Changing image card (creative paper engineering)

 

First, I saw a business card which what I did research about online and it`s really cool. It changes from closed eyes to opened eyes. That`s where I got inspiration from. I cut the postcard off to make that scenery. And it didn`t work out really well. The edges of the image were not smooth enough and after I tuck two parts in, it cannot move smoothly. I tried to fix it but I failed.

 

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So I decided to make another winter-summer scenery out of postcards. It worked out better. However, there is a huge distance between my imagination and reality. The edges were still not smooth enough because I used really hard postcards. The back of the card wasn`t handled really well, I should decorate more next time.

 

 

Reflections on Rama and Sita

I like how the author masterfully combined different types of drawing and technics, for example, in the beginning it was a almost real picture of the room and hand-drawn characters.  However the sound part here did not match actions well, for example when cat was jumping on a woman, it was hard to understand who makes what sound. Then in “India” the style of drawing was completely different and sometimes there were some real pictures, for example map of the world.

The history parts like the one  about Sita’s family is really well done. Some characters appear in front, some on the background, but it is still easy to move a focus and even sometimes to look at the whole picture. I also like that people who are telling a history staff speak with an Indian accent and make many errors, so it feels like a real discussion.

In the dialogues parts, for example part of Rama and his father, or Rama and Sita I really like the transitions of the camera, however sometimes characters are lacking actions, for example father is talking almost for one minute holding a crown, but nothing happens except movements of his mouth and movements of Rama’s eyes, even when he says that he will send Rama to a forest.  Sometimes it is funny, sometimes it is not. That is why I like more parts of Sita and Rama, when Sita is singing (in the forest and in the house), I like the style of drawing and the movements of characters are more realistic.

It was interesting to see “Sita sings the Blues”, and it is still hard to believe that it was made just by one person and only by using Adobe Effects.

 

Sita Sings the Blues… I guess

While sophisticated in terms of animation, Nina Paley’s film, “Sita Sings the Blues,” fell short of my expectations.

First, it took me quite a while (about 20 minutes) to figure out exactly how the stories (Sita singing, the paper art in conversation, and the people from San Francisco) were related. The beginning felt like a frantic switch between stories that had no apparent relationship. After I realized how the stories worked together, I was disappointed by the execution. The story line with the people from San Francisco provided comic relief and made the story relatable to those who are not familiar with Indian culture, but it was unnecessary.  I also found Sita’s singing to be raucous. The implementation of old blues pieces (as opposed to something more closely related to Indian culture) seriously detracted from the story because it pulled me out of it. I was aware of the disconnect between Sita’s culture and the type of music she was singing.

The variation of art styles also made it hard to fully immerse myself in the story. I was struck by the exaggerated, geometric shape of the characters when Sita was singing.

I was less offended by the style of the San Francisco characters and I quite enjoyed the style of the narrators and the non-singing Sita scene characters.

The animation’s main saving grace was the scene that incorporated a song in Hindi. While this piece was, again, a change in art style, the incorporation of elements from previous scenes made the switch less jarring. The music, too, felt much more appropriate to the story being told.

To be honest, I was transfixed by the aforementioned scene. My eyes didn’t leave the screen for the entirety of the scene, and it was the first point in the movie where I felt myself actively enjoying what I was seeing. I would like to see the story retold using that style, or perhaps the style of the non-singing Sita (and without the San Franciscans), I feel as if the streamlined version would be much easier on the eyes and ears.

Sita Sings the Blues Response

Watching Sita Sings the Blues was certainly an interesting experience for me, having recognized many of the references and names from my experiences with awe-inspiring Indian dramas that frequently made me want to pull my hair out because of all the ridiculousness and illogicality.

