Monday, March 23, 2009

color scheme ideas

i would like to have a muted primary color scheme in my sugarcoat film.  


i like the way these screens are set up

and this is interesting...the shots are boring but I like the idea

response to test shoot

The main thing I learned from my test shoot is that I need WAAAYY MORE sugar. I dumped spoonfuls on my model, and it looked silly. SO I am going to mix up at least 3 bowls of pink sugar and dump them on my model by the bowlful. I have also decided to have my models use sugar as makeup, and they will also have falsie eyelashes that I can get sugar stuck in. The close up shots were by far more interesting than the medium shots. So I would like to focus more on facial features and the texture that the sugar makes. I'm thinking about ending the shots by dumping water on the models to make the makeup and sugar run. The lighting setup was 2 lights, one major rim backlight to make the sugar look extra glittery, and the other light was at a 45 degree angle from my model with the silver umbrella over it. I'll need to change the lighting for the close ups, some of them looked a little bit murky. I'm also considering mixing glitter in with the sugar, just to give it that extra pop. Also, I need some feedback on if I should have only sugar falling on the models or if I should incorporate some more sugary foods. The color scheme for the final piece will be pink, blue, and yellow. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

a more organized breakdown

1. script breakdown
a. number and types of actors-3 women 
b.scenes/length-each woman will be in about 1:30 seconds of the movie, making about a 5 minute movie
c. 3 locations-my apartment-kitchen, bathroom. the MCA stage.
d. no stunts, no special effects
e. frilly, lacy bras/underwear. frilly/lacy dancer dresses
f. sugar sugar sugar...plastic gloves
2.number of days to shoot-1 to 2

shot sequence diagram

preproduction/sugar test

characters-3 women, dressed in only lacy frilly bras and underwear, maybe wigs to make them look a bit alike

locations-(my apartment) kitchen, bathroom, stage at MCA

costuming-lacy frilly bras and underwear

script ideas- okay, i'm torn between a few ideas-either I want to have each of the women tell a story of a time a man treated them unfairly, but they would tell the story in kuchar brothers style campy voices. or i don't want them to speak at all. maybe incorporate a voice over later, or maybe let the images do the talking, and have circus music playing. i am leaning toward that one.

shot/scene sequence-

scene 1-the kitchen-
each of the 3 women are filmed seprately, on the floor in the kitchen, sitting against the blue wall
progression of sugar coating. no sugar, just a medium shot of the woman in her frilly bra. the woman will be cropped below the nose, i won't show the top part of their faces. various close ups of the hands in clear plastic gloves pouring sugar on the woman being sugarcoated. shot where the woman's face is in the lower part of the frame, but she is waving her hair around to obstruct her face as the (backlit) sugar falls on her. The women's movements create an arch of action. She starts out in full use of her body, moving and whatnot while being sugarcoated. as the sugarcoating progresses, the women move less and less, until they become puppets for the hands. variety of close up shots on her body to capture the texture and movement of the sugar. one woman will roll in the sugar, like a fruit being sugarcoated. the hands will always be in the screen fussing with the sugar, and finally stuffing the woman's mouth with a hostess snowball and lighting a candle in it. These actions take place for all 3 women and i plan on cross-cutting the shots together

scene 2-the stage
the three women are dressed in glittery, frilly costumes, and they perform a short choreographed dance as glittery sugar falls on them. medium shots from behind the women. spotlit.

scene 3-the bathtub
one woman will be drowned in a bathtub full of blue water (after being sugarcoated) someone will dump sugar from above the bathtub onto the woman being drowned. overhead shot, cut to a medium shot of the side of the bathtub, the hand drowning the woman, and the woman being drowned. close ups on the sugar falling, and the way the sugar looks when it hits the water.

color scheme-muted primarys

pink sugar
sugar test results-the sugar can be dyed with food coloring. i think i'll go with this obnoxious pink. granulated sugar sticks better to wet skin and is more glittery than confectioner's. the confectioner's has a nice floury clumpy texture though. I might use both. but i definitely want to backlight the pink sugar to give it a nice glittery feel as it falls onto the women. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

sugarcoatin' candy stuff

and, how to dye sugar

Thursday, March 5, 2009

so these other ideas

So I've been stewing over my manifesto, and watching those videos jill posted,  and I came up with a few more video ideas that I would really like to explore. I know I haven't written an essay about these memories, but I could, and I might want to use these video ideas instead of the original highways and motels memory.  I'm just not sure how well the motel stuff goes with my manifesto. I feel like it might be a bit of a cop out, and I would really like to explore the performance art aspects of video making...maybe I could combine the two..anyway..

