos were very interesting. They pointed out important details about our culture and todays social media.
The first video I watched featured Kevin Alloca. He basically discussed how YouTube videos go viral and why it matters. What is so enthralling about web videos is their ability to make it so that any of us and any of the things that we do can become famous. He goes on to point out the three things that contribute to a video going viral. 1. Taste-makers. These are people, groups, organizations, etc. that introduce us to new and interesting things and bring them to a larger audience. They are able to "take a point of view and share that with a larger audience which accelerates the process of popularity." 2. Communities of participation. These communities take the video from its original form to something we can all actually be part of and interact with. This is how we become part of the phenomenon. 3. Unexpectedness. "Only that which is really unique and unexpected can stand out." A viral video needs to have a quality that is original and captivating. All of this is important because taste-makers, communities of participation, and unexpectedness are all characteristics of a new kind of media. In this new media the audience decides the success, fame, and polarity of the video.
The second video featured Seth Godin. He discussed leadership. Leaders form tribes. Tribes are basically groups of people who are organized together and agree on a common idea. They are about leading and connecting people. The internet makes tribes very accessible to people everywhere. Now we can join a tribe because we want to, not because we have to. What these tribes do is form other tribes, and so on, and so on, until a movement is formed. This is the impact of leaders, someone who forms an opinion or idea that requires change and actually does something about it. Godin notes the three characteristic of leaders. 1. They challenge the status quo. 2. They build a culture. A leader needs followers (tribes). 3. They commit. An idea is useless without the will and determination to make it happen no matter what.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Rough Theater

While this article is referring to theaters, it is quite evident that its central point can be applied to film as well. A theater need not be elegant, fancy, and flawless to provide theatergoers with a truly enjoyable experience. Likewise, a cheaper film may lack the effects, sets, and polishing of one with a large budget; however, it can still provide a cinematic experience rivaling, if not trumping, that of a well supplied film. It is, therefore, evident that the rough, dirty, and grimy tendencies characteristic of many inexpensive productions contain a certain quality that a more refined and expensive film immediately lacks. What I believe, after reading this article, that this quality reflects is a certain attitude of the artist(s). In polishing a work so much with the effects and “corrections” that a large budget may provide, film often loses a dimension of the creator, which, in effect, often compromises the original vision of the film. And what dimension of the film does this “attitude” almost always influence? Content. With a lack finances the look will almost undoubtedly be less refined. Effects may be limited to what ingredients you have in the kitchen cupboard. But where a film lacks in this area it has the potential to boost the story. This can be what effectively engages the audience and strengthens the relationship. What this article makes me think of are people who have a sensory disorder. While a blind person may lack the ability to see, how much more his hearing improves and gives him increased insight and perspective that I will never comprehend. This is also the case in the smaller and less funded film. It increases in a way that a larger production is unable.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Experience: Long-take Sequence

I had a lot of fun filming the long-take shoot. The long-take is basically just what it says: a single, uncut shot. Ours had to last exactly one minute so we came up with a concept where a news anchor interviews a witness of a monster sighting. After having filmed the rhythmic editing sequence, we all had a better knowledge of how to use the bolex. This made things run much more smoothly. In our scene, the interview goes wrong when the witness leads the anchor into the woods where he saw the monster. The monster reveals itself and then the footage ends. In order to get the timing of this sequence exactly right we did multiple run-throughs using a stopwatch. This allowed us to get all of our movements, pacing, and framing exactly how we wanted it and still within the rules of the assignment. We used an iphone to record the sound during our shoot so that we could easily add dialogue in post. We did, however, encounter a problem when processing the film. After opening the camera up we discovered that our film was bunched up inside the bolex. We were worried for a little bit that our film would suffer because of this malfunction. However, after dunking the film in the chemicals and drying it off, we realized that the images turned out fine. It was very exciting to see the film play on the projector because it was the first time that I had scene what I had shot on actual film. The blacks and whites were inverted but this was a detail we had to switch in final cut. I think our group worked very smoothly. We were well prepared for this project and understood each of our roles. We were always either right on time or ahead of schedule; therefore, the entire long-take process (from filming to conversion to digital) went very smooth.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Experience: Cameraless Filmmaking

