March 2010 Archives

Discussion on 3 minute clip

The 3 minute clip I chose is from the movie called Freedom Writers. This small section of the movie is what I would call one of the most emotionally moving pieces and starting turning point for the whole plot which portrays the stories of the high school students that they have expressed in their journals. The camera serves an extremely important role in achieving the emotional impact for the audience.

It starts off with the camera angle in a slightly elevated angle that is slowly zooming into the teacher flipping through the journals. This slow start sets the mood and tine of what is to be shown to the audience of the tragic and horrible situations that the students face in their daily lives. As the teacher flips the page, the audio which is the voice of the writer begins her story and soon after the camera changes to the image of the student in the classroom seeming like there is no problem. The video changes scene to the situation of the story which is dark, gloomy and misty as if like an awful dream. The fact that there is such a transition to her story emphasizes the idea of being hidden. After her story is told, an upbeat tempo sound is played and gradually transitions and fades into the teacher from a straight on side view holding the journal up to her heart with her eyes closed. All these choices was carefully selected to stir some emotional conflict in the audience.

Later, a new set is seen with the same upbeat tempo music playing and the voice of another student is heard over it. Tactics used by the director to ensure the point is made across includes the zooming into the gun and zooming back out to the whole scene of the two boys. To add more shock into the scene, we hear the gun shot and the reaction of the other boy and we do not see the actual shooting take place to add the effect of uncertainty. It shows a close up on the boys face and how shocked he is which is what the audience's reaction would be like as well, making us feel as if we are also in the same situation. It then changes the camera angle to a straight on look at the dead body lying on the lap of the shocked boy. This zooms out and the environment changes into the darkness of the night at the same time as his story says "till the police came". Changing the scene right after to him being put into juvenile stirs up emotions in the viewer as the setting is very dark and the slow movements of the camera zooming into his face yet not showing the eyes emphasizes this especially when it fades out and the image of him in the classroom all grown up fades in.

Another story is told by the camera rotating around the back of the teacher and eventually reaching a point where another student is seen sitting down. As this happens, the light goes down and only one main source of light is shown down on the student sitting down to show and set his story for the viewers to see. This is a really powerful technique as it really focuses on the one student and his story making it more effective.

The transitions used within this clip are used extremely well switching between the spotlight on the student and their story. Camera angles of how they show the student are also important. For example some students are shown on the edge of the screen, and some are at a diagonal view of their face. Effective use of editing also enables their story to be told as their faces are shown whilst at the same time their writing in their journal faded in so that it is a combination of the character and the story.

New Media Art Critique

The project I chose to write about from the international exhibition of new media work that took place in China is the work done by Anthony McCall. The work is called 'You and I, Horizontal III (2007)' and this is the most recent of the series with the first one of the 'solid-light' installations made in 1973 known as 'Line Describing a Cone'. This project was my favorite amongst all because it was the project that I was able to find more relation with. The media used is light installation and for me personally, when I look at images it is the way light is used that intrigues me and I try to incorporate that also when I take photographs.

You and I, Horizontal III' especially interested me into Anthony McCall's works as the new media work adds the sense of futuristic elements. This is clearly shown through the use of colors and the simplicity of the shapes used which makes it similar to what movies portrays the future to be like. This work in particular seems to have a man slightly off the center on something that looks like a travelator. It is as if he is moving towards the main light which is at the end of the tunnel. The whole setting that the light sets in the work makes it such a strong piece emphasizing the entrapment of the area the man is in at that moment. The colors used in the work are rather simple in the sense that the variety shown is limited. This adds onto the fact that the man is in a limited space coming from darkness and trying to reach the light.

This work struck me the moment I saw it because it reminded me of a movie I saw when I was younger called "Fearless" and in that movie it had one scene where the man was in some sort of tunnel trying to reach the light which meant his death and acceptance of it. To me, this piece has those same connotations where it has some religious element to it where it shows how we are all trying to reach the point where there is peace and where everything is fine. This is represented by the color of the light being pure white and in such contrast to where he came from; the beginning of the travelator which is dark and gloomy. So the light serves as some sort of guidance.

autobiographical assignment 2

finalsmallfinalauto2finalwith txt3.jpg

looking up


on the hill


the side of the church


the long road


up somewhere


on the beach 2


on the beach


the view


on a cliff


The Carlson building


downhill stairs




Sound Project

Audio Project.wav

This collaborative sound project was done with Spencer.

Nash Gallery Art Piece

On Tuesday the 2nd of March 2010, we went to the Nash Gallery. The art piece that caught my eye the most was 'Living Water' by Liliyane Daneel Mendel, 2009 Cape Town, South Africa. The type of art work is mixed media on paper. I really liked this piece because it is so powerful from the way the colors are used. All the darkness and contrast with light and shadow add extremely strong feelings that it has not only about life but also about the idea of the importance of water.

At the bottom of the art work there is a woman carrying a bucket and a child on her back. It illustrates the idea of the difficulty that people have to get a bucket of water in a place like Africa. It shows the hardships that people face in order to provide for their family. This is enhanced by the environment she is in and the surroundings. The whole right-half of the art piece shows a very steep mountain/hill with a tree on the very top. The tree on top symbolizes the some sort of salvation as it has the idea of the 'tree of life' which is unattainable since it is too high up for the people to reach. On the side of the hill, it has distinct images/outlines of buildings and civilization. This shows the relationship of civilization with nature. The environment is very sandy and a desert like path. The mountain is rocky and black to show the darkness of the world as a result of what human civilization has done to it.

Water taps are located high up which shows the hard journey it would take to get there. The image of the taps are mixed and superimposed onto the original background which portrays the idea that the water supply is not everlasting and will eventually disappear if things continue the way they are and if humanity does not show care for water and stop taking it for granted. The woman is also mixed in which also shows how separate she is from the environment as if she does not belong with nature. A brownish/red rock falling from the mountain can also be seen in the direction of the women to show nature's power and wanting humanity to stay away so that water can be conserved. A second image of a tap is seen but it is located as if suspended in air which enhances the idea of it being unattainable and difficult for people to get.