Saturday, 23 April 2016

Week 14: Project Ratings

(1) Crowdsourcing
Before this class, I have never been introduced to this type of filmmaking. I believe the extensiveness of its collaboration is absolutely beautiful and unique. I also had a fun time getting several friends of mine to contribute to it and they enjoyed it as well. It was great to get back into some arts and crafts as well as applying my artistic eye in a different media than I am used to. I really do hope I will be able to see the final product of our class's film. I would personally like to pursue a similar project in my spare time.
(2) Free Style
This project provided me with the most creative freedom for this semester, however the phrase "Make America Great Again" was kind of a challenge to work with without being political. However, I think allowing us to combine filmmaking methods and research new methods allows use, as student filmmakers, to increase our innovation towards our craft. I have never heard of HitRecord before, but this is definitely a crowdsourcing tool I will use for future projects.
(3) 16mm Film
Today, it is a sad truth that most filmmakers have never had experience with celluoid. The only exposure I had to film stock was during my photography course in high school. There is a beauty with film processing and development as well as a texture that cannot be captured digitally. I also loved learning the artistic ways to manipulate film, particularly the scratching, bleaching, and ink application. It created a gorgeous effect as it was projected and it was interesting to see how these different elements altered the film.
(4) Rhythmic Edit
It was a challenge to create a rhythm within a rhythm, but I still loved the concept of this project. I do, however, wish I could have picked my subject for the portrait. The most difficult part was finding music that complimented the energy of the rhythmic formula and the images. It was a fun project to shoot as well, but I do wish a captured more footage so I had more a of variety to select from for the edit.
(5) Multiplane Animation
I was extremely excited for the project, but no one seemed to be prepared for the production day. I also wish we were allowed two class periods to complete this project. Multiplane and stop-motion animation is something I have always wanted to experiment with, and I plan on using what I have learned to pursue my own stop-motion project in the future. It is an animation style that is slowly dying out, but I am glad some filmmakers still find a beauty in this method.
(6) Bolex
I have had the pleasure to work with the Bolex before for my 302 Doc course, however, I have never had the opportunity to process it. It was interesting to see how everyone's film developed differently as well as how the Bolex captured the action due to different exposures and frame rates. I do wish we had to opportunity to work on the project at a location rather than campus. It was a bit limiting. 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Week 11.5: My Experience of the Saturday Shoot

I thought the Saturday shoot was a lot of fun! It was interesting to see how each group was approaching their project, especially within the restriction of only being able to film one take. My group first helped Group 1. They required a sufficient amount of time to set-up and rehearse because they has to coordinate with a dolly. I think their project will look great, the guitar smash will look phenomenal when it is screened.

It was also nice to work with film processing again. I think it is a beautiful process that is sadly being filtered out by Hollywood's digital age.

My group decided to make our short more like a comedy. Our scene was a water balloon fight where an innocent bystander gets killed by a water balloon. As the perpetrator looks up, she sees an army of avengers standing around the dead victim's corpse. They then ensue in a chase pelting the attacker with water balloons until she is dead. Our group intended our short to appear like a Charlie Chaplin-esque chase scene. We shot at 12 fps with a 5.6 aperture. To give our footage a more rugged, on-the-scene look, we did not use a tripod but went with handheld instead.

I think the greatest challenge of the day was the fact we all had to rehearse our scene and camera work several times before actually shooting. It was a different experience acting out a scene as if during a theater performance for a film take. This was a very interesting project to practice improvisation, detailed and clear blocking, and the challenge of one take.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Week 6: R3 Media Response

Jimmy Wales: The birth of Wikipedia really opened my eyes to how Wikipedia functions. I have never given it much thought, but it is interesting that thousands of volunteers offer their work/knowledge to build this nonprofit encyclopedia to the public. In a way, it is extremely similar to how we are crowdsourcing for Assignment #2. The fact that Wikipedia only really has one employee, the server operation manager, is unreal. The rest of the work is provided by willing volunteers who wish to share their knowledge. Wales admits it is not perfect, but much better than you would expect from a crowdsourcing model. This insight to Wikipedia's success has made me more excited to see how our 1 minute crowdsourcing project will turn-out. I believe the variety of art-styles and personal input will add a holistic tone to this production.

What is Crowdsourcing provided me with a clearly definition of what crowdsourcing is and the different types. It seems that Assignment #2 is a combination of Crowdsource Design and Microtasks because not only are we getting several different people to contribute their art, but we are also dividing up the frames into microtasks. Also, I've always thought of Crowdsourcing to be the same as Crowdfunding and this article clarified that difference for me. I guess the main thing that our class has to take into account is that our crowdsourced frames may not be exactly what we hoped to convey with this short film production. 

Tiffany Shalain's article she brought to my attention that you could crowdsource Youtube videos into your own film production. I find this approach fascinating and I would like to put this method into action within one of my own films. It reminds me in a way of my audio-visual criticism course that I took abroad in London. We were provided 7 films and asked to critically edit together audio/visual elements from these films into our own 6 minute short. This is one of the top favorite films I've worked on. I critically approached the idea of the femme fatale by mainly using audio/footage of Marlene Dietrich in Morocco (1930).

