There Is No Spoon: Week 4

16 Aug


Due to being absent for both On the Frame sessions in Week 4, I am limited in my blog post for what I am able to write about related to the week’s learning. In relation to the lesson information, this week I am unable to write about.

Instead, I watched The Matrix, The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions; I will watch Inception tonight. I have chosen a comparative essay between The Matrix and Inception for Project Brief 2 in On the Frame. I will write about the affordances of movement in the frame, demonstrated through The Matrix’s bullet-time and Inception’s own frame composition. I am very passionate about my study and am unhappy missing class this week. I will ensure I attend this coming week as I am eager to continue on with the course structure.

Terribly-made Film: Week 3

8 Aug

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.

Proposed Perception – Week 2

2 Aug


In the Week 2 reading, Susan Sontag writes, “To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed.” That’s just exactly it isn’t it? Focusing on a particular object, or theme, or subject will result in the appropriation of the photographed unto the photographer and viewers of the frame. She states, “Recently, photography has become almost as widely practised an amusement as sex and dancing…” Photography as a ‘social rite’ with no grandiose artistic intent is an interesting modern-day notion that needs further investigation of the social-media-feeding frames.

In the portion of the class where Dan proposed new information and new theories for us to ponder over, we took part in a small exercise where we viewed a Keynote presentation depicting examples of several aspects of the frame, including: colour, depth-of-field, and lighting. Although rather patent, it was a good introduction to the topics that we will be exploring this semester’s class.

Presented in his The Republic, Greek philosopher Plato illustrates the Allegory of the Cave – his unrestricted views on what I have come to enjoy analysing, Perception. He idealises that the ‘intelligible’ world is being masked by a domineering visible or ‘sensible’ world and that philosophers break through this illusion. With prisoners viewing shadowed puppetry and objects whilst hearing human speech, they ‘fill in’ the unknown cause and effect of the shadows based on perception. In the 21st century, this could be expanded to read: “…cause and effect of the shadows based on perception AND personal social, environmental, cultural, political and academic discourses.”

Basically, I will perceive a frame vasty (or rarely minutely) different to how any others perceive the same frame.

This brings to mind reader-centred analysis on literary texts, one of English theorists’ largest debates. Where lies the meaning and who has the control – the artist, or the recipient of art? It is a common debate that I believe, only has one true answer: the recipient of art. Why, you may ask? Because the artist is also always the recipient of their own art however the recipient of art is not always the artist. Was Plato’s Allegory of the Cave the first major exploration of perception being garnered exclusively and independently? As I was away from class on Thursday I did not make it to the screening of L’Avventura (translated “The Adventure”) however I am looking forward to finding a copy of this famous film in my own time and watching it. On the Frame is proving to be a very interesting class indeed!


Obligatory Blog Post – Week 1

2 Aug


On the Frame: yes! I have been eagerly awaiting this Media Two class all semester break. Stoked that I have Dan again as he’s ace; The Natural Confectionary Co.’s Sour Patch Watermelon flavour sweets are identically ace, in my opinion, as I eat them and salivate. What is a frame and what does the term ‘frame’ bring to mind – its history, its composition? For a frame in filmmaking, a film frame belongs to a set of frames – usually 1/24 – that construct the illusion of the moving image. Within visual arts culture the frame is, generally speaking, material (woods, metals) that ‘frames’ a still image – or moving image, or two-dimensional or three-dimensional artworks. In a gallery setting, the physical frame is the spearhead feature for focus and perspective. The artwork is often injected with life, held in an eternal frame, that’s stationary demeanour contrasts the vibrant – or non-vibrant – artwork.

As I was ill and missed the class excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria (N.G.V.), I chose to visit the N.G.V. on my day-off of study with my housemate Liam. It was fun,  gorgeous and awe-inspiring. We became separated in adoration for the artwork and I found myself entranced in a bubble of tasteful art-related analytical thoughts – whereby I was the sole inhabitant. I must add that writing this blog post to Courtney Barnett’s Kim’s Caravan is stimulating and invigorating. Forgetting the purpose of the visit to the gallery, Liam and I spent an hour wandering through the space at a leisurely house. Only when we decided that we were to get Noodle House for dinner were we content and left the N.G.V. and boarded the train from Flinders’ Street Station back to Reservoir.

For Project Brief 1, we have to take 50 shots, or frames, that explored aspects of the frame, cinematography or artists’ intentions in still images. With being sick the first week of semester, I was limited in my time available for this task. I spontaneously informed my housemates that I would love to shoot them for my work and we caught the train down to Flinder’s Street Station; our location: the Princes Bridge. Perfect location for my frames – with the Yarra River and Southbank in the background.

