Sunday, December 4, 2016

Final Blog - Class Reflection

Over the course of this semester, I feel like I’ve come to appreciate experimental filmmaking a lot more than I had initially. Honestly the initial reason I took this course was it fit my schedule and narrative had already been filled. However, this allowed me to experience an area of film that I was more or less unfamiliar with and was very beneficial in helping me grow as a student. I’ve come to learn that experimental is more than just an in crowd of artists attempting to out-meta each other with their crazy new ideas and is more about the lack of narrative, and the attempts at new ideas to break the implied norms of filmmaking.

I will say, one of the harder things to keep up with this class was the blog. It was not the first thing on my mind each week, and sometimes I completely neglected to complete them. Perhaps reminders or having them be physical items we turned in with feedback would help inspire students to complete these for the class. Oftentimes it felt more like busy work than something that would benefit the student’s performance in the class.

I will take the lessons I’ve learned from this class with me when examining other forms of media. The experimental shots in film and using sound to help create imagery were some of my favourite aspects discussed in this class. My main focus as a film student is editing, and with the amount of experimental opportunities as an editor, I am very thankful for this course. My one complaint though was with the nature of these assignments, besides the self portrait there weren’t many opportunities to explore post-production experimentalism. Perhaps some more ideas there would liven up the class for the technically inclined students.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Week 12 - Cuclorus Experience

So, long story about how I managed to get to Cucalorus in the end. After having a terrible string of events, Andre finally found a solution to help me get to the venue. Unfortunately, I failed to check my email that night and not until noon the next day, where I was offered an opportunity to grab a pass from Dave Monahan. I tried to come by his office as soon as I had read the email, but he was not in. I checked in when I was free in the afternoon and still didn’t run into him. Terribly sorry about butchering this one, it was entirely my fault.

Later that night, I got back to my apartment where my roommate had a few people over. I expressed my concerns with not being able to attend Cucalorus, to which one of our guests says his work has passes available to employees, but he won’t be able to attend since he’s working all weekend. He tells me he can grab it for me after he gets off work on Saturday, so I jump on the offer.

So, November 10th was also my birthday, and a group of my friends had planned a night out on Saturday in celebration for me, so I bump into my friend at this dinner, where he hands me a Pegasorus Pass. I’m incredibly grateful, and plan to go all day on Sunday to get as many screenings as I can. Well, after the long night of dinner and a little bit of downtown, I wake up around noon on Sunday. Turns out my roommate’s sister had performed the night before at Jengo’s, and he was given a free Pegasorus Pass to go watch. We drive down, and I managed to see two films: Moos and the secret screening The Levelling.

I enjoyed Moos since it was a more lighthearted tale, with quirky characters and a nice message. The story follows a family in the netherlands who are Jewish. So, it plays on a lot of Jewish stereotypes while being a foreign film. Everything flowed nicely and I left rather happy. The Levelling was a BBC film based around a daughter and father who are preparing for the funeral of the son who committed suicide. It was definitely more solemn, but a story of the importance of getting along with your family. Very interesting one, and definitely something I’d recommend.

More than anything, Cucalorus become more of a hassle than an enjoyable experience. Falling on the same weekend as my birthday didn’t make things easier, but the lack of ability to buy the jibasorus pass was also a problem. I have to thank my friend for at least helping get a few screenings in, but I know it’s not the 5 Andre intended. Hopefully it amounts to something, though.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Week 11 - Cucalorus Screening Plan

As of the time this post is due, I have no plan. I can't afford the pass, I don't have the ability to volunteer, I don't have a ride, and since i don't have the money to buy a pass, Uber isn't really an option either. I'll see what happens, but if this continues to look bad for me I might not be able to attend Cucalorus.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Week 10 - Self Portrait Plans

My plan for the self portrait is to record myself over a 24 hour period while playing video games for the Children’s Miracle Network event known as Extra-Life. During the 24 hours, I will be live streaming and accepting donations to directly support Duke Children’s Hospital for children in need. This is a charity event that I’ve participated in for the last 5 years, each time trying be best my amount raised. Over the last 4 years, I’ve managed to raise just over $1,000 dollars, while the charity has managed to raise over $8,000,000 over the years.

My main concerns that come into play with this process is the editing. The self-portrait is supposed to be 2 minutes long, to be short and digestible. I will have over 24 hours of footage to look through and use to make this portrait. I will try to note entertaining moments during the stream, but there is no way to predict “Oh, this next moment will be good for the video” since it is all essentially improv. Hopefully it won’t take too long to dig through it all, but I can imagine that it will take a little longer than if I just recorded something over a few hours.

The other concern is the actual production process. While I have done the streams in the past, I know how hard it can be to stay actively engaged and entertaining over the 24 hours. I have also been having odd sleep schedules recently, so it might infringe in my ability to complete the stream. That is only a small fear though, since I can sustain myself pretty well in the past in Extra-Life game days.  

Week 9 - Music Video Role

My assigned role for the music video is Editor. I am really happy that i get to do this role, as editing is the main reason I joined the film department. My second degree is in Computer Science, as I mainly intend to work in some form of digital media production in the future. With the concept we've designed, though, it seems like there will be very little in terms of intensive editing, and it will more resolve around simple clip splicing.

My main reserve on this project is going to be the actual production. I have never been a big fan of being involved with the production process, mainly because post and production are two completely different animals. My main fear is that once the production is done, I’ll still be bogged down with the task of compiling and editing by myself. This isn’t about not wanting to do it, it’s more about balancing my workload since I’ll be the only one working on this project the weeks after shooting.
The concept we have I like, as well as the song. It’s made by a close friend of mine, Joel Bloch, who graduated from UNCW this past year. His style has always had a solemn “angst boy” style to it, with flared vocals and slightly more higher pitch than expected. This specific song we’ve interpreted as a guy being haunted by the ghosts of his past girlfriends, and trying to get over them. We’re using camera angles and faux transitions to give the illusion of one long continuous shot. Hopefully it comes across well, and the editing blends the transitions nicely to keep the illusion of one shot.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Week 5 - Sound Project Summary

 Sound design has a number of aspects that you can explore. While working on the soundscape, we had a number of directions we could head with the plethora of sound files available. Before attempting any editing, we discussed our given theme and came up with a storyline for our 2 minute soundscape. Perhaps this wasn’t as free-form as other projects produced, it was definitely experimental to combine the sounds to produce the outcome we finished.
Using a sound of running water and applying a light filter before looping it seamlessly, I was able to reproduce the sound of rain. This, combined with repeating the clock tower with a crow ambience gave a dreary night scene. The heavy breathing in conjunction with the hard footsteps  paints the picture of either an out-of-luck individual or someone sinisterly creeping through the night. Once the door was opened, used by a creaking sound effect from a box being opened, the rain is muffled to give the illusion that the character is inside a building. The footsteps also change, indicating the surface underneath their feet is different. His phone rings, which he ignores, continuing to be melancholy in his isolation.
Going into the second minute of the file, it becomes a little bit more lighthearted, with the sounds of chirping birds and the world waking up around him. The running sink was a different water sound than the one used for the rain, to separate the two noises to the listener. This time, when the phone rings, he answers it, and talks to his mom, showing that his mother is always there for him. Overall, the sound project showed me how layering sounds can make a variety of outcomes. Seeing all the projects produced by the class using the same effects really demonstrated this.