Visuals that inspire, interest me and entertain me!
There were two briefs set within the ‘Narratives’ brief, the first was work within a group of 4/5 and produce a two minute film based on a chosen aesop fabel. The group I was in chose ‘The Miller his Son and the Donkey’, this is a story with the morel ‘stick to what you know’ or ‘dont let others intafear’. We were required to choose a genera of film and create our own short picture in this style. We used a ‘Charlie Chaplin’, slap stick silent movie genera and created a simple story of a 1920’s house wife trying to bake a cake. But an interfearing husband kept insisting he knew better and interviened with the making of the cake, resulting in classic messy slapstick mistakes to occupy the two minutes.
I had not worked with live filming before and enjoyed directing lighting and creating a live set with Lucy (a member of my group). If i had this opertunity again i would have set asside a whole day to film as we only had the afternoon and the lighting was affected drastically when it got dark. I would also consider creating a set in the photography studio where the light would be more constant and the white back ground may look more professional.
Framing was some thing I was having to constantly keep in mind and it took a while to get used to having so much to consider all at the same time all the time e.g focus, frame, light, subject, forground and background.
Editing the visual and audio of the film was relatively straight forward apart from when it came to making the footage look authentic. This required us to download effects from the internet and other programs and import them into premier pro as new layers. This was some thing none of us had done before and it took us several trial and errors until we had the aesthetics to our satisfaction. If i was to do this again i would take into account special effects when planning the early stages of the film, trying to create as much of the effects as i could manually. We ran into a few problems trying to create smoke coming from the oven.
Personally i found the audio much more manageable and enjoyed researching music and sound effects that suited our film. I recorded the narrative voice over with Lucy and Laura in the sound booth and we dropped that over the music that i had selected. We then googled how to muffle sound on premier pro in order to make the voice sound more authentic, this turned out to be a simple process that took us all of a few minutes. I found the audio aspect of the film the most enjoyable and the easiest thing to create, manipulate and work with.
I feel the film was an over all success in terms of aesthetics and audio but if i could do tis again i would make the story more clear and would also direct more to the actors as i feel that if the actions on screen had been more over-exaggerated like the slap stick style that the story would have come across stronger. I felt that Lucy and i worked well together and cooperated with ideas and organising but i struggled with the larger group as a whole. Delegating and organising (with in reason) would be some thing i would try and work harder with in future group projects.
I thoroughly enjoyed this brief as creative writing and illustrating are both things i am interested and keen to do. We were required to choose a story or message we were passionate about to communicate through an illustrative book.
I chose to base my book on the topic of fox hunting as it is some thing a feel strongly against and wanted to express in a none aggressive way. I chose to write the narrative in poetic form from the fox’s point of view as this made the words more ambiguous leaving more of the descriptive work to my illustrations. This form of writing also comes more naturally to me from writing music. Although i felt the style of writing was applicable for the book and had a sense of poignancy, it could be argued that it made the story more difficult to understand or follow
Although the words to my book are some what minimalistic putting more pressure on the illustrations to be more of a narrative i still wanted viewers to appreciate and fully take in the words of the story. This is my reasoning behind the simplistic line drawing illustrative style. I decided that after looking at the words and drawings next to each other that come form of colour was needed however i did not want to ‘colour in’ the images making them childlike, this is why i have stuck to my theme of simplicity and chosen to use just strokes of colour. Colour is a running theme in the book, the colour on the page corresponds with the flow of the story beginning with cool green, blue, brown and orange to complement the beginning of the story describing the fox’s habitat. The colour theme then changes to blood red towards the end and finally blood splatter when the fox is caught. The last page represents the change of colours on the fox’s fur “my white is red and my red is filth” the back ground represents blood smear and the i wanted the white words to look as if them were seeping through the back ground.
If i was given this brief again i would like to be more experimental with my illustrations and perhaps introduce more aspects of abstract and collage. I would also experiment with using more of a story telling approach with my words. I enjoyed the opportunity of working alone and having one to one feedback from the tutors about my work, this was extremely helpful to me.
Red and White nestled in green
Prowling silently in the dark, moonlight licks my back
Crawling and scratching up the tree, my prey
Midnight feeder, insomnia my friend
I wait to hear it, bloodthirsty thunder of a thousand storms
running, running, running
Green now red, scattered across my vision. Blinding.
They’re on my heels
Blood splatter, I can feel it all
So now my white is red and my red is filth. They have won the game they so long to play
These are just the illustrations to my poem/story about fox hunting, I have posted my PDF files but they come in a link so i just dropped these images on here as visuals on my feed.
I chose to illustrate fox hunting because although there is a law against it, there are still hunts who proceed to allow the hounds to rip the fox apart. This was an issue i wanted to raise and make people more aware of.
I have told the story from the perspective of the fox and have written in a poetic style as i feel there is more rooms for interpretation this way as the words do not spell out their meanings in black and white.
