Thursday, December 11, 2008

Advanced 6X1

If I had to create an Advanced 6X1 class what material would we cover? That's a very hard question. Coming into the regular 6X1 class I had no idea about the crazy stuff we would cover during the semester. But through my experiences in the class I know a lot of material that I would like to cover in more depth.
One of my favorite projects of the semester was film painting. I feel like it was so interesting because there were so many different techniques that we learned; such as rayograms, magazine transfers, drawing, scratching, and painting. Capturing our images and learning how to use and optical printer could also be a topic we could cover in advanced 6X1. I would also like to learn more about the photoshop version of painting on film, and for our final painting on film project have a combination of the two. In advanced 6X1 we would definitely spend a lot more time painting on film and rayograming.
Another subject I would like to build on would be the stop animation projects. In Advanced 6X1, before the stop animation shoot day, you would have to turn in a storyboard and post on your blog an idea of what you were trying to accomplish. It would also be interesting to explore different techniques involved with stop animation such as learning how to sync the actions of the characters and their frame rate with music to a song.
Working with the old style of cameras, like the bolex and bauer cameras, was also very interesting. If we could have explored more ways for us to learn about how to use those cameras like loading the bauer camera, and the different components of them. Everyone liked using those cameras and especially the look of the image they produced. It might also be fun to extend the bolex one shot project to having each member of the group create their own one shot and combining them all together for the final product.
Since the regular 6X1 would be a pre-requisite to advanced 6X1 we should just build on all the different things we learned in regular 6X1. Since 6X1 celebrates the different modes of the one minute film we should explore more ways film could be an event. The video race was a really fun idea, and I think a few of those should happen throughout the semester as pop quiz's. We could also come up with different ways view films, like they learn in the experimental film class. All in all I would just like to learn more, and go further into the things we had already learned. It's hard to think of new and different ideas for advanced 6X1 since my only experience with this genera of film was completely new to me.   

Video Race Evaluation

The video race turned out to be a very fun, challenging project. Not only was it fun creating the film in such a short amount of time, the screening event at Jengo's was also very rewarding. It really surprised me how unique each person's project was.
I attempted to compose a visually interesting project. I decided to use my camera phone to capture my footage. The basis of my images were interesting  textures that you may come across in your everyday routine. My favorite image that I captured was the image of my cookie cutter on a hot stovetop burner with steam rising up from it.  Another image I liked was of the camera moving through the leaves of a group of trees that were lit by a nearby street light. 
I combined these textured images with images that I had on my camera phone of a previous night in a bar, and images of tinfoil that I manipulated in different ways. The images that I took in the bar were images of Trip, Kyle, and Russ, all members of our class, that I thought might bring a few laughs into my project. I also captured some video images of a green light at the bar that was shining on the wall. 
Since I wanted to make my project a compilation of cool images I decided to use layering techniques in final cut pro with images that I altered in photoshop. In photoshop I took the images of the tinfoil and used the magnetic lasso tool to make parts of the images transparent. In final cut I layered images behind and on top of my photoshopped images to created my desired effect. I also tried to keep the rhythm of my project interesting with clips of varied length to keep the film interesting and fresh. At first, I didn't know if I liked the way my project turned out, but it looked pretty nice on the big screen at the Jengo's screening. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008


The Ear of Corn Shorts was my favorite event of Cucalorus. Not only was it hosted by the great Andre Silva, the short films were all very unique and brilliant in their own way. Andre (not to suck up of anything) did a great job of choosing a spectacular group of shorts. Not only were the shorts very entertaining, but the venue set a good mood for an experimental film event. Jengo's Playhouse is a very small, intimate theater that gives off a vibe of the artistic aspect of film. It doesn't feel like a theater such as Lumina of even Mayfaire, it is unique in itself and provided a good festival atmosphere.
The movies that were showed during the Ear of Corn Shorts all related to landscape; wether is be a natural, urban, or digital landscape. The first film, Market Sentiments, was a rhythmic dance of property lines on a birds-eye-view of an area of land. The property lines divide the natural landscape to they varying rhythms of orchestra music. I found that as I was watching the film I was guessing where the lines might appear and lead to next. The rhythm of the music also dictated my predictions as my mind correlated the fast pace of the music with the fast pace of the lines.
One of my favorite shorts played during the block was CuteCuteCute. It is described as trying to take "instructional videos for kids, usually teaching the various sounds of animals or how to count up to 10 and changing the subject to more grown-up themes like abortion, child abuse etc." Although it was very disturbing, it was freak'n hilarious. My favorite parts of the film included: a cheery fetus being aborted singing, "if you can't care for me, maybe it's better to abort me," and when they showed the happy Nike shoe mascot dancing around with the subtitle "I give poor kids jobs," or a teddy bear dad with his hand down his child's pants claiming, "My parents support me." Each verse was ridiculously inappropriate but hilarious none the less. The crowd in Jengo's Playhouse was engulfed in laughter and often questioning the morals behind the film while laughing hysterically.
My favorite short of all was Autumnal by Scott Nyerges. The creative patterns that were created on the screen were mind blowing. I constantly questioned what methods he used to produce those images, but the only ones I could recognize were the film painting. The colors that were created were spectacular, as if he magically made rock crystals spew out a flow of florescent colors. If Scott didn't stay after for a Q&A I would have drove myself or Andre crazy with questions about the film. I didn't think he would reveal his secrets to us, but he did. He told us that the image that we were viewing were the chemical reactions taking place when he combined salt and ink. He zoomed the camera into the small reaction that was taking place to give it the appearance of a larger reaction. What was great about the Q&A was the fact that all the questions were coming from members of Andre's 6X1 class. All the shorts were almost equally fun to watch, and if it were up to me there would have been more in the block. It is amazing the variety and uniqueness of experimental films, and by watching them it opens your mind up to techniques and ideas that you may never have thought of. 


