Wednesday, May 6, 2009


since i can write about whatever i please i think that i'm going to rant about how i wish that i had more of an opportunity to take experimental film classes! i didn't really plan out my college as well as i should have, because now i'm stuck with a limit of hours and i can only afford to take 495 next semester! i am happy though that i waited for shannon to come back and that she is incorporating experimental and animation into our documentary class because that's what i love. so again, i wish that i would have just started at UNCW in the film dept so that i could have taken your animation classes and just had more time and energy, since my college dayz are almost over i think my brain is starting to shut down from school! it's rough. 
...but i've been here long enough to know what i like and what i dont' like and what i want to pursue and definitely what i want to stay away from. as much as like i like movie making i don't think that working on set is for me! i try to help out with student productions but i'm not focussed enough to be a script supervisor, i'm not strong enough to be a grip or gaffer, and i'm not really skilled enough to be a cinematographer and i never really wanted to a director anyways, so i'm cool with that. so what else do i have, sound and editing. that's my jam. i've always wanted to get involved with sound editing, but not in the film world, in the music world. it's tough because when i went to ecu as a freshmen that's what i was going to pursue but i didn't really liek greenville very much so i move to ilm and uncw's communication major i wasn't really feeling it so i was pretty happy about switching over to film, i think that it was a pretty good move for me. but i did waste a lot of my time and i feel like i've moved away from my career in music prod, i might pick it up again down the road but who knows. anywho i do love editing. i think that it's my best quality in the film business and i can stand it which i think says alot. i wish that i was more up to making films all the time but i have a hard time creating ideas, that's why i lean more toward the experimental and animation side, i feel like it's more artistic. i do need to learn animation software, but that will be later on too. i'm really nervous about finishing up with school and not really knowing what to do with my degree but i guess that's pretty normal and exciting too. i'm really ready to just travel around and work as much as i can before i figure out where i need to stay. i'm hoping that once i'm done with school it will give me the energy and time to pursue other things, i'm really fed up with it! 
i'm sad to leave 6x1 though, i feel like of all the classes that i've taken this one has helped me the most in relating to what i'll be doing for the rest of my life, or maybe i mean that would be sweet if i could just make experimental films and be able to live off of that, i dont' really see that in my future, but just the idea of being creative and open and looking at film as an artistic medium not some rom com canvas, yuck. I'm really grateful for you and shannon and i know that even when school is over i am going to asking you guys advice all the time about everything! i'm pretty stoked on 495 with shannon and i think that this summer is really going to sky rocket me into successful, haha that's so super cheesy but i'm done writing.


I really enjoyed all of our projects but I did have some favorites. 
1. The handpainting elements project - 5, because I feel like I could have done better on it. 
the project itself was so sweet, I love the painting the oils were sick, the india ink was totally cool and the magazine transfers were awesome i feel like i could have made a whole film just with them. I still don't understand how the scratch film junkies do what they do so well, it's so tricky! the frame is so tiny, it's really hard to work with. I feel like i could get a 16mm projector in my house and just paint on film all the time and then just have art on my walls all the time, that would be a sick art piece. 
2. the rhythmic edit - 6! probably my favorite outcome of my projects! i loved it, joselyn was so fun to work with, i mean she made it pretty easy to get enough footage for just a 1 min film! we were so reckless running around downtown and getting it at magic hour was pretty awesome! so we did have some technical difficulties, well not really just a dead battery so i had to use her digital camera on like a continuous shoot mode but i really like the way that it came out. i feel like it added a texture and kind of different dimension to the project with the alterations between video footage and still images, sweet.
3. super 8 animation - 6, ok so this one actually probably came out the best! it was unbelievable how great it looked when we got it back from the lab, there was really barely editing to do, just cut out shots of extra hands or blurriness. but yea, it was sweet! again i feel like i could never recreate that on my own, but i haven't tried so i can't really say! I think that doing the sound edit for that project worked out really well so, it's pretty helpful having joselyn making music for us to use, and then we had the whole sound library on the computer, it was pretty handy. 
4. bolex long take - 5, because we didn't do it right and i didn't really get to work with the camera that much! it was a lot of fun though and I think that it came out really well, really high energy and special. I'm glad that everyone worked with us and got into getting dressed up and everything it really made it a lot of fun to dance out in the rain and just mess around!
5. 48 hr video race - 6, i think that i thrive in these situations where i have to rush to finish something because it makes me to do it, like pushes me to really grind to get it done! I really like the mystery prop too, i love stars, and i just had a lot of ideas in my head. it actually came out exactly how i wanted it! 
6. found footage - 6, because i love editing so much i enjoyed this project! i had a really hard time thinking of a concept for it, i don't really keep up with the news or the media too much so i wasn't really sure where to start! but once i got on youtube and just looked at the recent vids it was pretty easy, and the newscasters made it pretty easy for me too! i actually wish that i had more time to work with because i ended up having to cut a lot of clips out because it was too long! but now that i've done it for class i guess i could expand it for the internet, who knows. tea bagging was a fun topic too, it made me giggle

in 48hrs..

