Monday, December 8, 2008

Project 6 evaluation

the 48-hour video was definitely one of my favorite parts of 6x1. When we first got the props, I didn’t really have any clue what to do. I kind took the first day to try to figure out an idea then decided to use the second day to do all of the production and editing. After sitting around twittling my thumbs for awhile, I decided that I was going to use the cookie cutter to actually make cookies and what better way to make cookies than to do it while having a rave. I got two of my friends, cookie dough, a still camera, some crazy lights and glow sticks and set up shop in my cookie. I didn’t have any real set plan as to what I wanted it to look like. I turned the shutter to open for 10 seconds and just starting taking various pictures of us making cookies. The pictures started turning out really well so we were all getting excited because we knew it was going to be a cool finished product. while the cookies were baking (yes, we burned them) I took a bunch of pictures of a stuffed dolphin that my mom got for me in Jamaica and made it look like he was dancing. I thought this was a nice addition since my cookie cutter was the shape of a dolphin. After I had taken 100+ photos I decided that it was editing time. Prior to taking pictures, I knew exactly what song I wanted to use in post-production. Trying to match the pics up with the beat was definitely one of the more difficult parts of the project. It’s a very complex song so it was hard trying to find the correct places to cut. Anyway, I’m extremely pleased with the way it turned out and I had a blast putting it all together. I posted the video on facebook and have already gotten a lot of comments from friends about how much they liked it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

48 hour video race ideas????????

once again, another completely new film experience.  that's what this semester in 6x1 has been all about.  i've never done a video race so i'm excited for this new experience.  since this is taking place around the end of the semester, there's definitely the possibility of this being stressful at times, but i'm hoping that it's going to be a fun time.  i'm sure it will be.  as far as ways of capturing footage without using a video/film camera, there seems to be a lot of different ways to do it.  i've just got to figure them out.  in class, we discussed using cell phone cameras.  i'll probably utilize that, but i would like to branch out further and try something else.  in my documentary class, we put a project together just using still photographs.  as i've been working on my found footage assignment, i've been thinking about how i can utilize pre-existing media for the video race.  the internet has so much to offer in terms of video clips, sound clips, and photographs that i think it will be beneficial to use that resource.  right now, my juices aren't flowing as much as i'd like.  over the next month, i'm going to continue to be on the lookout for different ways to go about capturing footage for the project.  i'm really excited to see what the rest of my classmates come up with.  with an assignment like this with such a restriction, it's going to be interesting to see how people go about making their film stand out from everyone else's.  hopefully, my classmates and i can feed off one another to come up with some really good ideas.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

do it to it yes men

after viewing the yes men, i have a great appreciation for what these guys do and how they get away with it. I'm always up for a good pranks, but these guys take it to a new level. being able to impersonate the WTO, get invited to legitimate conferences, and talk about the most absurd ideas is a great concept and I'm thoroughly impressed with what they do. the first prank they pulled with the golden suit was unlike anything i had ever seen before. a lot of thought and preparation must have gone into creating the idea behind it. for them to do something like this must have taken a good deal of confidence and courage in themselves. I'm surprised at they way the crowd reacted or lack thereof. they didn't really seem to be that shocked when he ripped off his suit to reveal the surprise he had underneath. i know i would have started laughing hysterically. the prank speech about recycling hamburgers was even better than the first. they seemed so serious about their idea, but it was so far fetched that it was almost impossible to believe. even though the crowd was getting extremely upset and offensive, the guys maintained their composure quite well. how could these people honestly think that the two were serious with their plans to recycle hamburgers for people in third world countries? fortunately, the crowd did not appreciate anything that was being said and really took a stand for their opinions.

anyway, i thought the yes men was a good documentary. it wasn't the best film i have ever seen, but i thought they did an excellent job at showing their ideas and beliefs. I've got a lot of respect for these individuals and their boldness to be able to do the kind of things they do. for them to be able to stand up and mock the WTO and big business they way they do is quite awesome. these guys have definitely shown me that a key element to being a great filmmaker is to aim big. you can't settle for anything less than your best. you have to be bold and willing to get the best material at whatever cost (well, death and certain other things might be an exception). these guys have shown me that the possibilities are endless as long as you put everything you have into your project, and i think that is a great lesson to be learned. keep up the hard work yes men.

