Monday, May 2, 2011


Yes Men was a great film to watch to prepare to undertake my found footage project. I have so much respect for activist that aren't content doing the same old, tired approach to getting stuff done. Who really gives a shit about petitions? and pamphlets? nobody. There approach to making these corporations accountable by impersonating them is just the type of innovative ideas that most movements are lacking. It was very inspiring and it seemed that it wasn't really all that hard to do. They did have some generous funders and a lot of experience with website development/costume design/ and other helpful skills, but really just the concepts can carry a lot of the weight. They presented the world with a false image (or honest image) of a corporation to try and expose the truth that is usually hidden away.

For my found footage project, I tried to incorporate the idea of presenting something that could be taken as actual, but putting my own spin on it to throw in all sorts of fun messages. I used an video from the early 60s entitled Boys Beware which is about how homosexual deviants are abducting boys around the country. The film opens with the scenario of fictitious "Jimmy Barnes"-the title of my own spin- who gets in a car with a pedophile and is eventually molested. The film is filled with inaccuracies and offensive rhetoric. I decided that I would craft a similar scene, but instead of the pedophile being the bad guy, I wanted to make Jimmy seem like the freaky one in the situation. I only used footage and audio from the original video. I remixed some of the audio (which is voice over narration) to make Jimmy look like he was interested in having a good time, or otherwise just simply didn't care what happened to himself. For example, in the original it says something like "Ralph showed Jimmy some pornographic images, but Jimmy knew he shouldn't look." I added in some audio in the film saying how Jimmy hitchhiked 100s of times before and was not afraid to again. The result was "Ralph showed Jimmy some pornographic images, Jimmy knew he shouldn't look, but well he'd done it a 100 times before." This was actually a lot of fun to do, and I think I may tinker around in found footage (especially offensive 50s and 60s instructional gems) for quite a while longer.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I really enjoyed these readings. My opinion on the issue of plagiarism/re-appropriation of art kept going back and forth as I read new ideas and arguments. As you can tell from the title of this blog entry I eventually settled with the artists or the "new" or "2nd generation" artists as opposed to the monopolized copyright machine.

To start with, while reading the Molotov Man I was totally on the side of the painter as opposed to the photographer... and her lawyer and formal letters and requests for money. The painter seemed to have pure intentions and his re-appropriation of the picture just further instilled the idea that the molotov man was behaving passionately because he believed in something. By painting this image, he was saying "this image is great and means something to me." flattery. So what if he didn't snap the picture himself? Its not like the photographer owns everything he/she takes a picture of anyway. This was pretty much my cliche, overused, tired train of thought until I actually got to the part of the article where the photographer put in her two cents. Turns out she didn't really care about the money but actually felt that the painting was a disservice to the man in the picture. The collection that the painting was used in was called "Riot" and in reality, the molotov man was not just involved in some angsty riot but was actually working in a highly organized takeover. She felt that the re-appropriation diminished the true power of the image and was trying to speak up for the subject not just herself.

So with one reading down the score is Copyright: 1 point. Re-Appropriators: 0 Points

The Ecstasy of Influence article sort of threw my original conclusions on their head. While I didn't find much substance in the gift economy and commons arguments the author chose to eventually settle on; the sheer amount of evidence and research pointing to re-appropriations from the likes of Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, and William Burroughs just to name a few solidified my belief that copyrights hinder art and are a general disservice to the public. The obvious factor here is that these "original" and "unique" artists have been known to borrow from other artists, yet what they do is done in a new way and therefore does not count as plagiarism. So we say, "oh but its just so damn nice" who cares if they borrowed a few lines from a play? And I'm in that boat too. So we should allow for new artists to also use art in their works or we will rob society from all these potential "gifts." (ok maybe a little substance in it) And to go back to molotov man: so what if the painter didn't quite capture the mood that was in reality the way the photographer did? The photographer accomplished what she set out to do, and then her job was done. I don't care if the painter gave the guy a clown nose, a big red one. His art is his art. We should allow for this freedom to rethink art and culture and come up with new meaning and new ideas. To stop this would be counterproductive and a lot of fuss over nothing.

so... retracting earlier Copyright point. Final Score..Copyright: 0 point. Re-Appropriators: 1 Points.

© don't steal any of this.

Monday, March 28, 2011


So Saturday started off great. Woke up at 6 30 am and went to work! just kidding that part sucked. What was good though was when I got to peace out early and head to UNCW to shoot the 16mm 1 minute film.

Our idea was fairly simple. We had a bee attached to a wire that I was holding, while Barrett handled the camera. We planned to have the bee sort of run (buzz) around people doing different activities (picnicing, soccering, etc.). We spent the first half just blocking the scene, and getting down our timing. It was a little difficult to hold the bee, and be a soccer player. But by making bee sound effects I was able to seperate my spoken conscious into the persona of Bee, and my inner voice was the persona of Mee. It made sense and everyone appreciated it, I only wish we could have captured sound for the film. The shoot went well and we had our timing down so that all of our blocking was covered in the one shot.

Then we went to process which is always a lot of fun. Its so great to see it develop right in front of you, I mean it doesn't really get much better than that. Our film did however look a little bit dark in the red lit room, but once we put it though the projector we saw a lot more than the little squares of black revealed. I was happy to see that the bee remained in focus and I'm excited to see it once we inverse the colors. I'm really just so into the idea of shooting a roll of film, and then two-three hours(ish) later having a projected/digital copy.

After our shoot we helped group two out with theirs. They had all the blocking done before we got there so we just helped cue times and offer moral support. The shoot went very well, except for when I accidently dropped Emmas phone into the pond nearby (im sure you've heard several times by now). We tried to call it so we could fish it out, but unfortunately Emma must of had the phone on silent or had forgotten to charge it. She was probaly too busy planning the long take!

