Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reference Time!!!

So the last time Katherine and I met up I mentioned a reference or two that are sources of inspiration for certain aspects of my senior project. In response Katherine said that would be something valuable to blog about. sooooo... here goes, a couple of links to different media that in some way shape or form has inspired my creative process for my senior thesis project. enjoy, and check back in the future for more links.

Shooting technique inspirations:

in addition to the previously referenced Jacob's Ladder, two other movies have helped me to come up with certain ways of shooting/ editing my video piece.
1st off is the recent Lars Van Trier Movie Antichrist:
The movie Antichrist is split into multiple chapters, including a prologue and an epilogue, book ending the whole movie. The super slow motion playback of the epilogue and prologue have been inspirational to me and a technique I am currently applying to my piece. I feel the slow motion playback helps to intensify the movie's very heavy and grim content through a beautiful flowing manner and is a techniques I also am utilizing for the same reasons.

The Next reference I am going to focus on is from particular scenes from the film A Haunting in Connecticut. The image at the beginning of this post is a still image from one particular scene that I drew inspiration from and I have also attached a link to the trailer for the Movie below:
Starting at approximately 38 sec. into the clip, you will see a moving example of the "ectoplasm" special effect depicted in the still at the beginning of this post that has had direct inspiration on the way that I wish to convey an explosive stream of organic shapes escaping through my main characters head. This effect I wish to apply to my piece will be meant to symbolize the release of negative elements, originating from the protagonists mind.

Plot inspirations:

The story entitled "Passage for Trumpet" was a 1960 episode from the series, The Twilight Zone:
The inspiration that I drew from this episode in particular was how the main plot revolved around a jaded individual flung into an atmosphere where he was completely different and detached from any other individual residing in there (to be specific, he was walking around alive in a world populated completely by dead people ). This plot device of secluding the main character is similar to the feeling of seclusion, loneliness and despair that I want to be conveyed for the world in which my main character in the piece finds himself.

Animation and motion Technique Inspirations:

The first reference that I have drawn inspiration for the piece, and many of my past works, are illustrations by the artist Derek Hess:
Despite Hess' work being still images, I find that his treatment of line work creates a sense of fluid movement. For myself, I find that the style in which Hess creates his still works has very important elements that will add to the sense of fluid motion I wish to create with the motion graphic/ special effect elements contained in my piece.

And last but not least, the animated feature length master piece AKIRA directed by Katsuhiro Otomo has countless examples of amazing animated scenes emphasizing interesting visual depictions of movement ranging from smoke clouds to amorphous explosions of energy.
The technique in which an explosion for example is meticulously recreated through animation is inspirational to me in trying to create a beautiful motion graphic/ special effects that depict mundane objects and explosions as beautiful aesthetic moving imagery, adding to the desired atmosphere and overall feel of the piece.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

green green green!

So just a day or two ago I finally started shooting green screen for my project. below I have attached a link to a test video I made that messes around with some of the cropped green screen footage I took along with generated lighting effects and foreground/background layering to name a few things. The goofy pic of me I took was suppose to be a stand alone post showing that I was working on the green screen work but I procrastinated long enough on posting that I just lumped them both together. As a closer note... within the next day or two I plan to post some links to clips I found inspirational in some way, shape or form to my process for this process, so check in sooooooon.

green screen test one!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Video Time Two!

I feel super smart. After opening a vimeo account and stressing over my web host, I just noticed the little video upload button right in the window I'm typing in. Well whatever the case, I'm posting below a ruff sequence of shots I did with the main actor for the piece. After watching this footage and some other I shot, I have figured out multiple times that I need some extra b-roll footage and some other things to be shot in addition to what I have to make this footage a tad more cohesive. Also, even more importantly I'd like to note that this footage had not been effected or processed and is not the way the final piece will look, but I feel that first I need a clean canvas (the whole piece shot and edited in proper sequence) befor I lay down the heavy effecting. So without further adue.... (Is that how adue is spelled?)

Video time!

I meant to post to this last night, but just my luck the internet at my apartment was down yet again. Then I meant to post it right when I got to school today, but then my web host was also I guess feeling a bit under the weather (aka not working). So now, I took Katherine's advice and started up a vimeo account.
Below are two test videos I did before actually shooting for my project that experimented with video treatment and speed.

