December 11, 2007

Stick Man Part II

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December 9, 2007

Lowery Stokes Sims Visiting Artist Lecture

I went to see Lowery Stokes Sims give a lecture on Wednesday, December 5th at Weisman Art Museum. The first thing I realized was how many things this woman has done and how much she has accomplished by the intro done by TJ. It was nearly five minutes long! I could tell right away that Ms. Sims is a very important person in art.

Her main theme throughout the evening was on global warming and how we, as artists, can help the environment. She showed many, many different pieces, all done by different artists, that have to do with global warming or are environmentally conscious. I was very surprised that the lecture was all about global warming. She told us how artists have been at the forefront of global warming and how they have tried to make the public aware of it through use of their artwork. For example, one artist put these little, round, mirror-like objects all around a town and posted them about six feet off the ground. She posted them on trees, telephone poles, and the sides of buildings. It was supposed to be a reminder about a flood that could possibly happen, and if it does happen, the town would be under water up to the level of these mirrors.

Ms. Sims' lecture was fairly interesting, but I found it very odd that she didn't show any of her own artwork. She only showed art done by others. I have to admit I was disappointed because I really wanted to see artwork done by Lowery, especially after hearing her introduction and seeing how accomplished she is in the art world. The lecture wasn't bad, but I just wish she would have shown some of her own art along with the pieces done by others.

December 5, 2007

Artist Presentation

I did my artist presentation on Takashi Murakami. He is involved in all sorts of art including paintings, sculptures, cartoons, and other digital media. His art style is said to be like Andy Warhol's, and his artwork is very expensive just like Warhol's. Murakami is credited with founding the art style known as Superflat and is a very well know Japanese artist. Murakami now sells all sorts of products made by him and his company KaiKai Kiki. Some of the things they sell are plush toys for kids, t-shirts, keychains, figurines, and a lot of others. Here are some links to two short videos he has made:

November 27, 2007

Project 3 Reflection

Overall I am pleased with my stop-motion video project. I accomplished all of the goals I had set and am pretty happy with the final product. I like how it all came together and I enjoyed the stop-motion aspect of this project a lot more than our other projects so far. That is why for the last project I am going to continue with another stop-motion movie. Before I started this project I was unaware of how much work and time that it actually takes to make a two-minute video clip out of just pictures, but now that I know I would have definitely given myself more time to capture all the pictures needed. Stop-motion involves a lot more thought and time than I initially thought it would.

November 26, 2007

Quarter War

For the stop motion project I wanted to use Legos and to give them a life of their own. One thing I wanted to show in this stop motion project were three different realities. The human world, the 2D world of drawings, and a 3D world of Legos. I wanted to show that although the three realities are not the same, they co-exist together. I tried to make these connections by have different realities come together at different points. I also added a portal because I wanted to make a connection between the 2D and the 3D world, and to see what happens when a 2 dimensional drawing become a 3 dimensional object like a Lego.

Some problems that I had while doing this project was lighting and focusing the camera. The Legos and the white board both had shiny surfaces and I could light them directly without getting a glare, and I took some time before I could figure out the best way of lighting everything. It also took a long time the properly focus the objects because Legos are just so small and the close-ups requires a different focus from the far shots. Another big problem I was a trying to crease music to go with the video. I have no musical talent and I was really hard for me to make music. I also a lot of scenes and I didn’t know how to make different songs match the scenes and still make it flow nicely, so I decided on just one song.

I wanted to use the advantage of stop motion to make the Legos seem alive and to be able to move on their own, but at the same time I wanted this project look to look like a film. To make is seem more like a movie I did a lot of panning shots, different camera angles, and zoom in and out. I think overall the storyline was pretty clear, and I’m so what satisfied with the finish project. There are some things I would like to see improved but I’m sick of Legos I don’t want to continue.

