Monday, March 26, 2012

48 hour video race

So I think I am going to use the Photo Booth application on my mac to record my video. Depending on the mystery prop, I'm going to pick one of the video effects, or maybe even use multiple effects for different types of shots to be used. Luckily, it's one of my friend's birthday that weekend, so I should have enough people to help me out if I need some extras for my film, unless the prop doesn't work with whatever story I would created. I work best when I'm put on the spot, and a video race is a fantastic way to get the spontaneous ideas started after seeing the prop. so for now, I won't come up with a "plot" until props are revealed. Photo Booth also has an option to use one's background and change it using another photo as a substitute, so if needed, I will find images online that would correspond well with whatever plot I have for my story. I have never participated in video races before, so I am somewhat anxious about what will be produced with only 48 hours. I have yet to think of any ideas for sound, but that will come along after I figure out whether the film will be a comedi or serious one, etc. I'm also slightly anxious about doing this project alone because I've become accustomed to working in groups for films. However, it will be nice to have a film that is purely mine and see what I can come up with!

looking back on assignment 1...

First off, it was more fun than anticipated. This is not to say that I didn't think it wasn't going to be fun, but having to work on tiny film frames for animation is not something that comes natural to me. However, seeing the end result made all the work worth it. As it turns out, what seemed to be mildly random segments of film cut together turned into somewhat of a coherent film. My animation consisted mainly of images that morphed or moved across the frame --> a smiley face, a circle turning into a square, a man rotating and a rectangle taking over the frame. I'm not necessarily a fan of tedious work, and I suspect many aren't either, especially when having to draw the same images over and over with little changes in between. However, seeing the images come alive was a nice reward for all the hard work put into it. But my days as an animator have come to an end, I'm content with sticking to filming :) The part I liked the best were the magazine transfers. At first, they didn't work out quite the same way they had in class, but eventually, I got the technique down. In sticking to my water theme for the transfers, I used a lot of blue (for obvious reasons.) To jazz it up, I used an advertisement for nail polish and put the bright colors on the film to essentially create a rainbow effect. I may have been stretching the water theme a bit on that one, but it seemed to look pretty once it was projected. Ben and I split up the work to be done, so I let him do the inking and cutting up of the film. But I also learned more from this assignment than just making a pretty looking film without a camera. My most valuable lesson... maybe not super valuable, but it was a lesson learned the hard way... was learning how to load the projector. Or rather use the projector as a whole, as I seem to have a knack for causing havoc anytime I'm near it. But I think I've finally learned how to PROPERLY load the projector, we've come a long way from my days of spilling Dr. Pepper next do it in Intro to Doc!

The sounds of silence... and other stuff.

Sound in cinema has always been an important factor in films since the advent of synchronous sound and other sound technology. The dialogue between characters adds information that the audience may not have been able to get just by looking at the screen. The added music can create different moods depending on how it's used. It can make an otherwise serious scene seem comical. Emotions are brought into play when the music seems to foreshadow upcoming events, something that could never happen if there were no sounds. Sound adds an extra dimension that makes watching film a more immersive experience. as an audience, we listen for auditory cues that would indicate what is happening, and film composers often create their soundtracks to match with the action on screen. Some characters are given their own musical themes, and every time they appear on the screen, their theme may begin to play in some form. The reading also mentions anempathetic music, in which the music sees to be detached from the emotions conveyed in a scene. While they are not connected directly to the emotions in said scene they create the sense of normalcy in a scene much in the same way ambient sound would. Even emphasizing these types of sounds may suggest o the audience that there is more to the world in which the characters live, and as in real life, no matter what occurs in from of the camera, time will continue to pass regardless. The reading also points out how the ear analyzes, processes and synthesizes faster than the eye. One could use that to move the audience's attention to auditory information and have them process more of that rather than give more visual information. This becomes important in a scene with much detail visually, but the focus is centered on whatever is making sound. One must also think about the ways that sound is presented, so as to temporalize images. A sound that is uneven will make it seem as if the action is more tense and more attention is focused on the image. Sound with unpredictable tempos will seem to motivate the action forward. The tempo of sound is also important because temporalization will be more dependent on the irregularity of the sound rather than on the quickness of the tempo. Hans Zimmer's soundtracks often come to mind with their droning, repeated melodic phrases played against slower actions.

Childhood memories of the RoadRunner and Wild E. Coyote...