What I didn’t expect was the mix of animation styles used in the film; it was definitely a curious touch, adding to the different story-telling methods portrayed. One of my favourite aspects of Sita Sings the Blues was not only the style in which the narrators were drawn/animated, but their discussion itself – it felt much more real than other scripts might, due to the errors they made as they talked; it was just like a real discussion – and their reactions to the story amused me greatly. In reality, we don’t know exactly what we’re going to say next, we don’t not correct ourselves, we remember things wrong and track back and restate what we said, and add our own opinions in as we go. On the other hand, the montages of Sita singing were, to me, somewhat inconsequential. Whilst the singing did overlap with what was going on in the film at times, I didn’t really feel it to be particularly significant – and it did not help when in a slightly sleepy state. The more traditional-like, painted animations of the characters ‘actual’, long-winded, unnecessarily complicated story, for lack of a better description, was to me, a separator, as were the other styles. Finally, the mirroring story in San Francisco/India/New York, I felt was a much more straightforward way of telling the story than in the ‘Indian’ way, and I enjoyed the ‘shaky’ effect of the animation. All in all, the composition of all the mixed styles was interesting, but I wouldn’t say it evoked any particular realization in me – Sita Sings the Blues was just another thing.

Sita Sings the Blues Reflection

In Sita Sings the Blues, there are three layers of narrative – Sita’s legend, outsiders’ comment on Sita’s story and the author’s own experience of breaking up with her boyfriend. The author employed different styles of drawing to separate the three layers; and in each layer the painting style is also varied to differentiate the narrator. For example, in Sita’s story, the author uses realistic, Indian classical drawing style in the objective narrative, whereas in the music part where Sita sings her own feeling, we see simplified and modern drawing lines. It reminds me of some Bollywood movies in which the songs and dances are weaved into the feature films. Usually these songs and dances have little to do with the development of the plot, but they are serviceable transitions between huge plot changes in Indian-featured movies. I like the music in Sita Sings the Blues. “Rama is right”, the adaption of “Apple Round, Apple Red”, is especially ironic. It suggests her stance in the story Ramayana and her broken relationship. I think I can learn a lot from the author’s employment of different painting style and music in terms of distinguishing the narrator and emotional change.

Xiaoyue’s Response to Sita Sings the Blues

Nina Paley’s famous animated break-up film Sita Sings the Blues is an extremely interesting piece.

First, there are several types of scenes in Sita Sings the Blues. There is a realistic comic style of drawing that also tells the main story of Sita and Rama. Then there is a comic style of drawing that also tells the story of Sita and Rama, with which Sita usually comes to sing those beautiful beautiful songs. There is an American comic style of drawing that tells the story of Nina’s own break up which starts in the modern days of San Francisco. There is a scene of paper art style where several figures give their commentary on the story of Sita and Rama, in which a more realistic style of drawing that tells the story of Sita and Rama is used.

The variety of the art styles keeps Sita Sings the Blues extremely interesting and links the past to the present.

Second, I love the music used in Sita Sings the Blues. The music pieces are beautifully written and honestly tell the emotional ups and downs of Sita. The music pieces are closely related to the story of Sita and Rama, but it is really not confined to that age and that location. The lyrics are modern and the music genre is contemporary, which helps a lot in helping the audience resonate with the feelings.

Third, the plots of the two parallel stories have their similarities. But it is not clear how the entire story of Sita and Rama is meaningful in the story of the author. Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, which is not applicable to the author’s case. Sita also gave birth to twin sons of Rama, which is not matching the author’s story either. This makes the audience wonder. What exactly are the relationships between the two stories, other than the fact that they are both break up stories.

Anyhow, the story of Sita and Rama was interesting, so even if it is not an analogy of the author’s own experience, it enables the author to use those beautiful pictures of Indian stereotypes and is really entertaining. Personally, I feel okay with the author’s stereotypical portray of Indian culture, accent and people because Sita Sings the Blues is supposed to be funny and entertaining even though it tells two heartbreaking stories.

Sita Sings the Blues is bizarre, but it is definitely one of the best animated films I’ve ever seen.

