Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Rough Theatre

Theatre has been a part of my life for a long time. Because of this, I have an easy time understanding the concept of rough theatre.  In rough theatre, it’s okay to see the strings because the audience expects them.  We don’t try to simulate reality but instead honestly depict it. In Tim O’Brien’s novel The Things They Carried, he makes the point that often fiction is more effectively truthful than fact can ever be.  I am personally quite invested in this idea and I believe the idea rough theatre compliments it. Rough Theatre does not concern itself with immersing its audience in a false reality and through calling attention to itself through its very form it becomes more insightful into life. This kind of theatre has no need for grand halls, giant intricate sets, and carefully applied make up. It’s only focus is on saying what it wants to say.  This idea applies to filmmaking just as it does to theatre. Films don’t have to be epic quests filled with orcs, romance, and explosions.  They don’t even have to have the best writing or acting. What is important is that it has something to say. Films have something to say whether they are shot on the industry’s best cameras or on a camcorder found in the attic. Whether they are shown in a multiplex or on youtube. I think the idea of rough theatre reminds me that art doesn’t have to be perfect and I should never let fear of imperfection dissuade me from trying. 

6x1 Top 6

I find it hard to rate my projects in 6x1. The entire experience was great and I don’t usually like to pick favorites. However I will attempt to list them for least favorite to most.

6. Media Fast

This is would what I would say was my least favorite of the projects.  I had fun doing all of the projects in the class but this one felt the most like work. I had a hard time completing the media fast itself and the resulting long take didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped.  I feel like products of the other projects were a lot more interesting than this one take.

5. Crowd Sourcing Frames

While I had a lot of fun at the frame factory marathon where I had a chance to better get to know my classmates as we went insane from drawing on frame after frame hours on end, I would rate it as my second least favorite.  It gets this rating, not because it wasn’t a cool project but because I had a much better time doing the other ones.  I think maybe I was overwhelmed by the number of frames so I have a handful of frames that I feel are truly quality leaving the rest as a kind of filler. As someone with the drawing ability of a 3rd grader I was definitely disappointed with a lot of my frames. However, I do enjoy the concept of crowdsourcing so maybe I could look into participating in crowd sourcing films using a different format.

4. 3D Anaglyph

I want to give this one a higher rating. I had a lot of fun with this one. I had fun shooting it and I had a lot of fun turning the footage into a full 3D image. In fact, learning how to make a 3D anaglyph in After Effects was probably one my favorite thing I learned while taking 6 x1.  However, this became the shortest of the projects because of some story limitations and an attempt to keep continuity within the editing. I also found it awkward because I felt like the final product could have been better if we didn’t feel the need to water the footage down in order to fit  logically with everyone’s sound design criteria.

3.  Direct Film Manipulation

I really liked this project. It ranks at number three because one and two just eek it out being better. Direct film manipulation is one of my favorite types of experimental film and I definitely enjoyed going through the process. I was a bit disappointed that not all of my techniques shined through though. I am still unable to locate where I did my magazine transfer and I realize that it probably didn’t work out and most likely blocked out my attempt at animation as well.  However, the entire project in general ended up looking good.

2.  Multi-Plane Animation

Boy did I have a lot of fun doing this one. I really like the look of multi-plane animation in general and I really like how ours turned out. It could have been better if we had had longer to shoot them and maybe had less technical difficulties but this can hardly have been avoided. I’m considering getting panes of glass so I can do this on my own time.

1.  Bolex One-Take

I don’t have much to say about his project other than I enjoyed every second of it and I absolutely loved the final product. If I could afford it I would totally by myself a Bolex and make short films with it. I love the look and feel that the image has when projected on screen. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