(Andre, I apologize for the out-of-order blog posts. I got a little mixed up of when each post was due. Sorry!)

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Week 5: 16mm Film Manipulation Response

The 16mm Film Manipulation assignment was one of my favorite film projects I've worked on so far as a film student. There is something beautiful about working with actual film stock and being able to physically manipulate it and see how different materials/objects affected the image in the cel.

The most challenging part of this assignment was conceptualizing an animation that would one: fit within the tiny 16mm frame and two: animate it within this small space to convey fluid movement.

Although it was great to collaborate with a partner for this project, I wished I would have been able to work on this individually. It is definitely an filmmaking approach I would like to experiment with again, that is if the resources would be available for me.

The other challenging aspect for this project was to load the film into the film reel. Although the instructions provided by the blog were very detailed, it was still hard to determine how the film should be oriented. I wish we could have taken more time in class to visually see how this is done.

I think my favorite ways to manipulate the 16mm film was adding bleach, using sandpaper, and applying ink. The effect of these manipulations was the most effective when using the printed film stock. I liked applying these methods to manipulate the printed image to the point of abstraction. Although the original image did add interesting textures, I did not want a part of the original print to show through.

The bleach, depending how long I applied it, created bold hues of purple, blue, or yellow. I also created a more texturized image by combining scratching and ink application. After I scratched the printed film with sandpaper, I applied different ink colors in layers to created a blotted, clunked image to represent Earth. It was a long process, but I am excited to see how it will transfer visually.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Week 7: "The Rough Theater"

I found the reading "The Rough Theatre" by Peter Brook extremely interesting and I found it very relevant to experimental filmmaking. This passage conveys that the 'illogical' is more logical than we give it credit for. For example, the Theater of the Absurd and existential plays such as Waiting for Godot are relatable to audiences (even if they do not understand it).

I remember when I first read these experimental plays and I had no clue what to make of it. However, the more plays that I read in this style, the more I began to understand its underlying meanings (which usually comments/critiques on the cultural norms of traditions/morals, people, and time).

From my experience in the Film Studies program, several students disregard experimental films saying they are boring and only made to 'look pretty'. Hearing these comments make me cringe because I believe these students dislike experimental films due to the fact that they have not taken the time to understand them visually and analytically. Film is an art like any other form that should challenge its viewers to experience a different perspective.

Another important point this essay makes is to not just analyze the performance/visuals but also to take notice of the sound design. Sound holds more significant meaning than audiences usually know. Sound can affect one's response towards an image whether it provides an accompanying or differing tone.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Week 4: R2 Media Response

Soundscape is an cinematic quality that I have always appreciated, but have never really understood. "Listen" by David New really put the art of a soundscape into perspective for me. The depth of sound adds grandness to a scene.

"Justin Boyd: Sound and Time" also gave an inside-perspective of the importance sound. He explores sounds we hear everyday and tries to capture its unique qualities. His emphasis on the effect of 'how' and 'when' something was recorded was very interesting. Boyd said this develops a sound's distinct character. I also enjoyed how he explained that different objects can produce similar 'character' sounds.

Jim Cumming's article illustrated very clearly how one should learn how to listen. There are several sounds surrounding us throughout the day, but do we really take the time to listen to symphony of ambient noise? I know I don't. However, after reading this article, I closed my eyes for a minute and listened to the sounds surrounding me. I was amazed with how many details/images I could collect from the sounds alone. I believe there were some details of my surroundings that I would not have noticed by sight alone.

Schafer's article also emphasized how advancements in technology such as transportation, military weapons, and computers have "polluted" soundscapes. Today, it is hard to record sound without the interference of modern technological sounds. I experienced this issue constantly during the filming of my documentary in which we tried to gather ambient nature audio.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Week 3: R1 Media Response

I have never heard of the term "synesthesia" but I am familiar with cases in which people experience the phenomenon. I believe synesthesia can be utilized in experimental filmmaking to enable the audience to experience multiple sensory stimuli. I am curious to apply this term into my Assignment #1 project to allow viewers to not just see but experience the four elements (water, fire, earth, and air).

Daniel Tammet's video "Different ways of knowing" was very intriguing and broadened my mind. His quote, "Our personal perceptions are at the heart of how we acquire knowledge," really resonated with me. I personally believe each individual has their own perception of the world. No matter one's education, culture, or beliefs, no one person thinks the same way. We may have similar views, but never the same eternal thoughts. Tammet's lecture allowed me to see the underlying art within mathematics and language, which are concepts people take for granted.

Evan Grant's video "Making sound visible through cymatics" was also interesting. The experiments they showed in which sounds waves transmitted to a metal sheet yielded patterns within the sand on the sheet. Different pitches and tones depict different shapes, patterns, and textures. I especially loved seeing the Pink Floyd song using cymatics. I may look up cymatic patterns from the elements to inspire how to manipulate our 16mm film for Assignment #1.