Friday, May 2, 2008

Race Time

OK, now I can catch my breath! I had my first final on Thursday so I was a bit stressed on time. I thought the editing lab would be packed right up until the deadline but I was wrong. I was the only one left in there when Amanda came to meet me at 7:30pm, which is when I had to throw together the rest of the sound and print to video. I would have put more time into the soundtrack if it had been a normal assignment but time ran out on me. I enjoyed the rough theatre experience. It was fun to get together to see what everyone came up with. I was really impressed by everyone’s work, especially the films that were created with scanners, web cams and cell phones. Patrick’s piece really sticks out in my mind because he only used a scanner. I did not think that being in a dark room would give such good results, but it did.
I had a few ideas before the race but none of them seemed to fit the chalk egg, so I started brainstorming and digging through my kid’s toy box. I found the couch, the “carpet” and the fabric for the wallpaper. Then I remembered the egg-plants that my mom gave the kids for Easter. They are flat-bottomed ceramic eggs with potting soil and seeds. I did not find the little pipe until the last minute but it worked well, I thought. Editing was the hardest part; I had technical difficulty and somehow lost all the work I did on Tuesday night. Luckily, Clay taught a few shortcuts while I was there and I was able to recreate it quickly.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Camera-less Video Race

Well the idea of the video race had me a bit nervous, so I started trying to brainstorm on an idea ahead of time but most of my ideas involved a video camera. So once I found out it was camera-less I decided to wait until I see the mystery prop to decide which direction to go. I have access to a digital still camera, but this may be an easy fall back to FST 201. The movie mode function of the camera would also work but again could be considered an easy way to approach the project. I thought about my camera phone, maybe I could email the pictures to myself and use them, but the photos are usually very small and low quality. A web-cam might be interesting to use, my kids have one that they got for Christmas that came with a green screen. A scanner could be used to animate a short film, but this may prove to be difficult because you can’t see anything once you close the lid until it actual scans. Found-footage of photos could work if you printed and scanned them. Well I hope I come up with a good idea and get it all shot (or whatever) and edited on time. I am not the most experienced editor. I hoping the assignment we work on Monday will sparks some inspiration in my head.

Rough Theatre

The article on rough theatre made me thinks of a few different things that could be paralleled to the concept. The idea of taking an ordinary space and creating something artistic for a limited amount of time and then the space will most likely return to its normal state. Like this blog for instance, once I post it this blog will occupy a space for until I shut it down, but the new post page will remain unchanged. I know weird comparison. The article also reminded me of the 6x1 experience, we have created films in unconventional ways and in the spaces that were available at the time. I feel like this is especially true with the one-shot project.
The article also reminded me of a play I saw at a Renaissance Fair in California; the stage and setting were minimal and there were only two or three actors and they performed a play about Mephistopheles and Dr. Faust. It was great; the entire audience was completely enthralled. They performed three times a day and each time I walked by the audience seemed captivated by the play. I have seen other plays in theatres but this one has always been my favorite.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Line Describing a Cone

Attending the presentation of Line Describing a Cone was pretty cool, especially since we had a living room to see it in; it kind of made it more authentic. Someone mentioned the Disney show they put on at Epcot, they use smoke, colored lights and fireworks, and it also made me think of this show. I cannot seem to remember the name but I took my kids to see it when they were younger. It was interesting to see how the amount of smoke and the way people manipulated the light affected the appearance of the emerging cone. Putting my head inside the cone was fun and I think everyone in the room had a good time playing with this installation style piece. For some reason I thought it was going to take much longer for the cone to be created and I was a bit surprised that when it was over the image ended. I half expected the cone to start changing color or something like that when it was complete. I do not know why I thought this. The only drawback was I felt like I carried the smell of the fog-machine smoke with me for the rest of the day, but it was worth it and I did not notice anybody looking at me like I was stinky.

The Molotov Man's Money

When the internet and digital cameras first became popular and images were suddenly able to swirl around the world at the push of a button, I had a debate with a friend about a person’s right to their image. I told him I did not like the fact that anyone with a digital camera and a computer could take my picture, do what they will to it and then post in on the web. I told him I should have a certain right to my own image. He disagreed and told me it was just the way things were going to be and it would be impossible for anyone to have such control. He was right and it would certainly be hard to do certain types of expose documentaries if this were true. However, there are many sides to the issue. Actors are paid for the use of their image and painters and photographers are often paid for the use of their work. But how about the people we see in commercials for obesity segments on the local news showing a close-up of their large stomachs or butts, but not their face. Did these people give their permission or get paid for the use of their image or would they be completely embarrassed by the footage? I am still at odds with this issue, especially now that I have teenage daughters.
Susan Meisela did not ask for Pablo Arauz’s permission to publish the photo, she did not even know his name until 11 years after she took the photo, any more than Joy Garnett did to appropriate it. I do not think he has made any money from the wide spread use of his popular image. Did Pepsi pay anyone for the image? I think that as new generations grow up along with the new technology the copyright laws will eventually have to change or become ineffective because they will be impossible to enforce. But I do not know how this will affects artists in the long run.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Scratched Again

Watching Thad Povey’s work with the Scratch Film Junkies now that I have a little practice with creating this kind of film was a very different experience. This time the film kept my attention the whole time as I tried to figure out what techniques they were using and for how many frames, while at the same time watching for the aesthetic value. I now more fully appreciate the time and planning that go into creating these films. The film did not lose me toward the end the way “To the Beat” did the first time I watched it. I feel like if I watch “to the Beat” a second time I would not lose interest toward the end and I would pay more attention to the styles and techniques the Scratch Film Junkies were using.
The images move so quickly, but I was drawn to the blue circles in this film, just like I was in “To the Beat.” I was really impressed by what looked like rayograms that had been painted or inked with green. The effect was really unique. The painted lines were also very interesting.
I would like to see both of these films again, maybe a few times, to get a chance to really study there techniques and maybe try to figure out how many frames they are using for each image and style.
I really enjoyed working on this project with Clay and I liked the way it looked during projection. When we were splicing he film together and putting it on the reel, we were not sure if we had it going in the right direction. We actually rolled it onto the reel a couple of times, so I was happy to see that we got it going in the right direction, thanks to Clay.

Stop-motion Animation

This was my first experience with creating stop-motion animation and it was really great. I like how we are just thrown into to creating the projects, regardless of our experience. There is no time to think about whether or not you know exactly what you are doing. You just go and do it and learn from it. I like to work that way and I think I learn more doing things that way. With this project I realized how time consuming and tedious it is to create stop-motion animation pieces. But the time seemed to really pass quickly and it was a lot of fun to work on. Bubba and Clay are the best to work with. They brought in a lot of good props and are both very creative. All the things we brought in really worked together well, even though we didn’t really have a plan to start with. We had our main character, Jabba the Hut attacked first by lizards (or maybe dinosaurs) and then by a skeleton cat. We used red pipe cleaner for laser beams and mint candies as bombs. We had quite a lot of different items between us and we really tried to use them all in our piece. I especially liked the deck of cards we used to simulate a body of water. I can’t wait to see how it worked out and I hope it is good.
As we were cleaning up our area, I was able to kind of look around at what a couple of other groups were doing. One group was using raw hamburger meat so I really want to see what they were up to. Another group seemed to be using just Play-doh, which is really impressive to me, because I can never get that stuff to look like anything. I am looking forward to watching the results.