Erin’s response to Sita Sings the Blues

This film screens two stories which are alike to each other at the same time. It shows how Sita and Nina both continue to love their loved ones even though they turn to treat Sita and Nina badly.

Rama is always doubting the purity of Sita in the film. Everyone gossips about it, takes it as a role of man being generous to his wife, and not demanding strictly of her. Out of peer pressure, Rama thinks he should do something about as a king, and chooses to kick Sita out even when she was pregnant. However, in the last part of the film, Sita’s two sons sings the folk rhyme “Rama’s great Rama’s good …” which is all sarcastic about Rama’s act towards Sita.

There are a few special effects used in the film that I really appreciate. When showing the Brooklyn, New York scene, it always zooms in from a realistic street view, giving the audience a sense that it is based on a real story. The part where Rama goes to save Sita, he and his army chops up the demons, the scene is a combination of the actual movements of fighting and the bloody body parts flying about. Like the previous project shooting a realistic film, the camera position changes, and makes the film seems more changeable and interesting. Another great part that I really appreciated in the animation was the fire dance. Using black background to let people focus on the burning fire and white outlines of the dancing women, it was a very strong and impressive scene.

Helen’s Response to Sita Sings the Blues

I have to say, I enjoyed the movie only technically. I think it awkward to combine the elements of Indian epic with those of modern American love story. Also the plot is not completely analogous, so it seems to me more like a desperate woman whose husband abandons her happens to love Ramayana and resonates so much with the sorrow and solitude an abandoned innocent wife has. But all these totally different styles of cartoons, and blues make the picture messier.

However, I want to point out some techniques and creative thoughts in the movie. First, in the shadow puppet scene, that the Indian characters appear and act synchronize with the talk or rather corrections (especially of crazy Indian names), which is vivid and subtly cute. Second, in the music video parts, there’re not only stories in accordance with the lyrics, but also many stages, or platforms, for Sita to sing and perform. Third, I’m curious about how Nina draws the Indian characters in the scene other than the music video where the characters cannot move their limbs. Obviously the texture of the characters is different. Last, the opening sequence intrigues me a lot although it is not that acceptable at least to me. The animation greatly illustrates an atmosphere of ancient mystery.

I recognized some tools like anchor point, rotation, pin, deform and copy. But I’m specifically curious about how the zoom-in and zoom-out and dynamics effects are made.

Cindy’s reflection to Sita Sings the Blues

The animation Sita Sings the Blues is indeed a very interesting piece of work. It has three lines going on at the same time. The first one is the real story of the producer herself, the heartbreaking breakup she went through because of her boyfriend’s job transfer to India. The second one is the three “puppets” telling and making comments on the myth of ancient India with a great sense of humor, making the animation really interesting. The third one is the ancient myth, in which there are three modes identified by different styles of drawing.

Since the title of the animation is Sita Sings the Blues, the singing part is definitely the most important one. To identify this, whenever Sita sings a song, the drawing style turns to a certain one that contains lots of circles, the purpose of which, I guess, is to make it easier for the character to dance to the music. I think this is a brilliant idea and I would really like to adopt it in my own work. I also saw plenty of creative methods of transition that I want to learn from.

Although there are actually three lines going on at the same time, they are closely related. The audience can find the similarity between the producer’s own story and the myth. The “puppets” are also making interactions with the characters in the myth by dubbing them in a funny way.

I really want to mention that I love the beginning of the animation. I find the idea of “Your name here presents” and “in association with Your money” very creative.

I am greatly inspired by this animation. While enjoying the an-hour-and-twenty-minute-long animation, I can’t imagine how much time it took to make each movement of the character. Making animation is a hard work but it’s worth the efforts. Hope everything goes will with my production!