I found this project to be quite interesting. I had never dealt with or even seen actual film before so I was very excited to be working with it for the first time. I found it very interesting to make a movie without actually using a camera. Instead, this process required me to manipulate the film strips themselves. Through this project I learned how to sand film, paint on film, animate directly on film, create rayograms, load spools, use the projector, and convert the film to digital format. I am excited to try this technique again. My favorite part of this project was the animation. While it was painstaking to animate an object over the course of 100 frames, it was ultimately thrilling to see it move on screen. I also liked to watch how our theme (earth, wind, fire, and water) was expressed in the film. My project partner chose to incorporate some very cool things to highlight earth and wind, while I tried to do a continuous mesh of fire and water. It was also fun to learn how rayograms and film processing works. This all occurred in the blackbox and pretty much in total darkness (witht he exception of a red safe light). After all our pieces were complete I spliced the film together in an order that I felt uniquely reflected our groups interpretation of the theme. Splicing was also a fun experience because it required me to edit the film without the use of a computer. This project was, all together, a very hands-on experience. I learned a lot and am excited to incorporate it in future projects.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Projection of Sound on Image and Acoustic Ecology

The first reading, Projections of Sound on Image, provides an excellent analysis of why sound is so important to cinema. It is an extremely strong yet widely overlooked component of film. The reading notes that sound has an “added value” quality, meaning it supplements the image so well that viewers perceive the experience as natural, when in fact it is quite artificial.  Syncresis, the creating of a relationship between image and sound fuels this. The reading describes the value of dialogue and how strong this aspect of sound is. We naturally are most tuned to what others are saying rather than our surroundings. This is also the case with films, and describes why they are vocosyntric. Music is also very powerful. “Empathetic music” participates in the scene by taking on its rhythm, tone, and phrasing. “Anempathetic music” intensifies emotion. The reading then discusses how sound influences the image’s temporality. This is achieved through a minimum number of conditions including: 1. image must lend itself to it 2. image must contain a minimum of structural elements with the flow of sound. The end of the reading highlights sound’s ability to produce an idea/emotion when there is no image to support it. A film may pan away from a particular image that may be too disturbing but sound will provide all that viewers need to compose the image for themselves.

The second reading, Acoustic Ecology, approaches sound relationships from a more scientific viewpoint. “Acoustic Ecology” involves many different academic fields that all examine the relationships that creatures develop through the use of sound, as well as how humans are affected by the audio of our surroundings.  This reading first notes how incredible the sound of our natural environment is. The blaring audible interruptions of television, radio, cell phones, the internet, etc. have caused us to tune out the natural world. The reading also provides examples of individuals who practice to focus more on sound. “Soundwalking” is the practice of simply walking and focusing heavily on all the sounds you encounter. Acoustic activism has led researches to examine the science behind acoustic environmental sounds and human sounds. The two achieve contrasting results. The environmental sounds are more pleasing to the ear. These activists are striving for a reduction in human noise. For example, an overhead airplane interrupts the natural sound and quietness of nature. The reading then discusses “soundscape art.” This fairly new aspect of audio selling implores the peaceful recordings of nature. The chirp of birds, sound of humpback whales, etc. are pleasing to listeners and create vivid experiences through sound alone. In conclusion, this reading urges viewers to pay more attention to the natural sounds occurring around all of us. It is relatable to the earlier reading in that they both highlight how we take for granted the power and beauty of sound.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Notes Towards a Theory of Animation

This reading basically highlights the concepts and techniques and discerns between two types of animation (orthodox animation and experimental animation) and even highlights a third (developmental animation). Orthodox and experimental animation are described as opposing and yet related to each other; whereas, developmental is described as the middle ground between the two types of animation. It borrows techniques and concepts from both fields, carefully blending a style of animation all its own. When referring to orthodox animation, Wells is referring more specifically to traditional cell animation.
The reading then goes on to define the specific terms and conditions associated with orthodox and experimental animation. For orthodox animation the reading points out such things as evolution of content, meaning it prioritizes character development, comedic moments, and the development of the narrative. Another condition of the orthodox film highlighted by the reading is the absence of the artist. It describes how the emergence of the industrial cell animation process virtually removed the artist completely. Also, the orthodox animation includes dynamics of dialogue: it strongly supports what the viewer sees.
In contrast, the reading then points out how the terms and conditions of experimental animation differ from orthodox. For example, rather than evolution of content there is evolution of materiality, meaning it highlights the materials of its own creation. Instead of there being an absence of the artist there is a presence of the artist. They reflect a very personal view that originates from their creator. Although not always clear, the presence and vision of the filmmaker is always there, drawing him/her closer to the audience and film. It also differ in that it includes dynamics of musicality. The experimental animation is said to “resist dialogue and the cliché sound effects,” rather it employs a different take on sound and music to redefine language.