Sunday, November 22, 2009

6 x 1 part 2 :)

Ive been thinking about what to write in this blog for a while now… trying to figure out what I would want 6x1 part 2 to look like. I learned so much in this class. Before this I had had almost no experience with this kind of filmmaking. It was really different than the filmmaking that I’m used to but I really enjoyed the class and all of the interesting techniques that we got to learn about. I think that if I would be able to add on to the class I would want to spend a little more time on 3D. I know we did it during one class but I feel like there is so much more that you can learn and do with 3D and it would be really interesting to get to play around with it more and learn more about it. I also really enjoyed the found footage project. I had never done anything with found footage before but I thought it was a really cool process. There is so much out there available to you and so many different things you can do with found footage. I can definitely see myself working more with found footage and doing more with found footage in the future.

The other big thing that I would want 6x1 part 2 to consist of is more post production stuff. I know that there are some really cool things that you can do in post production but I still don’t know a lot about it. in our last class of the semester we got to spend a few minutes playing around with after effects. I had never used that program before and I thought it was really cool. it just looked like there was sooo much that you can do with a program like that and I would love to learn more about that kind of thing.

Im sure there are so many more techniques that you can do with film though and I know that this is just the beginning. I got to learn how to do so many different things in this class that I had no idea about and I know that a second part of this class would be full of the same thing and it is definitely a class that I would want to take. I love classes that we get to be hands on in and this is definitely one of those classes. I just think that you get to learn so much more that way. You actually get to learn how to use the things that other classes simply describe to you. This has definitely been one of the most hands on class and I really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this class to others. It was such an interesting class and I got to learn things that I would never have gotten to do in any other class.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This past week was the Cucalorus film festival which was awesome. This is my first year as a full film major so it was the first year that I was able to get a pass for cucalorus and while I was out of town for part of it, I still got to enjoy a number of films.

I would have to say though that my favorite one was “TiMER.” It was the second to last one that I saw and was screened on Sunday. Its probably what I would call a romantic comedy but of course had a little drama thrown in but that’s what keeps it so entertaining right? the story of TiMER is that its about a woman who is about to turn 30 and is in search of her soul-mate. Well, in this story, everyone has the option to have a timer put on their arm. The timer is a count down clock counting down to the day that the person will meet their soul mate. The only problem with main character Oona’s clock is that its blank, meaning that her soul mate has yet to get a count down clock yet. She goes through the film dating men without counters and convincing them to get a timer, each time getting disappointed when theirs start counting down and hers remains blank. She soon meets a younger man who has a timer in which he only has about 4 months left when she meets him. However she begins to fall for him and that’s when the story really takes off. I don’t want to reveal anymore but it was a really good film, definitely my favorite of the ones that I saw at Cucalorus.

Another screening that was really interesting was “the square.” I had tried to see this film on I think Thursday but the film didn’t play right so they ended up just playing shorts that night. I did get to see it on Sunday though. It was definitely a film unlike any other I have ever seen. It was really interesting and definitely was one that kept me on the edge of my seat trying to see what would happen next. The best part of this screening though was probably at the end. The director had been there and was planning on doing a q and a for the Thursday screening but since it had to be changed to Sunday, he had to leave before the it was able to be screened. However, they did still hold a q and a with the director. They called him and put him on speaker through the microphone so the audience still could ask him questions about the film and we could all hear his answers.

Cucalorus this year was so much fun that I already am excited about next year. There were some great films made by some great filmmakers and im sure next year will be awesome too. I just think that being able to be so involved this year was a great experience and it was a great opportunity to see films that otherwise I would have never had the opportunity to see.

Monday, November 9, 2009

YES men!

The yes men is a really interesting and very entertaining documentary film about a group of activists who practice what they call identity correction. Pretty much they pretend to be important, powerful people for different organizations and go do appearances and lectures at different conferences all over the world. They speak about their ideas that corporations and government organizations sometimes will act in dehumanizing ways towards the public. They do this quite often bringing along crazy over the top props. The whole film documents from when they get certain speaking engagements, their preparation for the presentations, the presentation itself, and finally their response to how everything went. They put so much time and energy into it each time, you can definitely tell how passionate they are about what they do and the message that they are attempting to get out. One of the ones that sticks out to me the most is when they have a whole gold phallic outfit made for one of the men. They go to so much trouble to figure out someone to make this outfit and figuring out how to wear it under a suit to figuring out how to get the suit off and get their point made with this outfit. For another presentation, they bring mcdonalds food for everyone there.

