Monday, May 1, 2017

Project Ratings

This semester drove me to work with new mediums and expanded my mind creatively. Although all the projects were enjoyable for the most part, this is how I would rank them:

1) Video Letter: To be honest, narrative is my favorite film form. Although still experimental, I felt as if I could tell a story through my video letter. It was also very open-ended, which allowed me to have creative freedom. I didn't have to use a certain technique or use a particular frame rate. This also made it interesting to see what others came up with. Keep this project!

2) Rhythmic Edit: Although these took forever to edit, the end results were well worth it. I enjoyed being able to showcase my talents and see my classmates as well. I got to combine two of my favorite things (film and cheerleading) in a creative way. This project enhanced my editing skills as well, which tends to be my weak spot in film.

3): Creative Crowdsourcing: I hate coloring. I'm horrible at drawing. This project was very time consuming, but the final cut is why it is placed at number three. When the project was introduced, I had a hard time picturing what the end result would look like. When we finally got to see it, I thought it was amazing. I was unsure at first about how well it would flow, but it turned out to be comprehensible. It was also ridiculously funny. I hope it gets into Cucalorus!

4) 360 Camera: This project has potential in the future, but the size of the class and only having one camera held us back. I'm sure the film department will have more soon enough, but the lack of resources is why this project ranks number four. Due to the large groups, a certain few people had to take charge. This forced some of the more shy students to take the back seat and follow what others were doing. Although I was one of those "leaders" in my group, I could tell other students were intimidated to give input, or maybe they did not care.

5) Stop Motion Animation: Tedious, tedious, tedious. This doesn't have much to do with the way the project was set-up. It's all on me. I am not meant to be an experimental filmmaker or animator. I think the end results looked awesome, and I always enjoy watching stop motions, but they are not for me as a filmmaker.

6) Direct Film Manipulation: This project ranks last for the same reasons as number five. Coloring and carving on the tiny film stock was tedious and time consuming. The direct film manipulation ranks after the stop motion, because I didn't find the results to be as rewarding. Sure some parts looked cool, but this film style has never been my thing.

Although some of the projects weren't my style, it is great to learn different forms, because they can help you in other areas of film. Overall, I enjoyed the projects, and it was a great semester!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

360 Reflection

The 360-video shoot was a fun. I enjoyed having the opportunity to collaborate with the entire class. I had never shot with a 360 camera before, so it was a learning experience. On an average camera, there is only a 180-degree area to block out and fill with business. While shooting for virtual reality with the 360 camera, we had to ensure that there was interesting action happening in all directions. The camera itself was a prop, so we had to figure out a way to include it. If we did not do this, then we would risk our audience being torn out of the illusion.

One of the challenges of this assignment was working with a large group. We were divided into two groups, but everyone participated in each video. The teams had to make sure everyone knew what they were supposed to be doing and get the timing right. This was even more important than usual, because we were only allowed two takes. These two things may have been challenging, but it was good practice for directing scenes that may have an ensemble cast or a lot of background actors. Only having two takes created barriers, but it was also good practice for working under time and resource constraints.

The editing process was different than usual. Of course, there were different settings to stitch the video together and different exporting standards, but the actual editing brought a lot of things to take into consideration. We had little to no control over our lighting, so any color correcting or effects may vary on different parts of the 360-video. This applies to everything you may want to change in post-production. The unseen areas on the preview needed to be considered. In a longer video, this would make it a little more time consuming.

Overall, the 360-video shoot was a great experience. After working with this medium, I think it would be interesting to create a virtual reality narrative, with the camera being the point of view of a character and the viewer. It would bring up many challenges filming but would be an interesting experiment in the end.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Rough Theatre

My rough theatre is my bed. Some may ask, “How can a bed be considered this?” Well, a year and three months ago I adopted a rescue dog. Her name is Daisy. She is a mixture of a lab and hound, so she has short tan fur and adorable floppy ears. She was abandoned on the streets, left to fend for herself as a puppy. When she was finally rescued by me, she was around one year old. Daisy has horrible separation anxiety and is also an escape artist. She could escape her crate when I was gone. I came home one day to find my mattress on the floor and multiple huge holes in the box spring. The sheets were ripped to shreds, but Daisy sat with her innocent eyes. Of course, I was furious, but she didn’t know better yet. I picked up the mattress and destroyed sheets and remade the bed. I sat there with her, unsure of how to handle this, so we laid on the bed together. Daisy may have destroyed my bed, but we rescued each other.

Everyday Daisy and I lay in the same bed together. I fall asleep with her at my feet and wake up with her next to my face. She sits on the bed waiting for me to come home. Upon arrival, I’m always greeted with a wagging tail and dog smile. Daisy doesn’t care or know what mistakes I make. She loves me just the same. As I write this sitting on my bed, she kicks me and tries to lay on top of my stomach, but she just wants attention. So, my bed in no longer is in the same form as the manufacturers intended, but that’s okay. It is my rough theatre. This deformed bed is where I get to spend quality time with my favorite loving pup.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

16 mm Film Manipulation

16 mm Film Manipulation Response

This project was quite the experience. First off, trying to create any sort of image by hand on 16 mm film is difficult. The square of space you have to work with is tiny, and I am not very good at drawing, so it made it even more challenging. Because of my lack in drawing abilities, I stuck to more abstract techniques to represent fire, earth, water, and air. I enjoyed painting the most. Fading the colors from red to blue, for fire and water, was fun to do, and it actually looked decent. There was also a touch of blue glitter. When I put it on the clear leader, I could not see it very well, but when it projected, it showed up subtly. This actually made it look cooler than if it were too thickly applied. I also liked how the scratching looked on-screen. My original plan was to scratch suns into the medical film stock, but it was more challenging than I thought. Instead, I scratched simple stars. They turned out looking unique while it played. I also used a sharpie to black out part of the clear leader. After doing this, I used scissors to scratch out tiny stars and planets to make it look like outer space. This part was not large and went by quickly, but it looked good on the clear leader itself. 

Although I am not good at drawing, as mentioned above, the simple animations and sketches I drew worked well on-screen. The ones that stood out most were the moving clouds. While I was drawing this using sharpie onto the 16 mm film, I was not sure it was going to look right. I did not know if I was drawing on enough of the film stock or if I was spacing each image enough for them to animate correctly. It turned out better than I thought while watching it. Animating is tedious and time consuming. I commend anyone that creates animations, especially by hand.