Sunday, May 4, 2008

Game over

So, wow, the semester has flown right by.  Didn’t even see it coming.  The 48-hour video race was awwweeessommmee.  The screening was my favorite part.  It was great seeing everyone’s projects and how they used their prop in it.  The prop ended up being a chalk Easter egg.  IT was different and we had a lot to play with when it came down to putting it in our film.  I chose to do something simple and I used the digital camera, taking video and mixing it with still photographs.  What I did in the film was a funny segment with me hitting golf balls.  IN the end, I used the chalk egg and it exploded. 

            Cutting it together required a little mix of sound effects and titles, but I thought it turned out exactly how I hoped.  It was just a little over a minute, but it never really dragged.  The screening process was still the best part.  Each project was really cool, or really funny.  The other things I liked were how we watched each film.  IT was in the back yard with a screen, the air was just a little chilly but I thought it was awesome, but we all just sat on the lawn and watched them.  We gave each other great feedback and it felt really personal to talk to everyone a seeing what we did.  I thought the 48 video races was not really a race, but more like a rewarding experience at the end.  It culminated with everyone’s ideas mixing. 

            Some of my favorite films involved same use of the web cam.  Todd’s project was cool with the fast motion and I really liked Wes’s because of how he used the web cam and the cell phone video camera.  The simplest ones were the greatest ones.  Whether it involved a skateboard or a magical egg, it was funny to what till the end and see how it comes full circle. 

            When I was making the film, at first, I kept thinking, what the hell am I going to do with it?  I wanted to see how the egg would hold up to the golf club.  It proved that it couldn’t hold up well.  Haha.  I figured everyone would draw with it, so when not blow mine up.  I had this notion that people would love to see the mystery prop get destroyed.  Everyone loved it, and so did I. 

            Overall, the experience of the class and the video race taught me how fun it is making shorts and the enjoyment that others get while watching your work.  It felt relieving to see everyone laugh and enjoy the golf egg film.  A little bit of everyone’s personality showed through their work and since that the class size is so small, we could tell who made each one.  Soon, I want to take another stab at making more experimental films.  They were fun and the payoff is well worth it.  Danny Glover once said, “I’m too old for this shit” 


Well, I am not, I could do this forever. So Danny Glover… are wrong..

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Year in Review

The 6x1 course structure was very complete and was set up in a fashion that hit all of the major points in experimental film.  Each different aspect was covered and we were able to see the different perspectives of film through this medium.  There are some things though they could have made the learning process better.  The 6 different projects was a good foundation to get a feel for what we were making, and whenever we had a project ahead, we would go over the topic and see examples from previous classes fro inspiration.  I would like to see more of the examples and maybe get some hands on experience to get a idea of what the whole project entailed. 

            One thing that distracted me was the many viewings of experimental film.  On some days it just seemed like there was too much of the same thing when the class would watch back to back screenings.  I felt overwhelmed by the intensity of multiple films for a long time.  I would have liked it better if we watched a couple of films and then we would do a assignment that was in unison when the project that was next on the agenda.  It would hold my attention longer and my mind would not tend to wander since we wouldn’t be constantly watching shorts.  The entire class was great and I enjoyed watching the films, but week after week, the films effect started to fade away.  Each project had its pros and cons, the first section with film manipulation was really fun and it went well since we were automatically paired up.  I thought the examples shown were extremely helpful and cool.  It was one of my favorite parts of the semester.  The animation was fun, and I thought the extended class period was crucial in completing it, it felt long at the time, but we absolutely needed it in order to accomplish our project.  That was the quickest section, but that may have been in part that I edited the one shot and therefore I did not have to edit the animation project. 

            The one shot was the best part during the 6x1 experience; it involved all the aspects of filmmaking within a couple of hours.  I liked seeing our film being developed, it was weird seeing and making the film without the entire digital element.  I was always used to and almost convinced myself that you need a computer in order to make a film.  But in this case, I was wrong and we made everything happen all on our own.  Nothing felt better than holding the very film you just shot in your hands.  Each assignment on its own I felt that I gained a new knowledge in the field and the only things I would change is that we could spend more time working on them and going through the troubleshooting and learn each individual step on making each project.  In some cases I felt that we need more explanation on the projects rather than turning us loose.