here's the new idea

I'm sitting against a muted blue wall, presumably nude, but the shot is cropped to show only my shoulders and face. I begin a monologue that rattles off statistics of present events (i.e. the number of deaths in Iraq, the number of people in the US who are homeless, the number of civilians killed in Iraq, etc.) and while I list these serious facts, anonymous hands wearing plastic gloves start to cover me with pink icing. They continue to sugarcoat me with the icing until it is a very think amount of icing all over my body and face. Then they put sprinkles and other cute cake decorations on me, all while I am still rattling off statistics and monologuing..then the hands put a hostess white snowball in my mouth, (i still try to talk) then they put a candle in the hostess, and light it. The camera ends with a close up of the flame of the candle filling the screen. I would also like to intercut this monologue/icing  sequence with costumed woman dancers on a stage, performing a short choreographed number. (kind of like the radiator woman in eraserhead).


manifesto (remixed)


to the Hollywood standard of storytelling 



to the sugarcoated “art” void of meaning and consideration, 

I will make films like car accidents. 
(big or small) 

Fuck order
fuck the artistic standard. 

I will disregard the rules and boundaries society enforces regarding what is considered 
beautiful and what is considered ugly

I will question and disregard the preconceived notions of gender that are instilled in our society. 

My films will not be void of historical context; they will inevitably be a reflection of the time I live in. 

It is impossible to divorce my films from my perception, so I will constantly question that perception. 

I will question the values and motives that drive my society, and I will be critical of them. 

Though I will always be critical, I won’t forget how to laugh, how to entertain, and I won’t be ashamed of being excited about my work.   

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

inspiration for the memory film

i was thinking something along these yellowy oldish looking colors for the daytime sequence...
and for the night time ones I want to use the neon lights as the main color schemes...these scenes need to look old too, and i'm not sure how I want to do that...i also need some major advice for the lighting inside the car at night, because it is really tough to get right..

Superstar response

The beginning shots of Superstar really caught my eye, the color scheme was very strong, and I really would like to imitate the old, faded feel of the colors. At first I wasn't sure how the Barbies were going to pull of such a serious story, but I found myself genuinely concerned about the fate of this Karen Carpenter Barbie. I think that conceptually the Barbies added a layer to the film that people would be unable to add. It seemed to be a comment on the fake fronts America was putting up. Sometimes the film felt like a movie with the random facts about anorexia popping up on the screen, but it worked with the rest of the film, so I didn't mind. Some of my favorite shots were the montages of historical events. Overall, I thought the film was really really clever in how ridiculous it was. It made a really strong statement about the clean fronts US people put up in the 60's put up to cover up the fear and tension that was going on at the time. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

manifesto feedback

feeling of reading/performing publicly

I feel like I could have made the performance of it more interesting. There are so many words in it like revolt! and question! and challenge! everything feels like it needs an explanation point, it feels like it needs more energy in the performance. But it made me a little nervous to read it publicly for the first time. Personally, I have a goal to be a better performer and to embrace an alter-ego, so that's what I want to work on. 

what's working/what can be pushed?

The imagery of the car accident is working, but I think I can push the overall structure of the manifesto. Maybe it could be a more poetic layout or something in more of a revolt to traditional style instead of a boring paragraph. 

how would I change my essay video?/ following rules set out by manifesto in visualization of essay? 

 I'm feeling a little skitso. The essay has a mood that I am really excited about, it is much more subtle than my manifesto. It is about one person's escapism and it is going to be filmed from the perspective of a child that is affected by this escapism. As far as filming technique goes, I can push the idea of perception onto this essay video, because every shot will come from the eyesight of the child in the backseat. I feel like this part goes with the manifesto, and I think it would be impossible for this video essay to address every point I bring up in my manifesto, and I don't think I want it to bring up every point. It would be too much and it would be overwhelming. This essay video will be a little car accident. The kind that is so subtle you hardly notice it, but if it happened everyday, and it does happen everyday, it would wear on you. 