SITA SINGS THE BLUES – reflection

Sita Sings the Blues is an odd creature. The blend of modern and historical produce something I was totally not expecting. Before watching the 80min animation I chose to do a little research on its history. I had read about the creator’s broken relationship, the copyright controversy surrounding the music used, and the Rama/Sita story that she uses to parallel her own life. What was most surprising about the film was the choice to segment the entire film by art style. Sometimes the film appears as a flash animation as Sita croons away. Other times her own life story is reminiscent of an older television cartoon. At some moments the film appears to be hand-drawn, and at others it depicts black silhouettes narrating the Indian saga with cut-out illustrations. To me, this decision is both jarring and also very interesting. I think that at times it works well to differentiates the different story lines occurring but on the other hand it almost breaks the film too far apart to not seem cohesive. Furthermore, in my opinion, her own story does not draw enough parallels to Sita’s tale for the audience to necessarily feel a deep connection between the two heartbroken women. That being said, I really really did enjoy watching this. An animation of this length created, written, and executed by a single person is no easy feat and the fact that it was accomplished with such ingenuity and masterful craft is definitely inspiring. When creating my own animation I will think of the tons of formats/styles of animation Paley uses in Sita, and consider what options I have and what each format says about the story I am trying to tell.

Reflection – Sita Sings the Blues

The animation is really amazing in combining different types of drawing together. It creates a work that consists of different stories – an ancient story happened in India and a modern one happened in America, using the different drawing styles to separate them, but also using the same theme to connect them. The modern story uses a really simple drawing, especially that the colors sometimes get out from the lines – like the cat- which seems not carefully drawn. Also, the pictures are always shaking. However, instead of giving a sense of coarseness, such style makes the animation more vividly. Moreover, for the Indian story, the animation used a style that is between fancy and realistic. The eyes of the characters looks like the real ones, but the body is animated. It reminds me of the Egyptian style of drawing, creating a sense of legend.

The content of the animation is also unique. Though its theme is not really new, but the author uses Indian legend, which is a new and creative topic. The use of The Ramayana makes the content abundant as well as combines antiquity with the modern world. This enables the author to  repose her own idea to a famous character, which is easier for people to understand and believe. The use of blues is also amazing. Music is always a good way to contact. Here blues set the tone of the whole animation.

Reflection to Sita Sings the Blues. Bill

This is really an ambitious work. After Effects is a software which is smart and easy to use, but it is not that easy. We tried Premiere in the last few weeks, and we know that even one minute’s cut needs a lot of efforts. AE seems more difficult because when we are making a video, the actors act everything, and now in AE, however, we need to control every movement which some of them might just a small movement by the actors. What makes me surprise is that the author put her work online, totally for free. The movie itself is also excellent. We can see every single shot is well designed, including positions and colors. What’s more, the movie tells two stories at the same time. The two stories’ style is totally different but share some similarities, and that’s why I say the work is really ambitious. It is quite hard to astonish, let alone the author finished the work only by herself.

Bill (Chen Zhenyu)

Response to Sita Sings the Blues

I was fascinated by the animation “Sita Sings the Blues” after watching it. It tells us two stories happened separately in ancient India and modern America, though different in time and space, have similarities within them. When telling the story of Sita, the author applied a couple of different methods to make her story more interesting and attractive, like putting narrators interspersed between every part of the story, adding songs sung by Sita to reveal her emotions to the audience. The author is like facing the audience and telling the story directly to you.

Also, the aim of her story is value-based. Through this vivid presentation of women’s love at all times, this indeed set people, especially women thinking what their position should be when they decide to start a new relationship.

James’ Response the the animation(wt474)

The Sita sings the blues is a well made animation telling stories of Indian myth history happened with Sita. Unlike most historical documentation or introduction, this animation change the way people learn history. With blues throughout the whole animation, we slowly get into a serious of stories with three different lines: the first being the real life story, linked to us mostly. On the other side is a direct myth story tells the stories about the sita and rama. In the middle there is a linkage of sita sing blues as a bridge between the different plots. Also the funny narrative helped people to understand in a easy way.

I feel like this animation helped me to realize that what is real animation. In my mind animation is something easy to watch and teach people something smoothly. I really want to make my final project same as that style.

