Thursday, January 29, 2009

response to the meshes of the afternoon

The thing that stuck in my mind the most is the use of the nun-like character with a mirror face, that image is striking and unforgettable. The character's face is anonymus and unknown, therefore it is absolutely terrifying. I could imagine many different faces behind the mask, and each was more terrifying than the last. This image does a very good job of NOT showing the viewer something that they are terrified to see. It makes it even scarier. The sound helps carry the emotion in the film, and it is also very difficult to shake from my memory. The compositions of the shots were always contrasting. She would contrast a linear, harsh black and white contrast shot of a staircase with a shot of a window with smooth, billowing curtains. The tricks of story are also interesting to me, the overlap of characters, and how the main character could see herself. The end feels like a twist, maybe she was supposed to wake up from the nightmare but she never really did. The film has an unsettling feel to it, the entire time I felt scared, it was incredibly suspenseful.   

elevator pitch

idea 1: It's a subtle-chris ware comic like-film about one character's struggle to exist in the present while harmony korine gummo- like montages flash through the character's mind showing the character's past. The character also deals with the running movie in his/her head about who he/she wishes to be (famous, liked, etc.) So three types of time are existing in one movie-the present, the past, and an imaginary timeline of what the character wishes he/she had. 

idea 2:It's an abstract, very montage influenced interpretation of memory/time. It has a fun house mirror effect, everything is the reflection of a reflection of a reflection. the character is watching memories on a TV, then the camera zooms back to reveal that scene on a television and the character is watching that scene. this loops on and on.

idea 3:  The whole concept of this idea is to explore how much I can NOT show in a film and still get a story across, kind of like memento. It's suspenseful and sometimes confusing, but it keeps the viewer engaged. The film tells a story of 2 characters meeting at a party and going somewhere, and something happens that the viewer is not told resulting in one character disappearing. The whole story will not be filmed, some sequences will be shown but they will be interrupted by  flashes of black, like fragments of memory, and sound montages to give the audience clues as to what happened.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

slightly more refined idea no. 3

*outline is on sketch paper

The main point of this one is to figure out how much of the movie I could NOT show and still get a story across. I wanted to focus on the idea of fragmented memories as a means of measuring time. the amount of footage shown will not equal the amount of time passed in the movie. I think this one is my favorite, it's the most interesting to me.  

slightly more refined ideas no. 2

click on the photo for the whole's much easier to see..

for this idea, I wanted to explore the theme of memories being so short that they keep repeating themselves...every second becomes a memory.

I was thinking of more of a Harmony Korine approach to filming a TV and combining it with polariods, other forms of memory, etc. 

slightly more refined ideas no.1

for some reason blogger doesn't let me click on the first page to make it bigger, so here's how the first page goes
-begins with establishing shot of the main character alone
-close up shot of the character's eyes. open. kind of tired/sad.
-eyes shut for a split second
-montage of the past begins, (character is not alone in montage) polaroids, home video, etc.
-character opens eyes. in a new location. backseat of a car. other people in car, but they ignore the character

the rest is on the other page, it should be able to be viewed bigger. 

I was thinking of composing the shots, and the story, like chris ware composes his comics. very sparse, and simple. The main character will never speak.

freewrite+beginning ideas...

what is time...time is always is based on our perceptions..some moments last forever...some moments go by very quickly. time is relevant to our mental state, and to our current situation. time time time...we construct time with a series of reference points..we lose all of the seconds in between these points, we don't remember them well..for example, driving to a place where we drive multiple times a day, we won't remember that drive...the importance of time is based on our mental state and attitude towards it. Things that we look forward to go by very quickly, things we dread can feel 10 times as long as they scientifically were. time is a never changes, in all technicality, we just change. we rebuild time through our memories, through the time we think that we captured and kept. we cling to time, memories, etc. eternal sunshine. we cannot erase time, no matter how hard we try. we can forget. we can try to block it out. we could set the scene to create a moment identical to one we previously experienced, but it will never be the same, we could do all of the same things, say all of the same things, but the moment has passed. the feelings, the subtle details of the moment have changed. space and time can only be reconicieved through the short clips of feeling, sight, sound, taste, smell, etc.  in our heads that define them. 

time is non linear...we think we exist in one time, but in reality, we have multiple times running through our heads at every moment. these moments overlap and interconnect and break apart. our memories interfere with our "real time." real time is an illusion because by the time we realize it is there, it has passed. 

we describe time in past, present, future terms, i will, he did, she is....

the nature of time is to be an illusionist.
set of, deceiving, varying based on perception, mysterious...confusing...thief...slow..
time is a constant is relative to the ways we perceive it..
we want to record, capture, document time to remember. To use and manipulate...
represented by our futile attempts at catching the passing moment-photographs, films, writing, things that remind us of a moment...

models of time-calendars, watches, fast/slow motion in films, everything that happens to us right now, and that will happen to us..a constant loop of entaglement between the present, past, and future, with all of the things that wish and hope for and our imaginations mixed's a wonder we can diffrenciate...  

