Thursday, 30 September 2010

Mulholland Drive review

After watching Mulholland Drive, the feeling I got, was similar to the feeling I had after watching Kill Bill. I felt this way because throughout, the movie was gripping, however after, I could not decide whether I liked it or not. For me, Mulholland Drive did what Kill Bill did with genres, to story. In Kill Bill, a mix of genres was a major part of the film, whereas Mulholland Drive focussed on story. There were parts of the film where I felt as if I was getting closer to working out what was going on, however the film repeatedly kept changing, preventing me from 'getting it'. The film presented three different films at once that each blended together to confuse the audience, one was the story of a budding actress trying to make it in Hollywood, the other was the story of a lady and her dealing with her sexuality, and the last was the story of a lady dealing with amnesia. The film also plays with your mental strength. There are scenes where you are informed of something, then led to believe something completely different. The scene in which Diane auditions, you are led into believing that her performance is not a performance but real life. Also, the theatre scene, you are initially informed that everything that proceeds is pre-recorded, however you are led to believe that it is live. The film plays with many Hollywood conventions and also plays with many worldwide beliefs that you have grown to accept.

Ed Wood review

A message that was present throughout Ed Wood was, never to give up. The film was more of a tribute to Ed Wood and never put him down for his unwell received films. We are constantly shown the optimism in Ed Wood and grow to like his character throughout the film. With a happy ending the film goes on to promote the fact that hard work pays off, and to never give up, or as Orson Welles puts it in his films, "visions are worth fighting for". Wood's reaction to every negative moment in his life is an inspiration and reflects Orson Welles' quote.

Kill Bill review

I watched Kill Bill all the way through, without wanting to take my eyes off it. Because of this, I believe it was successful. Whether I liked it or not, I don't know. The editing style used was definitely unique, and I haven't seen anything like it. If I had a problem with anything, it would have to be the story. It is in whole, a story of revenge. I don't know if it's just me being brought up with the traditional revenge stories, but when I see a 'revenge story' I always expect, and now want the message of the story to be that 'revenge is not the answer'. I did not feel this message from Kill Bill. I did however, enjoy the mashup of various styles, including Martial Arts, Japanese gangster and American Western films. I liked this, because it played with my expectations, for example the opening scene where Uma Therman kills her first target, I did not expect a fight within the household due to the setup and colours used, I didn't see it coming. And what a fight it was using a Chinese Wuxia genre, it was fresh.

The Fly review

The Fly for me, was successful in terms of concept. What happens when man takes technology too far? I wasn't too sure about the beginning of the film, as they reveal the death of the professor at the start. I feel this way, as half-way through the film, I genuinely would not have known whether he was going to die or not if it were not for the opening scene. The Fly also had a sense of role reversal as I felt the woman was the main character as she had more screen time and was ultimately trying to save her husband, albeit failing.

Lost in La Mancha review

I thought it was relevant showing us all 'Lost in La Mancha' at the start of the year. The film teaches us of the struggle and sacrifices needed to be made in order to create a film. It allows us to experience the various scenarios that could occur during film production including torrential rain, loss of equipment, trouble with insurance, trouble with actors/actresses, trouble with staff, trouble with yourself, trouble with location and time. Lost in la Mancha really is an insight into the various scenarios we will have to deal with whilst making our Retrofest trailer with our studio, albeit many situation are negated due to the fact we are making an animation.

Maya Lip Sync week 2

Monday, 27 September 2010

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Maya automotive modeling

Maya Lip Sync tutorial (Jaw only)

Bad Kids go to Hell review

I really enjoyed reading this comic book. It was the fact that I could never guess what was going to happen next that kept me reading it. I could hint on several of the characters, such as, Kelly, I had a feeling she would have a reappearance in the story while I was reading, but I never would of guessed her role in the comic. The book was full of twists which was what kept sending the story in different directions for me. Throughout I could never work out "who was responsible", in my mind I ended up blaming each and every character for the damage that was being caused throughout, I even had a moment where I thought it was actually 'Rainwater's' ghost, I feel kind of embarrassed now. I really liked the ending with the 'chess piece', it provides an 'ooooooohhhhhhhh' moment. The book was inspirational, what always gets me in storytelling, are the twists, unexpected moments that change the course of a story completely. While reading, I thought it was too much of a coincidence that Matt had met every single one of the students in that room during his time in Crestview. But it turns out that this was just what it was, a massive coincidence, he was actually not meant to be in that room, and even Matt says during the comic "there are no coincidences", which I thought, justified this big coincidence story-wise. I really do hope that I can someday create a story as compelling and with as many unexpected twists as 'Bad Kids go to Hell'.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Influence Map