The cartoons I watched growing up all fit into the orthodox style described in the reading. whether it was a Disney cartoon or the animated series created by Warner Bros, I didn't ever branch out. Mostly because I saw what was made readily available to me at the time, which happened to be the adventures of the RoadRunner and Wile E. Coyote. So, when I am told to reflect upon animation, these are the examples that come to mind. Their use of narrative form that featured figures made it very easy for me to follow along when I was younger (because honestly, most cartoons on TV seem to be made with a younger audience in mind.) It makes sense that when I reflect back on cartoons, I have a specific soundtrack in mind that goes along with whatever crazy adventures the characters took. This aided in deciphering what was going on in the story as well as the tone. I think of characters that belong in a world that consists of ten colors, at most. These visual conventions are now what I tend to look for in traditional cartoons. Story-wise, most cartoons tend to have the famous chase scenes and there were plenty of chase scenes in the RoadRunner and Coyote cartoons. They always seemed to take a similar trajectory -- the roadrunner would do something to anger the coyote, coyote chases roadrunner with the intent to kill him ( which is a bit harsh, but then again, the coyote was always a bit extreme), coyote employs the use of ACME dynamite, thinks he has roadrunner trapped only to find out all too late that his plan backfires and roadrunner gets away unharmed. Why the coyote never learned that he will never catch the roadrunner is beyond me. But this same chase scene is always repeated, and always something I had looked forward to.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

cameraless filmmaking thus far...

So far, I found cameraless filmmaking an awesome experience that has allowed met to be creative in ways that normal filmmaking may not allow. When starting out, my initial reactions were that it felt and looked a lot like experimental films, however, I like creating these films more than I do experimental films. I enjoy how the films have the capabilities to showcase different techniques that cannot be used and bring new meaning to simple things such as collages. A lot more factors need to be taken into consideration when making these films so one is more aware of the nature of the films. For example, it is very easy to slow things down on film in order to show them for however long the filmmaker feels like showing something on the screen. However, with cameraless filmmaking, the duration of an image is a direct result of how much the filmmaker may have of whatever resource to keep the image the same of the screen, or repeating the same image on the frame. So for me, animating anything on a strip of film becomes an arduous task that can become a tedious one as I try to duplicate each image and change the image slightly. Combined with my severe lack of artistic skills when it comes to drawing anything more complicated than a stick figure, I enjoy doing things like magazines transfer more, even though taking a thumb tack to film and scratching it to no end is highly enjoyable, if only to do an activity which others would deem crazy and mildly psychopathic. Fair enough. Speaking of magazine transfers, the awesome fact that it felt more like I was in an elementary school art class (in regards to hacking up paper and letting us put whatever we want on our strips of tape) makes this practice of cameraless filmmaking one of my favorites. I was familiar with taking newspaper and transferring the ink onto nail polish, but it had not occurred to me that something similar could be done with film. Though my focus in film as a whole will be directed towards documentaries, I will definitely continue to work with cameraless filmmaking recreationally.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cymatics and Synesthesia response

While watching the video on cymatics, I was reminded of the short experimental film we watched last week in class where the images changed according to the tempo and beats of the music. While cymatics seems to be related more to the shapes created from the sound waves and vibrations emitted from sound, I feel that one could combine the two in order to create a new experimental film that makes sound visible. While it may be too small to accurately record the full shapes created by sound waves, one could use the clear film and place small amounts of ink on it and let the vibrations create the visuals. Similarly, one could try to draw on film that is places on top of a surface that vibrates from the sound waves. I’ll let someone else figure out the device to be made in order to get vibrations strong enough to affect one’s drawing on film. To make sound even more “visible,” the use of synesthesia in art could be applied by having the colors “correspond” with the sound heard. However, it will obviously be highly subjective as it would be whatever color I deem to be appropriate for whatever song I’m listening to. Also, I don’t have synesthesia, so it wouldn’t be based on whatever synesthetic experience I would have had. It would most likely be like word association, only with color. I suppose that if it felt like a sad song, I would choose something like blue or brown, and conversely, if it were a happy sounding song it might be pink or yellow. I could jazz it up and make the colors opposite of the feeling one would associate with them, so yellow for sad, etc. Which is fitting, as I don’t find yellow particularly happy, this goes for the Coldplay song as well. Or I could match rhyming scheme with a color whose name rhymes with it such as red and said, though that may not follow closely to whatever rules apply for synesthesia’s use in art.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Film Response 1

The film was a very chaotic one that seemed to me as if it were almost a film of wat one would see when they listened to music and surrounding noses with their eyes closed. As the film become more repetitious in its soundtrack, so did the geometric shapes that appeared on the screen become more repetitive, which caused them to create a kaleidoscope-like effect. The colors also seemed to match the musc heard. As the music became more vibrant-sounding, so did the colors on the screen become vibrant shapes. Once the audio moved away from music to what sounded like ambient noises, the shapes became more like lines that had little correlation to each other. In a sense, it reminded me of what one would hear if they were to walk through urban neighborhoods.