Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ranking 6x1 Assignments

At the top of my list is the freestyle assignment. I ranked it first because I felt that it was my most successful project in the class and think that it was a culmination of many of the techniques that I learned in 6x1. Thus far, I think this is the best film that I have made in the major.

Second is the multi-plane animation. I ranked it high because it was always on my bucket list to make a stop motion film, and I feel that it was a pretty successful first attempt. This technique is definitely something I will put in my tool bag for future films.

Third is the crowdsourcing assignment. The assignment was daunting and time consuming, but I felt that it was worth the effort after watching the rough cut in class. Seeing my twelve animated frames come to life on the screen for that half second was definitely a highlight of the semester.

Fourth is the Bolex long take. The shoot day itself was a lot of fun and I thought that the premise that my team and I had was solid considering the kind of camera that we were using. I was disappointed, however, in the final product because the camera lens was not wide enough to capture everything that I wanted to see in the frame. Also, the blood that was painstakingly applied to everyone's bodies was not as visible as I would have liked it.

Fifth is the direct film manipulation. This ranks low on my list simply because of the amount of time that was required to complete the assignment. Overall, I loved the final product and even used some of it in my freestyle assignment.

Rhythmic editing is last because it really isn't the type of film that I would make on my own. However, I did enjoy going to the beach and playing disc golf for Tess's film and also thought that the assignment was a good editing exercise.

For me, this is not a ranking of "Best to Worst." I enjoyed all of the assignments and felt that each one helped me grow as a filmmaker.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Saturday's Shoot

I really enjoyed the Bolex film assignment that we shot on Saturday. Along with the great weather, the thing I liked most was the fact that we only had one take to get it right. This challenge forced my team and I to plan our shot out more meticulously than if we'd had several takes to get it right and in my opinion, made the film more personal. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to watch and help out the other teams film their projects as well. Doing this allowed me to get to know some students in the class that I had not previously worked with or even talked to for that matter.

I am disappointed, though, that the shot did not come out as I would have wanted it. The fake blood was not visible on the negative of the film, which worries me that it won't show up when I invert the footage. Without being able to see the blood, the whole concept of the film is not clear. The scene goes from a dinner party gone wrong to what looks like the aftermath of a great night. The other thing I realized after screening the footage was that I should have used a wider lens to capture more of the scene.

Overall, I enjoyed the film assignment and look forward to seeing the finish product at the end of the semester.

Friday, April 8, 2016

My Rough Theater

My rough theater stems to when I was a child playing toys with my brother, Brad. Brad and I would always develop storylines and even write scripts that we would perform with our toys in front of a cheap camera. We would also record sound effects like explosions from action movies on TV with our tape recorder and queue our younger sister to play them during an action scene in our films. We would then watch the films that we made and even show our parents, who I'm sure only pretended to be amused by them.

I think the films that I have had to make in the film major also could constitute my rough theater. Every assignment that I have made was accomplished on virtually no budget, which required much more creativity than if I did have funding. The best instance that I can think of was when we filmed the Stop Motion project earlier this semester. On no budget, my team and I worked together and were able to create an interesting 1950's science fiction parody with just a pair of Star Wars toys and two containers of Play-Doh. It is an assignment that I will always remember because it brought me back to my youth playing toys with my brother.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

16mm Film Manipulation

My experience while making the 16 mm film was at times mind numbing but overall, rewarding. Definitely the hardest part for me was the one hundred frames of animation. I chose to draw an eye opening and closing, which seemed easy when I thought of it but proved to be a tedious process, which took me nearly two hours to finish. I think the time I spent on it, though, paid off because it ended up being my favorite part of the one-minute film, even though it only lasts for about two seconds.

The section of film that I was least proud of was the magazine transfers. I purposefully picked vibrant oranges and blues for the segment, but noticed that everything looked brown. I am not sure what caused this, but I suspect that it was due to maybe not pealing off all of the pulp of the magazine. The most visually interesting part of the film was the segment that my partner and I combined canola oil and ink together. The combination gave the film a Jackson Pollock quality that looked great projected.

