Saturday, June 18, 2011

Video Race

The video race was a good time all around. The idea of "Hello Neighbor" was very vast and it was clear that an array of different styles and interpretations would come from all of our projects.

It was very cool getting to watch everyones project outside on the big screen. It was a nice environment to hangout and watch what everyone had done.

If I had to pick a favorite I would be torn between Palmer's and Ryans. Palmer had a rich experimental film while Ryan's did a fresh, recognizable, and truthful way of telling a story.

All in all, everyone had interesting video race projects. Fun and unique stories were told using an array of techniques.

In my short film I was gave a sorta montage to the short film Plastic Bag, which I have attached. Narrated by Werner Herzog:

The Rough Theatre

The concept of the Rough Theatre is very interesting to me. It seeks to embody the the truths of life. Peter Brooks states, "The Rough Theatre deals with men's actions and because it is down to earth and direct - because it admits the wickedness and laughter - the rough and ready seems better than the holy way." With this quote it is clear that filmmakers that execute the RoughTheatre approach seek to capture a honest glimpse into the society and not over glamorizing certain aspects.

This instantly reminds me of the filmmaker John Cassavettes. He would take a less than standard approach into making his films that remind me of the unconventional methods of the Rough Theatre. The idea that true human emotions could be expressed in a manner that came of sincere and honest.

Below is a short clip of Cassavettes speaking of is unorthodox techniques:

The Rough Theatre was also known as the Human Theatre. It sought to capture true moments of humanity, life, and reality. Improvisations were encouraged for an organic natural feel was the intention of their techniques.

The Rough Theatre seeks to recreate and redefine the conventions on what, how, and they a cinematic story is told.

Monday, June 13, 2011

3D Project

I believe it is to safe to say that our group had a great selection of genres to explore within this project. Gangster, Samurai, and Western are three themes that more everyone is familiar with.When exploring ideas off setting and locations we wanted embody places that will well represent each theme presented.

With the Gangster theme we knew we needed something that was ultimately dark and gritty. I pictured a grimy alleyway where a smooth criminal lurked waited for his prey. In this case we made our gangster post up in a alleyway waiting to sell drugs. Here is an example of the tone we were seeking to recreate:

In our 3D project we evoked the darkness seen in the picture. We also try to motif the style and era, making in contrasty and gritty.

With the Samurai aspect of our project we knew that we need a scenic area of sorts. We brainstormed about what makes of a Samurai movie we all thought of the great landscapes. We knew that the trees, mountains, etc, provide for a rich and lush perspective and provides a backdrop full of depth. In this example you can see the vastness Samurai cinema put their characters in nature:

In our 3D project we dabble with simliar framing and used our surroundings to create a sense of depth and nature within the environment and trees.

When people think of Westerns automatically the idea of guns, fires, and the cowboy comes to mind. We new that we had to have that cowboy flare when tackling that theme knowing that a sense of style, confidence, and a badass should emerge from that character. With the example shown a true sense of a western cowboy can be seen:

When executing our 3d project we tried to create a sort of area that showed the cowboys den. We tried to create depth within our frame with a fire place and chair separating our character.

All in all the 3d exercise was a great experience and I can not wait to take it into post and further explore and manipulate what we have captured.

3D Proeject

Monday, June 6, 2011

Long-Take Experience

Our group had a lot of fun with the whole long-take project from the beginning to end. Being able to load/thread the camera, blocking out a scene, executing a scene, developing our film and also transferring it to HD in a very minimal time frame was very exciting.

We had a great time with blocking and executing the idea of our scene. We new that we had only one shot of roughly a minute to capture a long-take. We opted with the floating camera approach, with a slight semi-subjective feel. We explored the idea of an establishing shot (on the cement as the jeep enters) and a closing shot (smoke bomb) within our story. We also tried to incorporate a large amount of compositions when we could. We dabbled with Wide, Three Shots, Tracking Shots, Close-ups, Medium Close-ups, Over the Shoulders, and maybe a couple more. It was fun and a challenge to mix all these elements in our execution in such a short time with only one take.

