Everyday Media

An everyday blog about media by everyday blogger Louise Alice Wilson.

Tag: Studio

Reflection – Art

A painting by Yvan Favre, a french painter from Clermont-Ferrand.

I love Yvan Favre’s paintings, because they elevate everyday scenes into beautiful works of art, such as the painting above which is simple a woman riding the bus. Whilst looking over Yvan Favre’s other work it becomes clear that he finds inspiration in the everyday, rather than inspiration in the surreal. But when you closely at his paintings you realise that just like in films, this painting also ‘reproduces reality’. This painting is not simply a paint by numbers version of what Yvan Favre saw in front of him, but rather a reproduction of what Yvan saw but edited to be much more ‘visually pleasing’, by adjusting things such as the colour palette and the contrast of the scene itself.

The woman in this scene is lit by a key light coming in from the window on her left, which looks like a relatively soft light, that doesn’t have particularly defined ‘shadow edges’ even though it does have quite dark looking shadows. As I said earlier I think some ‘reproduced reality’ is going on here, so I think Yvan has really deepened the darkness of the scenes shadows to provide more contrast and to give the scene an overall greater oomph, which makes it slightly unreliable for understanding what kind of lighting Yvan has painted into this scene, as it may be inconsistent with the kind of lighting you’d actually see in real life. As you can see in the image above, everything the sun is directly touching is illuminated within the scene, whilst the shadow areas virtually fade away into darkness. But nowhere in the image do you see really distinctive shadow lines, expect maybe the woman’s spinal shadow – which may been exaggerated for purely aesthetic reasons.

Within the image above you can also see parts of the woman’s head and shoulder, which in camera terms would almost feel ‘overexposed’ as the colour is almost completely removed by the blown out white which appears to take its place, as the windows sunlight strikes those particular areas. Whilst this image may be a creative reimagining of one woman’s bus ride, it most certainly imparts that feeling of being sun drenched, whilst also simultaneously hiding in the shadows.

Until next time,

Louise Wilson

Reflection – Film Scene

I’m not sure if this is technically ‘a scene from a film’, but it’s most certainly a scene from within a film. As in, its the title sequence of a film. I decided to analyse this scene as its one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve ever watched, not in a disgusting way but rather in the way that it has stuck with me ever since I watched it and it certainly has a most interesting lighting setup.

Nocturnal Animals (2016) – Title Sequence

At the start of this clip, from 0:06 to 0:22 the only thing you can see is confetti falling within the frame. This confetti looks as if it’s been lit by a hard light, separating it from the black background and allowing it to be visible to the human eye. It then fades into a series of montage shots that show various women dancing naked to the music. These women are lit front on, by a relatively soft light that wraps around their body and castes them in a flattering softish yellow light, as if they were old Hollywood starlets. They may also be back lit as they seem quite visually separate from the background, which is heavy red draped curtains.  However these women may have been simply CGI’d in front of the image of the curtains.

It’s quite hard to tell the direction of the light, but it seems like there’s a key light slightly to the right, which is above head height, casting a slight shadow downwards, with a frontal fill light coming from the left. Overall the scene feels quite dark and ominous, whilst still feeling romantic and beautiful. I think this balance was achieved by using a soft light to purely light the subjects, but having a darkened background to give the overall scene quite a dark and toned down feel to it. Whilst this is a pretty obscure scene, I do think it’s an extremely beautiful and most certainly moving scene, that benefits greatly from the dramatic lighting setup that the cinematographer has chosen to use.

Until next time,

Louise Wilson

Week 2 – Reflection

Why do we light? I thought this was one of the most interesting questions brought up in this weeks class. I’d love to create a list of ‘why we light’ and continue to add to it over the course of the semester, so here it is:

Why do we light?

  • Spatial Continuity
  • Temporal Continuity
  • Emotional Impact
  • Necessity (Night)
  • Control
  • Reproduced Reality: Films don’t look like real life.

I’ve most certainly missed some things, but will certainly make an effort to consistently add to this list.

I also loved the concept of ‘Reproduced Reality’ which Robin brought to my attention in class. Robin stated that films, television and essentially most media content is ‘Reproduced Reality’. So rather than being actual reality in terms of look, dialogue and characters (and a whole heap more) it’s actually ‘reproduced reality’ like an attempt by human beings to construct something that both looks like real life as well as looking ‘like a film’ or looking like a fantasy version of reality. I jokingly said to my classmates that next time someone asks what I did on the weekend, rather than say “oh I watched this cool film, or I binged a whole pile of Netflix” i’ll say “oh I just watched some reproduced reality.

