It is already the end of the third week of Semester 2 and I have been flooded with assessment! All three of my subjects have an assessment piece due at the end of week four: fml. In On the Frame this week, the central idea was the notion of movement within (or outside) the frame. Breaking down movement into its constituent parts is fundamental in understanding the illusion of movement within film. These constituent parts, or ‘frames’, are each screened one-after-the-other which tricks human eyesight in perceiving movement across still frames.
After a class discussion on L’Avventura, we watched The Matrix’s famous first ‘bullet-time’ action sequence, where Trinity KICKS SOME ARSE! After watching this, we viewed a short documentary on The Matrix’s famous bullet-time shots which proved to be very interesting as still cameras are responsible for the illusion. After the ‘learning’ part of the three-hour long class, we were off to each film a less-than-one-minute investigation of movement in the frame. Inspired by Trinity, I chose to film movement within the frame, whilst the camera was itself moving in the space. Edited in post-production, I played around with frame duration and altered the speed of each shot.
I am going to be brutally honest to both tutor Dan and myself: the finished product is shittier than ‘Black and Gold’ products. There is, however, the matter of personal perception that needs to be applied to my short film. Through my eyes, I see: an intentionally-constructed sequence that’s on-the-surface awfulness juxtaposes its pedagogical purpose in investigating the effects of shot duration. In everyone else’s eyes: is Zac twelve years-old and using Windows Media Maker?
Judge for yourself!
P.S. The audio is copyrighted and is now in silence… yay. You must view this alongside Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy playing for the video to work.
In this week’s practical Media One class, we further worked on developing our next assignment: Project Brief 4. After a group conversation regarding the research we each did last week, Monaliza, Sasha and I spent the second half of the class refining our ideas and working out a schedule for the upcoming weeks. We have, unfortunately, decided against focusing on youth culture and drug and alcohol culture in our media artefact however we are very definitive on exploring the representation of self-identity in a growing social media culture. To be created in postmodernity through a visual-art photography piece, it will be supported by our research on Freud’s Psychoanalytical theories. We have determined the amount of work each group member will do over the next week to ensure that by Media One’s tenth practical class we are on top of the work. We have also discussed social opportunities to meet up and spend time together which is ace.
In this week’s Media One practical, practically, we were practical about text practices. Obviously I am procrastinating from writing anything worth the time to read but I will attempt captivation. This lesson involved getting together with our groups (for me – Monaliza, Sasha and myself) and talking through our research for Project Brief 4. Between the three of us, we have plenty of academic source materials to sift through for the theory aspect of the project. After a discussion with Dan (always enjoyable), we had an inspirational epiphany on the artefact we would create. The three of us are definite on creating a physical artefact for the project – filled with sexuality, postmodernity, and psychoanalytical discourses: all the good stuff! Things are beginning to look up. Perhaps the universe has said, “You know what, we have had our fun. Is it time to stop with the fire and let the burns heal?”
On a side note (kind of), I am absolutely loving the course. I have had this goal in mind for several years and to finally live it is incredible. I have achieved amazing results this first semester so it definitely goes to show that perseverance and determination are the two most important mindsets for achievement. I look forward to what the future brings. Is the future predetermined? Is the future down to chance? Is the future irrelevant? I don’t know what I think at the moment. All I know is that I am very excited to see how Monaliza’s, Sasha’s and my project turns out.
PROJECT BRIEF 4. Capitals was a necessary textual function for the commencement of this post. I am THAT excited for Project Brief 4; I feel elated. Sasha, Monaliza and I are very driven and motivated for this assignment. We have similar interests and are similarly inappropriate and ‘unprofessionally sexual’: I love it. This assignment is going to turn out the way we want it to – high quality, controversial, provocative, and explicit. Moving to Melbourne I had hoped that I would meet friends like my ones back home, where I feel really comfortable talking about anything and exploring ‘explicit’ subjects. This next assignment is going to be GROUSE and I know it. I need to be more positive and optimistic so I am going to have high hopes for this assessment. With high hopes comes high marks.
Our topic is Media ‘Texts’. That is it; a broad subject really. Sasha, Monaliza and I had a lot to discuss and a lot of ideas to sift through. We have mutually agreed that we wish to explore Youth Culture, Popular Culture, and Drug and Alcohol Culture in our work. But how to do this through ‘Texts’? What is a Media text? Basically it is anything through an aspect of media that intends to convey an idea, message, meaning and so on. Sasha, Monaliza and I are very interested in postmodernity, psychoanalysis and sexuality. We really want to explore disjointed narratives, implicit and underlying meanings, and intense psychoanalytical textual analysis. I am looking forward to this project and working with great minds.
