Monday, April 11, 2011

Beet-Hoven's Symphony #9

My listening experience with Beet Stretch was less more than good. It allowed me to experience my favorite of Beethoven's works in a entirely new way. It was quite strange hearing the 2nd movement, which I know quite well, drawn out to such extreme lengths. But since the tone remains the same, I can pick out (maybe not precisely, but close) the part of the song that I am currently listening to. When you concentrate really hard on the music, you almost seem to experience new sounds and vibrations from the wood instruments that you have never heard before. When the music gets loud it seems like such a climactic event, the sounds all meshing together, in no real sense of uniformity. Although this music is very abstract it is very pleasant, especially during crescendo, when the music seems to be all around you.
It gives an almost engulfing feeling. If this is because I was wearing headphones while listening I don't know... I am however, sorry for the haphazard description, which may be attributed to my listening of the Beet Stretch on headphones at this very moment. To tell the truth I only really listened to the 2nd Movement. I thought I would try a different track my second time around, but I enjoyed it far too much. I thought it would be a GOOD idea to listen to it while writing, but now I'm not so sure. I mean look at this tangent it got me on. Anyways, back to my amorous feelings for it.
I love the feeling of harmony, no body seems to be off tempo, even slowed down to this rate where it can be closely scrutinized, the music still sounds beautiful. But at points the beauty is a little more on the subjective side. After a while the reverberation begins to sound like voices, especially during decrescendo. I don't think a person can help but associate this music with outer space. When you close your eyes you can definitely see yourself suspended in space, floating in zero gravity while this music plays in the background. Now I could understand how some people would not enjoy this. I definitely have to be in the right state of mind to really enjoy this. But I am very glad that I was shown this because it's definitely going to find it's way on my i-tunes library one way or the other.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Saturday in the Park -- Bolex Longtake Experience

Saturday was quite an experience indeed. We had to be on task and execute in a timely manner, even more so while not having our instructor to lead us by the hand. Luckily I had worked with the Bolex camera before, so the filming part was not the most nerve-racking part of the day. I was at first a little wary of the fact that we had to develop our own film, as I have only a marginal familiarity with the subject. I don't know how well the development actually worked, (we might have overexposed by a decent amount) but I'm still holding out hope that our film will look fine. I really enjoyed helping the first group with shooting their project. It was less nerve racking knowing we didn't have to worry about the outcome, but we still wanted to do the best we could as extras. We had a lot of fun working with the other group and filtering our ideas through them as we saw their ideas come to life.

When it was our turn to film we started blocking our idea right away. We roughly set the camera position at first, then adjusted it to get the maximum effect that we wanted from the staging of the characters in our composition. Though after all the rehearsals I'm not sure if we ended up filming the best one, I am still very happy with the result. Our idea may be a little ridiculous, but it was a ton of fun. It's amazing all the things you need to take into account when filming a long take. But once we worked through the kinks and got our film shot, it was very nice developing it and being able to project it right away. It really was a fun time. Especially with the help of Matt and Matt's beautiful masks.

Monday, March 21, 2011

48-Hour Video Race Contemplation

I really like the idea of a “Video Race”, not only because it is exciting to see what we can do in a restricted amount of time, but also because it will be very interesting to see which mediums of film people will use to accomplish the prompt. The mystery prop is probably the most intriguing thing to me. I find myself wondering what it could be. Will it be something trivial such as a pen or pencil? Or will it be something we have to work much harder on to integrate into our film? Whatever it turns out being, I know it will be fun and interesting with only two days to figure it out.

When thinking of what the prop could be, I am going over ways in my head that I might be able to capture the essence of the prop in the medium we choose to use. For instance using a webcam to record parts of our film may result in a rustic, yet realistic feeling that might be quite good for the mood we want to convey. Maybe even use the ichat webcam to pull off a variation of the shot-reverse-shot style.

It might be interesting to keep the image in lower resolution if the webcam idea decides to be used. This way, instead of low resolution seeming like a burden to our project, it will instead just be a stylistic choice for the feel of our film. For instance we can use camera phones and other lower resolution video recorders to give that type of handheld, non-professional format. If however, this idea doesn’t pan out, the webcam could still be of great use to our film, especially one that needs to be done quickly. We could capture as we record on the webcam, which would hopefully result in less editing time and a more realistic, gritty feel. Doing things in a time efficient manner will be the most important aspect for this project.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Animation: Orthodox vs. Experimental

I find it very interesting how Wells separates what he calls "Orthodox" animation, from Experimental animation. It explains in a relatively simple way the techniques used that separates one form of animation from the other. For instance it makes so much sense to see how orthodox animation is configured and given a certain unity. However, the experimental animation thrives upon the idea of creating abstract connections. The experimental animation also meshes multiple styles of animation to create one giant melting pot of images. Orthodox animation rarely switches styles, not only because it would be confusing, but because it would be unrealistic. Though these things make sense to me right off the bat, I never would have thought of it before.