After the short film we had to make for the narratives brief i was able to appreciate the draining and time consuming effort it takes to make even a short film of just three minutes. Although i had done stop motion clips in the past this was my first experience of live filming. All though i found it difficult technically i enjoyed learning new techniques. This project inspired me to take more of an interest in film and moving image.
I decided to expand my watching of films and tried to sway away from my usual ‘chickflic’, ‘romcom’, easy to watch genera. I typed into google ‘films a creative should watch’, after scrolling through abit i came across ‘Apocalypse Now’. My dad had always pestered me to watch it and i normally enjoyed war films so i gave this one a try.
My initial reaction to the whole thing was “Oh My God, This Is Long!!” and the film made little sense up un till the last hour. The scenes were chaotic and difficult to hear, i was having to watch scenes 2 or 3 times before i understood what the actors were saying! It felt like i was watching more of a documentary on life during the Vietnam war, had i not read the synopsis i wouldn’t have had a clue what the plot was until the last hour!
But there was some thing about it that i was enjoying and made me want to carry on watching, and that was the visuals of the film. As a story i found the narrative unclear and often on a tangent but visually it was amazing! The general lighting through out the whole film corresponded to the idea of dark and chaotic war, but some of may favourite scenes are when the M18 colourful smoke is used, although they are used for a specific purpose on war field i thought they brought such a sense of disorder which is exactly what most of the Vietnam War was! The opening scene of the cross screens is another example of alluring visual content. The misty atmosphere and the helicopters that almost look like moving popart i found set the mood of a quirky and surreal atmosphere. The end of the film mirrors the beginning with the same technique accept the light and colour represent a much darker and sinister atmosphere.
The opening song- The End by The Doors is interesting as well, after reading the lyrics many times i depicted the meaning as a song about life, death and the values of life. The song talks about a general journey through out ones living and this corresponds with the initial story of the film (although the narrative may be unclear) we follow the journey up the Nung River of Captain Willard who has been sent to assasinate the apparently insane General Kurtz, ultimately ending in death- ‘The End’- like the song. (which is also 11 minutes long, long for a song as is 3 hours for a film. Another coincidence?) Whether this song was selected for symbolism i don’t know but it reflects the film ideally.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSUIQgEVDM4 >> The End by The Doors.
After reading the article i have linked above, i realised that the director Francis Ford Coppola wanted to portray the chaotic, disjointed pointlessness of the Vietnam War and the American input to it more than the actual narrative of Captain Willard’s journey. The film is loosely based on Joseph Conrad’s Africa-based novel, Heart Of Darkness, which the cast was expected to read before entering onto set. I learned that the mass majority of the film was improv and often Coppola created and directed scenes on the day or night before, this either makes him incredibly talented, incredibly stupid or both. However this would explain the general madness of the picture, but as the director wanted to achieve this i feel he has done it exceptionally well even if it was a result of disorganisation and panic.
After research and reading up about the film i am able to understand and appreciate the ideas behind it and the initial narrative. But what made me specifically interested to begin with was the unusual visual quality of the film, emphasising the importance of aesthetics in a motion picture as well as a gripping script.
My cousins have set up a website which follows each of their career’s. I have recently discovered that that my two older cousins have been producing and writing. They have produced one film that I know of, ‘Death Of A Farmer’ which features Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan.
The film is a drama about the last three days of a mans life and is to be released on the 5th of march 2014. I am excited to see the picture as i know little about it. The plot seems ambiguous from what iv read and from watching the trailer but this only intrigues me to watch and find out the mysterious story behind it.
I only recently visited this website and found it inspiring that such creative and professional work had been created with in my own family. It made me want to drive my own interests and potential future career ideas. Particularly my music which is some thing i have been pursuing more since i moved to Leeds, attending open mike nights at various places and playing more to the public as well as posting my own videos online. The drive and focus that is displayed through the visible work of eve&eve&eve is inspiring and I intend to follow their works much closer!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6M9UfytUPM >> ‘She’s Out of my League’
Alice Eve and Jay Baruchel
After receiving the narratives book brief I knew straight away i wanted my work to be completely hand crafted,as i feel that is my best way of working.
I spoke of a few ideas to my flat mate and she gave me this book ‘Love’ illustrated and designed by Vanni. this book was made using collage and illustrative techniques and had the same personal, hand crafted feel I wanted for my book.
‘Love’ was published by George Braziller, an American book publisher well known for literary and artistic books and the publication of foreign authors.
Vanni (Gian Berto Vanni) is a painter, illustrator and a professor of art at The Cooper Union School of Arts. I tried looking for more of Vanni’s work as it is written in the blurb of ‘Love’ that he has published several children’s books but i struggled to find any more at all, although i did come across some abstract paintings of his which were colourful and interesting but very contrasting to his illustrative book.
I found the cut outs and collage an interesting technique used in the book and they bring a sense of texture which i also appreciated.
The simple illustrations make the poignant words a bigger focus.
The hand written typography was also inspiring to me as i was worried hand writing might cheapen the look of my book but this shows an example of hand written type that suites the style of book and creates more of a handmade look which is the style i am looking at.