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December 10, 2007

Lowrey Sims Artist Response

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November 28, 2007

Critique of Tanya

I really liked Tanya's use of construction paper for this assignment. At first it created a children's program type feel. However, after several seconds it became clear this was intended for a more mature audience. I think this approach worked well for the constraints of this assignment, along with the overall message of the video (what goes around comes around). So in the end a moral was given (just like in a children's program).

Overall I also really liked her use of sound. It was well edited and fit the context of the video well. I also though the overall project was edited well especially some of the transitions. The only thing I maybe would have changed is the editing when the worm is eating the other characters, maybe add in a few more frames so the worm isnt eating the character in three bites.

Critique of Chaz's Video

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November 27, 2007

Critique of Jenn's Video

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November 26, 2007

Critique on Tanya's Project

I thought Tanya's video was straight forward on showing the theme of "Invent a Perfect World" because her video showed a worm eating everything in sight. Most of the things that were eaten were friendly creatures that just wanted to start a conversation or ask about the day, but the greedy worm just ate everything. Eventually karma came back to bite the worm and turned him into a toad stool. I interpreted this as nothing bad goes unpunished because it'll eventually catch up to you.

This was a narrative work, and I thought its structure was well executed. Following the inch worm from scene to scene was done well. It shows that the inch worm is moving from one area to another. I thought that when the inch worm ate the butterfly and apple it was kind of like a video for little kids that would be on Nickalodean. The whole video could've been something for kids to watch on Nickalodeon if you took out one part of the audio. Editing was well done also. As I stated earlier it could've been a tv show on some television networks, so I thought the editing went great. The shots looked fine too. The only thing that was noticeable about the shots were the light changes. Sometimes the background would be dark, other times it would be brighter. I think most of the class had problems with this though because of how we setup our shots to be taken.

The animation itself stood out a lot. I think she used construction paper and did cut outs with these if I remember right, and it worked great. Her animation looked really clean and I think that was really effective in her project. It stood out to me because most of the other animations were choppy, or the drawings were done too light so you couldn't see it. Hers was easily seen and followed.

Critique for Bax's Project


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November 25, 2007

Project Proposal-Final Project

For my final project, I thought it would be fun and interesting to make a college soap opera. My first thought about it was that it would seem very out of place, since most of the soap operas I have seen feature exaggerated drama queens, and I thought that would play to the subtle humor behind the project. Plus the college setting works to my advantage since I live in the dorms.
The soap opera format would also lead to an experience of really focusing on camera angles and the relationship between the shooting of the film and the look of the edited product. I want to use more than one camera for the shooting so I can get the same footage from multiple angles and have smoother transitions. However, that also might be difficult getting the cameras to match in the look of their video, but that is something I can negotiate when I get to that point. By having multiple angles, I could simply extract the audio from one of the clips and then smoothly cut back and forth between people in conversation. That will also allow for the often-used effect of switching between speakers while one of them is still talking to create a more believable and smoother conversation. I also hope to make use of another technique in soap opera television, which is zooming in on an object to dissolve into another scene. With techniques like this and other soap opera format commonplaces (dramatic title music, low lighting, previous episode recaps, overuse of makeup on actors and actresses, etc.) I hope to capture the essence of the genre, while adding to the playful camp.
The story of the soap opera I wanted to be partly told in pre-show recaps, since I don’t have enough time, naturally, to create an hour long episode. The story, as of this proposal, will look something like this: The community advisor of the fifth floor dorm is investigating the brutal vandalism of the Global Studies poster board, and will stop at nothing, even threatening to write up everyone in the Global Studies House, to find the culprit. Meanwhile, the other inhabitants of the hall will be fighting viciously over typical dorm room arguments (cell phone usage, roommate issues, relationship problems, etc.), all in a time frame of five to seven minutes. I can perhaps consult the Doctor Date section of the Minnesota Daily to get a juicy relationship conflict. Either way, the ending will, keeping with the soap opera way, be another dramatic cliffhanger, a buildup with no real closure. After all, how else would those shows still be running after decades on television?