            In the end, the 6x1 class was awesome and I had fun making each project.  I am still pumped about the last project, the 48hr. video race, so it will be interesting what I come up with.  If the past has any indication it will more than likely be something funny and comedic. Haha, we’ll just see now.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reflection and Reflecting: The Reflect on the Past

The past semester has brought me into a realm of painting, mixing, shooting, and editing in ways that I was not used to. The 6x1 class has shown me how to look at things differently, from a separate vantage point as before. Seeing the last five films I created, I feel like my knowledge of the overall field of film has been significantly increased. I even enjoyed the readings we were assigned because they captivated my urge to learn more about film.
The various ways you can create now seem limitless in filmmaking, with the film manipulate the only thing one need was paint and a couple of sharp objects. After that, you just need the patience to create a theme and something you find aesthetically pleasing. The Rhythmic editing assignment showed me the value of patience in the editing lab. Using a bare minimal amount of footage, I was able to make something intriguing and over everything, a project I was proud to show other people.
Shooting on the Bolex 16mm camera was my favorite experience for the entire course of the semester. I love cinematography and the black and white images were something I never thought I would have the opportunity to make. The main reason I got into filmmaking was for the simple reason of shooting on actual film; I was so used to the present shooting on digital video camera. It was fun, but did not feel satisfying, when I got to hear the clicks of the film running and know that each frame was being exposed, I finally felt captivated by the entire process. Each step in finishing the project brought me closer to what in wanted to do. Developing the film had some pressure because there was no other blame but on your self if it did not come out well. Luckily, our final picture came out beautifully and we were ecstatic about showing it on the big screen through the projector.
Another aspect of the 6x1 class I enjoyed was watching the projects other people created as the year went by. Everyone’s films were different and all used the mediums in unique ways. After watching your film and seeing it play after someone else’s, it becomes obvious that in this medium, anything can be accomplished. Even the shorts that Andre showed us were awesome. I was able to get a feel of the next project we were going into by viewing the similar projects that were created within the same means. Also, seeing that most of the films and shorts could be accessed online, I saw the worth of using the Internet to showcase my films to the world.
In the future I hope to start making a good portion of shorts to hopefully accent my other work. Placing it online for everyone’s eyes is an exciting thought. I am still looking forward to the final project in 6x1 being the 48hr. video race, because it seems like the most challenging project so far, pushing our minds to the extreme. Lets see what happens!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Fooouunndd Something!!

Working on the Found Footage project made me realize how much time and effort takes place in bringing together the whole film.  One of the most interesting aspects is that your have a full arsenal at your disposal when in comes to finding the footage.  I used as my foundation and it was full of stuff I could use.  Drifting through all of the different areas, such as old Public Service Announcements to sports clips, I Decided on this funny hockey clip of two of the players fighting each other.  What made it soo funny was the announcer, he kept repeating himself, and being the fan of sports fights I was enthralled to what I found.  The clips was long itself, so it fit perfectly within the bounds of what I could accomplish in  a minute.  The next section of video that I found was particularly captivating.  It was a whole array of people that had recorded themselves beating various video games.  They beat the games really fast, at ridiculous speeds that the average person would not even attempt to try.

            I thought it would be cool if I tried to juxtapose various images from the fighting oriented video games.  I took snippets and then placed them by each others side and then left little sections of the hockey video to remind the viewer what the original footage was.  Most importantly, I left intact all the audio from the Hockey video and then I placed the Megaman Theme on top of it.  Once it was all placed together it looked really sweet. I am very happy the way it came out. 

            I see how much patience that it takes to edit found footage projects, there were some points where I got frustrated because of the conversion rates and trying to overcome the problems of printing it to tape. But after a while I was able to pull it off. In my editing class we had kind of the same guidelines of creating a found footage project, so it was rough trying to get through both found footage projects at the same time.  The project though sparked new interest to what I can use in future projects, since most of the footage is public domain, I can create just about anything. 

