Sunday, May 2, 2010
Number one would be the found footage assignment. I had never done anything like that before and it was pretty gnarly. I definitely spent the most time on that one out of all the projects I did for this class. I just felt very pasionate about my idea and started to obsess over it. Most projects were done in a few days, this one was over two maybe more weeks. The majority of the work was on sound design and adjustments to the video as the sound evolved. I went through alot of different songs trying to create a composite that I liked before I got to the Thom Yorke song and the Portishead song. Then it started falling together. I used the Thom Yorke song because it has this creeping beat and and alot of weird vocals, alot of breathing and rasping and weird sounds. Then the portishead song just clicked with the overall rythm of the piece. After I found that one I started flipping things in reverse and mashing up the bits of narration from old cigarette commercials. It was alot of fun. I'm definitely not finished with it though. I'd like the sound to come in a few beats earlier and there are some adjustments that definitely need to be made. And I'm sure I would find more and more as I started re editing. My second favorite was the 48 hour video race. It was a pain in the ass but it was a very fulfilling experience to work that long and hard on something with so little stopping time and see it turn out. It's not fanastic. I wish I had had a tripod and the sound was a last minute throw in because I wanted to sleep but overall I think it turned out pretty well and the experiment shots I had of the peanuts dropping and blurring and shaking the camera to blur the whole image looked cool. I'm also proud of myself that no shot lasted longer than three frames. Third favorite was the rythmic edit, again because of sound design. There wasn't much collaboration on the topic that would be shot or how to shoot it but once I started editing and found that Infradig song, the drum beat started to drive the whole thing and it started falling together in a really cool way. Fourth favorite was the film scratching/painting one. I had alot of fun trying different things to the film. I don't remember how well it turned out but it was a fun experience. Fifth favorite was multiplane animation and sixth was the long take. Both seemed liek really cool ideas but my group didn't do too much with them and I wasn't very satisfied with it. Not to blame them, I didn't come up with any better ideas, I just didn't enjoy them that much.
For my own personal 6x1 followup I would want to explore media and ideas that I wanted to explore in this class but didn't get to for one reason or another. There would definitely be an animation using cut outs, a la South Park. I tried to do some of this on the multi plane animation with magazine cut outs. I also did something similar in the 48 hour video race with the pictures of Robert Downey Jr as he fights the candy bars. I think that that might be a very limiting parameter but I would be interested to see what different people came up with for ideas. I'm afraid they might all end up looking the same in so far as how the cut outs are used. The next one I would try to do would be a claymation or stop motion animation using models. I think I am attracted to this idea because there is far too much of a reliance on cg models in modern filmmaking and watching the old sci fi movies like the original star wars (before the special editions) and seing all the models of the ships and planets and death star and such has a much different effect than that of seeing cg models of the same things. I think I want to explore and would want others to explore what can be done with physical models as opposed to cg and see where they would go with it. Third would be a VJing performance. I can't actually teach this because I don't know how to do it but I would love to learn and if I learned I would pass it on to the children. Fourth would be a found footage project where only one clip per project could be in color. That just seems like cool parameters. And by in color, I mean the source material. So that most everything would have to be from before 196whatever or something that was stylistically black and white. For the last two I would want to do something with film, I'm just not sure what. I don't know enough about film and its versatility to really come up with any ideas for it just yet.
I never really realized how 3d worked when filming, so I'm glad I had this experience. Of course it's completely impractical for independent filmmaking (in traditional narrative films anyway) because it requires two of the same camera and they have to be the same width apart all the time. Also its hard to take the end product seriously. It's cool in a rough theater kind of way but as far as something that's aesthetically salient or cohesive with other elements of a film, I'm not sure there's much potential for it. It was fun to learn nonetheless I'm juts having trouble imagining using it in any future projects that were not simply based of the thrill of seeing something pop out of the screen. I like, after having seen the final product, that my face was so prominently featured. I'm on a huge ego trip right now. I think it's safe to say that my beard and Josh's groin were the stars of our project. I would love to try moving the cameras in the next 3d experiment I endeavor in. It could very easily screw up and I guess there would be no way of knowing until trying to match the two videos on top of each other and it never quite working. Which, if it never ended up working, would a monu-fucking-mental waste of time so its risky. Also next time I try 3d of any sort I want some more wacky props. I was just thinking about some kind of experimental short in which there was a 3d vignette, but that would be kind of ridiculous to have to have people throw on their glasses and then take them off. But maybe if the movie was enough of an experience then interaction could be really fun. In the same vein (or it seems so to me... maybe its completely off topic) I'd really like to learn as many different media as possible for animation and off the beaten path filmmaking. I'd also really like learn VJing. I'm very interested in music and I like the multimedia approach to musical performance. For some reason narrative filmmaking is just always too much of a hassle and the end product is always too shitty and the audiences are always too apathetic for me to keep being interested in it. I'm much more interested in these other media for filmmaking now.
Monday, March 29, 2010
This discussion is one that has interested me greatly. I'm a big fan of work like Humament or like William S Borroughs, where the artist cuts up and recontextualizes another person's words. I've engaged in work like this: photoshop collages, music mash ups, making poetry out of a page of a novel by painting over what I don't want to be read, etc. While these are art forms of recontextualiztion, which exist on the fringes of the artistic world and would probably be approved of by anyone interested in their form, there is a more general discussion of plagiarism and originality that bugs me as an artist. For me, and this is not an opinion or a suspicion but a blatant fact, everything that comes out of an artist has a source. Every story we imagine, every word we put on paper, every vision we see in our minds has a source somewhere else. Just as we are taught language, mathmatics, etc., we must learn creativity through slow absorption of creative methods. I remember a specific film class where the teacher asked where does creativity come from, as if there were a text book answer for it. And indeed, as people were submitting answers, it was clear that he was looking for a right answer, not individual opinions. Someone said from life experiences, the teacher liked this answer. I said from other art, the teacher did not like this answer. To me this simply demonstrates fear, some ingrained aversion to unoriginality that manifests itself in denying the vast influence, or influence in any cpacity, of other artists. As if there's any difference in finding creativity in life experiences or in other art. It's the same thing and certainly for scholars of an art form what has come before and after will be hugely impactful. But the teacher did not want to acknowlegde this fact. Which is funny to me because almost ever screenplay in that class was a genre film, following very strict genre conventions. People are bewildering.