November 24, 2007

Critique for Tany's project

Critique for Tanya
I really enjoyed Tanya’s animation because it had a very homemade feel to it and everything was created and produced by her. I also like the simplicity that she used in order to get her point across. The animation starts out with the worm befriending those who he approaches and then eats them symbolizing murder or possibly greed. The fairy, which represents justice, casts a spell on him turning him into a mushroom, which becomes a home for a toad that doesn’t treat him very well. The worm ends up with what he deserves, which is to be punished, not by enforced laws, but by fate, or in other words, karma. This project as a whole definitely fits into the theme “invent a perfect world,? because justice being served as a part of everyone’s destiny verses by an act of free-will is a very utopian idea and concept. And Tanya was able to convey this idea in a very real and simplistic way that people of all ages can interpret. The style reminded me a lot of South Park, not only because of the paper cut outs, but the moral aspect of the project as well as adding a little bit of adult humor. The narrative follows the same conventional narrative that is used in children’s books in order for them to use a linear thought process to come to a conclusion. “The Hungry Worm? also follows the same structure as the song “Little Bunny Foo-Foo? This was very clear because the song was being hummed during the introduction to the animation and then in the end, however, the audience would have understood this even with out the theme song. I really liked the sound in the animation because it was simple and funny, and Tanya produced all of it. All of the sound effects were pretty straightforward and were timed to fit the actions in the animation. I thought that Tanya’s project was one of more successful animations in the class because of the style of using paper cutouts. She was the only one that used this style and perhaps that is why it stood out so much. Her project also was effective because of the use of the analogy. I always appreciate work that is simple in content but has a much larger deeper meaning.

November 20, 2007

The Hungry Worm

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This movie follows the excursions of an evil inchworm and the misdeeds he does along his path.

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November 10, 2007

Visiting Artist Response:Lisa Lapinski

Lisa Lapinski had some interesting concepts with her sculpture art, some of which I thought were engaging and others I did not find anything special about. I enjoyed her knowledge of the cultures from which she based her designs on, such as the Shakers. However, I had a difficult time understanding what she meant with some of her artwork, since she seemed a bit nervous throughout the presentation and I often felt disengaged. Perhaps this could be because I was in the overflow seating and had to watch her on a screen, which did take away from the experience. Honestly I preferred her drawing to her sculptures, mostly since I found a more aesthetic quality to them and was better able to connect to them than I did to the sculptures. I did find her love for art pleasing, however, such as her recreation of some swimsuit model drawings that had been covered up (this happened when the building on which they originally were located was converted into a pre-school.) She seemed very at ease when reading other people's work, and I found those readings quite fascinating, and was glad that she shared them with us. Mostly, the presentation could have been amplified by Lapinski's confidence in her own work, which did not show through as well as it could have by her nervous demeanor.

November 5, 2007

Project Proposal-Stop Motion

For my first stop motion project, I thought I would use construction paper since that seems like an easier medium to work with. After all, that is why the show South Park is able to churn out an episode based on recent events, since it takes much less time to create their construction paper shows than an episode of The Simpsons or Family Guy. I figured that if I use this medium I had better keep the story fairly simple and keep characters to a minimum, since I will have to create different sections for them to show movement. I figured that I would have the main character be an inchworm, since it has a repeatable movement pattern and is a fairly easy creature to create.
My story so far is to have the inchworm be an inchworm from hell, who seems friendly to his other insect friends but ends up gruesomely devouring them. I hoped to relate the story to the theme of a perfect world by having the evil inchworm receive his comeuppance, and have the theme of justice be part of my perfect world. I suppose I am loosely basing the story on the children’s song “Little Bunny Foo Foo,? and will probably have the tune of that song whistled or hummed in the background. I chose insects to be the creatures devoured since that might not be as horrifying for some people as, for example, seeing a person eaten alive. I hope to create the illusion of traveling by moving the ground as the inchworm inches along it. Instead of creating the inchworm’s movement by constructing different entire inchworms, I will make small sections of the worm that can be rearranged accordingly.
I am not entirely sure what my perfect justice for the inchworm will be. I suppose I have a few ideas. One way would be to reflect the human want for things to be equal, such as, for example, if someone kills, they in turn deserve death, or something of that sort by just having the inchworm be devoured by a vengeful friend of the murdered insects. Or perhaps I’ll just leave it to the viewer’s imagination by having the inchworm get captured and placed in a cage with a bird or some other worm eater, to show how karma usually takes care of things in the end. In the world today, so many feel like they have to take revenge into their own hands, and in some cases, perhaps they do. But in my perfect world, justice should just exist as a part of life. Humans (and animals) should be able to let fate take care of those who wronged them, especially if the wronged have no means of allowing the antagonist to see the error of their ways.