project 3/4

This project is a continuation of my project 3 proposal. I am working on some different techniques to make a short animation with hand drawings. I am attempting to put a media that I am familiar with into an unfamiliar form. My hope for this project is that it will be as long as ten minutes, however due to time and technical constraints (inability to draw thousands and thousands of pictures) I will probably shorten this time duration to a more reasonable 3-5 minutes. This would play like a small episode contained in itself, it depicts a moment in a certain specific time and place. It isn’t so much a story, but it does involve a dialogue, and is presented in a narrative form that involves characters in a setting. The animation is based around a recorded conversation in which two voices talk about their experience with the bike culture surrounding Minneapolis. They talk specifically about personal experiences with biking, what feelings arise from these experiences and what that means on a larger scale. The characters are voices taken from a real conversation, a moment of real time, in which these voices by presenting their own cultural analysis within the dialogue are meant to spur and inspire the analysis of those viewing the animation. The topics of technology, self-awareness and modernity are discussed here in this fleeting moment, and in ways are a reflection of this specific time and space in which they are presented. In the animation I am representing these people (myself and a friend) as two animals; the setting is a café. This animation will be done in a sketchy style, which will be somewhat whimsical, like a children’s book illustration. Mostly the scenes consist of the two characters talking to one another, with one or both in the frame. As they talk their ideas may materialize as drifting images around them, which will flow with the conversation. This is something that I would present on screen, there are other options but as of now this seems like the best option. I am also considering some kind of public instillation, however because it has such a short running time that might not really workout. However, having this projected onto public spaces such as bus stations does seem interesting and something I might consider further. The audience for this animation is quite wide and not really defined. I have not decided on color for this project because it seems like an especially daunting task when making these drawings. What I really would like technically is to have more knowledge about how to make sure these drawings correlate to the sounds I have recorded. Knowing more about how to use Photoshop to help with some of the small details of this project would be helpful in getting the results that I am visualizing when making the drawings as well.

William Kentridge- get excited.

William Kentridge, my chosen artist, is best known for his short, animated films using charcoal. His films have gained popularity through the 90's, and he is still producing animation and drawings today. As Kentridge has a political science background and is from South Africa, most of his work reflects the problems of South Africa, or self portraits of Kentridge. Themes in his politically-charged work include time, change, and social-class struggles. The attached work includes the video "Felix in Exile" which I will discuss in class. Overall his work is uniquely his own and can't be compared to a lot of other artists, which is refreshing.

Project 4 proposal

Choosing an adventure is no easy task,but since it is called an adventure I am running with that idea. For my final project I would like to do animation again, but this time I want to do solely animation, either on the computer, or painting. I want it to be set to a poem I am going to write about an imaginative idea, probably concerning skating. It will start out simple, become elaborate as the character's imagination takes off, and at the end it will be simple again. Since I will be painting and it is set to a poem, it probably won't be that long, but I am looking forward to not worrying about time constraints for this project and just concentrating on making a good video! The presentation for this project is undecided, it will most likely just be screen, although it would be interesting to put it on a website. My audience is anyone who appreciates winter, which seems to be a large group. All ages should be able to enjoy it. My video will adress the audience by playing into the mysterious quality of winter that many people enjoy.

November 25, 2007

Project 4 Proposal

For my final project I am planning to make a “sequel? to my last project: Stick Man. I really enjoyed making the stop-motion video a lot more than my other projects, so I want to continue with that sort of medium. I was debating whether or not to make a whole new stop-motion project or continue with the one I just made, and I chose to continue with my previous one because I feel like there is a lot more I can do with the character I have created, and I want to work with clay again. I am planning to show pieces of my old project along with all new footage. I think I will have around two minutes or so of new video, and about 30 seconds to a minute of my old project for a total of two and a half to three minutes of total video. I still don’t know if I want to create a story for my character, or have it be more abstract like my other video. My main goal is to create a video that is entertaining and captivates the audience, but also is technically sound and made with the highest quality (unlike my last one). I will need to plan out ahead of time what happens, and give myself more time to capture all the shots I will need. My video will be sort of in the form of YouTube, but with a little more thought and time put into it than an average YouTube video, although I do plan to post it on YouTube when I’m done. I believe anyone could watch and enjoy my project, but it is probably most made for a younger audience. Both single viewers and small groups would like it.

