Friday, February 24, 2006

+&- pt.2 (better)

These stills are from the latter part of the film, which I'm much happier with than the first part. And which will hopefully form the core of the next piece of work.

+&- pt.1

These are stills from the finished film (of the storyboard in the last post). There are some areas I'm ahppy with, but some quite obvious problems with the work. As I was creating the storyboard I had in my mind what I wanted to do, and of course, everything that I wrote down I though would look fantastic. This isn't often the case.
The stills are out of order, but I think it would seem quite easy to but them in a vague order. I started off with the same clip I had used for some previous trials/tests, using 'The Birds' as the basis for the work, and after the first day of working I realised that, although there isn't a problem with re-using some of the same material, I should have made it more specific to this piece. Rather than using the entire shot, I should have isolated a small section of the clip and expanded my ideas using this. I decided then that I would make another piece, using this work as a 'trial' or 'learning piece'. What I didn't account for is my losing interest in this piece son after that. I realise NOW that rather than wasting a week making the work, I should have started again with my new media after that 1st day, without wasting any more time.

Mind you, If I had started again, I wouldn't have been happy with THAT work, rather than THIS work, so perhaps it isn't so bad.

Anyway, on to the parts I don't like. The 4th and possibly 5th still on this post is of the rotation descriped in the first image of the last post, and it is this part, the rotation of several cropped images over the original (full screen) image. It looks tacky, like an 80's music video, and by that I mean Kylie Minogue, not DEVO.
Other than this, I was quite happy. I think the major problem with it was the amount of clips moving at once. later on (still number 1, and those in the next post) there are slower, more subtle movements of clips over clips, but these seem natural and unforced. The speed of these, at a slower rate than the 'mass turn' must also count towards their subtlety.

So I know from here that I'll try to make the next 'Better' film better(?), cutting out the fast, almost confrontational aspect of the rotations/movements, and instead substituting a softer, more comfortable approach.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Working with surface detail

This week I had my interview at the Slade down in London, which went ok, despite one of the films I showed them stopping halfway through. They did say 'there are 3-4 interviewees per place' and 'we'll let you know in a couple of weeks', both of which don't bode too well, but I'll try not to think about it for the next 'couple of weeks'. Still, work must continue I suppose.

Have developed up an idea for a film which, to me, seems a lot like a Rubix cube, though I imagine when completed it wont much look like one. Actually, even on paper it doesn't look much like a rubix cube, but what I'm trying to suggest is this layered, shifting, phasing series of forms produced from the screen. I don't see this piece as testing, or trying new things out, but at the same time it remains a lot more experimental than previous films. I'm trying to push myself further with the program (FCP), so I'm not too worried at the moment about there being errors in this work. I see it as a development piece, and as such will probably make another piece after this, based on the same principles, using many of the same techniques as this piece, but leaving out the failings. Obvoiusly in this next piece there'll be a different source clip, so as not to produce an overly similar work.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

BONUS bits

As well as this continuing work, I've made a few 'trial runs' which have perhaps not worked out for one reason or another, so thought that, as well as providing an insight into what I' working on, I might as well put up some of the work I'm alittle less happy with, or that which I felt was unsuccessful or 'undevelopable'.

"The Media Is The Message" 2

"The Media Is The Message"

This week I’ve also had two tutorials with both Volker and the visiting lecturer Julian Stallabrass. The one with Volker was fine, he suggested a few theory based stuff which I’ve since looked up (and to which I’ll probably have a few links to) such as Marshall McLuhan’s ‘the medium is the message’ and Friedrich Kittler’s ‘Gramaphone, Film, Typewriter’, he also suggested I photocopy Nicolas Bourriaud’s ‘Post Production’, which is part of his seminar notes. Having looked at these I found they were quite pertinent to what I have been thinking and help to put my work in the context of new media (though it isn’t that new anymore is it? In fact, what is New Media?). Also Sidney Youngblood’s ‘Expanded cinema’, though I haven’t been able to find this yet. These are all helping to focus my mind on what I want to achieve with the work, and coupled with my prior research, are helping to form a clear(er) picture of what and where I want to go.

The tutorial with Julian Stallabrass was interesting as it was a completely different and fresh take on the work. He said (as Adam Chodzko did) that he felt the work put aross a strong feeling of discomfort, whilst being mesmerising, and highlighted that the work I have made has taken, for the most part, as source material, quite claustrophobic/violent films. He also suggested a greater use of the internet and programming in my work.
I have, earlier this week, had my first encounter with web authoring, specifically using html to create a web page for my literature assignment. Sneha’s been helping a group of us do this, and it’s been really interesting. I’m beginning to think I’d like to have a greater knowledge of this and really learn how to write websites. Obviously this could help my work get onto the internet, but it would also help me understand the language of programming. Over recent weeks I’ve begun to think that perhaps using Final cut pro isn’t the right path to take, perhaps it’d be more useful to write my own programs to manipulate video clips. As FCP is made by a company for a specific purpose, the effects and techniques involved in using it generally push the user in a specified direction. Bearing in mind the early video artists such as Paik and the Vasulka’s, it’d perhaps be more pertinent for me to program my own software to use in the work, manipulating clips the way I want them manipulated rather than tailoring a product to create effects.

Stallabrass’s tutorial brought the ‘Internet Archive’ to my attention, and made me consider the possibilities of using open source software and copyleft material in my work, while his suggestion of ‘Thomson and Craighead’ really made me think seriously of the internet as a medium. SO this combined with the theories Volker put me in touch with, has left me a lot to think about.

The Surface Realism pt. 2

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Surface Realism pt. 1

I have, this week, as intended, looked a lot more at the surface of the film. Firstly by repeating the ‘birds clip across the screen and applying a variety of effects, seeing exactly which do something interesting and which don’t. Unfortunately the majority of these effects look like they’re from a music video or screensaver, but I thought it interesting that I was dealing with the surface of the film rather than the structure of it.

I’m also looking at Bill Viola again, particularly his ‘Chott El-Djerid (a portrait in light and heat)’ from 1979. In his description of this he stated that he:

‘wanted to go to a place that seems like it’s the end of the world…All you can do is stand there and peer out into the void, watching. Standing there, you strain to look further, to see beyond, straion to make out familiar shapes and forms.’

This is the kind if thing I had hoped to achieve with these test, the viewer must really consider what they are viewing, yet it never seems to approach reality, there aren’t any reference points, and it is difficult to make coherent visual sense of, instead the images mesmerise and almost capture the viewer.
More developed enquiries into this are needed.