There were several inspirations for me for Project Brief 1 which confirmed my exploration of: sequential frames, taken rapidly at approximately two frames per second; spatial awareness and place, with all frames taking place on the same ‘focal-line’; depth of field; angle; indicated movement; and setting/location. I am looking forward to the finished product.

Reflection on Sasha’s Portrait

23 April


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.

Reflection on Monaliza’s Portrait

23 April


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.

Media One Lectorial 7: Semiotics of ‘Texts’ and Introduction to Sound

21 April


In week seven’s lectorial, Brian introduced the topic of ‘texts’ in media. What is a text? One quote that was included in the lectorial presentation was:

‘Material traces that are left of the practice of sense-making, the only empirical evidence we have of how other people make sense of the world’
Robert McKee

This ambiguous description is not entirely easy to determine the actual definition of a ‘text’. Considering my personal opinion of what a ‘text’ in media, I would write the following definition:

A determined constructed idea or artefact through media-related mediums that’s definement as a ‘text’ is imperatively dependent on the analytical possibilities of itself

After a brief but broad introduction into what a ‘text’ is, the lectorial moved onto an interesting topic that is familiar due to previous study of it: the semiotic tradition of analysis. Learning about the semiotics of textual analysis in 2015’s Lectorial 7 allowed me to recall my learnings of it from 2013. It is one of those things that is so distinctive – so intellectually stimulating – that your understanding of it never wanes. I learnt about the semiotics of textual analysis in Senior English Extension, where I was also privileged to be taught modernism and postmodernism, psychoanalytic theory, and structuralism and post-structuralism (which was coincidentally also mentioned in the lectorial). ‘Sign’ is the term that has etched itself onto my mind vis-a-vis semiotic analysis. The relationship between ‘signifier’ and ‘signified’ is something that is pervasive across all media ‘texts’. Perhaps I will revisit semiotic analysis theory for Project Brief 4?

Time for Brian to sit down; Jasmine’s turn.

The second half of the seventh Media One lectorial focused on the introduction to sound in media and its ubiquitous nature in everyday society. The first focus on sound and of vital importance regarded the perspective of sound in relation to our ears’ altering of reality, as the ears:

…hierarchise elements of what is represented

This hierarchy of sound can be easily understood through mind-altering substances internal functions on the brain (the legality of which is irrelevant); the ears are at their highest strength in hierarchising sounds.

Christopher O’Rourke: A Portrait of Another

23 April


Christopher O’Rourke by Zachary Newbegin

For Project Brief 2, I chose to focus on my uncle Christopher O’Rourke. He was my godfather and passed away on the 18 March 1997 – nine months after my birth. Throughout the entirety of my life, I have been told all about him and have felt his presence with me. Reflecting on my finished work, I consider using Beethoven’s ‘Für Elise’ as the most successful aspect of the piece. ‘Für Elise’ was Christopher’s favourite composition to play on piano and the shots of him at varying ages are complimented by the soft nature of the composition. I included Charlie Chaplin’s ‘A Night in the Show’ as it was also a favourite of Christopher’s. In consideration of how the other used ‘found footage’ works within the work, I chose to incorporate footage that illustrated my uncle’s interest in drag-queen culture and also his personal self-reflection on his journey throughout his illness. I did not want to use many visual transitions as I wanted a rather jagged look, used by a majority of cuts, to insinuate the rapid changing nature of his illness.

The most problematic part of working on this piece was to be tasteful to my deceased uncle however still encapsulate his inappropriately comedic nature and playful essence. This leads to my discussion on my learning discoveries through producing this piece. Working on Project Brief 2, in addition to Project Brief 1, I have garnered knowledge on the different creative possibilities of producing a ‘portrait’ of either myself or somebody else. When somebody thinks of ‘Media’ they automatically draw conclusions of filming and footage. My work, however, was difficult to incorporate footage due to the subject of the portrait I was producing being deceased. I chose to include several old photographs of my uncle however through editing, make it appear as though the photos have been filmed. I found that through editing, I was able to portray visual movement that I would not be able to include of my uncle due to his passing being too long ago to locate genuine footage. In reflection of what I have learnt relevant to my development as a media practitioner, I learnt that I can work around copyright by incorporating public domain videos and audio.

Media One Lectorial 6: Collaboration (that means you too Reel Friends)

14 April


Today’s lectorial was tiresome but great. The tumultuous arguments on ‘Reel Friends’ between the left and right sides of the room was stimulating. After a guest speaker gave a presentation on functions of RMIT’s website (including Library search haha), we delved into collaboration in media. What is collaboration? Is collaboration in media the most important aspect? Without a need to go into too much detail, effective and professional collaboration within a group in media-making will obviously result in a more rewarding experience and better-furnished product.

Media One Practical 4: Introduction to Camera Operation

9 April


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.

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