*in reverse motion. switch to forward motion at the end. various speeds.
*homage to eternal sunshine. make things start disappearing. 
*parallel action-as one person leaves the memories of that person begin to disappear as well...cheesy..

personal level/lived experience
*communicate the mixing of times as well as the impossibility to truly capture a moment. it's gone. 

1.losing, finding something. portrayed in both forward motion and reverse motion.
2.telling a story..before we reach the ending, we come to the point where the past/present/future/wants/hopes become jumbled
3. a simple differenation between what the character wishes to happen and what is "really" happening. can we ever tell?  maybe film a character's walk through town, then reinerpret the situation using a different medium (stop motion, etc) reference science of sleep. 
4. A FIGHT. what the characters wish they were saying/doing. married couple. never show faces. maybe. 
5. an awkward situation...what the character wishes he/she could do, would have done. or mix it with a real situation. for character's feelings in the shot. if the character feels ignored, then shoot them wearing a bag over head or something..
6.depict several levels of time in one shot. start with character's face, then flash to something that will happen at the very end of the film, and then to something that happens in the middle, all out of order, then something that the character wishes to happen. 
7. FILM home videos. polariods, any means of capturing time. describe a person this way. maybe a narrative? confuse past present future and wants
reference chris ware comics. harmony korine. film the same scene four times. once focusing on the "present" what is really happening. second time focus on the past, something the character keeps replaying in his/her head. third time focus on the character's wishes for the future. shoot the future in reverse leading back to place where the character started. everything comes back to the middle (the present) 
-portray past as a montage of home video, photographs, and the events that lead to the character being in the scene they are in...
-portray future in reverse, showing a result of what is happening in the past..
-portray things in character's mind as something ridiculous, obviously a grandiose fantasy. 


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

critique questions

1. Material choices/processes-I chose to use a character dressed in black with clown-like makeup, tinfoil, a black coat for the background, and an out of tune accordion for the music. I also used a clip lamp to create the lighting I wanted. The process pretty much involved the character sitting in front of the screen, using it as a mirror while she applied more makeup. As she applies makeup, two anonymous hands wrap her in tinfoil, and they hold a banner behind her to show that she has successfully blended into the environment. As far as the editing goes, I wanted to create a very choppy, montage effect to add to the chaos of the movie. 

2. Conceptual process-it pretty much revolves around the idea of blending in, or conforming to a norm. It's an exaggerated version of that idea. I made her makeup very noticeable and almost obnoxious, and I used tinfoil for the same reason. I wanted it to be very flashy and chaotic. The accordion music contributes to the idea of chaos. 

3. I wanted to communicate the idea blending in, and simultaneously wanting to be noticed. The make up is supposed to show the idea of wanting to be noticed while her wearing tinfoil against a tinfoil background shows that she is only blending in to everyone else who wants to be noticed. The music and the setting make for a circus like feel, because this routine of desire to be noticed, and then blending in becomes much like a circus act. 

4.I hope that those attempts are present, but the final work feels a bit tame. I think I could have pushed the ending a little more, and made it less stationary. Maybe I should have experimented more with the movement of the character, or by using an actual mirror instead of implying a mirror with the computer screen.  

quiz #1

1. Mise-en-scene  is all of the things that are "put in the scene", for example: costumes, decor, setting, lighting, performance, and etc. 
2. A scene is a segment of narrative film that usually takes place in a single time and place. A shot is a single stream of images, uninterrupted by editing.  A scene is a collection of shots that usually take place in one single time and place.
3. Editing is the process of ordering the scenes in a movie. 3 examples of transitions are:
1. Jump cut-an elliptical cut that appears to be an interruption of a single shot.
2. Dissolve-between 2 shots, first image gradually disappears as the second image appears. For a moment they blend together
3. Iris-a round, moving mask that can close down to end a scene or open up to begin a scene.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

brandy of the damned (assignment write up)

