Post Production Document:

I chose to do the narrative film for my final project. I am a film major and I thought it would be good practice to create a very short film with a plot and different camera shots/angles. My short film is entitled Obsessed because it documents a man’s journey after he see the girl he is obsessed with, with another man. A lot of the plot is left up to interpretation. You could view the girl as an ex-girlfriend or just as a random girl he is obsessed with. All of the images of the girl and the girl and boy together are flashbacks that the main character is remembering. The ending is also up to interpretation. The way I created it, the main character is supposed to have some mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. He is also supposed to be on drugs for part (or all) of the film. He falls at the end because he took too many drugs. It is up to interpretation whether or not he dies at the end. The way I mean to create it is that he does not die. The scene at the end where he falls is a flashback just like the other clips throughout the film. When we see him staring at the camera at the end, he just finished remembering when he went to the door to find the other man. We could say that he is becoming more demented and thinking of new ways to bring down the other man.

I tried to make the pacing of the movie go well with the music through editing. All of the flashbacks are very quick clips, and I even edited some to speed them up or reverse them. I did this to try to reveal the main character’s mental process and to reveal his craziness. My main visual approach was basically to show the main character’s mental breakdown.

I filmed the video over three days. The first day I filmed my main character. That took the most time because I had to do a lot of takes. I took a bunch of different shots (many didn’t make it into the final cut) in order to experiment with the best ways to make him look crazy. He’s supposed to get more and more crazed as the film progresses, so I had to make him act angrier with each scene we shot.

I wanted to be able to follow the main character while he walked, but I wanted the camera work to look professional and smooth. So, I borrowed one of the move-in/out carts from my dorm building and set up the tripod on that so I could wheel the camera around. However, I faced problems because we filmed the opening scene on a sidewalk, and there are a lot of bumps and cracks in the sidewalk so I had to move slowly.

I also had problems making my two supporting actors look natural throughout the filming because they have never acted before. So, in order to make the leading lady appear natural when she laughed, I had a friend talk to her and make jokes during the filming to get a natural, relaxed laugh. Also, during the scenes of the girl and the other man, they kept giggling because they are best friends and they had to play a romantically involved couple. So, I had them engage in conversation as they normally would and pretend as if the camera was not there. These strategies were easy to use because the film is silent (except for the music) so we can’t hear the behind scenes talking.

Overall I am very pleased with how my film turned out and I had a lot of fun filming it. Making this movie was always my fun study break during finals!

 

Diversity Project

Posted: April 17, 2012 in Diversity Project

For my diversity project I worked in a group of three with Jackie and Carolyn and I shadowed Jackie. Jackie’s favorite food is a Vietnamese specialty called Pho. I’m not the kind of person to try new foods, especially ethnic ones, so I was nervous to step out of my comfort zone and try it. Jackie took me to a restaurant called Pho Viet in Colombia Heights which is an area of DC that she really likes to hang out in.

After we all ordered our Pho, this was the first part that came out. Jackie showed me that these were to be put into the soup (the Pho). 

As we all grabbed in and started eating, I was nervous yet eager to try the Pho. It is definitely an interesting looking food far from what I’m used to.

I nervously took my first bite of Pho and was very pleasantly surprised.

My Pho was absolutely delicious and I was happy to find a new food I like. The best part was, they make it with tofu for vegetarians like me.

As we left the restaurant I was happy and content with my meal. I had a great experience with the diversity project. I got to try something new that I never would have tried otherwise. I now love Pho and can’t wait to go back with my friends for more!

For my and Gracie’s painting to life film we chose the below painting by Liechtenstein because we though the speech bubble would provide us with a good base for a background story.

