Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rate All Assignments

I’m going to rate all projects from this semester on a scale from 1-6 and why.

#1 Cameraless Filmmaking: 2. this was the first time I touched actual film and I really enjoyed that. I learned so much about filmmaking with the “printing” thing we did in the black box. The only thing I did not like about this project was that it was a little confusing how much of our raw footage needed to go into the project. I had to go back and convert frames to feet to figure out how long the film would be.

#2 Rhythmic editing: 5. This was by far the most frustrating assignment of all of them but that was mainly do to the shitty editing computer in the editing lab. I had to start from scratch three times on this project. I enjoyed trying my hand at rhythmic editing but I must not have had a complete understanding of the concept because it felt like I was going in blind on it.

#3 Multi-plane Animation: 3. This was my first time doing stop-motion animation and I had fun with it. I was not really involved with its editing so I don’t have a complete picture of this assignment.

#4 The Bolex Long Take: 1. This was by far the best assignment of the semester. I greatly enjoyed getting out of the classroom and shot this. I also enjoyed the sound editing I did on this project, it was my first time with sound editing and I really enjoyed it.

#5 48 hr. Video Race: 3. I got this assignment done much quicker than I originally thought. However, I found this assignment to be boring to shoot and I had to devote a whole day to it. It was interesting to see the final results once it was done.

#6 Recycled Footage: 2. This assignment was very much an eye opener. I had no idea what I was going to do with it and after just twenty min of wondering around Youtub I found all the clips I wanted to use. It was fun making new sentences from the commercials to help get my point across.

To Andre- I would like to apologies for the comment I made in my last blog. I only meant it as an absurd remark; in hope that you would just see the humor behind it and not think it to be a serious criticism on your class. I understand that the point of this class is to try other forms of cameraless filmmaking, for which I greatly enjoyed the opportunity. Thank you for teaching this class.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How I would design 6X1

If I could design 6X1 I would first and foremost make the blog entries three hundred words instead of four hundred. In all of except one time I can remember I finished talking about whatever the blog that week was about and I would be around three hundred words, almost every time. It would take a good while, more time then it should to add on some more words. So why make me add a hundred words of adjectives and adverbs when I’ve said all that I was going to say? The second thing I would change would be some of the reading; it seems like some I had to stretch to apply some of the reading to the assignment of the week. For instance the rough theater assignment was all about ‘theater’ not film and the Synesthesia reading had nothing to do with the arts altogether, so I would find better more relatable articles. The third thing I would change would be the Saturday shoot, I’m sure for some this is no problem but I only work on the weekend so I was a hassle to get it off and threw me off for the fallowing week, I kept thinking I was one day ahead then what it actually was. This caused me a few days later to barge in on a class because I was late and confused on where the class was meeting. I would either change it shoot to a Friday because all film students do not have class on Friday I mean, let’s face it; we don’t do much on Friday unless there is an exam or major test that Monday. I would keep the assignment the way they are, it’s clear that all the assignment together make up the spectrum of experimental filmmaking. An example of the blog requirement is too long would be this one, because at this point this blog entry is at three hundred words and I can not think of more ways I would change or improve on the 6X1 class. So what am I to do? I guess absurdity would be appropriate right now. I would change the name of the class to The One Min Film; Do Whatever You Want! And the tag line of the class would be “This class is so easy students walking by in the hallway get contact credit”. Well that about does it for this entry.

Monday, April 19, 2010

3-D workshop

Today we had our 3-D filmmaking workshop. I really enjoyed it not only because it showed me how production works in shooting in 3-D but also this class incorporated a good deal of the aspects we have used through out the semester. For example, we had to make 3-D glass, and it should come to no surprise that the film department is under funded; hence, there is only one pair of scissors between seven students trying to cut out to make paper glasses. What is one to do? Go back to the first assignment, in which we scratch film strips with a straight edge razor. So, that how most of use made our 3-D glasses today, by cutting them out with a straight razor. The evidence of our toils can be clearly seen all over the class tables, even after the paper scrapes were clean up. I guess I got a heave hand with sharp pointy objects or the school should not be so cheep in their tables, either one it is funny. I was neat to see that with two regular cameras you could made the 3-D effect. I had seen a double lens made by Cannon that fits on to one camera I coming into class today I was thinking that that’s what we were going to be working with. I guess that is a hot new item that is outside the price range of this institution. That Cannon lens I’m guessing is for polarized 3-D filmmaking and doesn’t require color correction to pull off. As my group experimented with 3-D depth of field during our shoot we would bring a persons and a person’s face close to the cameras. We could bring depth in the back ground of our shot. In post this would ruin the 3-D effect by separating into clearly left and right solid color sides. So what needs to happen to make this image appear to come out of the screen? I could imagine that maybe a reversal of the red and blue color at the point that an object is to project outwards. Beyond that I don not have any idea how an object would appear to come out of the screen. I wish I would have thought about during class so I could have asked about it or that it would be brought up that we are only working on 3-D deep depth of field and not extreme shallow depth of field.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Rough Theatre