November 21, 2007

7 Ate 9: A Musical Number

When I first started coming up with my ideas for a stop motion movie, I wanted to do something that was creative, unique, weird, and funny, and after a long time of brainstorming, I came up with a strange idea based on the old children's joke, "Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9." I then came up with the story of a land of magic numbers where the number 7 hunts down the number 9, and eats him. The number 6 becomes afraid, and he calls me to come kill the number 7. I decided I would tell the story in the form of a musical-esque song that I would write and record. I first wanted to use cardboard cutouts for the numbers, but then decided it would be easier with using a white board and markers. I recorded the song, filmed the animation, and then filmed my part in the movie. I moved in slow increments and inserted the shots into the movie in order to create stop motion for my parts, as well. I then filmed me singing the song in the same way. I put the telling of the joke at the beginning of the movie, so that people would understand the concept, and then ended it with credits and the bizarre song "Revolution 9" by The Beatles, which I thought was a fitting and weird ending to the already strange movie. In the end, I like the way the movie came together, and I feel it is something that is pretty different. It was a fun and enjoyable process, overall.

November 20, 2007

Stick Man

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Misty Water Color Memories

After being throughly warned that animation and stop motion would take a long time, a sense of fear and anxiety was instilled in me, causing me to do my whole animation in one long day. With the help of my camera man I simply scrapbooked, "remembering" some pictures along the way. I took a lot of video on my study abroad trip last spring, and I was able to cut up some of the video into pictures. With the "Way We Were" song in my head I decided to do some watercolor animation throughout the scrapbooking. I was pleased with the results, as I thought I would not have enough time, but it turned out to be longer than I thought. I added the end time-lapse of me "forgetting" and moving on because I think that is just how memories go. I really wanted to incorporate the song into my piece, so I played it on piano and set it over the piece. I think that while some parts match up really well, the song also helped to slow down the piece, which got a little fast in the scrapbooking sections. Overall it was a fun project, and now I have documentation of my trip! Also, I don't think animation/stop motion/time lapse is as hard as I initially thought it would be, and I am excited about trying other things out with the new skills I have learned.

November 6, 2007

Michael Krueger-Visting Artist

I went to listen to Michael Krueger talk about his art on Thursday, November 1st at the Regis Center for Art. He showed all sorts of pieces he's been doing over the years, and also kind of how he has progressed as an artist. I really liked how he had saved his old high school notebooks with drawings in them he made during class and showed them to us. They were very interesting: usually about some death-metal band or just wierd, crazy demons or something like that. Aside from that he talked about how he likes to use a lot of symmetry in his drawings. He had many drawings that were some sort of desert landscape, and they were all perfectly symmetrical right down to every little rock on the ground or every ray of sun in the sky. He also had many drawings of just a person in the middle of a page, the way the were gesturing, or oriented, was also symmetrical. Mr. Krueger also talked about how he likes the idea of inanimate objects with faces, and he showed us many different cups and dishes that had faces on them. He also had a bunch of fruit figurines that had faces. He said that a lot of time in his art, he likes to think that inanimate objects like these come alive when you're not looking, and that he like the idea of things like that to be personified. Overall I enjoyed the presentation a lot. I liked how he showed many, many different pieces he made and it was a lot better than I expected it to be.

November 5, 2007

Proposal 3

Very tentatively for my project I want to do something within the framework of the film 'Waking Life'. My plan then is to record some action, which will more than likely simply be me talking, and then to animate over the top of it. At this moment I would like to make my project a good deal longer than the 3ish minute requirement and so for the time being at least it might make more sense to see this project as connected with the final. Also, the length of time it would take to animate even about 3 minutes seems entirely daunting and almost absurd, so extending this project is the most logical thing. Right now I think my main theme for the work is going to be "Apathy." I want to deal with the contemporary sense of apathy as it applies to a wide range of topics including; politics, philosophy, and art. I think that my work will more or less come across as a sort of stream of consciousness piece although I want most of the dialogue written out. I want it to be lyrical in a way, mixing a vague notion of poetics around the words and phrases I am using. That is, I don't want it to come across as extraordinarily direct, I would much rather the piece facilitate many different reads and necessitate viewing the film several times before it would open itself up.