October 28, 2007

How to Make Tea

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With the movie "How to Make Tea," I tried to take a mundane task and make it much more exciting and interesting by adding a new twist to it. However, in the end one realizes that making tea in a new and exciting way may not be worth it, or just plain dumb. By riding bikes while throwing the tea bags into the hot water, I hoped to show the impracticality of the situation for the sake of doing something "extreme." Yet, it's still more entertaining than the original way to make tea, mostly because of the humor one may find in the unnecessary tea making steps.

My method for the video was quite simple. I filmed the video in one day, using already well-lit areas (such as the Comstock Ballroom and outside of Coffman Union). Luckily I was able to find a few friends to assist me with their acting talents, and to help with the camera when I was in the scene. The scenes where I "pop" into the frame were simply a matter of the other actors holding their poses while the camera was switched off, and then back on again with me in the scene. That aspect was put in their purely for entertainment value; there isn't any conscious meaning behind it. After all the scenes were shot, I just cut them and edited them using iMovie HD. I found iMovie easier to use than Final Cut Pro for adding the iLife sound effects that came with my iMovie program.

October 8, 2007

Reflection on Project 1

If I could redo my project, I would definitely begin with recording a room tone of my basement, where a water softener hums in the background. Not recording the room tone made it difficult to mke my project flow, and required a lot more fade ins and fade outs than I would have needed. I also would have left a space for some silence in the audio, which would have made the project seem less chaotic and would have given the audience time to adjust to what was happening in the audio.

October 7, 2007

Project Proposal

My topic of interest is “making a good cup of tea?, a quite simple task but one that has years of history that I may reference in the how-to video. I enjoy tea myself, and have obtained some Chinese oolong tea that I would like to put to good use.

The video I would like to make would be both an instructional and a historical account of tea, however in the interest of humor, the story of tea’s long history will not be the most accurate. Since four minutes of simply watching a tea bag sit in hot water will not be the most interesting for the viewers, I was hoping to visually show a perspective of tea’s “history? along with the narration using pictures, perhaps simple animation, and live-action. The video will not look completely professional, since an inaccurate historical account of tea would probably not garner much financial support from a prominent institution. Basically this means that the live action historical sequences will be cheap looking in terms of costume and setting, but as professional as I can make it in terms of editing, lighting, and sound.

In terms of technical style, I plan the main feature of the tea making process to be in a well-lit, kitchen-like space where there is access to all materials necessary, such as hot water and cups. It may be a bit Martha Stewart-esque, except with dumber hosts, including sweet natured tea makers who butcher American/World history in just a few minutes. While the main attraction is bright, the reenactment of tea’s history will be grainy, such as on iMovie with the “Aged Film? video effect, to give it a historical feel and show transition between past and present.

I also plan to insert pictures with a bit of animation (perhaps using the Powerpoint animation feature) into the video to help make both the main focus and the historical part more interesting for the viewer, and to add to the humor of the story. By adding some historical concepts such as maps, documents, etc., the movie can also find itself a target audience, namely those who know basic world history and are able to understand historical references (and how inaccurate they are).

I’ve drawn my inspiration for the movie mostly from my favorite show The Simpsons, which for years has used pop culture and historical references to get laughs. The show relies on the viewer to be in the know to get many of its jokes, but also throws in some slapstick to entertain those who haven’t been as educated.

September 26, 2007

Homeaudio

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September 11, 2007

Technology in daily life

Hello, Tanya here, writing about how important technology is in our daily life and how our culture is somewhat defined by it. Our entertainment, communication, trivial daily tasks, all would disappear without the advanced technology we have today. Most notably, the internet seems to be one of the greater technological advancements, due to the connectivity we are now able to enjoy. Normally, I would not keep up with many of my far-away friends without the wonderful invention "facebook." Technology is also a gateway to releasing a person's imagination, down to the smallest detail. As animation and filmmaking grows more advanced, those behind the technology can show their ideas more vividly, creating a greater impact on the individuals viewing the creation.