To me this article really hit home how a theater should be thought of, that it can be more then a large fancy building that wealthy socialites get a dressed up to go to so that they could be seen as well as see. That a theater can be anywhere and anything, which is so true because I’ve read about actors performing “theater” in a men’s restroom once, that only had two stalls and an audience max capacity of five. It would have been interesting to see such a play, how they would block it and what story could take place just in a restroom. This is kinda why I disagree with the articles remakes about the architecture, I think there is a place for fancy upscale theater building and for other types of building being used as a theater but to start from scratch and design a building that’s not the ridged strict up scale building and that is inspired by the non-traditional use of theater is just a plan waste of resources and effort. There is no perfect hybrid of these two types of theater because their have different end goals. Upscale theater is all about see and be seen as well as making a special of the show. Rag-tag Theater is about being and showing off the artist’s boundless creativity, a no-holds-bar to the contrary. To be different is to be sophisticated, it’s the business of creating a new language, as task not for the slow and the ordinary. Breaking rules takes knowledge, because you have to know the rules in order to break them.
One of the first ways I associated this article to this class was in its description of the rough theater. It reminded me of what I when through with the first assignment, scratch away at the film strip with any object, find any piece of found footage and attach it, and find any old object and lay it on the unexposed film strip. There is no order as long as it looks good in the end or at least has a reason behind it other then “that’s just what happened”. This whole article not only begs the question, is there beauty in chaos, but answers affirmatively in its own little way. That’s what we do with our projects; we bring order to chaos by showing beauty in everyday ordinary objects.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Yes Man

I greatly enjoyed the film The Yes Man. It was about two anti-corporate activists who used the internet at first to be critical about policies involving corporations. They do their job a little too good and make a site that is identical to the WTO (world Trade Origination) and people, unaware of their mistake sent them e-mails and invite to attend conferences to give speeches about what the real WTO is doing. The activists see the real WTO as hypocrites, the WTO mission is to govern and encourage trade between first and third word countries but instead have help the cause of corporations by helping them come into foreign nations and exploit their cheep labor and lack of labor laws. Now that other originations think they represent the WTO they use this opportunity to remove the hypocrisy and give speeches that reflex the WTO actions. This results in over-the-top, offensive, racist and sometimes crude speeches about the future plans and stances of the WTO. What is most impressive about these activists work is the extent, detail and amount of prep work they go through to make fools of themselves and the WTO. For example, they spent nine months working on a computer simulation, with the help of a computer programmer, and a presentation alone for a single convention. Then they find out that it was canceled. At another point in the film, they hire a Hollywood costume designer to make them a “manager leisure suite”, which entails a breakaway business suite, a full body suite that is covered in gold paint and a huge inflatable penis-like “TV screen” coming from his crotch. To their dismay, their presentation did not cause a stir.
I guess the only thing I can take away from this film and apply to my experience in the 6-by-1 class would be their prep work. The prep work and imagination these activists had is amazing. To be so straight faced with these outrageous presentations, and to spend nine months on prep work shows me that planning ahead is not only a good idea but that the difference between great and just ok work. I’m still not sure how to plan for the 48 hour video race. I know that im going to use my consumer digital camera, and that I have 720 frames to work with and, of course, I have two day to shoot it and edit it. The last step is working with the mystery object.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Molotov Man and Crytomnesia

After reading the article “On The Rights Of The Molotov Man” in which a painter, Joy Garnett, uses a part of a documentary photographer, Susan Meiselas, photo. A copy right debate is raised between who has the right to use this photo of a man in mid throw of a Molotov. After reading both viewpoints my quick and very right response is that Susan is looking too deeply into her own art and tacking on too much responsibility. I biased this on the fact that there is big difference between a filmmaker and a photographer, which is a filmmaker “makes” an image while a photographer “takes” an image. All Susan did was be in the right place and the right time to push the button on her camera and “take” the photo. That it, that’s all she did. This photo she took is not “her” art, it’s her artistic eye to see when, where and what makes a good photo but as soon as one of the elements in the photo is changed from the original print then its beyond her artistic eye and into the next artist’s view. The artistic ability to “take” a photo is way different then what a filmmaker has to do to “make” that same image. If Susan was a filmmaker and she did “make” that image then she is entitled to licensing fees and control of the use of her art. In the end the question still stands, “who owns the right to this man’s struggle?” My answer, nether one of them, but Susan is the one complaining and demanding money from Joy. Hence, she is in the wrong, not Joy?

I never knew that Crytomnesia meant the phenomenon when two different people came up with the same concept without ever meeting or being exposed to each others work. I bring this up because as my group were brain storming for a concept to shoot for our long take I came up with this idea of lost tourist who stops at a bust to for directions and watches as a native jumps on the back of another person and rides off. One of our group members, who is from Australia, weren’t there when I originally thought of this idea but later after I described it to her she said that she had seen the exact same thing back home in Australia. So it stuck out to me that that there really is a word that means this exact phenomenon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday In-class Shoot

So Saturday’s shoot was some what chaotic but still manageable and fun considering that my group started off with not having picked a concept to shoot. We did throw a few ideas around before hand that we picked from and refined. Of course, location always provides it own set of problems, like I would have to shoot from standing in the middle of the road. Once we got to where we were going to shoot it I quickly found that that I would play the part of the director, I don’t really like directing, it’s too hard to manage and there are too many options for me to handle. Today gave me a different approach to it, directing didn’t seem that hard and all it required was controlling a several run through and holding the camera steady. The hold the camera steady part, not as easy as it sounds, there is really no hand grips on the thing and after holding it one way for the run through I found out that I had to completely change I was to hold it for the actual shoot. This explains why the camera was tilted during the take. I was very happy with the end result, beside the minor tilt of course.
Working with the super 8mm camera became very mechanical, unlike digital cameras where everything is seamless and integrated. The super 8mm camera was very much like tinkering with an old clock with you having to take an active role in doing everything to get the camera to function properly. So you have to know how the camera works to get it to work, with digital plug it in, turn it one and that’s it, its good to go.
I had a lot of fun working on the other group’s shoot. But then who wouldn’t have fun doing an office chair race down the halls and through the Kean hall building?! Considering how dirty of a racer I was and how hard I was pushing it Im lucky I didn’t wipe out, then again that would have only added to the thrill of the shoot. My only regret was only able to do the race twice, I really think they should have done a few more run through. Anyways, overall Saturday’s shoot was very fun and that it felt less of hassle to go to class on a Saturday then I thought it would.