SHORT FILM: TWELVE

TWELVE by Jack B. Du, Cindy Hu, Xiaoyu Ma, and Ian Beckman Reagan

Reflection:

TWELVE is a short film we developed as a collaboration of concepts including psychology, reincarnation, desire, and love. The story centers around the death of an individual and his reaction once he enters a liminal space where anything is possible. Yet there’s a catch: He only has twelve hours left. How does he allocate his time? The activities he chooses arc from the more intangible and important (writing a letter to his family, professing his love) to the more material (eating his favorite food, watching his favorite movie) and eventually ending in misery, losing several hours drinking and passing out. As the time dwindles down the individual at last has a revelation. His final hour is spent in reality understanding what life is to him. As time runs out he is struck by a vehicle and the twelve hours begin again.

The creation of this film was lengthy, fun, and challenging. We spent over two days filming, and many many hours editing on Premiere. I think that our choosing of an easy space to shoot in (empty 8th floor room) and our strong planning beforehand made the whole process much smoother. After we finished shooting everything we only needed to reshoot a few small parts fortunately. The feedback we received from the class and our critique panel was very insightful and useful in our polishing of the final product. Our choice on how to handle the audio was influenced by everyone’s input, and we are quite pleased with the result.

Making a cohesive short film is no easy task, but I think that for a first attempt our deliverable accomplished what we sought out to achieve fairly well, and for that reason I think the project was a success.

Xiaoyue, Ferwa and Shawn’s Video Project Hunger Race

We started with the idea of making a video of multiple screens by using projection mapping. We wanted a small film with lots of stunts and actions, and multiple actors to make use of the multiple screens. Then we came up with the idea of having a race for delivery food with the laziest person winning the food.

We took a really long time to finish shooting, because the stunts were hard and we need the weather to be stably good for shooting. My part in the dorms was tricky because it was hard to coordinate the other actors and passers-by.

We recorded the video with GoPro because this is the safest way we can shoot our stunts. But GoPro has a big disadvantage of not being able to see what is being recorded.

After our demo of rough cut and demo of mature cut in class, I revised the video. I added into sound effects such as subway and bike crashing that we recorded with the field recorder. I added plentiful animation to the video and added special effects such as reverse and repetition. I put music into it and curses of Ferwa and Shahn into the video. Ferwa and Shahn are great actors.

We had only one go-pro, so the scenes of intersection were shoot in multiple times. It was quite a lot of work to match up the moments and the long chase.

I cannot convert the video into a file that’s small enough to post. I converted it into a video that’s small enough, but wordpress doesn’t accept  that format because of “safety reasons”.

I finally made it into a file small enough but it is really bad quality, which hurts me. I would like to show the final version in high quality.

 

 

 

 

Jacko, James, Sapphire, Dongning Video Project

Dongning 

When we saw a video of a love story that presented daily routine of a man and a woman at the same time on YouTube, we were all impressed and agreed on doing something similar to it. Sapphire and Jacko did the performance while James and I mainly shot the video. There were several problems we faced when shooting the video. For example, the light was not light enough and the hallway- the place where we shoot the video was too narrow. But thanks to Marianne, we finally realized that we were the only ones who were familiar with the places, thus we could use every good place, every hallway to shoot instead of insisting on the one in the real dorm.

When editing the videos, I was responsible for the first part – the dorm part. It was quite hard to show the relationship between the man and the woman characters because we decided at first to use two messages to show that they were both broken up with another person. It was a good idea until I found that the mobile screens were too small to cover the whole screen in the video. Eventually I decided to write some words in the middle to clearly show what was going on. Additionally, I was able to adjust the man and the woman characters doing the same thing at the same time, like reaching for their mobiles and getting out of the beds. When doing the transitions, James actually helped me a lot because it used to be weird when the video moved to the next scene. He was kind of familiar with Premiere and it was a great news to me. He also did helped Sapphire and Jacko with their transitions.

