Sunday, June 21, 2015

Media Fast

Internet or TV? Which would be the most difficult to abstain from I wondered. Well it turns out that it was neither of those as I only watch TV for sports and movies, and the internet is often more of a nuisance to me than anything else - the winner, radio. I have habitually turned on my radio nearly everyday for most of my life. Music has evolved into talk radio, mainly ESPN and NPR. So each day of my media fast was spent cruising down the road for a few minutes before I ever realized it was even on; I laughed and shut it off each time. I also noticed that everything unrelated to media in my life is also tied to the internet. Banking, papers, emails, recipes, editing etc. and found the temptation to surf the web, or check facebook wasn't as difficult as I assumed it would be.

Another interesting thing I noticed was what happened away from home. A media fast at home is relatively simple as there are so many other things I can do, but hanging with friends at a bar or at their houses was a challenge. My senses were noticeably bombarded by incessant noise from every direction, and from moving images and colors no matter where I looked. If I went to the bathroom at a bar the music was being pumped into that area as loudly as it was in the main area. Some restaurants even have TV's in the bathrooms or newspapers behind glass cabinets so you can read the news while taking care of business.

There is a couple that I hang out with who normally play little music, rarely look at their computer and never have their TV on; unless of course I turn it on to watch a game, so I hung out with them for most of a day.

My approach to the media fast was to do it over Memorial Day weekend because I knew I would spend most of my time on the beach or outside in some fashion. So mostly it was easy, but for the times I went to a bar or to a friends house, the amount of media that our senses are overloaded with was incredibly noticeable It was a good reminder to me that I need to relive the days when silence was easier to attain and I will have to seek out these moments more often.          

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ratings Projects 1-6

Project 1:

I didn't expect to manipulate film to the extent we did, and never expected it would hold up so well! This was an enlightening project and a great way to get creative ideas moving around.

Rating = Fun

Project 2:

The rhymethic edit was the one I expected not to like but really liked. I enjoy long takes, and longer walks on the beach, but really enjoyed the shorter takes. This project helped me explore different ideas as far as shooting for the edit and projects like music videos and quick cuts for a movie.

Rating = Really Fun

Project 3:

I never thought I would do a stop motion animation ever. I want to do more! This taught me a lot about the variations of soundscapes and editing. I learned a lot from my group.

Rating = Really Fun

Project 4:

3D was more technical than I'm used to and a little harder than I anticipated. It was a great exercise as far as creating shots that will work well in this style but technically was a little tougher than I expected. I did however learn how to edit in 3D.

Rating = Fun

Project 5:

Bolex Long Take was very, very cool. Learning to use this camera was a little tricky but the result of the image is original and textured. The shoot was a little challenging and I like that so this was definitely worth the time to shoot it.

Rating = Super Fun

Project 6:

Freestyle assignments are always tough because of the numerous options available to us. I was at first confused by the instructions but after clarification I went all in. I used crowdsourcing and found it to be a success.

Rating = Fun

R2 Response

Sound, I believe is the most important piece of the video puzzle. I take a lot of pride in the soundscapes I can create whether complex or simple, sound can tell a story differently with each accent or exaggerated beat. I was taught during the acquisition of my Associates degree in film that sound pains landscapes and changes moods, delivers messages, and can carry a film. The turning of a door knob can replicate a shotgun cocking back; squeaky shoes can mimic birds chirping. And sometimes the faux sounds are actually better to use than the original. I was excited to read about "soundwalking" in the article by Jim Cummings. I have done this often and as Andra McCartney states within the article, “I pay attention to the sounds in my environment with the same focus and awareness that I use to listen to music, or to the sound of my lover's voice. Like many simple experiences, soundwalking is often profound as well. The act of focusing on that moment, that place and time, leads me to hear that place differently, to understand it in new ways." Compare this to Justin Boyd's experience as he creates his own sounds as well as getting them from the environment around him.  

I come from a small town and I live in a very quiet community, relatively speaking as sounds are prevalent everywhere, but I like quiet times. I believe that noise pollution is growing worse and more complicated with each passing day. With more technology and more equipment being invented everyday, sounds are often deafening. Sitting in traffic is like a whipping wind of incessant cars and trucks only inches from our ears. I enjoy how Murray stated that cities are like "sonic sewers" that rings true with me. We're all forgetting how to listen because we're bombarded by noise so regularly that  wemiss out on sound.   