We decided that we wanted the girl to be crying because she had a bad date with a guy she really liked. Originally the movie was just going to be about “how it should have began.” Then, we got the idea of the split screen from the movie 500 Days of Summer and decided to compare “how it began” and “how it should have began.” For our actors we picked a real-life couple because we thought that they would be best at depicting the fantasy scenes. While writing the story I was listening to the song Speed Trials by Elliott Smith and I thought it would be a great soundtrack for the movie because of it’s somber tone. The first line in the song is “it’s nice to meet you.” This fit perfectly with the plot because it is a first date, so we ended up titling our film It’s Nice to Meet You. Overall we had a lot of fun making this short film and we’re really happy with how it turned out.

It’s Nice to Meet You:

Shot list:

Moving shots:
1. Pan across couch in first shot as she walks to her bed (0:13)
2. Dolly in through the Tavern doors (0:40)
3. Truck sideways as they walk to table/truck around in a circle around table (1:40)
Framing Shots:
1. Extreme close up: holding hands (1:25)
2. Close up: Girl’s face on her bed
3. Medium close up: individual shots of them sitting at the table (1:00-1:15)
4. Medium shot: sitting at the table, facing each other (0:52)
5. Wide shot: walking down stairs outside, saying goodbye (2:04)

Visual Review- Gallery Visit

Posted: April 12, 2012 in Visual Reviews

Last week I visited the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. My favorite exhibit there was Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color and Space. The coolest part about this exhibit was that it’s artwork that you can literally experience. First you waked through neon color-lit white rooms, then you could walk through an area with blue plastic like strings suspended from the ceiling.

The colored rooms exemplify the use of color, negative space and light. The colors used were mainly primary colors which are simple, yet visually appealing. Negative space was used because the rooms were completely empty except for the museum’s visitors. This made the space seem like a vast, wide open space. The use of white also creates a pure or even blank mood to the rooms. The bright colors against the white walls make a great compliment and help emphasize the colors. The lights used were extremely bright and neon. When you walked in you almost felt blinded, and when you walked out you might have seen colors spots. These brights lights illuminated much of the white walls, shinning color throughout all of the rooms.

The other big part of the exhibit was the room with the suspended blue strings. This piece was made to show movement. The artists wanted people to walk through the blue strings. As the people walked about the strings, they would create the strings to move. Because the strings were blue and they moved so freely, they had a wave-like quality to them. Not only does the artist use movement, but he also uses color. This room is also completely stark white, which made the blue strings really pop. My favorite part of this art was that the viewer was encouraged to participate in the making of the art.

One of the rooms had only pillows on the ground and a video instillation projected on the wall. This low-lit room was also meant to encourage audience participation. The artists wanted people to come in the room, lounge about, watch the video, and engage in conversation. The normal activities that the people decided to take were meant to be the art. Space was also used in this art. The only objects were on the ground, leaving a negative space up above. Also, the walls were start white with the exception of the projection. This negative space creates a tranquil feel to the room. Adding to this tranquility is the low lighting and relaxing music.

Overall I was really impressed by this exhibit. I’ve never seen art that encourages the viewers’ participation. It was innovative and creative and made me consider art in ways I never had before.

 

Visual Review- Website

Posted: April 6, 2012 in Visual Reviews

For the visual review of a website I chose to analyze the band Bright Eyes‘ website. The website is both visually appealing and easy to use. The background of the website is a vibrant red fire-like graphic that matches the cover of their newest album, The People’s Key. Although this background is monochromatic which is visually appealing and also is helpful because it does not distract from the text too much. There are also subtle textures in some of the “flames” which create cool layers of design.

On top of this background at the very top are bold white letters that say the band’s name in all caps. This simple and large white font contrasts well against the busy background and puts emphasis on the band’s name, which is the most important part of the website. Under the name are thinks to different pages all in the same font type, just smaller. Using the same font helps to create a uniform look and makes use of repetition. Then, under these links is the main text of the website. All of this text is against a white background that looks like a picture frame that someone sketched. This white background makes the text stand out against the busy background. All of the font is in black, making use of contrasting color. So, the only color on the page comes from the fire background. This use of just one color source helps to make the website clear and uncluttered.