Back to the Future - I've included this in my influence map as I like the characters of Marty McFly and Doc Brown the nutty professor. Marty McFly, being a teenage high school student is eager to get back to his time with his family and friends there. While Doc Brown provides the comic relief. I like the use of the Clock Tower and the idea of using the car to get to the past/future.

Bill and Ted Excellent Adventure - I really enjoyed the journey in this film as Bill and Ted bring back characters from the past in order to pass their History course. The use of a telephone box to go back in time is unique and was used during the promotion of the film.

James Bond - James Bond's gadgets and his personality come across strong in the films and its what personifies him as a secret agent. His preference of a Martini, shaken not stirred, has become iconic throughout the James Bond series. His lifestyle and clothes reflect his demeanor, spending time in Hotels and Casino's.

Bourne series - Jason Bourne's fighting style throughout the Bourne series differentiates it from others, it's a no nonsense style, where the goal is always to get an opponent down. His clothes are always a dark colour so that he isn't easily noticeable. I like the story throughout this, where he is constantly trying to 'remember', and uncover parts of his past. Although not a secret agent, his demeanor contains traits of what a secret agent would do as he was trained by a secret organization.

Men In Black - I like the characters in Men In Black, Will Smith provides the comedy and Tommy Lee Jones is the no nonsense serious character that wants to get a job done his way. The creative gadgets in MIB, such as the noisy cricket or the neuralizer differentiate it from other films. The suit and glasses also help identify them as a secret agents. The HQ in MIB is futuristic and separates it from the rest of the world.

Totally Spies (the HQ) - THe headquarters in Totally Spies is very futuristic with a minimalist and technological look that separates it from the rest of the world.

Mission Impossible - The gadgets in this film aswell as the clothing, classify Tom Cruise as a secret agent in this. His stunts also help brand him, with him using wires and guns.

Heroes (Hiro) - I like the concept of Hiro have to concentrate hard to stop time, and that it's something he has to practice and become better at it.

La Jetee - I also like the time traveling concept in this, as he is time traveling in his head, rather than physically doing it.

The Time Machine - The device used in this film to time travel is an inspiration, as the design comes across as some sort of abstract flying vehicle.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Free Chicken storyboard

Themes for new idea

When visualising my idea, I wanted the art style to express my characters emotions in a very simplified manner, yet I wanted to also display lush landscapes in all their beauty. To express the characters, the illustrations of Karl Pilkington, who's illustrations feature a more simplified art style of the animated series, The Flintstones by Hanna-Barbera Productions caught my eye. However, I then realised that using a similar art style would prevent me from really expressing the landscapes in my scenes. Personally wanting to paint the landscapes in through graphics tablet got me thinking about the painted style used in the game 'Prince of Persia' and 'Drake's fortune'. I finally decided I would combine both Karl Pilkingtons illustrations and the art style used in 'Prince of Persia' and Drake's Fortune to allow me to display both simplified characters and lush landscapes.

Having got back from holiday in India, I felt inspired to feature the landscapes I had viewed there, in my assignment. I also felt that having visited the country enough times, I had a feel for the place which I could transfer into my work. I therefore decided to set my story in India.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Third script idea

'Hungry guy' walks around.

Sees a poster on a tree for a free buffet.

He pulls the poster off, reads it, then chucks the poster on the floor and runs towards the buffet.

He asks a member of public but this person has no idea what buffet he means, so 'hungy guy' runs back to get the poster.

After, it nearly blowing away in the wind, he grabs it on the third attempt.

He asks the same guy again, and the guy points to a sign behind him saying "buffet this way". Hungry guy puts his face in his palm.