As a filmmaker, direct film manipulation is entirely relevant. Film students often mistake experimental film as something that is unique and completely separate from the rest of the world of filmmaking. However, the techniques that are started in Avant Garde filmmaking, in this case painting, inking and scratching directly on to film, often find their way into mainstream filmmaking. For example, the film Scott Pilgrim vs The World appears to use direct film manipulation to produce its title sequence. I could use these film manipulation techniques in a similar technique to create opening or ending credits or I could use them in the middle of the film as transitions. I could also use it to help tell the story. For example, a character could be on drugs or hallucinating and I could directly manipulate the film in order to fully realize the character’s trip through a different state of mind.  In a more philosophical sense, I think working on this direct film manipulation project has gained me an appreciation of just how many frames go into even one minute of film. When working with digital, it’s hard to appreciate that the video is made up of frames.  It’s interesting and often frustrating that something you did that looks really cool on one frame will only be around for 1/24th of a second.  I think one example of this was with the rayogramming when I used a clear die to brand a logo into the film. It turned out really well and was one of my favorite things that I did for the rayogramming process and for all of the film manipulation project. However, when we actually played the film this really cool thing was reduced 1/24th of a second. Mind you I was really excited the 1/24th of a second when I saw the “Games” of Cape Fear Games projected on screen.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Acoustic Ecology

Today I read a few articles and watched a short film about acoustic ecology. Usually, when we think about pollution we don’t think about sound pollution all that much. Today I learned that it was more of a serious problem and less of an inconvenience and that there is legislation in several countries aimed at reducing it. Sound pollution has directly affected several species of bird. Noise pollution is causing new generations of birds to have trouble learning unique calls associated with their species. This has cause a drop in these species of birds.  Noise pollution has been a problem for humans even since the time of ancient Rome where poets often complained of carts coming into the cities early in the morning and waking them up. The articles also talked about the drone that the humans create. I found it funny because as I was reading about this drone I was experiencing the drone from several sources in my apartment. On the flip side, the articles also talked about the pure soundscape of nature and how it can affect humans on an emotional and spiritual level.  I have experienced this first hand. A while back I was in a choral concert by the name of Missia Gaia(Earth Mass). Several of the songs in this concert utilized recordings of nature, mainly animals in their composition. There were songs based around whale calls and wolf howls among other things. The composer had painstakingly transcribed the tones present in these animal calls into the music as well so parts of the songs would mimic the calls in the music notes that were sung.   This is just one example how natural soundscape and soundscape in general is important in art as well as life. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Synesthesia and Cymatics

Today we’re talking about cross sensory experience.  It is possible for some people to see sound or for words and numbers to have colors and shapes automatically. This is called synesthesia. I first heard about synesthesia in a introductory psychology class my first semester of college. I thought it was one of the most interesting currently known conditions. It’s pretty cool in that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t impede life in a way that we think most psychological and physiological conditions do. In fact, much of the time it does quite the opposite. I was watching a TED Talks by a man named Daniel Tammet, a high functioning autistic also known as a savant.  He demonstrated that his synesthesic condition allowed him a different way of looking at things as he was able to see different words and numbers visually.  For example, he was able to do a pretty complex math problem in his head because the visualized the numbers as squares.  His synesthesia also highlighted alliteration for him.  This condition isn’t so much of a detriment or an oddity than a different way of looking at the world.  In some ways, it makes me sad that I don’t have synesthesia and can’t experience the world in this way. Speaking of combining different senses, I also watched a TED talks on cymatics a process by which sound is visualized through shapes. It’s a kind of practical, do-it-yourself synesthesia.  The applications for both art and science are immense. It was really cool how higher pitches make more complex patterns. Cymatics of music itself look so cool. Also, the fact that they are using it to decode dolphin linguistics is really awesome. This was the first time I had ever heard of cymatics but now I definitely will be looking to learn more about it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Feelings On the Hand Painted Film

This is what came to my mind during the reflection:

Calm train of thought. Beautiful thoughts of a city street during the day. Red and yellow autumn leaves came to mind. It was calm despite the hustle and bustle of the city. It left me felling pretty calm until the middle where it seemed like a flurry of thoughts came to push through the autumn leaves. Things became flustered. Strings came that looked like they were forming chords in the song of the city. It seemed to be orderly chaos. Perhaps musical Chaos. It felt warm and relaxing then cool but just as relaxing as before. Thoughts pop in and out before I can realize what they are. I enjoyed this man's work although I can't tell who he is because his name came up in such a short frame. It made feel like I was in a bustling city. At the same time, this imaginary city seemed empty. Music drifts through the city matching the chaos. I am in the city. I like it here.