Thursday, October 29, 2009

character studies: Jane Davis

1. How does your character think?
She thinks in a very compartmentalized, guarded way. She is scared to believe certain things because of what others may think of her. She tends to keep different situations completely separate from one another and she likes to organize and hide away certain thoughts. This organization system she has built for herself makes her very good at remembering. She is very scared of forgetting.
2. How does your character think he/she thinks?
She thinks that she is very free-minded and open. She prides herself on her ability to remember everything, and she is constantly convinced that her thoughts are messy and unorganized.
3. What does your character want?
She wants to be remembered. She believes that people will not remember or even like her if she doesn’t keep her composure and mental structure intact in the most aesthetically interesting and pleasing way.
4. What does your character think he/she wants?
She thinks that she wants the best for other people. She thinks that she wants to be the epitome of likeable and in order to achieve this, she strives to appear flawless, every aspect of her day is well designed.
5. What does your character believe?She believes in organization, in compartmentalizing her logics, and in separating and dividing her thoughts/emotions/feelings in order to deal with them in a more effective manner. In short, she believes in detachment and productivity.
6. What does your character think he/she believes?
She thinks that she believes in
7. What is your character’s truth? Mythology?
She prays frequently to a god she can’t name. She relies heavily on her ability to see multiple angles of a situation, and sometimes she suspends this ability in order to “pray.” These prayers consist of her quickly asking/confessiong something in order for her to feel okay about forgetting it.

8. What is your character’s real truth? Mythology?
Her truth is in separation and boundaries. She is scared to be close to anyone, anything. At the same time, however, she takes everything very
personally, and holds onto memories in a compulsive way.

9. What does your character need?
Other people to recognize some of her efforts, but also a good amount of time alone to build up her ideas. A space to organize her thoughts/ideas. A means to remember these things. Video cameras, cameras, journals, etc. She needs to feel a sense of accomplishment, a sense that she is not forgotten. This, however does not always rely on other people.
10. What does your character think he/she needs?
She thinks that she needs very little. She thinks that she mostly just needs a space to live, and a means to record/organize her thoughts.
11.What actions does your character undertake?
Obsessive organizing, cleaning. Also, obsessive recording of thoughts, memories, ideas.
12. Why does your character think he/she does what he/she does?
She sees it as a simple way to remember and to honor memories. She doesn’t view her compulsions as problematic, even the ones that may seem absurd to someone else. She thinks they are simply a means to organize.

Monday, October 26, 2009

assignment write up/re-edit

I felt that these additions to my first stop motion film improved/expanded upon the original. I would have liked to have been more successful in a few places, especially the part where the tinfoil is supposed to come out of the tin. Conceptually, I wanted to expand upon this extremely artificial world that I built in the first project. I wanted to show this world imploding on itself. This project became one about "escape hatches" and that an idea I would like to further develop and explore. This idea-the idea that we can create these artificial means to escape reality is completely fascinating to me. For this project, I specifically focused on the idealistic world that the magazine National Geographic creates. I liked thinking about this idea of traveling without actually moving, and I feel like the shots with the plane and the scrolling conveyed this idea alright. I'd really like to add sound, but I'm not quite sure what I want yet. I think it would really add something to the piece though.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

storyboards, revised concept, etc.

So here are the storyboards-as far as location goes, I'm planning on using the stop motion room. I'd like to build all of my sets from magazines and cellophane, like I did on the "one frame" project.
I really wanted to think in a literally "vertical" way, so make sure to read the storyboards from bottom to top for each column. As far as the concept of the piece goes, I am wanting to create poetic filmmaking by analyzing the "vertical" approach. Deren describes this approach as investigating a single mood, as opposed to relying on plot to drive the film forward "horizontally". I'd like to use cut-outs from vintage magazines to explore the "artificial" mood/feeling. I'll use mostly cut outs from advertisements, because these seem to be the most artifical. I'd like to also touch on the idea that national geographic creates an artificial world for the reader, in the sense that it allows the reader to believe they know a particular place that they may or may not have experienced, so I'll also use photographs from the actual magazine portion as well. So the film will explore a pretend world built by only the elite travel magazine ideal, and items that relate to these advertisements. (i.e. cellophane, tinfoil). This absurdly structured world will disenigrate into chaos and implode in a foil explosion, hopefully causing the viewer to feel the absurdity that is created by the idealized standards.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

response to reading

"The distinction of poetry is its construction (what I mean by a "poetic structure" ), and the poetic construct arises from the fact, if you will, that it is a "vertical" investigation of a situation, and that it probes the ramifications of the moment, and is concerned with its qualities and its depth, so that you have poetry concerned in a sense, not with what is occurring, but with what it feels like and what it means."

This reading felt like somewhat of a debate between the idea of "horizontal" filmmaking -filmmaking which uses plot as its driving force, and "vertical" filmmaking-poetic filmmaking that focuses on meaning and mood. I don't really believe that these things are mutually exclusive. While I respond very strongly to the images and exploration of detail/mood in the more "poetic" films (like Deren's) I also respond very strongly to storytelling to create detail and mood. Is there a way to combine "horizontal" and "vertical"? I feel like many films do this. Just the idea of image and words combined for me creates both poetry and a story. Or a story with poetry?

response to meshes

The film seemed to be an exploration of duplicity, manipulation, and perception. In both technique and "story" these themes are reinforced. The film begins with the viewer being in the position of the main character, immediately causing the viewer in to participate in the film, to be a part of the film. The film continues to build layers on the idea of perception by showing the same sequence of actions with different views each time. The repetition of mirrors throughout the film also suggest the idea of "looking" or perceiving. Maybe this film is an extended metaphor for the idea that there is no absolute truth, there are multiple truths. Multiples are used repeatedly throughout the film. Multiple keys, multiple mirrors, multiple knives, multiple characters. The film causes the viewer to question. "is it a knife or is it a key?" Maybe the film is also addressing the questions "is it truth or is it cinema?" or "Am I you? or am I me? who was just killed?" The film seems to address ideas of self and other, it tears down the distinguishable walls around the idea of self.

Monday, October 5, 2009

responses, etc.


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.

My favorite parts of this film were the ways she transitioned between different scenes, and the end shocker when she completely obliterates any concept of time the viewer had. The first cut between the scene at the beach and the scene at the dinner party had the strongest impact on me. Maybe it was the complete contrast of the scenes, or the way that the people at the dinner party completely ignored the girl crawling on the table. I am also very interested in the performance aspect of her work, the films are largely focused on her actions, and the way that she interacts with her environment.

Miniature project stuff


This film is a series of moments to study the question: “What defines someone?” These moments purposefully lack the typical identity of the person-the full face/body is never shown. This creates a character sketch without the typical establishing shots of the character; it leaves space for the viewer to put the pieces together.


I am currently a photography/filmmaking student at Memphis College of Art. My work focuses mostly on portraits, not only portraits of people, but also portraits of ideas, places, and things. I strive to create character sketches for these concepts, and to study their fragments to learn how they fit together to create new meanings. By using multiple images next to each other, I can create a dialogue between the images. Filmmaking lends itself to these concepts, as I can create new conversations between images using editing and montage techniques.

final edit, titles etc.

How do I set the poster image for this? I keep trying to in final cut but it still won't set correctly when it is viewed online. hmm. also, quality seems a little bad. maybe it was exported wrong?