Overall though very great day, it was a good expeience for the whole class I'm sure and it was very rewarding to be able to shoot, process, project, transfer all on your own.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Making a film without using any type of camera or even any technology with the word "camera" in it seems difficult. The most obvious thing I think of is to use Scanners. I've played around with them before, and you can really do some neat stuff. You can warp images by moving whatever you are scanning while the scanning is taking place and the result is a very trippy deformed image. My phone can do video and take pictures so thats always an option.

To think more out of the box though, I wonder If I can get access to an x ray machine. Or other medical scanners. Hopefully, the hospital is cool with that.

I've never done a video race before, but with the mystery prop not in hand it seems hard to plan too much in advance. I could work out some sort of narrarative based on someone going to the doctor, or have people discuss how someone was injured while having the xray images scanned in showing all of the injurines in detail. I really just need to brainsrotm more ways I can capture images without using a camera or preexisting media then I'll have more narrarative structures to explore. I do however like the idea of someone talking over images which provide a visual for the words spoken. There are numerous scenarios that could work for this style and I think it would be a fun way to tie everything together.

With my cellphone/scanner combo. I could take pictures and video with my phone and I could put my phone in the scanner and record what goes on. Or even do some sort of scanner films the phone/phone films the scanner battle. I would be interested to see how an image on a screen looks when it gets scanned. I might just do that anyway. Overall I just gotta do a lot of brainstorming and figuring out some various plans of action. 48 hours is not a lot of time, but I'll make it happen. The pressure of the whole thing should make for a better end result.

Monday, March 7, 2011


The projected image was not exactly what I had in mind but not too far from what we envisioned either. There were some parts that once projected sort of lacked the luster present in other segments. Now I wish I could go back and add other techniques to certain sequences like my bleach segment and rayogram segments. For the bleaching, we masked part of the frame which was a doctor talking and bleached the other part. I wish I wasn't afraid of the bleach because the effects looked great and I would love to experiment with it some more. Other things that were sort of an accident/after thought came out great and I'd like to add more. I accidently spilled red ink on my finger tips and started pressing my finger to the strip leaving finger prints. It looked amazing projected and the details were easily seen. The inking segments turned out great. For technique I put a drop of ink on one end of the strip and let it drip down. Once projected it maintained a bright/colorchanging/shaking bar.

The animation didn't really work out that well. When I was animating, I had trouble replicating the same circle, but instead of trying to make it absolutely perfect I figured it might have a cool shaky effect. Not the case however, what was sopposed to be the earth spinning, just looked like a green/blue polymorphicoxahectagonshapething. I think also since I only used 50 frames for this animation, I may have been trying to do too much for a 2 second animation. Its hard to take in everything and appreciate what you are seeing in such a short amoung of time. Next time with animation I will try and pay more attention to detail and go for a longer piece.

The pacing wasn't at all what I expected. Through out the process I kept telling myself, all of these 60 or so frame segments would only be a few seconds long. But its hard to imagine just how fast the film strip goes through. The minute did go by fast however which I take as a good sign that we used plenty of different techniques and styles to maintain viewer stimulation. Overall I think it turned out pretty well. This style of filmmaking is definately enjoyable and still maintains a sort of therapeutic/meditative effect for me. I think the main lesson I learned is to pay attention to detail and definitely go overboard, completely overboard.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I had never really focused on the idea of the Disney dominated Cel style animation, and the sort of underground experimental animation world and their clashish ideas and styles. True when I think of animation the world of picture perfect bugs bunny animation dominates my mind. Though when I think of this style of animation, it all seems pretty mundane and dull. The reading pointed out why this is the case and then brought out the ideas used by more "experimental" animators. It seems that Disney animation is more concerned with a realist style and seldom designs to point out the textures and realities of the animated process. Other styles of animations however, are concerned with using animation to its full capabilites and making decisions that exhibit reflexive ideahs.

I find the latter style for more complex and interesting. Filmmakers of this platform use different materials and challenge the usual approached to story and structure. Its also interesting to note how far more personal this style of animation is. Instead of making decisions to support a textbook narrative or simple character, the decisions can be used to serve the goals and feelings of the animator.

I'm excited to try out the multi-plane animation as I have very little experience with animation. Our group is more or less just bringing in a bunch of food so we will have a lot of room for creative decisions.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Cameraless filmmaking brings together the best of both worlds for me. I really have a love hate relationship with technology; digital camera menus, and most Mac software interfaces give me chills. However, I absolutely love making films. Predicament. Cameraless filmmaking allows me to make films with my most advanced piece of equipment being a pair of scissors. It’s amazing. So far, out of all the techniques we have learned, I am most into the magazine/newspaper transfers. Once projected, the image and texture looks unreal and the process for creating it could not be simpler. And the process is such an almost therapeutic experience. This past week, I spent a good amount of time cranking out a good 35 feet of a newspaper transfer. It was so relaxing and meditative and it was great to see my living room enshrouded with film strips. There is just something about pulling the pulp off a bunch of tape in a bucket of hot water that gets me.

The rayograms and direct film manipulation were also pretty interesting. It was cool to watch film get exposed right in front of me just by flipping the lights on and off. It was also really neat to develop the film with the instant developer. It was sorda like cooking spaghetti. The direct film manipulation is kind of tricky because you never know what you're going to get until you project it. I would love to just try 5 ft of every technique and idea I ever have and just project it and watch, but there is also something fun about not knowing what it will look like and just watching it unravel in front of you.