Thursday, November 12, 2009

48-hour video race

48-hour video race? No no, it was more like 5-hour video race, because I had a lot of other projects due on that week.
I wanted to do something related to my life here in Wilmington and put some effort on it to make it a little dramatic. I live in International House, a place where 75% of the students are internationals (25% americans) and, the fact that everyone is from a different part of the world makes it really interesting and peculiar, we literally do everything together and the culture shock sometimes is really amazing, it's a hell of experience and what there's no price for what I've learned so far. It's a pretty strong subject that I had in my hands and I felt I had to explore it. So as I was expecting, I did used my laptop's webcam.
I went out of my room asking my friends to pretend they're talking to their parents on skype for one minute in my laptop, and that I'd be recording them for this project. I got Irene speaking Spanish, I got myself and Rodrigo speaking Portuguese, Bianca speaking Sinhala (language they speak in Sri-Lanka, don't worry, I didn't know too), Jane speaking Danish, Milla speaking Finnish, William and Fred speaking French and Kamil and Tanya speaking Polish. It was awesome! I had so much fun when I was recording it, cause it really looked like a kind of commercial or something, a cheering advertise, encouraging people to learn different languages. Now you might be asking, what about the BABY JAAAR?! Chill out, right when I started to record my friends I asked them to insert the baby jar at some point, so that made it funny, because we don't know what they are saying about the jar, we just have to guess.
Was a great experience, I love it and I think this class is turning out my favorite one, all my friends were jealous that I had such a great project to work on, while they had test and essays to write about.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The YES

It was quite interesting to see how those important and high educated people didn't react when the guys were showing those insane things, it seems that people stop arguing what is right or wrong, what is fair or not, that's why I strongly disagree when people say that when we are in a university it is time to experiment, to manifest, to ask and to argue; I think we should do that ALWAYS, not only while we're studying, so what's the point? People seem to ignore the world's problems exactly when it's time to worry about them, 'cause right now there's a huge global issue regarding global warming, for example. Coming from a third-world country I can tell that down there we do worry about what's going wrong with the world and especially with some of our poor neighbors, and it is never late to try to solve them. Maybe I'm going off topic, but I'll give one good example of it that I just figured it would be interesting to share: There's this brazilian website called "click arvore" which translates to "click tree" where you can plant one tree per day for free, and you can also track where is your tree being planted (usually in amazon and rainforest areas), in the website, if you pay, you can plant more than 1 tree per day, and they give prizes for who plants more trees and those kinda stuff to encourage people to do that. It's interesting, inovating and it is so far working.
Comedy is a good approach when we talk about these issues, I liked the way the students reacted to that non-sense ideas they had, that was exactly how everybody should react and don't hesitate to speak. But we have to keep in mind that, besides the comedy part, there's this polemic and important subject which should not be ignored.
I think I will forever wonder why those high educated people didn't say anything, I don't see the point of not speaking up, were they afraid of their jobs? afraid of how they would look like in front of others? It's going to bug me forever.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ideas for the 48-hour race film

Well, after the class which we were told that we could use for the 48-hour race film, I was really excited to do something using the webcam, but the fact of not knowing what the mistery prop is makes me a bit nervous and insecure, but excited at the same time!
I got my friends at the International House, some Americans, and told them: "Come on, I wanna create a music video using the webcam, right NOW!" I don't know, just to have fun editing, and I feel like posting here since the idea came from using the webcam for this next assignment.
This is just an experiment, it has nothing to do with the 48-hour race film


video

And this is another version of the same music with the same videos, but edited differently.

video

I am very into 3D this year so I might use some three dimensional software to create some basic animation, or I don't know, maybe using some old cell phone video recording and creating a new sound for it, applying the mistery prop (if that's possible)

Saturday shot

This assignment turned out to be my favorite so far, it started the day we went for a walk to plan what we would film, Jack had the ideas of using the arches for something, then Alex had the brilliant idea of using it for showing the "Stages of Life" of a character, one thing lead to another and we ended up with a great and ambicious long take plan! It could be more ambicious, to be honest, we had the idea of using some furniture to make the scenario more visually interesting but that would take too much effort and we had already to worry about all the props we were planning to use.

We made a drawing of 7 stages and we were discussing what should happen on each one. I was willing to act on this one, so I was going to be the main character. On the first stage I'd be a kid playing with his soccer ball, on the second one I'd go to college and meet a girl, on the third I'd graduate and receive my diploma, on the fourth I'd marry that girl from the college at the second stage, on the fifth I'd go to work and say bye to my wife and child, on the six I'd be old and say bye to my son who was going to work, on the seventh we were still planning what to do, but would be something to do with my death or the death of my wife.
On Saturday we decided to eliminate the seventh stage due to the lack of time we had, one minute for seven stages was too much, actually it turned out that we barely had time to do SIX stages, so it was challenging to manage the time for it.