It’s early morning, and I’m in the back of a blue (maybe white?) car counting the dots on the blue patterned seats, watching the yellow sun making everything look like a memory, and looking down at my red sparkly shoelaces that never stay tied. The morning sun plays tricks on the trees, bathing them in golden light and making them feel famous for just one sparkling moment. Then the sun hides behind the clouds and it smells like rain and moldy car and everything looks dull and muted again. My mom should be a celebrity; chain smoking in her faded tan leather jacket and flashing that Farrah faucet smile at all the people coming in the motel. That jacket always smelled like McDonalds, cigarettes and old perfume to me, but I don’t think the men that she smiles at think so. Stomping back to the car, she miraculously applies her L’Oreal “pink parade” shade of lipstick without smudging a bit. I can’t remember how we got to this gas station, or where this car came from, or where my dad is. I just stroke the worn-out, matted texture of my stuffed dog Pongo and think about the smell of greasy hot dogs that floats in from the gas station. I close my eyes, and it’s the previous night. Shades of nighttime blue bounce off of the car and back onto the freeway and off my mom’s face. Another gas station, but this one looks holy, it’s red halo lighting up the sky for miles, confusing the stars. I can taste the sour taste of sleep, and I have to take another pill with a name I can’t pronounce to keep from throwing up in the car. We’ve been driving for days, I think. I close my eyes real tight, trying to recreate the florescent halo on the back of my eyelids. My mom and her friend Debbie run into the store, laughing and fading in and out of my focus. I open my eyes again and there’s an arrow with billions of round yellow lights pointing to a half lit “MOTEL” sign, and it might as well be home, I’m so tired. 


* everything will be shot from the child in the backseat’s perspective, but the child will never be shown

* the emotional response I want to evoke is one of loneliness and nostalgia

* montage of cuts to describe the early morning sequence. Close up on trees, motel sign, child’s shoes. Early morning sky.

* shots framed by the car window

* textures include stuffed animal texture, teased hair, sparkley shoelaces



In revolt to the Hollywood standard of storytelling and in revolt to the sugarcoated “art” void of meaning and consideration, I will make films like car accidents. Fuck order, fuck the artistic standard. I will disregard the rules and boundaries society enforces regarding what is considered beautiful and what is considered ugly. I will question and disregard the preconceived notions of gender that are instilled in our society. My films will not be void of historical context; they will inevitably be a reflection of the time I live in. It is impossible to divorce my films from my perception, so I will constantly question that perception. I will question the values and motives that drive my society, and I will be critical of them. Though I will always be critical, I won’t forget how to laugh, how to entertain, and I won’t be ashamed of being excited about my work.   


Films/styles/genres/content I hate

1. stereotypical “sexy/dumb” female characters

2. any movie depicting college party life

3. Harold and kumar

4. tomb raider or any movie with Angelina Jolie, really. 

5. movies that try to have a “tough” female lead character but only make her tough because tough means sexy tight costuming

6. films that try really hard to be cute- i.e. most “indie” movies

7. almost all “chick flicks”

8. movies void of any attempt at a color sceme

9. poor set design

10. product placement

11. nudity for the sake of a selling point.

12. poorly considered shots

13. cheesy lighting-this usually happens in “epic” movies with overuse of backlighting and no contrast on the faces of the actors.

14. I really hate most “epic fantasy” films

15. movies with too much CGI

16. actually movies with CGI in general kind of bore me

17. movies with too many explosions

18. all sports movies

19. movies with a shaky camera the entire time. i.e. cloverfield

20. remakes and sequels

21. most new Disney movies

22. modern American horror films

23. Elizabethan keira knightly period dumb romance pieces 

I like

1. gritty lighting, usually dark lighting

2. film noir (color or black and white)

3. obviously color schemed movies

4. pixar

5. Strozek

6. very awkward almost true to life’s awkwardness movies-i.e. happiness

7. films that disrupt linearity

8. high contrast black and white films

9. Band of Outsiders

10. Fellini's 8 1/2 

11. complex, confusing plots

12. movies with well thought out soundtracks

13. movies with actors nobody knows

14. films that incorporate other mediums into the fim-i.e. drawings, photographs

15. very strange costuming


Style and techniques used in the content of my past work-

1.high contrast lighting

2. people as subjects

3. color schemed

4. experimentation in linearity of storytelling, aesthetic through various mediums


Make a list describing how you want your work to grow/change/transform

1. Experiment with breaking Hollywood gender stereotypes

2. work in a more abstract and less narrative form

3. flesh out characters to be more believable/genuine

4. become a better storyteller. Really I think this is the most important one.

5. try costuming and set creation

6. telling stories without dialogue

7. getting better at writing dialogue

8. incorporating more mediums into the films. i.e. drawings, photographs, paintings, elaborate costumes, etc.

9.become more grounded in history/current events. Relevance

to the time we are living in.

How I want my work to function

1. to provoke dialogue/debates/questions

2. to cause the viewer to become more observant of simple, overlooked events.

My role as a filmmaker is to provoke dialogue, debates and questions through the medium of film.