Monday, March 10, 2008

Eat Pes and Rayo Round #2

I just went through and must say that the guy is amazingly inventive and devoted to his art. The Pee-Nut film is quite hilarious. It's the simplicity of the objects combined with realistic sound effects that make his films seem so humorous to me. A couple of peanuts represent the "digits" and a snaking metal bendable tube is the stream of pee- two objects that are undiscernable as to what they are supposed to be if not for the sound effect of pee hitting water. When the fly buzzes in and gets hit with the stream it is really funny mainly because of the very recognizable realistic sounds he uses. The film I enjoyed even more was the Roof Sex one. From the opening shot of a fake city skyline with honking cars and ambience, there is a realistic element, even as the sound of a women moaning is heard. The combination of the chairs (one with a skirt, one without) and the sex noises is just hilariously done. The animation is smooth and so lifelike (even though they're chairs instead of people). It's what he does best in his films; he constructs alternate worlds where everyday objects take on new meanings and human forms, which has evidently benefited him judging from the advertisments he's done. I am especially interested in how he even animated people as if they are just another object for him to play with. The Human Skateboard and the Sprint one both did this, yet I barely noticed on the first viewing that the people weren't moving but quickly being animated. It's definately an interesting idea. I realized I had seen the Bacardi commercials and the CoinStar one on tv before, which suprised me. I guess there is a need for really innovative and artistic ideas in advertising and his style seems to be perfectly suited for that.

This week I spent the majority of class redoing the rayogram exercise, trying to improve upon the slightly underdeveloped strip from last time. I used a lot more objects and tried to make more varied patterns and shapes, to at least edit select pieces and splice them into the first strip.

Film Processing and Such Things

Well, let me just say how cool this class has been so far. I really miss being in classes where im able to do art versus spacing out in front of a movie screen or hearing someone lecture. I have not dabbled in visual arts (drawing, paint) as much as I used to. The techniques and assignments we've learned have just been really interesting, mainly because I never knew most of this stuff was possible. Using and getting to play with actual film has been enlightening for me living in the digital age that we do now. I was really into photography and developing film when I was younger; being exposed to it as a child while my mom was in art school for photography. I had never used or even touched any moving camera film until this class, however. I find it so interesting how such a small surface (a strip of 16mm) can be manipulated to create such comlicated images when projected. The Rayogram exercise was really cool, especially being able to develop it directly in the room. I did find it sligtly diffcult working in such low light, especially when a red light is not close by. At least in my experience, the film wouldn't lie flat enough or the paper under it and it made it hard to keep objects on the film, especially the little beads and things. I also wished I had brought some more inventive items but I didn't have much around the house. Trying to scatter stuff across such a long length of film also made mine end up a little boring since everything was so spaced out. What you realize once it's projected, however, is that it doesn't look quite as uninteresting when the frames are flying by so quickly. I think there's a lot of potential to make the rayograms even more vibrant by painting and combining magazine transfers to make really complex images. It was interesting to find that coffee can develop film, even if the image is variably less clear. It's a trick I had never heard of and seems simple enough to try again sometime. The magazine transferring is perhaps my favorite technique to have picked up from the class so far. I found the simplicity of the process really amazing. The task of working and cutting images to fit on such such a small surface seemed daunting at first, but I began to find that even more interesting. Every tiny cut/tear or juxtaposition of colors and pictures ends up being so noticeable when projected that you really have to be precise and conscious of each placement. That challenge was most appealing to me, especially the task of creating some meaning amidst a collage of images moving by at the blink of an eye.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Brakhage Response

This piece is a really great starting point for anyone interested in
experimenting with film scratching, painting,etc. The fact that he begins
with the assumption that you have no tools at your disposal makes the
article linear and point-by-point in introducing each physical part of the
film and the processes discussed. His descriptions of the inner workings
of the camera (and how to thread the film) are really clear helpful,
including subtlties such as leaving loops in the film on each side of the
gate. The numbered step-by-step instructions he includes in the text are
also useful. I actually looked back to this article and used it as a reference
when loading film into a 16mm camera in another documentary class I
am currently taking. I think that the way he includes his own individual
techniques and opinions makes this a much more enjoyable read, as he
mentions the accepted ways but will sometimes offer a counter argument
based on his own experience. I will admit that some of the technical talk
about splicing went a little over my head, just because it is hard for me to
visually conceptualize the differences he talks about between splicing
techniques, but that's due to my limited eexperience with this medium.
His encouragement of trying new things and listening to your muse
makes the piece very personal and more directed to amateurs eager to
experiment with this fairly new art form, which I found refreshing since
so many articles seem bogged down in technical talk and specifics. His
details about working with light and understanding it's connection to the
camera and film is really interesting too, relying on your eye to get a sense
of how to be conscious about using it right. By the end of the article he
seems to be at his most poetic, even off setting lines ("the end") as if the
letter itself is a work onto itself. Overall, the writing was very concise and
even engaging, as much as possible while still supplying a huge amount of
technical information.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thad Povey Response 1/14/08

I found the sparse drum beat really appropiate music for the rhythmic editing and movement of the film. I especially enjoyed the blending of geometric shapes and lines with the filmed footage. The first shot of the man with the blue background and white cloudlike lines looked really cool, almost cartoon-like but also part real footage. The movement of the shapes did get dizzying , due in part, to the quick tempo mjazz drum beat, but it balanced that frantic energy with calmer moments of filmed footage (like the hands holding the parrots). Some of the effects from scratching the film and drawing on it looked very interesting, especially how the outlines were drawn on around a man in one part. I am also curious about painting on film because I found a lot of that very visually captivating. The moving paintings created very cool animations and vibrant changes of color. I also liked when there were close-up shots of numbers and comic book pictures and how it created animation from originally still images by chaging the speed and by only using select parts and pieces to almost create new compositions. Pretty cool stuff.