Monday, April 9, 2012

Project 1

This project was quite a learning experience for me, and it was completely experimental because I had never worked with real film with my hands before, so trying out a number of ways to modify it was intriguing and something I hope I can use in the future.  I found myself constantly thinking thoughouut the coruse of the project about ways I could use the skills we were learning and incorporate them into films that I shoot myself- animating over my own footage, coloring my own footage, etc. -but after seeing the finished project I've sort of come to the conclusion that while these forms of manipulation mix with each other quite well, they might not mix with actual video footage unless the filmmaker is a true master of manipulation, which I am not.

Working with Tasha helped this project go smoothly because we were both curious about the different types of media and both wanted to come up with something that really looked cool.  It was a good partnership because we both experimented a lot and if I tried something that didn't really work, Tasha's version of the same method looked great.  For instance, her rayograms were stellar, they were exposed just right and had tons of contrast which made for a cool look.  Meanwhile, mine were basically black.  But my paints and oils ended up looking really cool (completely by accident) especially the ones where I layered paint and oil a few times and got rich colors. 

Something I realized during that phase of the project is that film is sort of resistant to paint, so you have to be persistent in getting it to stick, letting it dry and then getting more on there.  The oil helps to make each frame have kind of a lava lamp look, and if you mix the right colors, the final product will be awesome.  Painting film is something that I probably will go back to in the future, because 1: it's relaxing sitting in a room with some music playing and painting whatever you feel like on the film and  2: watching a projected image with all those colors moving around is a surreal experience. Someday I want to pick a musical score and paint a film to go along with it.

48 Hour Film Race Eye-DeeAhs

Having never been in any kind of video race before, but always being intrigued by the idea of it, I think this ought to be a good way to start, because if you can make a film in limited time without a camera, anything in the future that involves a camera will be that much easier.  The idea of using my phone to make this thing is funny because my phone was probably designed around 2003 and is far inferior in video technology (does it even have video?) to some of the phones that are out today (i've heard of studio-quality films being shot on iPhones) but that might be a good thing, it sort of parallels our use of the super-8 to get a certain grainy, imperfect look.  We'll see if I'm willing to risk using my phone and having a tehcnical mishap of some sort ruin everything (that's what film races are all about right? Risky business!)

I've got some experience in animation from classes I've taken the past few semesters and might see if I can include Flash or some sort of computer animation to do at least part of this film.  I've been hoping for a chance to do some kind of dream sequence or trippy aside to a film that involves flash animation, so this might be my chance.

As far as content goes, I have no idea what I want to make this about, which is probably fine, because when I find out what the mystery prop is I'll have a clean slate and can really make it fit around the prop, rather than just have the prop randomly pass by in a movie that's completely about other stuff.  I think that with the format we're given, comedy or disaster are the genres to stick with, and I'm not big on disaster, so I think I'll end up doing a comedy of some kind.  One thing I'm worried about is sound, and doing a comedy might help avoid any sound problems because it will allow me to add the sfx in post and if they stick out as added sfx that's fine for the sake of comedy, if that makes any sense.

I am pumped about the idea of doing an entire project on my own, not that I don't like working in groups, but we do it so often in this major that sometimes I wonder exactly what I'm bringing to the table, so having the responsibility of the whole thing on my shoulders will be a chance to see if I suck or not.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Theory of Animation

It was funny to me to read Wells' idea that the Disney type animation and other things like it is so much of what we consume that it takes over the imagination of the viewers, because I thought about it and I couldn't really think of many other kinds of animation, besides stop animation.

In the 'absence of the artist' portion of the text, I started imagining the early animation styles that included the artist, and the first thing that came to my mind was "Duck Amuck" which is later mentioned by Wells as a later interpretation of the style that only uses the artist as a figure in the narrative to create comedy.  I was interested in the Koko the Clown "out of the inkwell" cartoon, so I found it on Youtube, and it does look like a very early way of doing the same effect from 'duck amuck', but it was pretty funny as well.  It would be interesting to see the original animators figuring out just how to get the effect they were looking for by including the hand and the blank paper background.

