Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yes Men

So I forgot a blog... here is my last one.

I really liked watching this doc in class, I thought it was rather interesting how these guys got away with everything they did. We watched this in preparation for our final assignment, the found footage. The Yes Men did a lot of culture jamming and messing with peoples minds and that is awesome. Anytime you can make someone think you are ignorant or dumber than what you really are and then can throw it back in their faces makes me laugh. This is pretty much what these guys did the whole film and it was great. I did think there were times that some of the footage could have been cut because I felt like it just went on and on and some of the interviews or process to get from one point to another could have been skipped and they could have just moved there without the extra footage.

From what I heard and saw on my netflix, apparently there is another Yes Men in the works and it comes out later this year. I definitely think I will check it out and see what these guys get into next. It just goes to show you that anyone can do anything as long as they put their mind to it.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Project Experiences

These are ranked 1-6, with one being my favorite and 6 being my least favorite...

(4th) Assignment One - Elements with film stock (scratching, printing, mag transfers, rayograms, etc)
For this project, it was my forth favorite. I really liked this project as the opener to the semester because it really set the stage for the class. We got to paint, scratch and do magazine transfers in class and learn new techniques using film stock. I had never done anything like this before and found it to be a lot of fun and stress relieving. It just took a while to get all of the footage spliced together and on a reel which I didn't like. I did try the film manipulation by printing on it and I thought this was awesome. If I had more time/ money/ ink, I would have loved to do more of this.

(2nd) Assignment Two - Rhythmic Editing
This was my second favorite assignment. Although it took me almost twelve hours to edit because I wasn't that familiar with Final Cut at the time and didn't know what I was doing, I learned so much doing this project. I learned how to be efficient in Final Cut as well as how to edit rhythmically. I really liked this style of editing and once I got going everything worked out great. I had great feedback from the class and I was really excited about this project. I would like to try this with one theme and see everyones take on it... it would be really interesting.

(5th) Assignment Three - 2D Animation with Super 8
This was my second to least favorite assignment. I like using the Super 8 but after the first hour of doing this we had ran out ideas and our footage just became retarded. Plus, Ross and I got stuck doing the sound scape for this project when we wanted to edit the Bolex footage. Luckily, Ross had a bunch of sounds on his hard drive so we just used them to create the sounds and the edit was pretty easy. We also had extra footage so we could cut some of the stupider stuff that we didn't want and it all worked out. Next time I would like to have planned this out more ahead of time so it didn't look so dumb.

(3rd) Assignment Four - Bolex Shoot
This would have been ranked higher if I would have gotten to edit this. Rob and Dan did a good job editing this, I'm not knocking them, I just wanted to edit this. We had some great footage with Fiberboard 72 and with Joselyn and my acting skills this was golden. Even though it was a rainy day, I truly had a shit ton of fun working on everyone's projects and I think ours turned out the best.

(1st) Assignment Five - 48 Hour Video Race
This was a tough decision to say it was my favorite. The reason I took this class was because of this project. But with certain circumstances like my computer crashing, having to work and go to school on top of doing this I was rushed. I didn't think I would have had time to do it all but even though I was late (luckily we didn't start on time) I got it done. And the outcome was great. I had a lot of fun doing this assignment and racing around like a mad man trying to get my footage. The only downer was how Joselyn stole my score.... cheatas.

(6th) Assignment Six - Found Footage/ Culture Jamming
This was probably my my least favorite assignment. I guess probably because I had to do pretty much the same thing in FST331, only this one had to be shorter. I probably could have gotten different footage for both assignments but it was much easier for me with everything going on to use the same footage and just do two different edits for each class. I found that audio levels on clips from suck though and it through off some of my clips and they were almost unable to hear. If I had more time I feel I would have been more devoted to this project, but I kind of just did what I could in the time I had and tried my best. Just glad to get it done.

Well... this is the end of the semester and the end of my blogs. I'd say its been fun, but it actually has just been a lot of writing... the fun times were in the class room. Anyway, this was a great experience and I am glad I got the opportunty to take sixbyone before I graduate. Good luck future sixbyoners... you have no idea what you just got yourself into.


6x1 Part Dos

If there was a sixbyonetwo, I would like to try using methods we did for the first six assignments and intergrade them all together. For example, have an assignment where we shoot with the Bolex and also have to use rayogram footage. I think this could be really interesting. Or having scratched film mixed with some 2D Animation Super 8 footage? Sounds good to me. I think we should have another 48 hour video race as well. This time have a few props, like one being something physical and another being something like a location. Just imagine a whole class trying to get to the same location within 48 hours and get footage? That would be awesome/ crazy. Or even if you have new assignments for this class, at the very end of the semester have them all be put together as one film five minute film. They can be spliced together or edited however; it just has to contain all aspects of the class up until that point. That way, when the semester is nearing a close people don't have to worry about trying to finish a project but instead just have to piece all of their work they have done throughout the semester together.