Monday, March 15, 2010
My initial ideas are to create some kind of claymation, stop motion, cut-out animation type thing and take pictures of it with a still camera. This seems a little tame but always wanted to make a film in this medium but I usually get distracted from actually doing it. If I can think of a more interesting medium by which to capture the images I may reconsider but i ccan't really think of anything. Nothing incredibly interetsting anyway. I could always scan images directly onto my printer. I would certainly need to do a test run before hand because that could be really difficult and infesible. But my plan for the time being is to use a still camera and make the subject matter, the materials, etc. in front of the camera really interesting. I've never really done any kind f animation before so I feel very drawn to doing this as a stop motion kind of thing and since this film would have a time limit I would have to push myself, my attention span, my patience in a big way and wouldn't be able to stop whenever I got bored. Boredom is a curse for artists, and for appreciators of art. If you never give something your full attention because it doesn't meet you halfway and walk away from it saying it sucked, that it was boring and slow, you'll only experience about 5% of the art in the world, and all of that will be thr formulted recycled crap that they know you'll like because you liked the exact same thing last year under a different title. Also, people who demand that the art they intake fulfill certain requiremtents are pompous assholes. Art is not a personal thrill ride, it is a powerful rhetorical medium and if you aren't open to experience art you haven't experienced before, to feel things you don't particularly want to feel, to allow the artist to create a story, images, a message, emotions, ideas then the amount of what you'l feel, experience, and learn from art is practically nothing except those tiny little thrills you already know you want. This relegates art to a position no better than pornography, in one degree or another. And, now that that side note is over, I hope that this porject will cure some of my boredom in the animation process and open me up to new methods of creation that are not limited by my American, facebook-generation attention span.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
My experience with cameraless filmmaking so far has been a bit counterintuitive, to say the least. I've enjoyed everything so far, but the way my mind (and I think I can say that generally most people's mind work like this) works I create what is in front of me to look good in front me. So, for instance, when making the magazine cut outs, I tried to create an interesting collage, one where the images played off others in close proximity and the stressing the importance of spatial orientation and other aspects that certainly matter if you are looking straight at it but when cut into strips and played at 24 frames per second through a projector will have a completely different format, energy, and aesthetic. The same with the ink painting. I really enjoyed doing it and think I created some cool patterns and images. I liked experimenting with it, because the film didn't react like other substances to the ink, so that alone created a unique texture but then there was also the addition of the oil and painting with that. The way the oil seperated from the ink created unpredicatble patterns. It has hard working with these at first, especially with the oil (it was hard to even get it out of the bottle cap when mixed together because it kept seperating; eventually I had to just use two different bottle caps). It was also hard when they got onto the filn strip to have them do something I wanted to or for the ink to really show up at all. However with experimentation and continually throwing more and more ink down and then trying different combinations of ink and oil, it eventually stayed down and made an interesting image. Again, I'm pleased with how it eventually turned it, just at face value, but it will be a whole different thing once it is run through a projector and I'll be every interested to see what it is like. As far as the magaizine cut outs, we watched all of those but I couldn't even tell which ones were mine. I guess my images just weren't distinctive enough at that small scale. I also think I may not have gotten the pulp off correctly, but I don't really know so I'm not sure I'll be able to do much better next time. I guess I'll just keep experimenting. I'm interested to try the film development portion, because I haven't gotten to that yet.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Synesthesia is something that has interested me for a long time. Mostly I've been interesting in it in terms of music having some vision or visual experience attached to it. I like to listen to music by whole albums (or symphonies as the case may be) instead of just songs, and I like to wear headphones and listen in the dark with my eyes closed. On that note, I would love to invest in some good speakers because classical music especially sounds much better on speakers than on headphones and there are plenty of pop albums that I'm sure do too. Anyhow, I like to immerse myself in the music completely so that I can have visions. This is often an inspiration for writing or for seeing the beginnings of a film idea born in my head. I wrote a short story recently while listening to alot of Chopin's piano concertos and nocturns. It wasn't intentional. I was fed up with writing what I was writing and put it on to relax and not try to write. But within the music, prosaic sentences started to form and I started jotting them down, one short sentence every minute or so, but it eventually came along. From then on I listened to those pieces whenever I was adding to it, which was a long period of time. This isn't exactly synesthetic, I don't think, but it does derive one art from another. In another case, I had pushed myself to a physical extreme. I deprived myself of sleep, I starved myself, I went walking around smoking on a hot summer day. Then I came home and sat on the ground and put on some music. A few songs in I was hit with a vision that completely engulfed me. I wrote it all down afterwards. I've never had any experience so strong as that in seeing a film idea before my eyes. Hopefully if I ever make that film I'll have money so I can get the song I was listening to (it was a David Bowie song). Beyond that I still like to have conversations with my friends about what color a certain album or song is, or listen to music at night just before I fall asleep to let my mind wander into strange visions. One idea for an experimental film I had, which I saw completely in my mind as I listened to a song by a friend of mine, was to use paint dripping, or some other way of making black circles, on a film strip and run it through a projector, then record it and negate the colors. I'd love to try it sometime.