Tuesday, April 27, 2010

last blog!

This is how I rank the projects from my favorite to my least favorite:

1. Long Take - This was my favorite project because we got to be involved in every single aspect of it. While it was hot and we were hungry, I loved being able to shoot, process and transfer the film. It was fun seeing everyone in costume, being able to help out with everyone elses project, and being able to get out of the classroom on a nice day and shoot outside on campus.
2. Video Race - I was really worried about this one, but i actually loved it because i actually liked being almost forced into doing stop motion. I know I could have shot video with my phone or computer, but I always wanted to try stop motion, and this was a really cool way to have to do it.
3. Found Footage - I skipped intro to editing, so I had never made a found footage project before this. I was really excited about it and I had fun going through movies and picking out clips. I chose a theme that I really enjoyed, and I just loved working through it in my head. As it turned out, I had to narrow my idea down so much to fit it into one minute, but I really liked the idea of the project and I would have liked to make a longer one with my original plan.
4. Rhythmic Edit - I love to edit, and therefore I loved this assignment. It was fun to have such a strict restraint and have to figure out how to work with it. It made it kind of like a game, and it was a nice break from having to just do boring continuity editing.
5. Multi-Plane Animation - I rank this fifth, but that isn't because I didn't like it, but more that all the other projects were so awesome that this had to go somewhere. I really liked the idea and originality of this, but I wish it was a little more structured. It was kind of a free for all, and I think that since we didn't necessarily have to plan in advance, we ended up wasting a lot of time and film doing stupid things once we ran out of ideas. I also wish we had used the multi plane thing more to our advantage.
6. Cameraless Filmmaking - Ehh.. I kind of didn't like this project. Since it was the first one, I felt like I was completely lost the whole time, I had no idea what to do, how to do it, or anything. I think if this was later in the semester, I would have been more confident because I would have had a better understanding of the nature of the class and what our responsibilities were in and outside of the classroom. In the end, I thought it was cool how they all turned out, but during the assignment, it just scared the crap out of me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


hmmm. If i were to design part two to 6x1 I would make a project that allows us to shoot on film, develop it, and then use techniques from the cameraless filmmaking assignment to add to it. I know we got to use other peoples film strips for the cameraless project, but it would have been nice to be able to revisit those techniques later in the semester when we had more experience and had a better sense of what could be done when combining different methods of filmmaking.

I would also make a claymation type project in 6x1 part 2. I did a version of that for my video race project, and it would be cool to have a structured assignment for it. it was really fun, and i would love to learn technical things to help with that sort of animation.

I would also like to have more "rough theater" experiences on days that our projects are due. i loved watching our video races in the fort, and if there were other cool ways to view our finished projects, it would be really awesome.

I would also like to do a project using the regular 8 camera where it is more of an experimental project that requires us to uses geometric shapes, because the way it is projected with four frames in one is already kind of geometric and experimental in itself, and it would be fun to try to use that to our advantage in an experimental, one minute film.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mystery Workshop Response

hmmm. Well, I have to admit, I'm not a big Star Wars person. I did like the concept of it though, it is a really cool idea to take apart a classic like that and have the fans remake it. I wish that kind of thing was done more often with other movies as well. We also didn't really get to finish it, though as I understand Brandon did finish it on his own and posted it, which is cool that we got ours in there.

I don't know if the fort building event counts as part of the mystery workshop, but as it was a mystery to me before class I suppose I'll write about that too since we haven't done the 3D camera making yet. I thought that was one of the coolest ideas of the whole semester. The best part was that it was completely random, and had nothing to do with the video race, it was just awesome. It was so much more fun to watch our projects that way. I wish we could sit in there every class, but maybe with chairs, or yoga mats or something.

I'm really excited about the 3D camera workshop as well. I went to a workshop for 3D film making at Cucalorus, but I can't believe we get to actually do it ourselves!

Okay, now that I've actually done the 3D camera workshop I can blog about that. I really liked it a lot. Now that we did it, I almost wish we hadn't done the Star Wars thing because I felt that we didn't have enough time to really figure out the process of making it 3D in After Effects. I really liked how it turned out on our last class, and I know that it was necessary for Andre to fix it up outside of class, but I wish that we had had the time to figure that out ourselves incase we ever wanted to try it in the future. I thought it was awesome though, and it should definitely be done in future classes!

Friday, April 9, 2010

My Rough Theater

When I was thinking of my own "rough theater" experiences, a few examples came to mind. One was a night in high school, with the Varsity soccer team. We were having a "bonding" night, and we all got together at one of their houses. The girl's parents had arranged a surprise for us, and so when it was around midnight, we were all called outside. They had set up a projector to shine on the side of their neighbor's white house, with a really scary movie all ready to go in the projector. There were folding chairs and blankets and benches set up all along the driveway, and the family even had one of those old fashioned huge popcorn makers churning out popcorn for us. It was a scary movie that I had seen before, but I had never seen it outside at like midnight. Every time a bat flew by or a car honked, everyone flew out of their seats, completely terrified. It was probably the coolest experience I've ever had watching a movie. The outdoor setup was perfect for the type of movie we were watching, and I enjoyed the movie so much more in that context. It was amazing that it was actually scarier in the dark outside, when I saw it originally in the dark movie theater.