We used some cool props, like rice (to throw at the wedding), backpack (for the college), a diploma made with regular book paper, some cans (also for the wedding), the soccer ball, a twig...
Everything helped to tell the story we wanted, our collegues also helped us to film and to arrange the set. We practiced a few times to check if we could do it in time and at the end we (especially I) knew that we have to hurry but it was possible to do it within one minute, and we succeeded!

About the other projects, I liked so much to work on this one where I had to interpret a telletubies running out of a magic tent, the only thing not so good was to be inside that "telletubie-clothing-thing" (I'm sorry, I don't know the name of it, but anyway, THAT hot thing) while it was around 32°C outside, I know you guys don't use Celcius, anyway, it was HOT hahaha). It was a great experience, the group had a nice and funny idea for the long take shot and I think it worked well.

Everything went fine that day, I like it and I can't wait to see the whole thing (I had to leave at 4 sharp to attend to a meeting, so I couldn't see it)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2nd response on the scratch film junkies

After seeing what everyone else did on their filmstrips I realized how far I could go if I put more effort on it, and I guess this is a general statement: patience is the key for good results in the scratch film world.
I appreciated every single frame of everyone else's project, some tried to manipulate the timing (which can be very hard), some tried to make a marvelous art not using so many frames, which is perfect, except the fact that if we blink our eyes we take the risk to miss it.
We learn from our errors, don't we? I'm glad I was not the only one who drew some things upside down; I wasn't considering the correct side of the filmstrip. Well, these kind of stuff happens.

I was mostly impressed by the collage technique. It is A-MAZING. I could take a whole day off to cut magazines in order to build an interesting story in my filmstrip. Words, faces, objects, advertisings, drawings... the things we can take from a magazine are endless.
I like every technique we used in general, I would take the darkroom more serious the next time, it's an awesome resource and we can surely make interestings shapes on our filmstrip using ordinary kitchen products or anything. I was amazed in particular for one filmstrip with a little chain in a shape of a snake I guess, I think it was a bracelet, anyway, it turned out amazing!
Everyone really got into the four elements, at least some of them. We could see some waves, fire burning, some water drops.; That was excellent!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sound, half of the experience.

George Lucas once said: "I feel that sound is half the experience. Filmmakers should focus on making sure the soundtracks are really the best they can possibly be because in terms of an investment, sound is where you get the most bang for your buck"
Sound is definitely half of the experience, it is so important that can completely change the meaning of what we're seeing in the screen.
According to the text, sound in cinema is primarily vococentric, it always privileges the voice, because who's watching the film is mostly concerned to understand the words, to familiarize with the context, to absorb the meaning of what the actors are saying, and after he's completely comfortable with it, then he starts to pay attention to the background and the sounds surrounding it. The ear analyzes, processes and synthesizes faster than the eye, that is the reason the sound is deeply explored in film, like in an horror movie when you feel completely tense not because of what is showing in the screen, but for the soundtrack is playing; also because in an horror movie usually the action scenes contains fast cuts and camera movements, which also takes more time for your eye to acknowledge everything that is happening. The eyes perceives more slowly because it has more to do all at once.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cameraless Filmmaking

Is it possible to make a film without a camera? Hell yeah.
I never thought that one day I would be in a class with a 16mm filmstrip, scratching, painting, using inks, cutting magazines and newspapers in order to make a movie, actually I feel really dumb 'cause I never heard of this technique before.
This project helped me a lot in terms of managing the time within the frames, it's amazing how we can achieve incredible results by only messing around with some art stuff, we can create a good rhythm within our film just by acquiring a good sense of how to work with the frames in order to have a smooth result. What is most exciting about all of this is that the subject of the film is our creativity, so it can goes as far as our mind goes (also as weird as our mind can be), so if I wanted a big cloud in the sky burning into fire for 2 seconds, I will have it.
The technique of attaching pieces of magazine and newspaper to the tape is awesome! I felt like editing a film with my own hands, like how they used to do in the past, but with the visual material of my choice.

In the Dark Room I think we needed a second chance, to be honest. After I looked the result of my first film, new ideas just pop into my mind, some things we definitely need to look the "after" to improve the "before". Even not having a second chance I got a good idea of how we can explore this technique to its maximum potential.