We did a 48hr video race to the Cheese Sandwich Film Festival and I'm really happy with the outcome of my project. The mystery prop was a line of dialog which I was actually pretty relieved about because I felt like it had a lot more freedom and flexibility, lending to a lot more variety to of films. So the quote was "My god, it's full of stars" so immediately I thought about filling my project with stars, i'm a pretty literal person. I knew that I had these sweet glass that created rainbow prisms around any light source, i've been wanting to incorporate them into one of my films for a long time and i thought this was a perfect opportunity! It also worked will with the digital stills because it would have been difficult to have camera movement or any videography with those flimsy little glasses, probably wouldn't have worked as well. at first I really wanted to incorporate a lot more techniques of video cameraless filmmaking but when it came down to it I had a hard time just finishing the project when it was only digital stills! I really want to get more involved with animation, i tried to do some stop animation in this project but not having a strong light or tripod made it pretty tough. That was another element of my god it's full of stars was the magazine cut outs.  I pretty much thought of that pretty soon after i read the prop, and I feel like i worked it out ok. the clips go by really fast, but I think that they interesting. I have a hard time with pacing when i am working with stills because I never know how long i should make each clip. I don't want to drag on it for too long because it's a still image and it's static but at the same time when i was working on my project i was really nervous of giving people headaches when they watched it because it's pretty spastic. flashhhy. the openning part of the little film was probably my favorite, that and the very end with the glasses and the street lights. the openning part that i really dug though was the shots of me eating the cheese sandwich - which actually looked pretty gross - but i like the way that the texture worked as panels kind of, it you can call them that. I want to go back and clean them up a little and maybe add some motion to them before i submit this project to film festivals, I'm curious though, are festivals pretty accepting to films that are made from just still photography? I guess, they can't be discriminating. So the next best part of this piece was the very end when i got some really crazy light efx with those glasses and the street lights. It was pretty crazy because i have just this ordinary digital camera and i was going through all the setting to see what would look best shooting at night, and there was a fireworks option and like a cityscape so I mainly went between those twoo. the thing was though that because they were night options the shutter would stay open for a pretty long time, i guess a couple seconds or something. I think that i got such sweet efx with it though was because i couldn't hold the camera and the glasses still long enough while the shutter was open, so it got really streaky and pretty awesome. I definitely wouldn't have been able to get those same efx if i was using a video camera, so that's cool. I like the idea of not knowing what you came make your film about until 48 hrs or some time limit before, i'm pretty much a huge procrastinator all the time so it i was in my element. I know i probably don't do my best when i short myself like that, but i get something done and it forces me to be creative right then so i kind of like the drama. maybe i should do that to motivate myself to make films, pick a deadline in two days and then make up some strange prop that has to be involved, i'd probably not take myself seriously though...ehh. 

the long take

So our class did a one min long take using the Bolex hand crank 16mm camera. It was a saturday shoot and we just went to the school for a couple hours so we could shoot and develop the film in the same day.  It rained and was cold, but it was ok, it made me more excited about snuggling up on my couch later with a blanket, so i had that to look forward to. This project was a lot of fun despite the weather and the misunderstandings. I think that we had a really great idea and a really get setup with costumes and actors. there was a lot of room to just get crazy and mess around, i like that freedom to do whatever you want because I feel that it opens people up and adds a lot of character to the film. I'm really glad that everyone got on board with us and was willing to dress up all crazy and dance with us in the rain! I'm still pretty upset that we were confused about how long to run the camera, I think that slowing the pace down a little would have made such a huge difference! It is what it is though, so I can't really stress over it! I still think that our final piece was pretty awesome, so it's ok. I feel really bad though that Taylor's group's didn't come out at first but at the same time if it hadn't than I wouldn't have been able to do the thriller in their 2nd one. so i guess that's a fair trade.  I wish that I would've been present when you went over how to load the Bolex because that would have been really helpful that last couple weekends that i've been checking it out - both times the film jammed so that was really a bummer. yea, just having more knowledge of how to operate the camera and what all the switches did that would have been great. after taking this class and cinematography I really want to incorporate film more into my projects, just the style and the way it looks adds so much dimension to whatever the subject is.  I need to purchase one, but I'll have to get some advice before I do that so you might be hearing from me. The developing was really cool too though, again I wish that i was more aware about what I was doing because i think that would be really cool to do that outside of class. I have a hard time sometimes taking what i learn in class and bringing it into my home, it's kind of not really the best place to get creative and messy with that stuff, makes me nervous. I wish that you did have a 6x1 2 class so that I could audit it and get to do all that stuff over again! or we can just become really great friends and you and shannon can teach me all you wisdom about experimental filmmaking. 
I love the way that the film looked, for real, I've been trying to recreate that but I seem to have really bad luck when i use film, it's pretty shitty. I know that the more I practice the more confident and better I'll be with it but film is expensive! it's really sad and hard to deal with when you spend so much money to buy the film and then it is all ruined in the camera and you don't even know what happened to make it that way! it's brutal, breaks my heart. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