One of my favorite events that I attended was Struck and Good Dick at Thalian theater. The first film was the short film, Struck.  It was a very visually entertaining short with a creative concept. The main character was standing on the street when he noticed a pretty girl walking on the opposite side of the street. Suddenly he was struck by an arrow in the middle of his chest. The arrow stuck with him as he was set up on one hilarious date after another. No matter how many dates he went on, the arrow still stayed stuck in the middle of his chest; often making simple tasks and innocent situations humorous. At the end of the story he runs into the girl who caused him to be struck by Cupid's arrow at a laundry mat where she proceeds to remove the arrow from his chest. This film was very visually and narratively entertaining. The composition in every shot was well thought out, and the cinematography was superb. The lonely mood of the main character was enhanced by the solemn blue lighting and the main character's lack of dialogue. The visual story was very impressive, and did not need the normal amount of dialogue found in normal narratives; it stood alone by itself. One very noticeable and well used visual techniques was the soft focus that was present in the shots of the main characters love interest. Although there was not an excessive amount of dialogue, the dialogue that was used was very entertaining, and it was a good source of characterization; often emphasizing the stereotypical people you may find during blind dates. It was also full of noticeable actors, but the most humorous of all was the appearance of Ethan Suplee as Cupid. When Suplee was revealed as Cupid the theater erupted with laughter and applause. Although it was the short film played before the feature, Good Dick, in my opinion, it was the more entertaining of the two films. 
The main feature film was Good Dick. I had seen previews for this movie in Apple's movie trailers application and it grabbed my attention. It was about a relationship between two lonely people, one boy one girl. The main male character works at a movie rental store, and the female character consistently comes into his store to rent porn movies. The male tries to establish a relationship with her, and through the he gains her trust and develops a very one sided love for her. It is obvious that he cares very much for her, but there is something that has disturbed that girl and caused her to be very suspicious and unable to trust him. At the end of the movie they eventually attempt sexual intimacy, but she is spooked by his erection and demands that he leaves. We follow the main female character to her father's office where their conversation alludes to the fact that he sexually molested her.
The aspect of this film that I enjoyed the most was the acting. Although my friends who I saw the movie with may disagree, I thought the acting, along with the cinematography, made the movie. The characters' relationship was the main focus of the story, and their performances were very impressive. They both made it very clear that they had psychological issues. The female was very skeptical, cold, and always had her guard up. The male was a former drug addict, living in his car, and yearning for company. No matter how much progress you thought that they made in their friendship, she always was there to keep it in check and deny her true feelings. Her best performance in the film is at the end during their attempt at intimacy when she gets spooked, balls, and demands that he leaves. Her emotions were very convincing, powerful, unfamiliar, and disturbing. Not only was the acting very good in the film, the cinematography was also superb. Interesting shot compositions were in every shot, and the art of the camera was very noticeable compared to most other films. These two features were the most noticeable and my favorite aspects of the film. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The comparison in Well's article between orthodox or developmental animation and experimental animation opened up my eyes to a topic I never really thought of before. As Americans the entertainment we are subjected to is ultimately massed produced, Hollywood style productions. Movies, cartoons, television shows are all, as Wells puts it, "highly industrialized." In a sense, they lack the artistic qualities that you would find in experimental animation. Cartoons that we watched as children were basically all the same. They all had a plot line about a conflict that the main character was facing. All cartoons we watched as children seemed to have a set of guidelines that they followed that hindered creativity for the sake of mass production. 
As children, I'm sure we wouldn't have appreciated the types of experimental animation that we are exposed to in 6X1. The majority of America would rather turn on the TV and watch these orthodox animations rather than experimental animation because most watch media on the television to be entertained, and the narrative style and plots of orthodox animations provide that for the viewer. Orthodox animation provides mindless entertainment that doesn't involve the need for interpretation that might be involved in viewing experimental animations. 
Experimental animation is without a doubt more artistic than any orthodox animation in the sense that it is "concerned with rhythm and movement in their own right as opposed to the rhythm and movement of a particular character. It uses rhythm and movement of the happenings of the whole frame to provide meanings, representations, and even evoke emotions through assimilation. It doesn't need dialogue to progress the film as a narrative, orthodox film would. Experimental films also a better representation of true artwork because unlike orthodox films, experimental films are not mass produced, so more time, effort, and artistic details are provided in experimental animations, as well as a lack of limitations. Unlike the Hollywood mass produced animations that we are mainly subjected to, experimentals are not as alike as orthodox animations, which are all bound by narrative plot lines, but unique do to the fact that they have been produced by artists who may have very different styles. Experimentals are not held back by their visual image like orthodox animations. Orthodox animations' images, for the most part, must be distinguishable characters in order not to disrupt the narrative flow of the animation. The visual image of an experimental is only limited by the creativity of the artist.