The first one that they are pretending to be is they are pretending to be representatives of the world trade organization. I thought that was really interesting. I also thought that they did a really interesting job with the mcdonalds one. It was so entertaining watching the people in the audiences responses to what they were saying. You could tell that some people were even getting mad. It was interesting to watch these people trick all of these people. It was one of those things that while watching you just couldn’t look away. It kept your full attention the entire time, just taking everything in and attempting to guess what would happen next; what they would come up with next even though you knew that there was no way that you could. This documentary was one like I have never seen before but one that I would definitely recommend to other people to watch just because it is so crazy and unpredictable and entertaining. I just couldn’t believe some of the things that were happening in it. I sometimes felt myself thinking that there was no way that this was actually real. Like this couldn’t be a documentary, but simply a narrative film. But no, these things actually happened and that makes the film that much more engaging. It is a film that seems to totally hook its viewers if just for the simple fast that it is entertaining and also brings up some very interesting issues in a one of a kind way. These people are definitely getting their opinions out there and known about.

Our assignment 6 is the found footage/ recontextualization assignment. It relates to the yes men because there were parts of the yes men documentary film that had to have been pulled from different places, not just from when they were filming for the documentary. Like, there were clips that they used in one of their presentations and a few other parts of the film seemed to fit in well with the film but could very well have been footage from interviews and stuff. There were also parts where they were watching the tv…I don’t know if that would be considered found footage but I think it would be.

Mystery Workshop!

The mystery workshop in class ended up being a workshop on 3D video which I thought was really cool. I never knew how 3D was made or anything about how it worked and now I do. I guess I never really thought about it before but I had no idea that two camera were used. I don’t know if I thought it was a special camera or what but I thought it was really cool that you could just take two of the same cameras and set them up with the same settings and everything and then overlay the two images in post production. It was really interesting watching the whole process from setting up the cameras to putting the images together in the edit lab and making one red and one blue, to finally getting to view the final product wearing our glasses and getting to actually see what we had shot appear in 3D.

It was interesting too watching it all come together in post, from lining up the images to making sure they weren’t too close or too far apart. And then we had to give one of the images a red tint and the other a blue tint to work with the glasses that we made, or work with any 3D glasses really.

Everything had to be so specific though, making sure the cameras were the same and setting them up exactly beside each other, making sure they were on the same level and then having to make sure the images were on the same horizontal plane when editing them together so it would come out the right way. You also had to play around with how close to put the images together so that when wearing the glasses it would in fact appear 3D and not off, in which case it looked similar to when you were not wearing the glasses with it being obvious that there were actually two images.

I thought it was crazy too that you had to have such a long depth of field to do it too. We filmed down one of the hallways and we never had to change focus or anything while people were moving.

We also got to make 3D glasses too which was pretty cool. I mean, who doesn’t love crafting? And I also never thought about 3D glasses before we made them either. We had to pick out specific colors of red and blue and those were the ones that would work the best. Then we had to make sure that they were on the right side and everything. Whenever ive gone to a 3D movie or anything, you just are given the glasses. You don’t even think about the fact that they there are different options for the shades of red and blue, you just go with what they give you.

I also really enjoyed getting to watch our final projects on a big screen instead of just watching it while it was being edited in the lab on the computer screen. I thought it was interesting though that you had to be directly in front of it for it to work. You couldn’t be to one side or the other because then the image appearing 3D wouldn’t work right.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

saturday shoot!

We had our Saturday shoot this past Saturday. it involved using the bolex camera to get a single long take. The long take lasted for 56 seconds and we had one chance in which to film it. it was a really neat and unique experience and I really enjoyed learning about a new camera. This was especially unique because we got to shoot on film, something not very common in todays world and something that as a film student is even more rare just because filming on film today typically means more expensive (especially for the narrative film projects that I am more accustomed to working on) and well, we’re just students. The bolex camera is a type of camera in which I have never worked with anything like it before. You don’t have to worry about battery or anything and don’t have to spend all kinds of time in the menu, changing all the settings and everything. It has very little set-up time (like you have to check a few settings, making sure you’re at the right f-stop and making sure the frames are right and a few little things like that and then load the film in the camera) and then you just crank it and you’re good to go for the 56 seconds that the crank lasts for. After we shot we got to take our film into the black box and actually develop it. this was really cool too because we got to see it appear on the film and then go in the other room and watch it right then. We didn’t have to send it off and have to wait to get back the footage, we got to do it ourselves. I feel like I learned so much with this project and it was really interesting too.