6x1 part deux

I wish there was a 6x1 part 2 because I would sign up for it without a doubt as soon as I could and then maybe audit it every year after that. I think that if you had a follow up class then it would only strengthen my skills and knowledge of making fantastic experimental films and cameraless films. That would be great, to get a better understand and practice, learn more about, hand painting on film, animating straight onto the film and understand what the outcome of each stroke would be and each move, color, how it would look with it's projected. And the rhythmic edit was probably my favorite and even though I know I could do that on my own in my own time to make movies but when I have to do it for class it's more motivating and creatively stimulating. The super 8 animation is probably also at the top of my list as being the most awesome and I would really like to do that again in a class room setting, with you there to make sure that what we are filming is actually going to come out.  I tried to do a stop animation for my 48-hr vid race but it didn't come out as well, the lighting was way off and so was the focus and everything who knows.  I think that it is helpful to learn these techniques of stop animation and camera less film making when you have the tools and supplies accessible to you. The last two film projects that I've worked on haven't turned out what I thought at all and i know that if I was in class or had someone one around with much more knowledge and confidence than it probably would have come out better.  
I'm really stoked that 6x1 is going to continue to reign the experimental production side of film studies, and i wish that I could be here when you do expand to follow up 6x1 class, I know that you are full of ideas and techniques to teach us it just depends on if the school has the budget and if there were enough students interested, it's hard to believe but it's true. 

Yes Men

The yes men were totally awesome for what they do in the world of the media and crooked politics! They make it look so easy to scam a bunch of intellectuals that are suppose to be hearing speeches by scholarly politicians! They totally joke on everyone that "believes" in our government, and it's international relations.  
Their documentary relates to this found footage project because they are using other people's identities or work as their own credit to achieve pranks and scandals.  A lot of culture jamming filmmakers use clips from news and media, politics and celebrities to make them look stupid, which they usually are. I found in my project that it really wasn't very hard to achieve that, usually new anchors will just say stupid stuff like they are asking you to cut it up and make a culture jamming short film mocking them.  It's insane, the way the way that our media and government works, and to think that the yes men can get away with everything they do and lie about, it shows that with the internet you never really know how true your resources are. 
I think that this kind of filmmaking and activism in the media/film community is super important to reflecting on how we perceive all the media that streams in daily.  
I enjoy watching really good edits to found footage and culture jamming projects, I think they are funny and witty, and aaron valdez is amazing! I think that it is kind of a joke for intellectuals that cuts back at deceiving and melodramatic news shows, and reality shows, and anything really that is going on in entertainment.  It's hard to relate to those people that get sucked in to the mindless and trivial world of entertainment, I'd much rather see it piece together, getting a straight point across and bashing on the media news crews at the same time. 
It was hard for me to get started on this project because I couldn't grasp a solid concept or theme for what i wanted to do.  I don't keep up with the media/entertainment either so it was hard to relate something that is recent and interesting. It didn't take long though once I got on youtube and just checked out popular videos in recent news and i got an idea and easily reached one minute...I think i achieved it well. It just came so fast, and I feel like I got alot of extra footage that i could have made at least a 3 min cut, it probably would've gotten boring by that point though, who knows.  

Sunday, April 19, 2009

about that Molotov man

I think that art should be shared and celebrated without the involvement of money sucking lawyers. I mean really, why is everyone always trying to make a buck, pick a fight, and gains rights to some shit that should be welcomed and respected! The painting is a representation of the photograph by Susan and I feel that she should be credited, but just as Susan can sell prints of her photograph I think that Joy should be able to legally sell her artwork prints. I think that it is really ridiculous the amount of greed in this world today and it really does detract from the purity and expressiveness that is art.  I feel like artists should work together to create pieces and movements that can show their conceptualization of a subject in all ways possible.  A photograph says one thing, and a painting can create another emotion. One person can see it one way and another something totally different.  We are all unique and we should work to coexist and accept each others artistic style and ways of expressing that.  I like to look at other art work to gain inspiration for myself, often times copying something to look exactly like another work of art.  I don't sell it but I still celebrate it as my own.  It is my own interpretation of what the original piece was.  I feel like if we were all forced away from using other people work as an example to work from or gain inspiration than it would restrict the amount of people and personalities that could have come together over it. I feel like they dealt with the situation well, and it probably was just the lawyer that wanted to pick a fight and make some money because that's all this world is about.  
This is completely relevant to the project that we are working on right now, the found footage edit, and I am having a lot of trouble trying to develop a concept that I feel good about and will come across well and clean, and I just don't know.  I don't feel like I keep up enough with the media to really get a good topic to make my film on. I could see myself completely copying something that someone has already done like Valdez or PEZ and not even knowing because I'm not in the loop.  Anyways though I feel like whatever I would create, whether the footage is archived or already been worked into some culture jamming collage, it would still be unique to me.  That's pretty much my moral is that everything that I create even if it is a recreation is unique to me and my style. It's up to me to interpret and express art in my own way whether is is similar to someone elses or not.  People should look for the differences and try to understand them and just recognize that they are there before assuming that two things are copies of one another therefore they have the same meaning. Art is always evolving in it's content and it's meaning.  there is no clear, universal definition of art that everyone can agree on, the human element is what determines their our meaning of the word art, along with what works and what doesn't. so don't worry about it!