It was an intriguing thought to me that abstraction, the type of animation that resists using the body or real-life identifiable forms, is the purest and most difficult type of animation according to the text.  It got me started thinking about what shapes or forms I would create if they could be anything but real-life identifiable forms.  The idea of aligning this type of animation with sound to create rhythm or harmony seems to be pretty wide open as a realm to explore, while animating talking animals or cartoon people has been covered in so many ways that there aren't that many new ways to do it.

The text's frequent mention of the relationship between the animator and the image got me thinking about an artist named Stephen Gammel, who did illustrations for a book I had when I was younger called Scary stories to tell in the Dark, or soemthing.  His type of drawing shows a lot of evidence of the ink or pencil that he is using, so it borders on sloppy with sort of ink scribbles on it, which adds to the creepiness of it.  But Iw as thinking that if his type of image was animated, it would walk the line between animations that are hyper realist and those that show the presence of the artist/medium. Either way it would be cool...I will try to find a Stephen Gammel illustration to include here.

Monday, February 20, 2012


In the acoustic ecology article, I was definitely reminded of little attention I pay to the sounds of nature and the sounds of humans that block out the natural ones.  I remember being in Markowski's recording class and we had "Soundscape" assignments...Markowski would tell us to listen real hard in the natural environment ones, because of their were cars or people audible in the background, you weren't deep enough into a natural sound environment.  Actually being able to find a place like that is surprisingly difficult.

I had to chuckle a bit when I read the comment from the sound-obsessed guy who said not enough is being done to conserve environmental sound, because my instant response was 'wellll, our human expansion (cities machines cars and all that) isn't just louder than the environment.  It kills a lot of stuff in the environment.  Maybe it's getting harder to hear deer footsteps because we're running over all the deer with our SUV's.'

I see where the guy's coming from, it just sounds funny when you view a problem like that from a strictly-sound perspective.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cameraless Filmmaking So Far

Welp, I haven't really decided how I like this whole idea of 'doing stuff to film and thats it''s definitely fun sitting in front of a newspaper pile with a strip of film and pouring colorful shit all over it, but how it's gonna look when i'm all done, i don't know yet.  One thing I know is when i put ink on film, it's a different thing for me because I'm used to putting ink on surfaces that absorb it, whereas film really doesn't want to accept it, so it's not as easy to manipulate. if you want a certain look to come from ink/oil you gotta have your gameplan prepared ahead of time, and even then it will probablt look differne than you thought it was gonna look.

I think its gonna be more my cupotea to incorporate the skills a got from practicing cameraless filmmaking into films with actual cameras and all that.  I'm interested in finding ways to combine the two.  Like scratching a cartoon humanoid hippo onto film that already had a guy having a conversation with nothing, knowing that eventually there was gonna be a scratchilly cartoon hippo there.  if that makes any sense.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cymatics and Synesthesia

I'm not sure if this counts as synesthesia, but I have always imagined numbers in my head with certain colors attached to them.  For instance, 1 is green, 2 is purple, 3 is yellow, 4 is blue, 5 is pinkish orange.  Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that does count as synesthesia, but cymatics seems to be a much more compelling and artistic version of synesthesia.  I was a bit disappointed when I saw how cool it was to look at the sounds of the Pink Floyd song and the frame of the classical song, because it seems artists try so hard to get sounds and images to line up, but nothing works as good as getting the actual images that a sound physically makes through a machine.  I also really liked the images that I have found that use liquid in cymatics. Something about a pattern of vibrations in liquid that go along with a sound that is kind of hypnotizing to me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Response to "Passage"

The first part with the colorful shaky triangles sort of reminded me of the opening of "Saved By the Bell"...the repeating kaleidascope-type shapes were cool for a while but I was hoping for some variation. 7 minutes of this repeating stuff was a long time.  I would've made it like 3 minutes max and stuck to the more rhythmic drum beats rather than the random sound sections because the rhythmic parts were more fun to watch.  The grainy dots/speckles were pleasing to watch as well because it reminded me of a bonfire.  I am not sure what else I noticed about the film.........besides that it was cool but a bit long for me.