The inspiration for this was primarily, but not exclusively since it has been done since then in different ways, from similar speed treatment found in the movie Jacob's Ladder. below is a link to the scene. The part with the speed treatment is at 1 minute and 16 sec. into the video
Since I did figure out how to upload videos onto blogger, and I'm using vimeo for something else, I have now attached the vids into this post:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Posting some progress

I know that this post is pretty brief and not as formal as my past posts, but I just wanted to post a really quick snippet of my progress on my project. Tonight and yesterday I have been editing the footage that I have shot and as of now I have just about two minutes of cut up and put in place. Tonight I am also going to try to start dabbling in an idea for a video effect treatment that i had in mind. That all for now, check back soon for a more updates on my progress.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shooting Session Number One

So the other day I started shooting the video for the piece and got some pretty decent shots. I still have more scenes to shoot, but once I get the video shot the other edited into some semblance of understandable order, I'll be sure to post some footage. Until then hears a couple of screen shots to hold you over.

Plans and subtasks for Spring 2010 semester

Below is my Spring 2010 plans and subtasks for my piece. Any and all feed back is of course always welcome, Thanks!

Jan 21st:
Turn in finalized plans and subtasks calendar for Senior Studio II

Jan 23rd through the 24th:
Meet up with the main actor for my filming portion of the project and discuss final shots to be taken, the following weeks shooting schedule, final wardrobe selection and possible times for reshoots if needed.
Finish with specialized portions of the wardrobe such as the wardrobe for the alternate spooky characters and final planning, if not beginning shooting of B roll footage to be used in the piece.

Jan 25th through the 29th:
Shooting Set one of the main actor. There will be two separate, hopefully maybe even three, days of shooting.
After each shoot I must review the footage that night to see if it works and also most importantly to dump all of the footage onto a computer as well as one other type of storage device meant as a backup.
Also I will have to rent a lighting kit from the equipment room for the shoot.

Jan 30th through the 2nd:
Shooting of the other main portion of the piece, the alternate dark character that is the negative presence in the piece.
Similar to the previous shooting session, I will have to figure out the wardrobes for this shoot and also rent a light kit from the equipment room.

Feb 3rd through the 9th:
Compiling the footage that I had previously shot and place in it the proper sequence to be showed as my first Physical instantiation of the project.

Feb 12 through Feb 18th:
During this time If I am not happy with the way certain aspects of the previous shoots turned out or if there is any additional footage that I need to shoot I will take this time to shoot again.
Again I will have to rent a light set from the equipment room and use any of the same wardrobes and locations that I did in previous shoots as to have the new video match the old video.

Feb 19th through March 1st:
Through this time I will do two main things. I will compile any new video that I may have shot and add it in with my previous video sessions. After that task is complete I will take these times to further edit the video ad even begin to add in effects and video treatments to the video itself.

March 2nd through the 4th:
This is when my Midterm presentation for this second semester will be due. By this point I should have nearly all or all of the video shot and edited into sequence for the video portion of the piece. I should also have added at least enough effects to the piece that the two separate plotlines are aesthetically different enough to be viewed as two separate alter universes.
For the purpose of the presentation I will also have to create some complementary visuals to show and document the progress that I have made so far and how the piece has evolved, such as a brief slide presentation to go through before showing the video work I had completed up until then.

March 5th Through the 18th:
Throughout Spring break is when I will be putting together all the attributes for the Final Deliverable that will have to be handed in, along with also continually editing and refining the video I have captured even more.

March 18th Through March 29th:
Along with continuing to polish and refine my piece, the new task that I will be focusing on during this time is the installation of my video onto two separate screens that sync up in time with each other and also one main audio output.
This is when I will have to gather all the materials I need to take this from just a singular video work to a dynamic multiple screen video installation. I have in my possession two equal sized televisions and as an audio system to output the sound. As far as the actually system that will output the video to the TV’s, at this time I do not know exactly what technology I will utilize to do that, As of know I think that a computer to output the video and probably the audio as well might actually work out best.

March 30th Through April 1st:
This is went the last Physical instantiation of the project before the absolute final installation. By this time I should have the whole video complete, or at least more then 90% complete, with the exception of maybe a few minor upgrades left to implement. The video should by this point also be playing back and forth between two screens in proper time.

April 2nd to April 29th:
This last month with is used for tying the nearly completed project all together and refining it to the point that I am completely happy with the final result. Also during this final month additional things besides just the core of the project (the video) will be created to complement the project as a whole. These things include, first and foremost the projection to be shown onto the installation space as well addition media such as the creation of promotional postcards and also the possibility of a complementary website. By the last week or so of the month of April the piece should be completed and I should just be focusing on minor aspects of the installation such as placing it in space just the right way or updating the possible promotional website with content.
I will have to rent or borrow a projector from somewhere not just for the final piece but also well before the piece is shown as to test out my project ideas. Some extra things that I will have to purchase are things such as paying for the post cards to be printed. As for the website, I already own domain space, so that is a purchase that is already been made.