I think something we could have done to improve was that we actually could try to shoot the video with the camera standing vertically. This probably may help us when cropping the videos.

Best,

Dongning

Jacko

I had an excellent time filming this video. Throughout the project, I became proficient with the use of Premier, and with the SLR camera. While we had some difficulties, they were largely a result of having our work on different computers. This made it troublesome to send each other our work, and consolidate it. However, we still had to deal with the standard issues that come with filming a piece like this. For example, some scenes needed to be reshot on different days, simply because the time of day was not right, and it led to a chronological inconsistency.

Overall, the project was fun to do, and I’m very satisfied with the work our group came up with. I’ve even sent it to my mom and my girlfriend, and they both got a kick out of it too.

Jacko

Sapphire 

Through this video project, I actually learned a lot, whether it is to create and

professionalize our own video or to stand in front of the camera and perform.

Although it’s a little bit awkward to see myself on the screen, I think my teammates

and I have accomplished the task successfully. Using Premiere, making videos

became fun. The scene switching effects made our video plumper and more like a

piece of music video.

 

James

During this video project together with my friends we did a lot. We reshoot a lot of parts to achieve the best effect.
As for me, I designed several part of the plots and the last part of editing and general audio combining. It has been a huge amount of work because we not only have to work out a time to work together but also have to pick the proper time and so on. Most scenes are directed by me. I feel like the communication between actors and one’s ideas are really important, and when one think of one shot, we should focus on every details but when we are actually shooting it, express as easy as possible. It took me a long time to realize that before we finally get to a smooth method. Finally our project turned out to be really successful. I learned a lot from this wonderful experience!

Video Project

“Scenes of a City Night” Sarabi, Ellie, Michael

Here’s our little video, the storyboard and reflections are forthcoming.

Scenes of a City Night

 

Ellie:

I really enjoyed working on that project and I guess that was the only time when I felt that working in the team was actually necessary, because it is impossible to make a film alone.

In the beginning we had this really nice idea of young/old guy, and wanted to show how does it feel for old people not to realize that they are old. But because this idea relied on the people who were not part of our team it was hard to make it real. Even though we believed that it would work till almost very end. In this young/old guy idea was a fighting scene, and we managed to find a free time in our Chinese classmate’s schedule, so we filmed it (even some random Chinese workers helped us) but after that our classmate was always busy, and coincidentally Michael’s teacher said that he cannot play old guy role anymore, so we gave up that idea and started to think what else we can do with our already made fighting scene that would require just us, not other people.

That way we came up with an idea of 4 different stories of people, that would be connected and occur in the circle, but these people wouldn’t know about it. My part was the one with dancing people around. I pass by these people almost every day, and to be honest I’m a little bit scared of the dances they dance and it seems to me a little psychedelic and interesting in the same time, that’s why I really wanted to use it in the movie and that’s how I got a role of drug addicted person. It was a little bit hard to act with so many people around (they kept asking me if I am okay) and make sure the camera would move the way I wanted it to move. I also really liked how Chinese girl helped us and acted really well. She was wearing a white dress and looked like an angel. Her mom even took our wechat and invited us to come over after few days.

I also enjoyed editing the movie, especially working on sound; it turned to be a really powerful tool. I like the work we have done, but I know that some things could be better. But it is good to have something to improve!

 

Michael

Filming this project was an absolute joy. Although there were mishaps and drastic changes to its original conception, I feel that overall those hardships were important learning experiences. Our film was originally intended to be completely different: It was first going to feature the experiences of an old man who wakes up to find himself in the body of his younger self.

However, this project would require the involvement of actors that were not part of our Communications Lab group. Along the way of filming, we realized that such a plot required too much time from individuals that were busy with their own responsibilities. After agreeing that we wouldn’t be able to make the deadline, our team decided to rework the footage we have now into Scenes of a City Night.