            The experimental aspect that found footage gives, is that you are limitless to create anything, if one is just a little savvy at the controls of a editing program such as Final Cut Pro, it is easy to make a cool and intriguing piece.  If I encounter found footage films again, I am going to look at them with a new respect, after seeing the involvement that the last project did.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Looking Ahead to 48Hour Video Race

I have no idea of what I could possibly use for the upcoming 48-hour video race. Since we are not allowed to use anything that specifically functions as a motion picture device, I am caught in deciding to use. I don’t want to take the easy road out and choose the Digital Camera, because I want to challenge myself to make something really interesting. One of the ideas that I had was I could sketch out my film and scan it in, and through a quick animation, mix some other elements in. Another Idea that I had was the cell phone, but the problem arising out of that is that I cannot figure a way to get the footage off of my phone onto an editing station.

The video race forces one to think outside of the box, and go beyond the normal limitations to create something unique. It is going to be a tough one, trying to pull together a good project in such little time, but we’ll see what goes down. The mystery prop should prove interesting once we found out how we are going to incorporate it in the finished piece.

This week’s blog is particularly a little shorter than the others because of the heavy last weeks crams for all the projects. I am working on my found footage project for 6x1 and I am using a bunch of new film clips and inter cut them for a comedic theme. It should turn out good so look out for some swwweet footage soon!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Rough Theatre....(That's What She Said!)

The Rough Theater is exactly how I feel that experimental films should be seen.  It’s not on Blu-ray, HD_DVD or any other pristine quality in a expensive theatre that these films should be seen.  Leave it to the studios for that nonsense.  I enjoyed the article because it does make one realize the different mind-set we place ourselves into when watching experimental films at these locations.  When we enter these environments, we are thinking about the experience overall and the experimental film high-lights every emotion we feel. Outside projection, live mixing is all about the experience of film.  It may be in a completely new place, but we adapt and enjoy the changes from the conventional theatre. 


I like the concept of the Rough Theatre, and the article was very insightful to this new idea for film-goers.  In my opinion I wish all movies could be seen like this, (Ten Commandments in a barn, Citizen Kane on the side of a house) what more could I ask for?  I am looking forward to the end of the year when we get to watch some films at the Silvas’ in this same atmosphere.


I have been working on my found footage project and I am trying to think of some interesting ways to use different media to make it funny.  Also I am brainstorming for the upcoming 48-hour video race, so it looks like I’ll be busy for a while.


Sunday, March 30, 2008


Reading the Molotov and Letham articles, I agree with both authors and their regard to plagiarism.  It is harmful and bad, but if the image is used in a different sense then it is understandable.  Hold on, let me say this is a good way, in the Molotov article the author talks about how she used the image from a selection of pictures captured from the rebellion in Nicaragua.  Using a documenting photo was ok in what the artist did with it.  But in the other cases as the original photographer rebutted, the photo was stripped of the original meaning and symbolism.  The way it was used to promote everyone else's ideals and beliefs was wrong.  I believe if something is used to help another persons art, then it should b to support it in the same lines as the original artist intended it to be.

It was quite interesting to see though, all the different ways the simple image of the Molotov man was used t represent commercialism.  The entire force that pushed this movement was Joy's attempt to spark a debate about the issue of the Molotov man and what copyright that it has.  The original photographer spite was rightly placed in the Nicaraguan propaganda that was released that went against the original feelings of the man throwing the molotov.  What this brings us to is that the image was throw up in the air so whoever could snag it first could do what they wanted to it.  

The next article that we read was written by Letham, and delved into a different aspect of plagiarism and the concept of copyright.  I liked that he explained that in some cases the other people that take things from others actually helps their writing and cannot be looked down upon badly.  I thought both articles were good and proved to be insightful into this ever so complicated issue of copyright.

In experimental film, we rely on using past images to be used as a critique on either our culture and on social structure of today.  We warp the images out of their original context but reuse them in a completely new and creative fashion.  All in all, the line of crossing over this boundary is dependent on the terms of the use and how one goes about using the image.  I am still going to use found footage and use the works of others as inspiration and never dilute or strip what the originals authors wanted to mean in their works.