The intial conception of Sasha’s portrait on Carmen-Sibha Keiso is that it is rudimentary. But no, it isn’t; rudimentary is the wrong word. I would describe, in two words, Sasha’s portrait as gorgeously simplistic. With such a charismatic subject, Sasha’s stripped interview with a minimalistic setting worked well. Sasha chose to use as little ‘found footage’ as possible, which also worked with his subject. It is all dependant on context and the human subject. When ‘found footage’ was evident, it was Carmen-Sibha’s own work which I thought was astutely chosen in terms of presenting a portrait of her. I think that the way the piece opens and ends abruptly without any sense of ‘beginning’ or ‘end’ worked well in terms of this portrait as the subject did not need this; I could understand her personality and motivations by the simplistic non-narrative style. Whilst not technically brilliant, Sasha’s construction of his portrait was intentionally simple and I believe it worked very well.
Watching Monaliza’s portrait on Richard Morrison, I was immediately captured by the simplicity of the opening. I think that beginning with a dressed-down shot of Richard speaking before the opening title was an interesting choice that works beautifully. Richard is a very good choice of subject as he is both interesting and stimulating. The fast-paced editing montage of Richard’s paintings interspersed with the ‘found footage’ of gay women kissing passionately added to the context of Monaliza’s work. She aimed to capture Richard’s purpose of his art; his controversy and his interest in the human form. ‘The Artist’ is filmed at high quality and very steady, probably filmed on a tripod. This was thrown off through the final shaky shot (hand-held camera?), however, I believe that this fitted perfectly as it created a final sense of intimacy and insight into Richard. Overall, Monaliza’s portrait was very well constructed and edited.
In this week’s practical Media One class, we screened all of our self-portrait videos. I was pleased to watch everyone else’s as they were all informative, well-made and different. Before I went into the practical, I was asked by a classmate whether or not I was ‘nervous’ to screen my self-portrait. No, I wasn’t. I created my first Media One assessment piece which centred around the idea of my ‘self’; I was content. After the screening of 032015, I talked about the positives and negatives of my portrait and also some underlying themes I pervaded.
After the screening, the focus in the practical was on learning to operate film cameras. We went out in groups of three and were asked to create a ‘handshake’ three-shot scene. My group, naturally, took this as an opportunity to create an intense drug-dealing film. Enjoy.
Following on from project brief 1, Media One’s third practical class began with getting into groups and giving peer feedback on our self-portraits. Using a four-hat media version of Edward de Bono’s famous theory on parallel thinking “Six Thinking Hats”, we gave initial responses, what worked well, what didn’t work well and suggestions for improvement. Sharing my self-portrait, I was not nervous because I was very interested to receive feedback and determine what I could improve. With the feedback given by my peers, I decided (with their guidance) that my self-portrait could be described in one word: selective. It was well-received in capturing part of my essence and my writing was applauded; however, I was given feedback that it did not encapsulate me entirely. Which is what I knew would be the case before I even started the project brief. A wholeness cannot be represented through two videos, four photos, two sounds and 50 words of text. Looking back on my self-portrait after the feedback session, however, I can see that I was too succinct in my depictions: that is, I chose to focus on parts of myself and ignore others. In project brief 2 I will definitely try to pervade a broader sense of my being and really try to depict who I really am.
To finish off the practical class, we were given a short editing task where we had to focus on one set theme for our videos. My first created film in Media One, entitled simply ‘Movement’, has been posted on my blog previously and deals with movement (obviously) as my primary theme.
I’m going to oppose my preconceived notions of the acceptable length of a blog post and keep this one nice and short (relatively). There lies something interesting – an attribute of myself so definitive: I epitomise oxymorons.
‘Zact’ 1: I speak in oxymorons
Now onto the Media 1 practical workshop. After discussion on the two different models of cognitive modes, Dan delved into a topic that was not entirely unknown to me, however, I have not given it much thought: self-portraits. What is a self-portrait? Could a daily Selfie can embody the wholeness of a self-portrait? No; and yes. I have come to the conclusion that the dedication and determination of the self-portrait is where this wholeness lies. I have recently come across a Youtube project video by Diana Scheunemann where she undertook a 15-year daily Selfie project beginning in 1999 (the term ‘Selfie’ not turned viral until 2012). This is where the opposition to the Selfie as a model of self-portrait becomes sparse. As seen in Scheunemann’s project, the self-portrait journey she undertook was personal, emotional and unreserved. And now to my point. Yes, there is a point. A self-portrait needs to be an illustration of one’s self – explicit or allusive – whereby the effort exhausted into creating it juxtaposes the minimal exertion of the Media society’s opinion on the famous ‘Selfie’. Scheunemann’s journey, whilst depicted through thousands of Selfies, is clearly an insightful self-portrait on her own growth and change – both physical and emotional.
During the practical workshop, we also set up our personal blogs (of which I am posting on now). This task was the inspiration for the noun ending the post’s title: perplexity. There were elevated stress and confusion during this task, birthing an aura of perplexity that was pervasive throughout the space. I could physically feel this perplexity. This idea that a collective emotion can be physically sensed has inspired several of my ideas for my own self-portrait. I am looking forward to sharing my self-portrait within the coming weeks. Whilst apprehensive of its personal nature, I am excited to share parts of myself otherwise concealed.