Monday, May 1, 2017

My favorite assignments and why

These are my favorite assignments ranked 1-6.

  1. Rhythmic Edit - This project prompt gave me a good mental idea of what my project was going to look like. This also allowed me to be humorous and absurd. I also had a lot of fun making this.
  2. Stop-Motion - I initially thought the project was going to be tedious and mundane, but I had a really great time making this project! I am not a good drawer, so my favorite mode of animation was the magazine cutout method. I can see myself making more films like this in the future. I also loved doing the sound design for this film. I can see myself designing sound for animators in the future. 
  3. 360 - Viewing this with the headset made it all worth it. I'd love to shoot a music video in 3D in the future. Like a virtual "concert" of sorts.
  4. Video Letter - I didn't necessarily like my own film in this category, but for the rest of the class, this produced some of their best work!
  5. Crowdsourcing - The final project was very cool, but I did not enjoy drawing all of my own frames. Like I said earlier, I am not a gifted drawer.
  6. Manipulation - This was a great intro to the class, but at the end of the day, it is the least fascinating project to me.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My 360 Film Experience

Filming with the 360 camera was a very fun change of pace for me. Since being a director during my college years, I have tended to stress aesthetic and stylistic qualities more than performance and choreography. Since we were filming with the 360 camera, I did not have as many aesthetic choices to make. Since everything is always in view from the camera, I got to focus on choreography and acting. It was a fresh change of pace for me. Looking back, I definitely could have done better, but it was still very fun!

Looking ahead, If I were ever to film something else with a 360 camera, I would make a music video. I believe that is the easiest medium to translate a 360 film to. I can see it now, a band performing on one side, a crowd dancing on the other, and before you know it, the band starts interacting with the crowd in numerous ways.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My Rough Theatre

My rough theatre is my youtube channel from high school. It has since been deleted, but during its time, "MattMacProductions" was a good example of pleasing the crowd while using very cheap, crude, and imperfect equipment and techniques.

We would often make spoofs of MTV reality shows. For sets, we would just use locations that were available to us. When shooting, we would not even try to make the sets convincing to the viewer. Instead, we just played pretend. My favorite example of this was when spoofing the MTV show Next, the bus was just my living room. It looked nothing like a bus, but we as actors said it was the bus, and acted as if it was the bus.

When editing, we also didnt care about continuity, 30 degree rules, or anything like like. Instead, we just cut when we needed to, or when the take ended. Our only "calculated" cuts were for a kind of comedic effect.

YouTube was my "rough theatre". It was low class, it was crude, it wasn't flashy, but it resonated with people and entertained them. Because I was able to be imaginative as a filmmaker, my audience seemed to be willing to imagine along with me.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Film Manipulation Experience

The most interesting part of manipulating my film was not knowing exactly what it was going to look like when it was finished. As someone who has grown up in the digital age, I am used to getting a clear visual of my product as I am editing it. Every time I change a setting, there are instant consequences. When editing digitally, I also have the option of hitting the 'undo' button and reversing my previous edit.

When Smiles and I split up our responsibilities, we decided that I would do fire and wind, and he would do earth and water. As I represented fire, I used the stock footage from the medical film. To portray fire, I used orange, yellow, and black sharpie and paint. After covering each frame with color, I scratched in flames using an ex-acto knife. My goal was to make the film look like flames were consuming the stock footage.

When portraying film, I used the clear leader in combination with ink, oil, and glitter. After spreading pink, green, and blue inks across the film, I sprayed it with canned air to give it a "windy" look. I also hoped the spring colors would remind the viewer of breezy days.

Overall, my experience with direct film manipulation was a fun one. It was liberating to not have to be a perfectionist or worried about how something would look. Instead, I could just try things out and see what happens.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Response to R2 Readings

What is Crowdsourcing?

This article was a very good summary of crowdsourcing. It accurately described the various processes and benefits of crowdsourcing whether it be for artistic or economic purposes. However, I disagree with the claim that "by canvassing a large crowd of people for ideas, skills, or participation, the quality of content and idea generation will be superior." This guarantee of superior quality has no actual footing in reality. Just because I let anyone and everyone send me stuff does not mean that it will have a superior quality to hiring 1 person or a small group. In the end, crowdsourcing is still a genius idea, but the results aren't guaranteed to be superior versus other methods.

The Birth of Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales did a really swell job of explaining how the Chaotic Model of Wikipedia does not result in a chaotic product. While still not guaranteed, this is a good example of high-quality crowd sourcing. The methods of quality control and monitoring history were very impressive. I also respect the no-nonsense non-bias policy. The $5000 monthly price to run this site was also surprisingly low. I believe the thing I am most impressed by is the dedication, passion, and cooperation of the community. 

As someone who has grown up in the false narrative of "Teachers hate wikipedia," It is good to hear how solid it really is for a change.

Visualizing Ourselves....with crowdsourced data

"The 21st Century will be defined by the interface," I say this is a pretty fair bet. The flight patterns display blew me away. Not only because of the detailed information it presented, but also how beautiful it looked aesthetically. Who knew statistics could look so beautiful? I was also impressed by the crowdsourced drawing of the 100 dollar bill. The Bicycle Built for 2000 was one of the most disturbing things I've ever heard. 

It was cool to see how Aaron Koblin simply tested the possibilities of crowdsourcing projects one step at a time. Each project got bigger and more ambitious, resulting in a wonderful Johnny Cash music video. It was a good decision to let the collaborators know what they are working on, so that their passion also played a role in the project. 

I also loved seeing the process of the drawings - in both the 100 dollar bill and the Johnny Cash music video. This lets the viewer get an even deeper look at the creative process of each individual collaborator. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Response to R1 Readings


I don't think I have this condition to the extent that the page describes, but I can definitely relate to the associations between senses. When I listen to music, I often think of it as blue, red, brown or green. This has little to do with the mood of the music, but different instruments literally sound certain colors to me. For example, a light, arpeggiated synthesizer, (like from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack) sounds blue, while a harsh electric guitar sounds red. However, I am aware that my color associations may have to do with something other than sound, alone. For example, Tron incorporates a lot of blue in its color scheme, so the instrumentation may just remind me of the colors of the film.

I can see how this condition may be a hinderance, but I can also see how this can be a blessing, especially for artists and other creative thinkers.

Cymatics TED Talk

The first thing that struck me about Cymatics was the long history behind the study of it. I find it so interesting how certain frequencies create specific shapes when the vibrations are applied to certain objects. Other than being something cool to look at, I really wonder what the great significance of cymatics is. Evan Grant answers this well as he says this is a reminder that sound indeed has form. Then, he goes a step further in suggesting that cymatics had a role to play in the formation of the entire universe. Wow!

Daniel Tammet TED Talk

This TED talk opens with a bang. I am instantly intrigued from Daniel Tammet's introduction of himself as a high functioning autistic savant. Tammet's talk is also intriguing as he argues that perception is the primary influence of our knowledge. Using himself as an example was cool to see, as he displayed his paintings of how he sees numbers. Personally, I found his painting of Pi to be exceptionally beautiful. His theory on the evolution of language relating to sound is also interesting, and an easy sell to me personally.

Overall Reaction

Overall, I have been introduced to some new ideas through these discussions. I was not formerly aware of these conditions. Now, I am interested in learning more, especially related to filmmaking.