He runs towards the buffet and sees members of public on the way carrying buffet bags.

He then sees the buffet shop and runs up and down the hills in excitement towards it.

He eventually gets there and sees a big guy walking out of the buffet licking his fingers as the buffet shop puts it's 'closed' sign up.

Second script idea

Again, using the analysis I've done for the soundscape, I've created another script idea. My second idea spurred from the soundscapes tendency to switch between themes so often. This got me thinking about the 1968 animated show 'Wacky Racers'. I decided the various racers would provide me with a number of different focal points to accompany the constant change in theme music.

They set off on the race.

We see one racer going ahead.

Another racer follows.

As the two fight for first place, they begin arguing whilst in their vehicles.

They don't realise there is a 'no bridge' sign ahead, and they both fall off.

Then directly behind them we see a racer that has built-in wings into it's car and flies over the gap.

Following behind that racer, is another racer that drives off the gap and hangs onto the flying-car.

Another 5 cars, fly over the gap and hang onto each racer consecutively.

The weight of the 6 racers proves too much for the flying car, and it doesn't make it over the gap and instead crashes into the hill.

We then see a racer that had decided to go around the gap instead of over, and we see this racer winning. (this part goes past the 0:45 mark and occurs during the two handed piano solo).

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Soundscape 31 analysis

I've analysed my Soundscape, noting down key musical elements that can be interpreted into actions in the hope of gaining a brief outline of my story.

0:02 - double bass, piano, trumpet and crash cymbal play a staccato note of a high dynamic. This kicks off the action, and could be the catalyst for the story.

0:02 - 0:08 - piano notes in a jazz scale are played in quick succession with the left and right hand. This part connotes quick footsteps or running if a person is to be the subject. The variation in notes and the quick tempo relate to an action scene with a high amount of cuts.

0:08 - 0:12 - In a 'call and response' fashion, the saxophone takes over playing a similar melody to the piano, and the piano plays chords over the saxophone in a decreased velocity. This part could be used to show a journey of another character, juxtaposed against the journey of a character from 0:02-0:08.

0:12 - 0:15 - The Saxophone bridges the modulation to the higher key using an ascending chord progression. If something in a scene were to heighten the action, this music would be played here as the modulation signifies an 'upgrade'.

0:15 - 0:24 - The trumpet enters with a melody ending in a held note. Layered over this long note is the introduction of the vibraphone. The vibraphone plays a descending melody, followed by a saxophone melody that switches between descending and ascending. A scene with this music would begin with a 'realisation' , such as two character identifying each other, or a character getting an idea. The opening trumpet also has a sinister tone so could be used when a character gets a sinister idea.

0:24 - 0:31 - The saxophone plays a descending melody, before the vibraphone takes over and plays both a descending and ascending melody. The saxophone comes in again, and this time creates a lead up to another modulation. In a scene, this would be the part where either the protagonist fails and then succeeds at minor tasks in quick succession, ending with the protagonist succeeds.

0:31 - 0:36 - The trumpet, saxophone, double bass and vibraphone play a staccato note, this then follows with all instruments, excluding the trumpet playing a descending melody.This would be the part where the protagonist get back on track and continues chasing the antagonist, followed by a final struggle between the protagonist and the antagonist.

0:36 - 0:45 - We end with a bright melody played by the trumpet accompanied by a 1-2 bass line. This would signify the success of the protagonist in the story.

Music Perception

The car scene in Blue Velvet is an example of how music can be interpreted differently depending on what it is juxtaposed against.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Soundscape 31

I've received Soundscape 31 for my Summer Assignment. As we are to respond creatively, with a lot of scope to forward this project in our own manner, I have started by researching scenes from TV shows that incorporate a similar genre of music. The given soundscape has a jazz feel to it, with many changes in texture. I have found two scenes, one from the 1968 Batman cartoon and the other from the (1941-1956) Tom and Jerry cartoon. They are both chase scenes. Jazz Music of this kind, being used in chase scenes has become a convention.

I will next explore the application of Jazz music similar to my Soundscape, on unconventional scenes as I understand the juxtaposition of the music against an unconventional scene could draw different emotions from the audience.