as for this tying into assignment #5, the guys in the yes men use film as a way of expressing their opinions as anti-corporate activists. there is a very strong political message in this film and our found footage recontextualizations have the ability to convey similar messages. we might not be able to attend conferences impersonating WTO members, but we can still show how we feel about certain issues through the medium of film. these guys have done a great job of delivering their message to people, and i hope to do the same with whatever topic i ultimately decide to focus on.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

how dare you do that

after reading "on the rights of molotov man" and "the ecstasy of influence" it's apparent that this is to help prepare us the recontextualization assignment.  i particularly enjoyed the molotov reading because i thought it was very interesting how one photograph could spark such controversy and tension by taking it out of it's original context.  i can definitely see where susan is coming from and how she doesn't like to see her work decontextualized like it was by joy.  susan put a lot of hard work into getting this photograph and she wants its integrity to remain intact. i think she is more concerned that the subject of the photograph is viewed in his true light instead of as a "rioter".  i think she sums up her feelings best when she says "but i still feel strongly, as i watch pablo arauz's context being stripped away - as i watch him being converted into the emblem of an abstract riot - that it would be a betrayal of him if i did not at least protest the diminishment of his act of defiance."  susan was there the day pablo threw that molotov, she knows what he was standing for, and i think she wants people to have the same view about him as she does.    on the other hand, people do have the ability to take any kind of art or media form and transform it into however they please.  after awhile, it seems like every idea has already been taken or used and sometimes it is necessary recontextualize them.  it gives artists the ability to keep creating new and exciting works.  recontextualzing is also a great way to express opinions about politics, religion, society, etc.  as i'm writing all of this, i'm beginning to think more and more about the upcoming found footage exercise.  as with all the assignments that we've done so far, i'm excited to get started on this one.  after viewing some of the films in class, i feel like this assignment has endless possibilities.  because of this, i'm having trouble trying to come up with a theme or idea.  i'm not really into politics so i'll probably be straying away from that, but i would like to do something that has some significant undertones.  with all the media available on the internet, i don't think it's going to be too difficult to come up with an idea or find material.  susan, from the molotov article, doesn't seem too excited about all that the internet has to offer: "there is no denying in this digital age that images are increasingly dislocated and far more easily decontextualized.  technology allows us to do many things, but that does not mean we must do them."  actually susan, i think the answer is "yes."  we have all of this material at our fingertips so i think we should definitely do as much with it as possible.  if anything, it just adds a fun spin on things and allows for some good entertainment.  also, i'm trying to get a good grade in this class so i'm going to do what my professor tells me.  sorry susan.  anyway, i'm kind of burnt out on recontextualization so i'm going to kind of stray away from it.  last saturday's one shot was a really good time.  it actually went much smoother and easier than i thought it was going to be.  i figured that getting the actual shot was going to be a difficult process, but with good amount of rehearsing, it turned out quite well (even in all the rain).  it definitely didn't feel like we were having class on saturday.  i had a great time and i'm glad we got to experiment with the bolex cameras.  after viewing the negative, i think our footage turned out well.  i can't way to see the positive and add some sound effects.  overall, i would say that it was a very successful day. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

One Shot Brainstorm

one of my roommates, matt evans, took 6x1 last fall, and a couple of weeks ago we were talking about the class because he saw me working on my cameraless film.  after some discussion, i asked him about the one shot because i knew the project was coming up.  we went onto the mothership blog and he showed me his and the rest of his class projects.  after viewing them, i got really excited about this shoot.  i'm really glad we are getting to use the 16mm bolex.  i used it a couple of weeks ago in my documentary class and it was really cool to be able to actually shoot on film.  i like how you have to crank the camera in order for it to work.  it's got a very nostalgic feel to it and it makes for a great experience.  i was quite impressed with some of the shots that the groups in last years class were able to get.  some of them were pretty complex and they pulled them off well.  there was so much action going on but the timing of everything was well done.  i can tell that a lot of rehearsal and preparation is going to go into this project in order for it to be successful.  since we only get one take, my biggest concern is that we will somehow manage to screw up our one chance.  fortunately, i've got a good group of guys to work with and i'm sure that we'll do just fine.  we worked really well together on the animation and i'm sure it will carry over to this project.  everyone is very creative and imaginative so i'm positive we'll come up with a really cool shot.  even though the shoot takes place on a saturday, i highly doubt it will feel anything like class.  i'm really looking forward to this experience and the final results of each groups work.  of the one shots that i've seen, it looks apparent that we're going to have to include lots of action in order to keep the story interesting.  as i'm writing this i'm trying to come up with ideas but nothing is really coming to mind.  hopefully, as my writing continues, i'll think of something good.  well, i just went to get a drink of water and i was thinking about how the other projects seemed like dream sequences.  maybe, we could have a main character wondering around and have weird, fantasy characters interact with him.  i don't know....something along those lines might be interesting.  most of my good ideas just come to me when i least expect it.  i'll probably be sitting around next week and something brilliant will come to mind....hopefully.  i'm not too worried.  i know my group and i'll will figure something out when we meet with each other next week.   anyhoo, i'm really stoked about this project, and for that matter, everything else that we've already done.  everyone pray for good weather so we can make this the most successful shoot possible.  

