Thursday, May 1, 2014

6 x 1: Theory of Animation Reading

It was cool to read something specifically about animation for a change. In all my years in film study, I have spent the majority of my time focusing on film, or video, but not animation. I never really 'tried' to have any sort of inner dialogue regarding my opinion about the various modes of animation. It was interesting to me to read the first quote by Moritz:

"Non-objective animation is without doubt the purest and most difficult form of animation. Anyone can learn to 'muybridge' the illusion of representational life, but inventing interesting forms, shapes and colours, creating new, imaginative and expressive motions - 'the absolute creation: the true creation' as Fischinger termed it - requires the highest mental and spiritual faculties, as well as the most sensitive talents of hand."

It dawned on me after reading it how incredibly, unimaginatively creative abstract animators are. While I concede that creating associations through juxtaposition of live-action images is difficult, I couldn't imagine forming an aesthetically-pleasing or meaningful work completely by hand, from scratch. And this quote made me think back to when we first got to paint on film in class. It was something I had looked forward to for quite some time. I thought, "finally, I get to channel my inner Brakhage, my inner Belson!" And then there I was with a paint brush, ink and about 10 feet of empty frames. And the thought immediately changed to, "shit...I better start channeling my inner Brakhage and Belson." There is something so scary about staring at a plethora of empty frames, knowing that you're completely and 100 percent responsible for what ends up on them - that YOUR talent is the only limit, and the only parameter is that there aren't really any. It was like when I got to my first college composition class and was told (for the first time) that I could write a paper about ANYTHING I want. I fancied myself a good writer, but when given the task of choosing anything I want and coming up with 1,500 words that made a shit about it, I was immediately paralyzed. And that is what it felt like four years later with that brush in my hand. I finally had what I wanted, but had NO clue how to handle it. And I ended up going crazy - slinging paint like a mad man. It looked cool, but I had not channeled anything close to Brakhage or Belson. I had not truly understood until then what it means to master the craft of abstract, hand-drawn filmmaking (animation). As Moritz said, "Non-objective animation is without doubt the purest and most difficult form of animation."

Monday, March 24, 2014

6x1: The Long-Take Shoot

My experience with the one-minute one-take shoot was very cool. My girlfriend was with me, which made it even better and she actually decided to be in it, so that was cool. I thought fast-paced nature of the shoot made it a little stressful, but once we figured out how it was going to work it wasn't as difficult as I anticipated. Everything went pretty smooth actually. I felt very comfortable processing the film with Sam, and Brooke and Tomasina made sure we blocked everything well before we shot and they ensured that we did not go over our time. We ended up shooting in 24 fps and we are going to slow down the footage to slow-motion. Most of the time the groups worked fairly independently. It wasn't until we go to the transferring process that we all really worked together to make sure that the projector was properly loaded and everything. It was a very cool experience getting to shoot on the bolex for the first time, and using 16mm. I hope I will get to use it again on some personal projects in the future.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

6x1: Bridgman Packer

The entire experience of the Bridgman Packer week was interesting. It was quite a shock when I arrived at the workshop that we had to get up on stage and dance. I figured we would watch them and the dancers and that they would basically just show us how they work and operate. But then we had to get up and dance. I don't dance, not because I don't want to, but because I can't. However, once we were all out of our comfort zones, it was a very rewarding experience. The technology they use to incorporate video and live project into their performances is spectacular. While the mechanisms are simple, they have found ways to make their performances and truly surreal experience. I was inspired by their use of projection. It could be used so much in the context of filmmaking.

I particularly liked their use of costume in the first part of their performance. It was very unique, which is how I would describe all of their performance. The use of frame-within-a-frame was really awesome in "Voyeur." There were times when I found myself looking through up to 4 different frames at a figure moving, and that was an incredible sensation of depth. There were also several times that I got lost in the movement, especially when they were moving in and out from behind the curtain. Toward the end of that performance when there were several figures (projected and live) moving around, I lost track of what was the projection and what was live. It was truly fascinating. I also found myself almost hypnotized or in a trance when I finally stopped making an effort to follow what was what. It was really nice to just let my head get lost in the performance. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

6 x 1: Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing has become and very familiar concept to me over the past year and a half or so. I gained a lot of experience with it while working on ...and the world stopped last semester, so I'd like to think I have sort of a head start when it comes to this. That being said, it's always nice to go back a reconsider things and rethink them. After working on ...and the world stopped and thinking of the crowdsourcing strategies we used for that film. I'd just like to say I think a crowdsourced project should definitely work on a a time-frame that's not limited very much, especially when not working with something that already has somewhat of a fan-base. It is important to narrow down the desired audience and pool of people you'd like to work with in order to develop a strategy that best-suites the desired end-product. Crowdsourcing will be an awesome concept to explore for this class because of the diverse ideas that are required by the assignments.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Acoustic Ecology and The Media Fast

Reading (and listening) about the ways sounds effect, have effected, influence and (sometimes) interfere with our lives was interesting. The "readings" for this class have all make me somewhat rethink the way I think of perceiving things (which says a lot considering I took history of avant-garde cinema last semester). I thought I have considered most of these things before because of my studies of other aspects of cinema, but these videos and readings have given me so many new ideas and made me wonder.

Thinking of the media fast in regard to the acoustic ecology readings has caused me to consider things I hadn't considered. I was paying more attention to the things I could see when I was on the media fast. For example, when in a crowded, busy environment - like the gym - I would try to zone out and absorb everything I could see all at once, without consciously identifying the individual items in my mind. So I would look at a large space with a lot of movement and just look, not focusing on any single point, and it was interesting to think of things like that. I noticed that all of society is one giant working machine, and thinking of things in big terms like that removes the individuality from the mind.

However, after considering the acoustic ecology readings, it was interesting to think back to the night I went out late and did photography in the snow/ice. It was silent. And I remember thinking "man, it's quiet out here tonight." But I didn't REALLY think about the sounds I was hearing until I did the reading. There were the drones of distant traffic and cars, but not any where near as much as usual. And that was creepy. It was almost unnerving, and come to think about it, that was one of the things that attracted me to go out that night. I realized how quiet and alone I felt. So anyway, there was a LOT to think about and reconsider this past week.

Media Fast Video


The Ted Talks videos about synesthesia were very eye-opening. I am very interested in the concept of visualizing sounds, especially music. It got me thinking...what if the music we associate with happiness or sadness also make shapes that could be associated with happiness or sadness. It seems that cymatics have a constant effect on our minds (mostly subconsciously) and it is fortunate that there are people with the gift of sensing these different ways of perception. Daniel Tammet's paintings were intriguing. It is interesting to re-think the way numbers can be expressed. I can't imagine having the ability to see forms like his paintings when thinking about certain numbers. Seeing Evan Grant's video gave me what I think would be a really cool idea. I would now like to do a videos installation project with a live band where each instrument's frequencies were run through a cymatic processor and projected live on their own screens. I think that would be and completely new and unique psychedelic experience, especially to be a part of the band playing the music.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

6 x 1 Post 1: Video Response Verbatim

- Free form, matching the jazz music

- Descending imagery often fell w/ melody

- Looks like scratching on film, painting on film and optical printing

- Lines in the "halfway" point appear to move forward and backward in space

- Imagery mimicked the music in that single notes often were played with single lines and chords were played w/ several lines, or a complex design

- Colors changed w/ the tones of the film (mood)

- Designs changed to represent varying instrumentation

- Done w/ precision, often the images' movements matched  w/ very complex rhythms and melodies.