Another example that I remembered pertained to music rather than film, but the same idea applied. I was at summer camp sitting on the beach around an enormous bonfire. Now, I have a firm belief that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is better around a fire. Food tastes better, conversation is better, and music sounds better. There were two guys there with guitars, and they ended up playing "The General" by Dispatch for us. I am a fan of Dispatch, so I have many of their albums, and I saw their reunion concert in Madison Square Garden a few years after this bonfire. As awesome as the concert was, I was shocked that my memory of hearing "the General" at the bonfire was better than this huge awesome performance at Madison Square Garden. I didn't think anything could top Madison Square Garden, but as it turned out, these two guys in their twenties sitting on logs at a campfire in Upstate New York did in fact top it in my mind. The acoustics weren't great, it wasn't played as perfectly as the band obviously, and they didn't even know all of the words, but the experience of it all with a fire cooked hot dog in my hand was immensely more powerful than hearing it in an arena with thousands of other people.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Yes Men

I love this movie! I had already seen it, but it was interesting to see it with the idea of recycling/reusing/reworking footage in mind for our last project. The Yes Men seems to use that idea in a very creative and innovative manner. Instead of taking video clips from various sources to create a found footage product, they took the idea into a website template. They took an image, a format, an idea, and put it into another context. As in many found footage videos, the new website was a critique of the owner or subject of the old website. Just as in found footage films of various news footage or clips of a single person, it is easy to change or complete remove the context and turn it into something else. The Yes Men created that idea by taking the context of another organization's website, duplicating it, and then critiquing it with in the template of the old site.

I found it very interesting to see how many people don't actually read the WTO's website. It is amazing with all of the information on the internet and the well known fact that scam sites are easy to create and catch people with, that a person wouldn't be more careful about their research. It seems that people think the internet is the answer to everything, and that it is just as reliable as a library book, which is obviously not the case. I can't believe that if a group was going to invite an important speaker from the WTO, they wouldn't read the website at the very least to gather information to ask him about, or in this case to make sure that the site is authentic.

As far as the movie goes, I'm obviously glad that they could pull it off, because it made for a great movie, and I thought their way of fighting for a cause was really interesting and down right hilarious. It was a really cool way of taking material, adjusting the context, and adding a statement or cause to it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Molotov & Ecstasy response

I thought the Molotov reading was very interesting. I absolutely loved that it was written by both people involved in the story, rather than written by just one person who is attempting to tell both sides. At first, I was angry that Susan Meiselas was making such a fuss about Joy's use of her photograph. She clearly changed enough things in the picture to adapt it to her own artistic needs, and even agreed to credit Susan for the influence. Also, shouldn't it be an honor to want other artists to appreciate your work so much that they would attempt to recreate it? I thought Susan was crazy. But then once her side of the story came into view, I started understanding her point of view as well. She all of a sudden didn't seem so unreasonable, seeing as she has allowed her photograph to be reproduced under many different conditions. It makes sense that she doesn't want to tarnish the glory of her subject by making the context unknown. However, in the end, I still agree with Joy. Personally, I actually like that the context was taken away for the painting. That makes the emotions and power behind the picture universal, and everyone can relate to it and interpret it as they wish. Many people could be inspired by the intensity in a variety of ways that would never be possible if the context remained in the painting. I also think Joy's alterations were okay because of the fact that the photo still exists. If people want to see a documented moment in history, they can look at the photograph, but if people want to see an interpreted piece of artwork that has been stripped of everything but the raw emotion, then they can have that too. The best thing about art is that it can be interpreted in a thousand different ways, and I think everyone should be allowed to express themselves as they wish, as long as they are respectful of original artists that they borrow from.

I thought the Ecstasy reading was also interesting, because it came at the subject from a different angle and made me think about it in a different way. After reading this article, I feel like unless you are kept in a basement your whole life, you can't NOT be influenced by other works of writing, art, or visual media. As film students we are always told to watch as many movies as we can to learn from others' techniques, styles, and mistakes. So naturally, some of those techniques may appear in work of our own. is that wrong? If everyone had to come up with something brand new every time they painted, filmed, or wrote, we would have run out of material long ago. I thought the example of Bob Dylan was good because he used lines from literature in his songs all the time, but should he really be punished for being educated and well read? I think giving credit where credit is due is very important, but I don't think people should get so selfish and isolated about their work. Art should involve everyone in a community, whether it is a town, city, state, nation, or the world.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Long Take

I thought the saturday shoot was so much fun! The weather was absolutely beautiful, maybe a little too hot, but so much better than cold and rain. It was probably the only situation where I would actually enjoy having a four hour class on a saturday afternoon. I liked that everyone was eager to help everyone else, and that everyone was really into the assignment with props and costumes and stuff. It makes the day a lot more fun when people are excited and working really hard regardless if it is their project or someone elses. That was also cool because we have all been working with the same few people all semester, so it was also really nice to get to know the other people in the class that I've never really worked with before.

I really loved that we had an 8mm camera going around getting "behind the scenes" footage. It is so cool getting to not only use film, but so far three different size film cameras this semester. I've used the bolex before and failed miserably, so this was really exciting to get a second chance and especially to develop it ourselves and be able to see the results right away. It makes the project mean a lot more when we are involved in every single aspect of the process from start to finish.

It was also really refreshing to be able to really get out of the classroom, out of kenan, and be able to really put what we've learned to use wherever we wanted on campus. I was so excited that the weather worked out so that our group could use the flower preserve. I'm surprised that the preserve isn't used more often for student films, but I'm glad that we got a chance to use it. The only thing that I didn't like about the shoot was that it was really hard to stay focused and enthusiastic for four hours in the heat with no food. I wish we could have all chipped in for pizza or I wish I at least brought a snack or drink. I guess it would have been hard to get pizza since we were working pretty much the whole time. Overall, I had a great time and I can't wait to edit our project!