I think the most applicable thing that I learned for this project was how to cut and splice film together. Before this assignment, I had never worked with film before and felt that it was something that I needed to experience as an aspiring filmmaker.  Though I will probably use digital cameras for the majority of my projects, I am glad to have this skill set under my belt if I should one day need it.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Crowdsourcing Blog

Crowdsourcing has always been an intimidating realm of filmmaking for me. Having a wide variety of talented and passionate artists contributing and working towards the same goal sounds amazing. A show like HitRecord is a great example of this best case scenario in action. However, I can’t help but see the possible pitfalls. In my opinion, I feel that a lot of people just are not talented enough, and seeing as how my name does not end with Gordon-Levitt, I can’t imagine that my ideas are going to attract the level of talent that he does. I may have a great idea, but without the backup of a big name, I am just one of possibly thousands of other nameless filmmakers competing for the same contributors.

And what if I do not like any of the submissions that are sent to me? Do I betray my vision and use the contributions anyway or do I just scrap the project all together? I can’t do it all myself. If I could, I would not be crowdsourcing the film to begin with.

With all that said, I am looking forward to the crowdsourcing project in class. For one, I am curious to see the class’s various interpretations of the film that my team and I shot. Two, I would like my reservations towards crowdsourcing to be proven wrong. Hopefully, I will come to realize that it does not take the most talented people in the world to make an interesting and compelling product if a clear vision is shared.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Art of Sound

            This most recent reading and viewing assignment for our class was a much-needed pep talk on my feelings towards recording sound for my films. Though I know good sound is essential when making films, I have always hated recording it, In fact, I recently just dropped a sound recording class for that very reason. For me, recording good, clean sound has always been too challenging and monotonous.
            Having just read and viewed the various articles and videos on sound, I have to admit that my feelings have been altered. In the short film “Listen,” the filmmaker showcases the sounds of everyday life that most people have grown to tune out. The man interviewed in the film views sound as an art and explains that if people would just listen to the world around them, their lives would be enriched for the better.
            In “Justin Boyd: Sound and Time,” the title’s subject, Justin, is obsessed with sound and has dedicated much of his life to recording it. He often spends much of his day out in nature recording and experimenting with various naturally occurring or man-made noises. Though I will probably never go to the extremes that he takes, I do think that building a catalogue of sounds that I have gathered myself instead of combing through royalty-free sound effects online will make my films much more personal.  
            As for the readings “Listen Up” and “The Father of Acoustic Ecology,” I became more aware of the dangers of noise pollution. I never thought that loud, continuous sounds made by man could affect the ecosystem and population of various species of birds and even whales.

            After having done this assignment, my appreciation for sound has grown substantially. I regret having dropped the class this semester and intend on taking it during the fall of the next school year.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blog 2

       I had never heard of synesthesia before reading this assignment. It is fascinating to me that there are people who can see different colors based on what letter they are looking at or perceive numerical sequences as points in space. This phenomenon reminds me of the film Limitless starring Bradley Cooper. As Cooper’s character becomes smarter, he too, can see sequences of numbers and letters floating in space around him. In the article, the author explains that the people with this condition are typically gifted in other ways. People with spatial sequence synesthesia, for example, also often have greater memories and can remember events with much better detail.
       As for the TED video “Different Ways of Knowing,” I first felt that what the speaker Daniel Tammet was discussing would simply go over my head, but as I listened to him explain his thinking process, I soon found that I could comprehend and even learn from his methods of reasoning. What I did have trouble realizing was its relevance to our film class. As I thought more about it, though, I realized that as filmmakers, it is our job to find “different ways” of telling stories and exploit different, experimental methods and techniques to tell those stories in an original and interesting way.

       The video on cymatics was also very interesting to me. I had never thought about sound waves having a specific shape to them. Seeing the sand morph into different patterns and shapes depending on the frequency of the sound was pretty incredible to me. It opened my eyes to an aspect of the world that I never knew existed.