For our actual project, we utilized the arches outside the library and had the actors walk through them, switching actors behind each brick column. The final project looked really good and I think that the fact that it plays faster than what we filmed it only adds to the look of it and makes it even more interesting and entertaining because the people are changing so quickly. It plays faster because we shot it at 12 frames per second instead of the typical 24 frames per second, in which case we would have only gotten 28 seconds of roll time. However the film is projected at 24 frames per second, which is the reason that the film projects at double the normal speed. The exposure adds to it too. The image is almost blown out, its has such a contrast and parts of it are so bright. It looks like an old time movie or something!

but I do think that its really cool that we still get to learn about all these types of filmmaking, even the older ones that aren’t commonly used anymore just because there is so much available today. We have already learned about so much in this class and Im really interested to see what else we end up doing in this class.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

48 hour race!

As we’re getting closer to the 48 hour film race, im getting a little more excited about it. I think that’s its gonna end up being pretty cool and a challenge like ive never had before. To make a film in 48 hours seems like a huge challenge when it takes years to make some. I mean, obviously that’s a very different kind of film, but still. Most people would be like, what, how is that even possible…and that was my first reaction. I mean so much goes into making a film, any film, that it makes me a little nervous to only have 48 hours for everything, even the planning of it. I know its going to have to be one of those more last minute, totally random things. I think its gonna take a lot of creativity and a definite willingness to change things last minute. Usually I have to plan out things but with something like this you can’t, you don’t have the time, you just have to go for it and hope for the best.

I’m really excited to find out what mystery prop will be though, like its one of those things where it can just be anything and it’s the kind of thing that will drive you crazy even attempting to guess what it will be. And the “tips” that you gave us in class, about bringing some orange food in did not help at all…well, it just helped to confuse me more…anyway, im gonna try to stop wondering what its going to be and just wait and see.

The film that we watched in class today that was done all with pictures was really interesting. I really likes the final look of it so im thinking that that’s the technique that im going to use for mine, or at least for the majority of mine. It was really interesting hearing about the other possibilities though and I definitely am thinking that im going to want to try some other techniques too though.

This is such an interesting way to make a movie. I think its going to be really interesting to see all of the things and ideas that people in the class come up with when given the exact same prop, 24 hours, and the restriction of not being able to use movie cameras. Ive never been involved in something like this so I think its gonna be really interesting to see how it turns out.

Friday, October 2, 2009

scratch film junkies take 2

So this was the second scratch film junkies film that ive seen. This time we watched st. louise. I do have to say that I liked the first one we watched a couple weeks ago better than this one. Im not sure why, but I did.

When this one first starts, the music starts first which was cool. I did like how I could recognize some of the effects this time though…like when it was scratching, etc. I now know how they did that. Before I was just like, oh that looks pretty cool but I had no idea how they did it. now I do know, well at least I now know a lot more of it. the first thing I recognized in the film of the techniques that we’ve learned was the scratching, which started out close to the beginning of the film. There was then words on the screen but they were backwards. Things like backwards words make me wonder though, did they make them backwards on purpose or was it an accident that they decided worked well for the look they were going for. Or did the put them backwards just so people like me would be sitting here wondering the reason behind it…

Anyway, the film went on to show black objects on top of all kinds of color, which was part of the film that I liked more. I also liked the arrow turning in a circle part. I also noticed some holes in the film which I think always has that distinct look. Then there was the part with the yellow and orange that reminded me of fire. I don’t know if that’s because those are some of the colors that I used for fire in my elements project or if that’s just because lots of people have learned to associate those colors with fire. There was also old film stock in this film that had been colored on and scratched on, manipulated to make a completely different film that what it was originally made for. I also remember some painting in the film…maybe with oil? I don’t know, I couldn’t tell exactly what was used but that would probably be my guess. There were also lots of straight lines throughout the film which was interesting. I also liked the part where there were lots of white streaks through the images. Also, at the end instead of music playing, there was someone talking. Im not sure why this stuck in my mind but it did…maybe its just not what I was expecting…

It was really cool to be able to see my project as an actual film today. We spent all this time manipulating film stock, painting, doing magazine transfers, scratching, coloring, painting, etc. and we finally got to see the finished project. I mean I had a little bit of an idea of what it would look like I guess but you spend all this time going frame by frame and you really don’t know until you are sitting there watching it be projected. It just goes by so fast but that’s what gives it such a unique look though. I really enjoyed watching it and watching how everybody else’s came together and seeing all the different techniques people used and how some of the effects were the same but they turned out so differently on everybody’s because everybody interprets things differently.