It may sound naive, but until just recently I figured most every form of animation was simply to draw a picture, photograph it, draw a slightly different picture, photograph it, etc. Now that I know better, animation is more dynamic than I ever could have figured. I find it interesting that dialogue is so important in orthodox animation. I never really realized until now that most of my favorite cartoon characters had catch phrases that repeat at least once an episode. Whereas the experimental mode of animation still relies heavily on sound, it is usually more musically driven than dialogue driven. This not only gets rid of the straightforward feel, but also gives it a more rhythmic and interpretive style.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Less Camera

Cameraless filmmaking is very new and exciting to me. I was always somewhat artistically gifted, but haven't had the chance to take a class like this where my creativity can really run wild. I just love how there aren't many rules set in stone when it comes to making films without a camera. Wether you expose the film with light or mark and paint directly on the film, there are seemingly limitless possibilities to making new and beautiful art. Since this is all so new to me, most every project I'm working on becomes an experiment. I'm sure some projects will come out better than others, because for many of the things we are doing it is hard to tell exactly what our work will come out to look like. For instance, it took me a long time to figure out which rayogram was mine, from all the finished rayograms hanging on the wall. Even though we placed our identifying markers on the film, the actual look was so much different than the anticipated look that it was very tough to tell. So it was surprising, but it was very pleasantly surprising.

I'm really excited about going into class tonight and setting up camp in my creative cave. I plan on putting on some good music and getting in the groove of inking and painting my film stock. I have an image in my head about what I want my finished product to look like, but in reality, I don't expect it to look anything like I think it will. That is one of the things I love so much about this creative process, the project are always evolving and new ideas constantly spring up in my head.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Symatics and Cynesthesia?

Upon reading about synesthesia and cymatics, I wondered how I had never heard about them before. Even though they are both somewhat confusing topics, the subject matter they covered didn't surprise me. In fact I wondered how I hadn't learned about this stuff before. Synesthesia in art refers to the intended use of different senses in order to fully enjoy the art. Some artists attempt to make their films accessible only by means of trying to experience the sound of color, or the image of sound. While this seems to make no sense at all, it really makes for an intriguing type of art. I find it very intriguing that some people actually have a condition called Synesthesia, and that these people constantly associate a one sense with another sense. I know… I'm not very good at explaining it exactly. But I find it almost funny that while some artists actually have synesthesia and can experience this "blurring of the senses", other artists merely try to create art to try and induce a sense of synesthesia to the audience.

Cymatics is the study of sound and the images that are associated with creation frequencies or tones of sound. The perfectly symmetrical, round images made by cymatics reminds me of a kaleidoscope. After watching the lecture on cymatics, it absolutely racked my brain. I tried to wrap my head around the idea that every single sound in the world would create a different image. And even further, the idea that the higher the pitch is, the more intricate the image. It makes me wonder if it would even be possible to catalogue all of the different patterns that can be made due to cymatics. Or is the amount so large that it might as well have infinite possible patterns? Anyways, I would love to learn more about Cymatics, and to see the demonstrations conducted on a larger scale. I know it would be very difficult logistically, but I would like to see how the sand (or any other material that could be discovered to be used) reacts to the vibrations of the sound on a larger platform. But I would love to learn more about cymatcis if it isn't too advanced for my math-incapable mind.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Barbie Neubauer -- Passage: Take 1

The light, staggered percussion reminds me of rain drops, and what sounds like organic sounds (animals) and non-organic (pots, pans, and drum sounds) work together to make the image come alive in what I can best describe as a kind of "Rain Dance". It just seemed like the film had some earthy, or natural feel to it. This feeling probably came mostly from the music. Sometimes the image matches the rhythm of the sound and sometimes it plays off the expectations of the viewer by not coordinating sound and image. Although the image and audio are not perpetually synced, we know that they are connected. The film could not be what it is without either one of them. The film is mostly pure visceral stimulation. Most of the joy you get isn't from trying to decipher the images you are seeing, but just enjoying the textures, shapes and rhythm of the art. The film is given its feeling from the mood, tone and speed of the haphazard music. Thus making the music just as important of a component as the image. Seems to roughly follow the normal archetype of starting slow, building in the middle, dropping back down a little bit, then finishing big for the finale. The film does not exactly fit this model, however, as I could feel it build into a flourish only to slow down again for the end. Even if it may seem completely random, I seem to grow more accustomed to the audio/visual strain as the film progresses. As I seemed to get into the rhythm of the film, I could seem to feel when the film was going to end, even though I had no knowledge of how long the film was. It may not have been a premonition as much as it was probably just feeling right for it to end where it did. I believe that the main purpose is to simply enjoy the director's abstract artwork as it seems to dance with the film's soundtrack. If the viewer works too hard to understand, then they miss the meaning completely. It is meant to stimulate our senses in a pleasant, yet very different way than we are used to.