I feel like it’s an extremely simple way of consciously acknowledging that no, this isn’t actually reality and yes it does abide by its own unique rules and guiding regarding aesthetics and character development and such. So often we accept media as being ‘truthful’ or ‘reflective’ but rarely do we think about the ways in which we have constructed this faux-movie-reality where nothing ever really looks like that, or no-one ever really talks like that, yet we accept it as somehow being intensely truthful. I look forward to thinking more deeply about this concept and applying this approach to the way I view and make media in the future.

Until next time,

Louise Wilson

Week 1 – Reflection

How I came to be in Robin’s ‘Film Light’ studio is actually quite an entertaining story. Maybe only entertaining to myself though? Essentially when I rocked up to the studio presentation day I ran into my old studio head Paul, and he said to me “Hey Louise, why aren’t you talking to any of the studio heads?”. Because they’d recently introduced this ‘new way of doing things’ where instead of the studio heads presenting their studios to the class, they would simply stand there and you could go and ask them questions about their studios. Which for me is extremely devastating news as I make quite a consistent effort to talk to as few people as possible. So of course I replied to Paul “Well which studio do you think I should do?” and Paul replied “I think you’d love Robin’s studio”. And that was that, it was sorted. I put Robin’s studio as my first preference and indeed I got it and here I am, and Paul was right, I do love it.

I guess I didn’t have a crazy number of expectations regarding this studio, but it’s most certainly exceeded most of those. My main expectation was to understand the technical aspects of lighting a scene to a greater extent, as well as increasing my ability to ‘artificially’ light a scene, with hot and heavy lights and such. However, I was happily surprised to not only be learning those things but to also be learning a theoretical framework of how to view, understand and apply lighting principals.

From the very first lesson Robin focused heavily on getting us to use light that is readily available as well as ‘read’ scenes for their lighting quality and to appreciate what light is available in any given environment. Which is a great fundamental base to start on, rather than to begin with a ‘three-point-lighting’ setup which encourages you to view ‘lighting’ as the simple act of adding light to a room. As Robin made clear light is present in essentially all environments, so to ‘light’ a scene is not only to add addition lights but to work with what light is already there.

Post One: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/03/09/week-1-reflection/

Post Two: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/03/09/week-2-reflection/

Post Three: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/03/09/reflection-film-scene/

Post Four: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/03/09/reflection-art/

Until next time,

Louise Wilson

What is creativity?

What is creativity?
How de we define creativity?
Where does creativity come from?
How philosophical is the notion of creativity?
Is everyone’s ‘creativity’ different?
Or is it an ill conceived, simplified term that is used to describe a very specific series of neuronal & bodily reactions to certain stimuli?
These are all the questions I’ve been thinking (and googling, and youtubing) since beginning this Capturing Creativity studio* and I have found some answers or maybe I’ve just found more questions:

Creativity is generally defined as the ability to make new things, or come up with new ideas, it’s an ability to think outside the box, to see unique solutions and employ them in inventive ways. In this sense creativity is not always utilised when being ‘creative’, as to be creative is simply defined as the ability to make or produce something. However I guess that depends on your definition of creative, how different, unique, special, once off, un-influenced does something have to be, to be classified as creative?

This is where creativity get’s tricky.

It’s all well and good to be like oh this is what creativity is, so it’s easy to investigate it, but what if you don’t define that as being creative, maybe that was just following a formula, a somewhat inspired formula, but maybe it is just a formula. Creativity to most people seems to be a random mix of once off genius combined with solid skill and hard work and for us humans these percentages are unique to us.

Maybe creativity to you is 90% unique idea, 5% skill and 5% hard work.
Maybe creativity to you is 40% unique idea, 50% skill and 10% hard work.
Maybe for you creativity doesn’t have to involve any hard work at all.

For me when it comes to creativity I’m most interested in that unique idea portion; where does that unique idea come from?
Is it simply random?
Is it a gift from the gods?
Is our unique idea just a product of a lot of subconscious effort, only made aware to us in the sense of a ‘random’ idea?
Have we been influenced by something, processed it subconsciously, then come up with a creative idea, only to be unaware of the original influence?
Or is creativity a combination of genetic preferences, individual tastes, things you viewed on tumblr that day added together with a little bit of ‘what your friends like’?

I’m not sure what creativity is, but this is a good thing.
That allows me to be open minded and to listen to what my artist is saying, without pushing the narrative in a specific direction. My artist can inform me of what they think creativity is, how they are influenced creatively and what they believe the route cause or process to be. Maybe i’ll agree with their version or maybe I won’t, but by the end of the studio myself, the artist and our class of film students will be a little bit closer to understanding our own definitions of creativity.

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

 

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