fall break!!!!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

screw you disney

after reading Well's article, i feel like i've gained a new appreciation for experimental animation.  he is definitely right when he talks about disney and cel animation as the dominant form of animation.  growing up, i remember watching disney and other similar cartoons, and it became engrained in my mind this is what animation is supposed to be.  i was bombarded with these types of cartoons all the time that it was the only form of animation that i seemed to know about.  some of my favorite films as a kid were disney classics such as the lion king, 101 dalmatians, and aladin, just to name a few.  as i've gotten older, ive been exposed to more and more different styles.  you can turn on adult swim on cartoon network and see tons of different forms.  it's really entertaining to see what animators are doing nowadays.  i remember the first time i saw south park as a kid and how much different it looked than more traditional cartoons that i had seen.  in one of the video classes that i took in high school, we did a segment on animation.  we had the option of doing traditional cel animation, claymation, and a few others (i can't remember them off the top of my head now).  my group decided to do claymation and we had a blast.  i had never done anything like it before, and it was an awesome experience.  since then i haven't done any other animation so i'm really excited about all that we're doing in this class.  william moritz quote, "but inventing interesting forms, shapes, and colours, creating new, imaginative, and expressive motions - 'the absolute creation: the true creation' as fischinger termed it - requires the highest mental and spiritual faculties, as well as the most sensitive talents of hand"  made me really think differently about experimental animation.  he seems right when he says that anyone can learn to recreate the illusion of life through animation, but it's a whole different story when you are creating something completely brand new, almost like creating new life.  you have to really put your deepest thoughts and feelings into it if you want to come up with something extraordinary.  you are the creator and your hands and mind have the ability to come up with things that have never been seen before.  i also really like the quote, "experimental animation has a strong relationship to music and, indeed,  it may be suggested that if music could be visualized it would look like colours and shapes moving through time with differing rhythms, movements, and speeds."  i know some artists prefer that their films be silent, but i think music adds a whole new dimension.  seeing all the shapes and colors pass by on the screen is cool and all, but in my opinion, music makes it much better.  i think the two go perfectly hand in hand.  i love listening to music no matter what i'm doing and experimental animation is no exception.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

good stuff

at this point in the class i couldn't be more pleased with it.  i've enjoyed coming to class just to see what cool techniques we are going to learn that week.  it's been a really cool experience so far.  i have seen a lot of experimental films with these types of techniques in them but i never really payed attention.  now that i have more of an understanding of what is going on, i feel that i have a much better appreciation for them.  it's been extremely fun going to a class where we get to try out different art forms and there's no real right or wrong answer. it's all up to the filmmaker and how they want to express themselves.  another thing that has made the class fun is the group of people.  everyone seems to get along well and it definitely makes the class even more enjoyable.  the class seems to be really excited about all that we're doing.  
doing cameraless filmmaking is quite different than any other films i've made for other classes.  up until this point, it's been mostly shooting on mini DV.  it has definitely sparked a new sense of enthusiasm about film in me.  i haven't been involved in any filmmaking in awhile because of other responsibilities.  being able to learn cool new things and work on small, fun projects on a weekly basis has been a much needed thing for me.  i hope i will be able to utilize some of these techniques on future projects that i do whether it be narrative, documentary, or experimental.  

of all the different types of cameraless filmmaking that we've learned, i think magazine transfers has been my favorite.  one of my good friends took this class last year and i remember watching him do magazine transfers for his elements projects.  i was pretty amazed by it all.  it's such a cool, original way to make films.  it's pretty cool that someone thought this up.  i know i wouldn't have.  i love how you have the freedom to mix and match whatever images or patterns that you want.  it's cool to see how the whole process works.  

creating rayograms was another real interesting process as well.  when we first turned out the lights to start adding pieces to our film, i thought it was going to be a disaster.  i could barely see what i was doing.  even though i wasn't able to tell what i was doing, it definitely made it more fun.  it was a big mystery what it was going to look like but it added to the excitement.  i was quite surprised as to how well it turned out.  my favorite part was where i put a piece of exposed film with stars punched through it on top of the unexposed film.  it was a real neat effect.  

like i said, i think this class has a been a blast so far and i hope it only keeps getting better.  it's been great being able to go into a new environment with a real cool teacher and peers and being able to learn such interesting modes of filmmaking.  i've told several of my friends about all the things i've learned and created in 6x1 and they seem totally jealous of me.  i'm excited for all the new things we're going to get to do over the rest of the course of the semester.  i spoke to my mom on the phone today about this class and i told her that i'll probably get to bring a copy of my films home during christmas break.  i just hope they'll understand it.  if not, it'll give me a good opportunity to share with them all that i did.