I also think that we should do some more of the stuff we did at the beginning of the semester like painting, magazine transfers and scratching. I think there are so many other possibilities here with film stock and we should futher explore it. Also with rhythmic editing, we could have to do it in half the time of the first or have a prop or theme. I don't know, I just really enjoyed this semester and everything we did so I wouldn't mind trying to do these assignments again with new material or modifying the assignments to make them new and exciting.

I would also like to try to shoot on the Super 8 outside in the dark once again. When we tried it this semester the footage didn't turn out and it sucked because Ross and I did leap frog among other cool shit that we never got to see. I put all of my time and effort in that and i got no payoff. I did get payoff in the Bolex project though as Joselyn got to beat me up and I got to chase after her and fall in puddles. What a fun day in the rain. Anyways, I am rambling now, but I definitely think that sixbyonetwo should be offered in the future and it should be like a "REMIX" type class where it is very similar assignments with a twist. Sounds like a good drink to me. Cheers.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

48-Hour Video Race Experience

Our fifth assignment of the semester was the 48-hour video race. It began at 4pm Monday, March 30th and ended Wednesday night, April 1st, at the Cheese Sandwich Film Festival. We had a mystery prop which was "My God, It's Full of Stars," the line from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. We also had to have a cheese sandwich somewhere in our one minute film. With all of that, we also could not use any type of recording video camera or film. It had to be photo stills, animation, drawing, scratching, etc... anything that didn't record pretty much.

Coming into this project I was really excited because this project is what I saw last semester and it made me want to take this class. I also already had ideas of what I was going to do or at least how I was going to film it... which was with digital camera stills. And I was going to put them all in a "cartoon" effect to make it look unique. Well, before the project even began my computer crashed. Saturday night. I took it in Monday, when the race began, and didn't get it back until Wednesday afternoon. Once we got the prop I decided I would focus on three different parts that would relatively be around 20 seconds each of the one minute film. The parts where: glow-in-the-dark stars, people and signs with the stars to show how everyday people are "stars," and then drawings I did (similar to the 2-D Animation) that had the actual line ("my god its full of stars) in it. I latter was the easiest. The second part was hard because I had to randomly ask a bunch of people to put on this star and let me take a picture of them... it was fun though. And also when I put random stars on things like peoples cars and then ran after hoping no one saw me.... it made for a fun Tuesday afternoon. The first part, the glow-in-the-dark stars sucked though because without a flash and in the dark the stars didn't show up on camera. So I had to get creative and spin some glow sticks around to get some crazy pictures, but I think it still worked out.

So after I got all my footage, I couldn't do anything until I got my computer back Wednesday. I had to put the pics on the computer and edit them to the "Cartoon" look. Then I had to rush to the edit lab and edit it all together. By about 8:30pm I was adding my audio track and next was going to print to video when the computer froze. Apparently everytime I hit "save" it stopped working after about half way through so I had to restart at 8:30 (an hour remaining) at the half way point. I rushed to get done and finished at 10:15. I thought for sure I was going to be late and it would be over. Even though it took me four different computers and two different tape decks, I got it done and got there at 10:30 to find out we hadn't started and didn't start till about 11:15. I was just glad I got everything done in the midest of the choas that was going on that week and I think the final product was great. Except for Joselyn stealing my audio track for her one minute film too... ha. Anyways, it definitely was a great experience to do this! One of the funnest things I have had to do for a class.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Freestyle: A Whole Semester in the Dark

So.. we have a blog where we have to do freestyle, so I figured I'd talk about something that I find amusing relating to a certain class and/or certain professor. In this class, a class that I was relatively excited about taking when I was at the senior level, has been a complete let down. Now I'll be honest, I have learned some things in the class. We have done a few assignments here and there and did a few workshops that I found could be helpful in the future. But our final (and only) scene to film (from here on out I will refer to it as a "project" so I don't get too heavy into details), given certain days and times to film during class time, isn't encouraged to be done as good as possible, but rather "dogma" style. It's more about "process" than "product". Understandable, but I think it is a little bit of both, not one or the other. I asked to be able to do my "project" at a different time and have more people/equipment to make it look as good as possible. I am getting ready to graduate in the Fall and I would like to have something to show. I have been in FST 302: Doc and FST 495: Doc, so this is a chance where I get to work with a narrative (other than other student films I have helped out on).

I just am bothered that when I was denied of not being able to do it on my own and it's not about the product, the reason why is because it is "not fair to others". "We don't have enough equipment," was another one... I think if a student should want to go above and beyond to try their best it should be encouraged, not denied. If I have the means of doing it the best I can, I should. It is fair game to any student in that class and you would hope they all want to do their best, and if not they are not going to care enough to get upset if someone who wants to do it well does. That is why in a class you have people that get A's and others F's. Not everyone is going to try as hard as someone else and I don't think that means what is "fair" or not. Everyone has a chance to do this, but we are restricted. I even asked if I could do it during my given time and then again, that way the professor could help with the process and then I could later finish whatever we needed and make it decent. This was still iffy, but I think I am going to do it anyway. I am here, paying for my education and have access to this equipment and other tools that in a few months I will no longer be able to use. I think I should have the right to do it as best as I can because it will help out in the end. I mean, what is the worst that will happen? Will I get a bad grade because I did something better than what was asked? Or at least tried to do something on my own so I could get experience? I am not really sure, but this next week is going to be interesting, that's for sure.