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Our lives in The Rough Theater

After reading The Rough Theater again, it feels to me very much like a "free-for-all" of sorts. Given the infinite amount of resources artists have in regards to theater, or film, the idea that anything can be more engaging than specified, or specialized, areas of creativity. Each day of our lives is a rough theater. When we wake in the morning we are immediately immersed into the "theater of life." Each decision is based on what we have around us in regards to the process of life as it unfolds around us. Our showers become think-tanks or recording studios, our kitchens are dance floors or studios for cooking shows. Each room, and the items within them, are sets and props; and we use them knowing there are sometimes viewers, and sometimes not.

We act differently with regards to the people present, and the items around us; rooms or outdoor settings play a role in our actions, and the outcomes we hope to establish are based on the rough theater in our everyday lives. I see it like this, we create either purposeful intricacies in hopes of establishing a response from others around us whether in our art or in our regular lives. We can become creators through either the most specific means, or by utilizing the resources available to us.

The way this relates to theater and film as we plan our projects is to reach beyond what we consider purposefully useful and to incorporate the less obvious in our work. A candy wrapper can be used for the crunching sound of someone walking on dry leaves; a door knob can sound more like a gun being cocked than an actual gun. We can make stages out of the inside of a car or an abandoned warehouse. There are no limits to what we can do/be as long as we look past the obvious and take on the unrealistic.  

Sunday, May 31, 2015


This was a project for college students to channel their inner gradeschooler. Messing around with paint, markers, tape and toys, who could ask for anything cooler? The cameraless edit was pretty fun and my partner Adam was very easy to work with. Thank God for good partners who either don't have ADHD, or have ways of controlling it that keep me on track! We had a lot of fun doing the project and I learned that film can be way cooler than digital.  

It was a bit of a challenge for me at first as I began to work on the film because I hadn't ever attempted to do anything like it. Manipulating the film strips was as interesting as it was foreign. I think my favorite area of manipulation was the magazine transfers. It was a method I'd never heard of and found it to be really effective. Given more time and a longer edit I would have used much more of this style to portray my message. It is amazing how my idea actually looked better than I thought it would have. I expected to see nothing but blobs of color and silly images (which actually happened) but it came across nicely as I portrayed earth and air.

I found that scratching seemed to give the best effect overall. It was more noticeable (on the film strip) than painting or bleaching but it was a little more time consuming. As far as the clear strip, I really liked adding shapes as they transformed into images that I didn't expect to see with a surprising result.  

This was a really fun project.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Ok so cymatics is very cool. The actual workings of such incredible beauty is nearly without equal other than nature itself. I was impressed by the variations of art forms cymatics can manipulate as we saw at the end of the TED presentation. Without ever knowing about cymatics it was great to see such beauty at work. I had to share this video by Nigel Stanford with you, but something tells me that you may have already seen it:  I was so intreigued that I had to look into it more and was blown away with what cymatics can do. The ability to manipulate objects through sound wasn't totally foreign to me of course but the heights and various ways it was allowed to change was nothing short of amazing.

Not as mind blowing, but equally as fascinating is synesthesia. After reading more about it, it makes sense to me that it could actually be more accurately referred to as ideasthesia. Perhaps the person is formulating an idea of what something looks or smells like which triggers the mind to relay that to the senses. I am always impressed by what the mind can do, but as impressed by what we as artists can do to manipulate the viewer's mind into seeing what we want them to see, feel, taste etc. It's our job to open them up to what many people seek -- escape. People go to movies, look at art, or listen to music to escape the "real world" for a little while and it's our job to make that escape one they can remember and think about, talk about, and hope to relive in their lives. These types of influences, synesthesia/cymatics, are new tools that I can use to help change the way I work.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

1st class

Impressions of first video - 1st class

The film I just washed was heavily edited and showed a lot of layers I don't know exactly what I took away from it other than seeing some techniques being used that I am unfamiliar with the shapes stood out to me above all other images as similar shakes morphed into each other and movement was a constant fight against stillness the images of people and the airplane didn't seem to fit which I really liked because it allowed me to be distracted from the constant image bombardment of numerous layers of the edit. It looked like scratching was done to the film to give it a really radical appearance, the music was very cool and worked well within the rambunctiousness of the video. I don't recall feeling like there was an obvious story to tell in the film but if I saw it again I might be able to make something up. This seemed to be more of a mash up of cutting and screwing around with the edit but it looks pretty neat