It was fun developing our film; very cool that we are able to do that ourselves with the right chemicals and precautions. I definitely want to explore more of that. The HD transfer was very cool as well. I am excited to take our footage into post and give it a more cinematic matte and explore some of the shades of gray we can get out with our black and white image.

I have attached a Long-Take tracking shot that I believe has some incredible blocking and is very profound. It is shot by Director of Photography Seamus McGarvey BSC and operated by Peter Robertson.

A friend of mine was at a bar with Seamus and asked him about that setup, and Mr. McGarvey laughed and said that the everyone was complaining about how the sun was going down and they didn't have enough tome to do all the setups they had planned to the day so it was decided to just try and nail in in one take. They rehearsed it a couple times (recording) and after the operator was comfortable went for it. The cinematographer feels the the take chosen for the film was the best for light and composition.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pin-Hole Camera

The Pin-hole Camera project was a very exciting project which I believe had everyone on their feet from the very beginning. The fact alone that we actually had to construct our own camera, gate shutter and all, from raw materials made the whole process fun and something to look forward too. Granted we were all new to building your own custom still camera, it was clear that the end results would be sporadic, unique, and trail and error of sorts.

Although I do really like the design and body of our matchbox pin-hole cameras, I have attached a few of the custom pin-hole cameras that I came across online that I found pretty interesting and cool:

At first glance at the examples we were shown of the pictures the pin-hole camera could take, I was instantly reminded of the iPhone Instamatic application which creates retro pictures. The pin-hole camera pictures all seemed to have a sort of nostalgia feel to them, with a vignetting quality mixed with strange color rendition and overexposure.

I was not absolutely positive how my pin-hole camera pictures would come out for various reasons but when I got my photos back I was pleasantly surprised. Although I did not get of the environment really, I did capture an nostalgia in a sense with obscure and fragmented pictures.

To tell the truth I feel that a lot of the way my pin-hole camera pictures came out paralleled the ideas of Cymatic artwork and work of Norman McLaren. I have attached some of the pictures from my pin-hole camera assignment.

In summation the pin-hole camera process is another tool I can put on my belt and hopefully incorporate in future projects. It is vast the amount one could say or express through the perspective of a pin-hole and by honing a skill-set and discipline with the limitations this camera surrenders, a great vantage point could be gained.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wells in Relation to Animation Projects

One of the quotes that Wells uses in is essay that I feel relates immensely to our Animation Project, and the 6x1 class a whole, was stated, "my instrument will be the cinematographic film, this true symbol of accumulated movement." We are encouraged in writing classes to always incorporate and evoke a sense of movement within our work, just as Wells and experimental animators have proclaimed, movement is the absolute way to render a universal or ambiguous, yet true expression. It is clear that ultimately by projecting our final animation, we will see the rendered abstractions of our work in motion.

Examples of Orthodox (Universal) and Experimental (Ambiguous) Animation utilizing movement and expression:

Wells is a strong advocator on the idea that "Experimental Animation defines its own form and conditions and uses [its surrounding influences] as its [own] distintive language." I believe it is safe the say that these qualities clearly come out within our 6x1 class. Vast amounts of styles, visions, expressions, interpretations, and experiences have been carried out on our films we have projected (especially the magazine transfer). Lets keep in mind a large regard have solely been practice for the final project we are about to complete and are not even a perceived or heavily thought out expression of abstraction.

Example of Animation Drawn on Film with nearly endless depth:

It is said that Experimental Animation relies on aesthetic opposed to narrative approval. In class we have used basically everything we could put our hands on to further manipulate the film and the way it comes across when projected. Wells and Experimental Animators encourage the idea abstract animation is the purest form of expression where ultimately the indivual subconscious and psyche we take affect and create a poetic, true, influenced and self referential statement.