Pablo Aravz: The World's Molotov Man

After reading both articles ("The Ecstacy of Influence and "The Molotov Man"), I have decided to focus on Pablo Aravz and the "Molotov Man" for my blog. Although I thought both articles were interesting, the "Molotov Man" made me think more and I think I took more out of it. The original picture, taken in 1979 by Susan Meiselas, was a depiction of a Sandinista throwing a molotov cocktail at a Somoza as they were leaving. The Somoza's were in control up until this point and on the day the photo was taken they were leaving power and the town in Nicaragua. Susan's original picture features Pablo holding the molotov in one hand and a assult riffle around his other arm. There are other people in the background. Pablo, then known as "Bareta," was doing what he was supposed to do for the Sandinistas. It wasn't a picture about a riot, but one of difiance. The Somoza's were already leaving so there was no fight or need to rebel.

When Joy Garnett got ahold of this picture she focused only on Pablo and only used part of his body for her painting. She focused on Pablo with just the molotov in hand. She used a picture that was for documentary purposes and decontextualized it for her own use. She did this because she was working on a Riot series that included many other pictures of people doing crazy things. She even said at one point one of the pictures she used was of a bunch of fraternity men jumping over fires. That picture didn't represent a "riot," probably just kids who drank too much and trying to have a good time. Susan's picture, once again, was not about a riot, but Joy took what she needed from the photo to make it "work" for her project she was working on. She used a variety of pictures, all of which I am sure she didn't get permission to use, but when she took them in her own way and modified them, decontextualized them, it became something completely different. Something new, and it was her creation. Just because she got the idea from Susan's photo doesn't mean she copied it or stole it.

Taking photos to use that were created for documenting and making them your own work shouldn't be an issue. It makes me laugh, actually, about this whole thing. I just watched a 15 documentary short called, "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" (made in 1986) and I bet that neither guys filming had to get permits to do this. They just brought their camera to the parking lot (and even inside to film the concert) and got away with it. Nowadays with all of the technology and scandals it seems like you have to go through a huge process for something that really shouldn't be that big of a deal. We are all people on this earth and we live in the land of the free so why is this an issue? It wasn't 20 years ago. With permission, copyrights, etc... its all blown out of proportion. I understand if someone makes a film that they want the rights to it or even write their own script it is theirs. Or if someone creates something and copyrights the idea, that is theres. But when it is something that is out in the open and free to one's own eyes, it shouldn't be an issue. Regulations are still unclear for most of this stuff and that is why Susan didn't sue Joy and probably would have lost the case even if she did. My favorite part of this article was when the author talked about "Well who owns the right to Pablo" and that is what it boils down to. If anyone should have claim over the picture, it should be him since he is the subject. Not the person taking it or modifying it.

Anyways, I liked how Joy's friends on the forum took the picture and spread it all over the internet and other ads, like promoting pepsi, because it helped show Susan, and I am sure other people as well, that it really isn't that big of a deal. No one should spend the money in court fees or anything else. If anything, Joy should credit Susan for the original photo, which she did, and call it a day. That's my opinion and I am stickin' to it.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My empty space... my rough theatre. x3.

First off, my computer sucks and I think I got a virus over the weekend so I am trying my best to do this without losing my patience. This now is my third attempt at doing this blog… Sorry if it is not as long as the others or what not… but I just am trying to finish it and get it posted at this point. Technology: love to hate it and hate to love it.

Onto the rough theatre. The article talks about the difference between the rough and the popular theatre. The rough theatre to me is like the basics of film making. It is a lot like 6x1 and the projects we do in the class. We scratch film, manipulate it, process it, and so on and so forth using the old methods to create a film. Films that would be considered experimental to most, but still a film. It is rough, much like the theatre described in the article. It is small, made up of tools and resources that are easily accessible. It is a place that doesn’t have the most eloquent seating and the stage is probably a small dirt area in front of the audience. Then there is the popular theatre. It is the more technical side of the film business and more popular. More people are familiar with it and it is what has the most success. The popular theatre has a huge stage, side balconies, and a huge area for seating for a vast audience.

My favorite part of the article is when it talks about the rough theatre, “If we find that dung is a good fertilizer, it is no use being squeamish; if the theatre seems to need a certain crude element, this must be accepted as part of its natural soil. At the beginning of electronic music, some German studios claimed that they could make every sound that a natural instrument could make – only better. They then discovered that all their sounds were marked by a certain uniform sterility.” I thought this was a perfect breakdown of the rough theatre as it talks about the dung being one of the tools that helped create this area and it worked. The dung, although it smells horrible, helped hold the sound from the instrument better than any other resource they could use. They took what they had and made it work. That is how I feel 6x1 is. We have six different projects and each one we use different resources provided, including our brains, to get creative and create our own version of the rough theatre. I am glad I got the chance to take this class and create my own rough theatre over and over, because before taking this class I probably would stay away from projects like this but now, it has opened up my eyes and I love it. I love my empty space.