One aspect of filming this urban nighttime story that I loved is that I actually got to explore some of the communities around our dorm. Many people were involved in our film, from the mechanic that works in the car shop behind the dorm, to the dancing troops of older individuals at Yuanshen stadium, to the little girl dressed in white whom cheerfully asked us what we were filming. All in all: Lessons were learned, and fun was had.

 Sarabi

Creating any kind of art with a team, especially one put together at random always provides interesting challenges. First, everyone comes to the table with different talents and ideas. As a group we need to compile the talents, find a way to make up for the talents missing, and compromise on our personal ideas so casting, scripting, and filming may begin.

Our first idea was to create a story about age. It would have involved both a classmate of ours and a teacher, but ultimately it was impossible to schedule a time when the five of us were available. Instead we decided to change our idea. At this point we only had about a week and a half left so we did some quick problem solving. We decided it would have been a waste to trash the footage we already had, so we incorporated it into the cyclical story you see here.

We all helped each other in filming the scenes, but each of us was in charge of editing a specific section. Michael did the first part, Ellie did the second, and I did the third.  I also put the three pieces together in the end. Because we all edited our pieces separately, I was always surprised to see how the scenes turned out. Some of them were very different from what I imagined, but non of them were bad (of course). Putting the separate sections together in the end was also challenging, because we each had separate audio. I decided to go for a simple dissolve to signal the ends of scenes and I tried to fade the separate audios in and out so the change was less abrupt.

I’m quite impressed with out own work, considering the time frame we had. I can only imagine what would have happened if we’d started with this idea in the beginning and used the full three weeks. I would like, someday to go back and do more fine tuning, but I’m not disappointed with my first group video project.

Real Chinese Food? Bill, Helen, Larissa and Erin

video link http://youtu.be/LS00rJbM6Vo

Bill:

I have made several videos before, but I mainly used Corel VideoStudio, so Premiere is a new experience for me (By the way, the effects in Corel VideoStudio are extremely ugly. It might be the most boring video making software). We first made up a story about how an international student came to China and tasted real Chinese food. To tell this story, we had to shot five main scenes: eating in an American-Chinese food restaurant (feel delicious and think that is the real Chinese food), eating in school cafeteria (feel not good and think it is not Chinese food), being invited to Helen’s home, and eating in Helen’s home (taste real Chinese food), “flying” in the garden (feel good after eating real Chinese food). One difficulty here which different from other groups was that we had to shot in many different places, and some of places are quite far from our school.

The light in restaurant and home was a little dark, so we needed to set exposure compensation in camera to make them look nice. Luckily the light in academic building is amazedly good. We had a talented actor so we only needed to shot every scene two or three times. The only pity was we didn’t rent a recorder to record the sound, so the sound was not good. In the rough cut, since we just want to concentrate on the cut part, so we used subtitle in different colors to distinguish what different people say. Anyway, the bad sound was not a bad thing because we got a really good suggestion after rough cut that we could make our video in comic style.

Then the subtitle was taken place by the comic style bubbles. It worked out great. Since we didn’t have sound, we needed to add some music on it. Also, most of the subtitles and scenes were also became unnecessary and we decided to delete them. The music we added to our final cut (which is actually our final final cut) was not good enough and some parts was still unnecessary, so after the class we followed the suggestions and made many changes. Here is our final final final final final cut (we will definitely follow the suggestion that next time, we’d better use time and date to name the profile).

 

Erin:

In this film project, I learnt how to use premiere to edit films. Mainly cutting footage to switch scenes and show the change of camera positions. I have also learnt to draw a speech bubble in Photoshop, and add it in the scenes needed. I also got to manage tripods and cameras in turns, which I used to be unfamiliar to.

The failure part of our project is on recording the sound. Because we didn’t use a microphone, the sound was very hard to hear over the room noise, especially in the Fortune Cookie scene. I was glad that our speech bubbles worked out though.