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November 4, 2007

Project 3 propsal

For my stop motion project I think I want to use pearls and jellies somehow. I work at a bubble tea shop and pearls and jellies are what we call “bubbles,? pearls are the round black balls of tapioca and jellies are colorful fruity pieces. The idea of them coming alive is very fun. They’re colorful, sticky, cut-able, etc. so I think that they would be a good material to work with. There are a number of things I could do with these inanimate objects. The jellies could be in a fight with the pearls, jellies could be afraid of the pearls, there could be some sort of dance routine, etc. I’m not set on the idea, obviously, but I do think they’re going to be a good material to work with. I would probably shoot the video at my work, The Tea Garden, because it is there that I have unlimited access to jellies and pearls (unless my boss comes in and thinks it’s a “waste of money?) This video inspires me because it is very colorful and it uses a lot of random materials:

November 2, 2007

Project 3

For my third project, I am planning to do a stop motion video. I think I want to make a flipbook of a skateboarder or something like that rolling around and doing tricks. I will video tape me going through the flipbook, then at the end of the book, it will transform into real life and I will do a stop motion video of a clay skateboarder going through the exact same motions. I want it to kind of evolve from the flipbook to real life. I want to incorporate the flipbook into this video because I have always enjoyed them and seeing the different things people can do with them, and I think it would work really well in this stop-motion project. I think I am going to film and take pictures of everything pretty close up so the only thing the viewer focuses on is the skateboarder instead of the background. I am going to draw the flipbook, then do the real-life pictures of a clay figurine of the skateboarder.

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October 24, 2007

How To Make Bad Popular Rock Music

For my instructional video project, I wanted to do something fun that I could implement humor into. My friends and I always talk about "bad popular rock music" and what goes into it, and also make up funny songs some times, so I figured the video I was doing for class could use those ideas and just push them further. The first thing I did was make a "bad popular rock"-like song with my friend, starting from scratch. We came up with ideas first, and then he played and put together all of the parts, before recording them onto his computer. Then I wrote lyrics, and recorded those. Then we came up with ideas for a humorous video that would accompany the song. After all of this, I put together the "process" of how you would come to make a song such as this, and filmed excerpts of some of those steps. Once I had this, I filmed myself giving specific instructions and explanations for making "bad popular rock music" and inserted some pictures and what have you into that footage. Finally, once I edited this all together, and had an explanation at the front of the video of how a lot of mainstream rock music sort of got to the point where it is now that I was making fun of, the whole thing pretty much came together pretty nicely. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience, and I am very happy with what I have completed in the form of my final product.

October 8, 2007

Video Project Proposal

I thought that of the few videos we’ve seen in class, instructing people on how to have a certain persona were really funny. For my first video project, I think I’m going to instruct my audience on how to be awkward. I can see a bunch of different situations that could be included in this video. Some examples could include various phrases someone could say, farting on a date, jumping into conversations at the wrong time, going for the wrong handshake, etc,

I really like the idea of using multiple angles for my how-to video. I don’t think that I will personally be a character in my video because I want to be the one operating the camera. Using color effects could be interesting as well. For instance, switching back and forth between color and black and white film. The awkward silences that always seem to follow an awkward moment create the perfect transition between situations. I don’t think that I want to have any narration in my video. I think it would be much better if it were just different situations.

An example that comes to mind are a series of videos done by Liam Sullivan, whose done such videos as shoes, muffins, text message breakup, and let me borrow that top. The songs are what is supposed to be funny in these video clips, however the beginning sequence with “Kelly’s? family is what is truly funny. This is especially evident in “let me borrow that top.?

I’m most intrigued about doing a video about awkwardness because I constantly find myself talking about how awkward I am with my friends. We’re always wondering why we can’t sometimes just be normal in situations. This video could go in numerous directions. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to record and edit this video.

