Friday, January 27, 2006

The Birds/Pixels 3

The Birds/Pixels 2

The Birds/Pixels 1

Have done another film, this time using ‘The Birds’, Hitchcock seems a bit of cliché, but I’ve reduced it enough so as not to look at all like the original (though the sound remains the same). With this I’ve tried to play about with the surface of the film, so as well as making patterns with the clips, I’ve made patterns with the surface of the clips. I’ve also introduced a white band which introduces the clips, this, again is an alteration to propagate the clips with a different technique, also, I enjoyed the look of this band when projected large, it drags the viewers gaze across the screen (much like when on a car journey). It is really the surface alterations which I am most interested in though, it just seems a shame I haven’t really pushed this far enough with this work. Next week I will produce tests unrelated in any way to patterns, using the same clip I have this week. The idea being that If I can create patterns with a clip, I should be able to produce some sort of surface interest. We’ll see I suppose.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Godfather effect (pt. II)

FYF and The Godfather Effect (pt. I)

Exhibited my new ‘west’ film at Final Year Forum in the lecture theatre. It was lovely to see the work on such a large scale, and with such good sound quality (despite the audio only playing on one channel (this needs sorting out!)). I’ll come back to presentation later.
FYF went fine, though we wasted half an hour waiting for the tutors to turn up, only to realise they weren’t going to show, and we would have to go through it all ourselves. Fair enough, but without the tutors there, conversation is kept to a minimum and feedback isn’t quite as helpful as one would hope. Ok though, there’s another round in a couple of weeks, so I’ll sign up for that.

The new film is much crisper and cleaner than the old west film, and cuts the length down to 3 minutes. Instead of the movements employed in the first film, this one simply show the increase and decrease of the ring of ‘boatmen’. I preferred this as it removed all the superfluous narrative from the clip. It is the more refined version. I also managed to play about with the sound and produce something a lot more effective than the original shot. Here, when the ring slows to a standstill there is a piercing ‘ring’ as the clip sound is echoed enormously. It produces a nice intensity at the most tension filled part of the film. Still, I feel like I want to escape the black-and-whiteness of it all, so am already considering how I can push the work in a different direction.

After FYF I put ALL my films onto DVD and had a look at them on the big screen. Some worked, and others didn’t. It soon became apparent that There were parts of most films which I had overlooked when editing on such a small screen. The overall quality however, was very good and I was pleased even with the earlier films. During playback I saw that there were, in some films, parts of the screen which shimmered with the intensity of the image. Most notably one of the ‘Godfathers’ (reproduced above). This textured quality really interests me, so I hope in the next few days to approach something along these lines, something which would fill the whole screen. There wouldn’t be any patterns or movement to these trials, but instead an overall sense of electricity and vibrancy. I want the films to bristle with energy and movement. This movement should not be a conscious action, but a very subtle shaking or shimmering of the image.
I’ll try.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Mid-Year Review

Have been producing a DVD for my mid-year review this week. It’s been alright, but I wish I’d spend more time on making animated menus. It seems that whenever I need to make a DVD it’s a bit of a rush job, rather than spending the time and effort on a good presentation of my work. It went ok, and on Monday I presented it to three of the tutors; Volker and Jane, who are both in some way familiar with my latest work, and also Roxy, who isn’t. While there was some worry over what to show them, and the best way to do this, I decided eventually that the best work to show, to get the most helpful feedback was the more recent stuff. I could’ve talked about the older work for several minutes, but decided that this would’ve been time better spent discussing the pros and cons of current work. I explained, as in my previous post, that I was unhappy with the results of the ‘West’ film, and that I wanted to re-make the piece, probably for my Final Year Forum show-and-tell next week (Tuesday 17th Jan), but it was also interesting to note that the modes of cognition had changed. While in the fan piece, from Apocalypse Now!, the viewer recognises the visual, and perhaps the aural aspect of the piece, with this ‘West’ piece, the visual has become so removed from its original context that the viewer must rely on the (entirely unchanged) sound of the piece to recognise the source, and even then one might not recognise this ‘basic unit’.

I thought it’d be nice to make more of a point of the audio in my films, and, having now made several similar works of patterns on a white background, I feel that to make a similar film again would be a mistake. It’d be far better to push o, trying to find something new. This adaptation of the audio is something I could trial in the ‘re-make’ of the West piece, to see what sort of responses I can attain.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Once Upon A Time In The West (at Christmas)

So just after new Year, and I’ve managed to finish the ‘West’ film (as seen in the last post), before Christmas. I’m relatively happy with it though there are some problems with the piece which I’d like to rectify at a later date (of course, this is all adding to the list of ‘Things to do; which I make on a regular basis but never actually ‘do’!)

A major problem is the jerkiness of the piece. As the clips form a ring, it soon becomes apparent that there is an error somewhere in the clip. As each of the pairs of rings completes a circuit, there is a sudden skip in the (generally) smooth revolution. I can only guess that I’ve left an extra frame in the clip somewhere, while this is a small difference, when there are 10 clips on the screen at once, the sense of dissonance is multiplied, making it very noticeable.
I think this ruins the film, others disagree.
I’ve been told that the jerkiness adds to the ‘low-tech’ feel of the piece, giving a greater sense of the windmill, in its original situation. Sometimes in professionally produced films the effects are too slick, and look too smooth, and the viewer enjoyed the rough edges to my work.
Despite this, I’d like to re-assess the film, and try a few different techniques to repair the damage caused by my error. This could be done either:

a) by re-editing the existing footage
b) by starting again using the same footage used in the first film.

I think the second of these options is more favourable, as it gives me the chance to get everything spot on and precise from the outset rather than trying to remedy a whole film.

This piece is the longest of the ‘visual patterns’ work I’ve yet produced, being over 7 minutes in length. While the duration doesn’t concern me, I do worry about the content of the work, and possible ways of improving. I did half a storyboard for this piece, and the rest was controlled in the production, which I am disappointed about, as I should’ve set myself strict rules to follow in the films production. This ‘rule based’ work is something I hinted at in my “Film Art as A Gradual Process” and failed to follow up, and I should definitely consider the actions and patterns of the clips at an earlier stage in the process, avoiding the making of poor decisions. The idea of a rule based process would also draw in ideas of Minimalist composers, most notable Cage and Young, which I think would lead to a positive re-invigoration of the work.