In the second cut I learnt that the background music can be very important. Not only the style, but the lyrics should be coherent with the film itself as well. After getting the feedback, I suggested some music that might suite well with our film, and it turned out to be much better.

 

Larissa Song

Our group came up with the idea of telling a cultural story in our life.

Compared to other groups, I think our video should have the most obvious

narrative style. And actually it is, which makes it a special experience of learning

telling story in the form of video.

The first step was drawing footage by hand. It turns out that the footage just

formed a general idea of what we are going to tell, and later we didn’t follow the

use of camera strictly. But I felt it reasonable because when preparation couldn’t

be specific enough we were unable to figure out how to shoot in each situation.

Ideas only came out when we were really in the shooting place and we have to

use the environment wisely.

Since our story was about an international student but we don’t have a

foreigner’s face in our group, we asked for a friend for help. By the way, I think

through the whole process we kind of had a division of work. Some people came

up with ideas and make preparations, some worked on operation of cameras and

some put more efforts on production. So we definitely chose the best actor

because his lively performance suits the story very well. We went to 3 places to

shoot, and most of them were efficiently finished during 4 hours on a weekend

due to our plan in advance. In terms of the shooting, the biggest problems were

sound and shooting angle. We failed to borrow the professional recorder and felt

it not a big deal, but we played our video and it was so noisy in the restaurant

that we couldn’t use the voice in conversation. It was already impossible for us to

shoot again in the restaurant, which caused much trouble in production for us.

And about shooting angle, we reminded ourselves to use as many angles as we

can as Marianne said, but sometimes we limited by the environment we didn’t

know how to use certain angles that helps with narration. So I would say that

maybe our video is creative and rich in contents, but lacks outstanding shooting

skills. Finally, the after production went on smoothly. Each of us made one part

and joint them together. The music and subtitle problem were observed in

presentation and we managed to fix them later.

I would say for making a video, there could be so many skills for each factors

that make us call it art: shooting, subtitle, music, voice, acting, story, etc. We tried

hard in cooperation and did as much as we can, but our skills need to be

promoted in order to make it a fine video that might be nearer to “art”. All the

techniques in shooting and “premier” that we gained were already huge for us.

 

Helen:

The biggest challenge of our group assignment is that we have too many places to go and we only have one chance (garden, restaurant and home). Also we cannot expect that the guest’s schedule could be so flexible. But we nailed it and really enjoyed those two days and the food haha!

I participated in all parts of shooting and nearly all parts of acting. I shot most of the scene and decorations at the restaurant. I recorded some of the sound though it was not used in the end. I edited the garden dream part (feathered white frame, color level and cross dissolve video transition) also the cafeteria part (just cut). I made the text bubbles. And I searched and added music and cartoon sound effect to the video.

I learnt about how to use 6D, which is really amazing, especially the knowledge about aperture, shutter and ISO and lens. I saw that orange-and-black smaller tripod for the first time. I used premiere for the first time. Surprisingly, it was not so hard for me (although I asked the professor many many questions..thank you!) and again I marveled at how beautiful and powerful it was.

I believe if we had more cameras shooting simultaneously it could be better and I regret that we did not shoot all the dishes and the several seconds when Ivan used chopsticks to pick up the food (should have been a close-up). Besides, I am not satisfied with the music I chose because there was nothing in my mind. I’m not a professional music editor. Anyway the workshop I attended was really helpful!

Other groups’ videos are also inspiring. I love the “Inception” and take-out.

Thanks to Ivan again for his wonderful vivid performance and I appreciate all the efforts our group made together!

The Owl and Typist

First, I tried the owl first. It looks pretty simple but it took me a long time to finish. Especially working with thread took me extra hours. Then I move the right wing, the owl close its eyes and the leg stretched. It is cute.

Then I decided to challenge myself, the typist is really hard just by looking at all those parts. And it didnt work out as I expected. I moved her head and her arm didn`t move at all. I still trying to figure out where I made mistakes.

I am not sure those videos work…

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