Conceptually, it's completely stuck on the idea of masks and blending in. I wanted to create some kind of abstract narrative using tinfoil as a way to blend someone into his/her background, the character in the video lets herself be wrapped in tinfoil by anonymous hands. She doesn't resist, instead she makes the tinfoil her own by making a mask out of it. I wanted to make the end of the video and the beginning blend by cutting scenes from the end and splicing quick flashes of them into the beginning. I used these scenes from the end that are spliced in the beginning to create a sort of foreshadowing for the character's fate. As the character is tinfoiled, the flashes progress oppoisite to the direction the original narrative (untinfoiled to tinfoiled) is going. I made it sound a lot more complicated than it really was. In order to create a chaotic atmosphere, I recorded myself playing chaotic accordion music. I brought the handheld recorder to the school and set it in front of the monitor. The sound picked up just like I wanted it to, all nasty and fuzzy, and I think it adds to the chaos of the video. I had some trouble editing on quick time, I wish I could have figured out a way to see where I had copy-pasted cuts from other videos into the final video. I learned a lot about editing in quicktime, and I like how simple it is, I think this kind of editing worked out very well for this video. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Mask your face, but don't mask your mouth, these magic mirrors bring out the film noir in you.
mirrors, circuses, masks, nebulas, and i have no idea how to analzye any of this..i don't want overt symbolisim, religion blah blah blah, lets make art, fuck, well i guess we could make that but it might be a part of a different industry, free free free art world, are we really? snot in my throat gross gross gross, legs, mouths, mirrors, glitter, costumes, film noir, spotlights, weird lighting ideas, partially lit scenes, shots shot from the floor, all citizen kane style where we can see the celing, ummmmmmmmmm, confidence confidence confidence, kittens, no not kittens, music always music. out of tune accordions, stories, creepy voices, how to make a creepy woman character that isn't seen as a sex object like every other woman character seems to be. i'm thinking twiggy makeup..maybe a bit ironic, oh fuck, overt symbolisim blah blah blah rant rant rant, i want characters with substance, not just characters with sex appeal BORING BORING BORING. sexy things are so boring. well, most of the time anyway. the smiths the cure, the cure closer to you do do do do do do ahhhh, spiderman is having me for dinner tonight (synth solo)  fuck design. i hate that i just changed the font size. rebel! rebel! let's start a revolution, we don't know what about yet but it starts now

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ideas and whatnot

concepts I would like to work with... noir
2.using flashlights to light an entire sequence
3.costumes involving feathers and masks
6.shots from the floor
7.stop motion techniques
9.narratives color palettes
11.using different colored lighting (i.e. blue light bulbs in flashlights)
12.incorporating music I've written
13.incorporating polaroids, holga photos, VHS footage, etc.
14.choppy editing techniques
16.using sound as a very important factor in a short film, like the way eraserhead uses creepy sounds.
17. an eyeball mask
18. mirrors

1. michel gondry-science of sleep, eternal sunshine for the spotless mind, music videos, etc.
2.david lynch-eraserhead
3.wes anderson-montage sequences in life aquatic
4. werner herzog-the ending to Strosek
5. pandora's box
6. mirror scene in lady from shanghai
7. fellini-roma, and the opening to 8 1/2
8.harmony korine-gummo


"...they [the cynics] have forgotton what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose"

That was one well written speech. Seriously. I took notes, a few pages of notes in fact. He used the word humility twice in reference to America, and that in itself is a very nice (and needed) change. The overall tone of the speech was very fitting for the very unstable time we are in. He enforced the chance that we have to change, and instead of focusing on the things that HE was going to do, he instead focused on the things that WE could do. He put a lot less sugar on the issues of our times as I think some other "mavericks" might have done. It is very clear that these next few years are going to be rough to say the least. We need all of the Obama encouraged imagination and courage we can get! I hope that this kind of hope that most of America has right now will create chain reactions upon chain reactions of imaginative solutions to our problems with poverty, war, and health care.

For the ADD of us (myself very much included), the coverage I watched (CSPAN) did a very good job of breaking up the speech with smooth transitions to various shots of people in the crowd, and some very, very smooth panning shots of the enormous amount of people in attendance. They kept repeating this one shot, an upward panning shot of the White House. It was a really great shot, but I feel like I saw it at least once a minute. I was glad that there weren't very many graphics on the screen during Obama's speech. Even the CSPAN graphic was a bit big for me, I really just wanted it to focus on the event, and not so much on advertising the news station, but thats just how it goes I guess.

I really hope that we can "become the change that we want to see in the world (Ghandi)". because it sure isn't going to be easy.