As far as the layout and ease of the website, it is very well designed. The six main pages have large links at the top of the page under the band name, making them easy to find. Then in the frame part I discussed earlier, there are recents updates about the band and Conor Oberst (the lead singer who does his own stuff). The stories are listed vertically down the website. They have large bolded titles with the stories underneath of them. If you click on the titles they bring you to a separate page with that story.

On the upper right third of the frame there is a place to sign up for email updates with a very large title that is bigger than any other link, which draws the reader’s attention to it. On this side of the page they also promote their newest album, Conor Oberst’s next tour, and they social network sites.

Overall this website is very visually appealing and well thought out. It is very easy to use and all of the information you would need about the band is easy to find.

http://www.conoroberst.com/

I chose to review the title sequence for the movie Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this movie, and I never really thought about the art of this title sequence. However, this came up online as an example of a great title sequence, and I have to agree with that opinion. The sequence basically sums up the plot of the movie through cut-out paper animation. The animation style really fits the movie because it looks like something you might see in a children’s book, and the plot centers around three young orphans. However, the title sequence is very dark and eerie, which accurately reflects the mood of the film.

The sequence starts with a black screen with an eye in the middle, making use of negative space. This eye staring right at us is also very creepy, representing the all seeing eye of the antagonist, Count Olaf. Then an entire face comes into view, which is cut out, revealing an ocean. These cut-outs create a cool 3D effect. Like all of the images int the title sequence, the ocean plays an important part in the plot.

The sequence continues to zoom in through the face towards the boat, which has small images of the three orphans on it. Each wave is a cut-out a pops up revealing credits. The zooming and motion of the waves makes the viewer feel like they are there among the choppy waves.

We then get an image of the face (Count Olaf) as it raises out of the water with a hand lifting the boat with the children on it. As they come out of the water, the images are once again against a black background, making use of negative space. The figure is very dark and abstract, with only his eye sticking out; the eye is pivotal to the plot of the movie.

A lot of intricate designs are used in images throughout the sequence. For example, the waves have light colored flower designs in them. As the boat takes off into a hot air balloon, circular cutouts come flying out of the center, spinnin in circles, each with intricate flower and swirl designs. The designs help to make the visuals more aesthetically pleasing. These designs are also seen in the buildings later in the sequence.

I really like the transitions used from to go from scene to scene. In each case, one object from a scene transforms into an object in the next scene. For example, one of the spinning objects becomes the moon in the background of the scene with the orphans bicycling.

The scene with the graveyard uses a similar affect as the waves shown previously. The different layouts of cutout graves and hills creates a 3D affect that looks like a pop up book that children read.

The themes of cutouts, designs, and repetition continue throughout the entire titles sequence. Overall, I think this is titles sequence does a great job of capturing the viewers attention, using design techniques, and incorporating the plot of the movie.

Title sequence can be found here: http://www.artofthetitle.com/2007/12/21/lemony-snicket/

Self Portraits

Posted: March 29, 2012 in Self Portrait Assignment

For my first self portrait I chose a photo of myself in New York. I liked the bright colors that are in my purse, dress, the building, and the tree. In order to emphasize these colors I increased the saturation to the “increase saturation more” preset. Then, I played around with the lens flare effect and put a 35mm camera lens flare in the building window at the top left. My third effect was to use the texturizer option. I chose the canvas texture because I thought it gave the photo a cool effect of making it look more like a painting than a photograph.

For my second self portrait, I used a photo of me and my cousin’s dog Lilly. I really like the way this photo was taken, so I wanted to make the effects subtle to enhance the photo instead of altering it too much. First I used the curves adjustment to lighten the photo. Next, I reduced the noise to make my features softer. For my sixth effect I changed the adjustments to black and white.

For my third self portrait I decided to have fun and go abstract. I first took the photo of my hand and increased the exposure to make the image (which was originally somewhat gray) brighter. Then, I used the replace color adjustment to make my hand purple and the background green.