Final for Video & Animation class, an internal self portrait
I am a college student and I enjoy art.
Here Is Mine
Form & Content: For this project, Kim and I made a direct animation of different forms out of tobacco on top of a light box. Working with tobacco was incredibly interesting because we were able to change the density and tone of the tobacco. Although our project does not deal directly with content related to the forms, I believe there are some beautiful shapes and actions that occur. This was my first time collaborating with Kim and we had such a great time working together, which shows inside of this video. Enjoy our funky sounds.
This is the third cut and my original cut. I first edited this piece and it went rather smoothly. I like how this one came out, but i enjoy the suspense one more. This was a fun project to start off the class because it really challenged us in our skills with ideas and editing.
Here is my second edit of the three-cut series. This one is paced to a song which creates the tempo. I had a difficult time trying to rearrange the clips to create a tempo, which is why i included a song. The song doesnt really fit the video too well, but i dont think any song would. bleh.
This is the first cut of my first video & animation project. We were supposed to create a short film and then create three separate edits, one of how we envisioned, one to create suspense, and the last to have a tempo. My idea was simple and this version was my favorite of the three. This is the first time I have filmed a short starring myself, which turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated. This version is to create a sense of suspense. Enjoy
Paul Fierlinger, writer, director and animator of Still Life With Animated Dogs is a narrative about different parts of his life and the dogs that impacted him. Split into episodes, each segment had a new story and a different dog. Although the animations were rough and the drawings were not perfect, the story being told was portrayed perfectly. These films were a form of self-portraiture and self reflection for Fierlinger. I think the animations and their stories work so well because of the narration that Fierlinger himself gives. The rough sketch like feel is good in these films because it adds a very personal feeling. It enables the viewer to be part of the story, part of Fierlinger’s life and create feelings for his dogs too. I found myself enjoying how much the dogs had their own personalities. As Fierlinger said, “The dogs you are about to see in this film are not the only ones I have ever owned, but they are the special ones, the ones who have shared something crucial with me.” It is clear through the story telling that Ike, Johnson, and Spinnaker were all around during important moments of his life.
Being a hand drawn animation, Fierlinger used a lot of cycles within to add length and to ease himself. The very first cycle of animation that I noticed was of the dogs movements in the field. By watching the legs, it was clear that the movement was a cycle being repeated over and over. Shortly after there was another one of the woman driving down the street. Even though it was the same movement of the car and street moving, it was cut with other shots that gave it the woman a sense of covering a distance. There were a lot of cycles used when there were dogs in the shots. For example, when the dogs would be lying on the floor their tails would start to wag back and forth, clearly a cycle. Once scene stood out to me because it was a cycle being repeated over and over, however I think it was Fierlinger’s intention to have the scene be this way. It was of four people walking towards the viewer, and each person was repeating a different phrase. The camera zoomed in on different parts of these people individually, but it also was wide at a point, where it was obviously being cycled through.
A cyclical narrative that I noticed was of the dogs Fierlinger was burying. He would tell the story of his life and how he was interacting with the dog. Sadly at the end of the segments he would be seen next to a tree with a dirt pile burying the dog. He would then narrate how or what he learned from that dog and move into the next segment with a new dog. I think these cycles really worked well because it gave the story structure and allowed the viewer to know what they could expect next, without giving away too much information. When I first started the animation I was resistant to watch because I did not know how the story would unfold, but through his use of cycles I was able to be pulled into the story. I found myself wanting to know how the dog was going to impact him in different moments of his life.
I was unsure of what to expect when I first started watching the film Man with a Movie Camera. Just as the opening title slides say, there is no narrative to the film and there are no title slides to help the viewer understand what is going on amongst the chaotic shots and dramatic score.
The film is composed full of shots of an industrial city that is full of life. From mechanical pistons firing to people crossing the street there seems to be aspects of everyday life. Upon doing a little research, I was able to figure out that Dziga Vertov, the director, was a cameraman who carried his camera through the streets of Soviet Russia documenting the life the people lived. As well as an experimental documentary, I see Vertov’s film as an early “behind the scenes” type of extra we see a lot of today. Throughout the film there are many shots and segments where we see other cameramen and film producers working to create films. There is one shot that stood out too me of the woman working as an editor. She is seen in front of a light table with the film sliding across and making cuts to the film. I thought this was cool because it shows how films were edited by hand instead of on a computer.
There are many experimental parts to this film as well which I found extremely interesting. There are multiple shots of a split screen, while the camera is flying down the street on a trolley. This kind of editing is rarely done today, which makes it extremely experimental because it was 1929. There are other shots early on in the film where a camera is placed on the floor and a train or people literally go over the camera. I found these shots really cool because of the view and angles they had. It is rare to see people or a train go directly over ones view, so it was stuck in my head. The last shot that I really enjoyed was in some sort of rock tunnel. The shot was really dark and had few patches of light. I know that back then the technology of the cameras made it difficult to shoot in dark lighting, so it was nice to see an extremely dark shot.
Besides from the beautiful cinematography, the original score by the Alloy Orchestra was absolutely amazing. I have watched a fair amount of old silent films with original scores, but none have been as impressive as this. There seems to be the perfect sound for every moment of the film. Drums, strings, horns and numerous other instruments and sounds are used to create the intense soundtrack. Although the cinematography isn’t the craziest, the music matches the editing. Whether it is quick or slow the music flows with the editing perfectly. Along with the editing, I think the black and white is another reason why I feel the soundtrack suits the kind of film it is.
Man with a Movie Camera was a long documentary recording the day to day activities of a Russian. Even though it was not the most exciting or thrilling film, it had a certain hook about it that keeps its audience engaged. Informational and beautiful are the two words I would use to describe the film. Informational because of how it portrays the lives of the Russians and beautiful because of how it was shot. Finalized with an amazing soundtrack by the Alloy Orchestra, this film is one of the best from its time.
I believe I am influenced by everything I see. I take pieces of everything and anything to support my creativity. My brain is constantly filtering what my eyes dissect, retaining the things I find beautiful.
Here are a few photographers I enjoy
Tom Young : http://www.tomyoungphoto.com/index.shtml
August Sander : http://augustsander.com/