Project 2 Description

I am going to make a video showing how to do a card trick. I have always liked magic and want to share that by doing this video project on me doing a magic trick. Ever since I was young I have always been interested in magic: the whole performance of it all, the mystery, the entertainment you get from watching someone perform a great trick. I thought that this video project would be a great way for me to share my love for magic with others. Right now, I am thinking of shooting my video in a pretty small, well-lit space, probably at a table or desk in my room. I think I am going to start with the video by showing me behind the desk/table with a deck of cards explaining the trick, and then zoom in to my hands and the cards while I perform it. I believe that this will show in more detail what happens during the performance than if I just shot the video in a wide shot or some other “far-away? frame. This way the viewer can see the cards more clearly and they will know the trick isn’t a video edit or anything like that. I still haven’t decided exactly what trick I am going to do, but it will probably be a fairly simple, straightforward card trick. I think I will shoot me doing the trick, then after the viewer sees that, I will redo the trick, explaining how to do it. This will give a better effect than if I just showed how to do it straight off the bat. Anybody will be able to watch and enjoy my video. I am not making it for a specific target-audience or certain type of person. It will be entertaining, but short and to the point so viewers can watch it to completion without getting bored or anything.

October 1, 2007

Studying at Starbucks

I choose to do my project at Starbucks because I like to go there to do there sometimes and have a blended coffee while I study. I usually think of it as a nice and quiet place, but I was surprised at how much I normally tone out. I wanted to make this a linear experience but I found it really hard. While I was recording I notice that there was music playing in Starbucks, but I didn’t give it much thought until I got to the editing part. A lot of the sounds I wanted to use had different background music to it. I had to use different tracks for some of the sounds, and used a separate track for the background song I choose. I used panning on some of the sounds, echo, reverse, amplify other sounds I wanted to emphasis, fade in and out and I normalize everything at the end. This project was harder and took a lot longer than I thought it would.

Twilight Cemetery

Use headphones!

For my sound project, I started by recording a short musical piece at home and altered it using audacity. I listened to the altered musical piece and it reminded me very much of back when I was a kid when I used to have sleepovers at my aunt's house, and my aunt and I would stay up late watching old episodes of the T.V. show "The Twilight Zone". So I decided to construct my project around this short music piece, and make my project sort of "Twilight-Zone-esque". The location I chose for the recording was the Hillside Cemetery on Stinson blvd., because it matched to theme of my project and the tone of the music. I basically just walked through the paths in the cemetery to hear what sounds I could find. I would hear sounds like a few wind chimes that I found hanging from a tree, geese honking, crickets and other bugs chirping, and the wind blowing. For effects, I used a lot of spatialization, a lot of fading in and out, altering the speed, and the "wah wah" effect for the music. Overall the process of putting the audacity project together came pretty naturally, because all components of the "story" it tells made sense to me.

Questioning Agency

This stretch of Franklin Avenue is one that I frequent quite a lot. For me it is the connecting strip between two worlds. However, what I have found in the times that I have traveled through this area is that the places in-between are far more interesting then one might expect. In ways this stretch of street tells a narrative on its own just by being, and when heard in succession the individual stories grow to create an incongruous mix of many backgrounds and themes. These are things at first I did not recognize, but bicycling has a funny way of forcing you to open up and be a part of the surrounding scene.
I organized these sounds into a narrative, taking bits and pieces from my travels and mixing theme to form some semblance of a journey, complete with stops at different areas. This technique mimics the path I would normally follow complete with all the usual and unusual noises heard along the way. This process was a lot like piecing a puzzle together, mostly just picking and choosing a few seconds here and there and blending the sounds. I used mostly fading and amplifying techniques to make it seem realistic and as well to emphasize the significant noises. The process of sound mapping and sound editing is unfamiliar territory for me. I think on a technical level I may not be very skilled and that was a challenge, this process, however, of opening up to knew ways of experiencing the world was very enjoyable and enlightening.

First Sound Piece

I chose to record sounds while going on a walk around Lake Harriet. I decided on that location because I've always found that particular lake to be the most relaxing and enjoyable to walk around. I picked a pretty windy day to go out and record sounds so there was a lot of material I couldn't use. I also didn't expect to hear the song 'Baby Love' at the end of my excursion. I organized my sounds in the order of which I walked. That part was rather easy for me. The most challenging part was finding clips that were easy enough to hear through all the wind. I used a lot of the fade in/fade out effect. I like this effect because it makes everything flow better. I also amplified a couple parts, for example, I made the clip with the crickets louder. The process of this project was very stressful for me because I was having technical difficulties for about a day. When I figured that part out it went alright. Editing takes forever! It was a good experience but I'm glad it's over.