Monday, November 19, 2007

Sketch 1: a vignette

In lieu of "100% concrete, artistic production", today I filmed a vignette--I think "short film" would do both my video and the phrase a disservice--so it's "a vignette" by yours truly. I think what I like most about it is its simplicity. I wasn't reaching after some grand--grandly pretentious--ambition. I just wanted to play with the moving image, and allow myself to improvise a little with it both photographically and editorially.

The only guiding principle for this filmic vignette was that a journey would be shown only through the beautiful convex mirrors that decorate many of the garage stairwells on the UW campus. And by "journey" I don't mean anything unnecessarily complex, only that the character is going from one another.

This was born out of a desire to further explore an image that cropped up in a short film I made about a year-and-a-half ago in those same stairwells. I had captured only one image (which you can see above) using one of the mirrors and today it is far and away my favorite part of the film. If you watch it, (called, painfully, "Shadow Way"), you'll notice that I looped that and two other shots three times at varying lengths. I did this in part because the character's journey down the stairwell was too short as it was with only those shots, but also because I just fucking loved how it looked.

So in a sense, I guess you could say that I'm simply indulging myself. So be it. In plain terms, my goal/ambition/hope for all of my DXARTS work isn't first to make something "good", but to "make". The "good" can follow. For the time being, I'm primarily concerned with forming productive habits. Though don't think that I simply don't care about something of mine being good. Au contraire, I perhaps sometimes care too much. To the point that I end up overthinking the project. That's happened plenty in my short artistic career, and it usually ends with me either dropping the idea entirely out of intimidation, or it ends with me pushing ahead with a bunch of half-baked ideas. I'm trying to un-learn that, and to re-learn how to appreciate the moving image. How to see my creations for what they truly are and not for what I wish them to be.

I am positive that without being self-aware, without being emotionally authentic and intellectually concise, I cannot create a work that compels others to be aware of it: it will lack authenticity and concision.

That's not to say that this vignette is concretely either of those ambitions or is even intended to be. They are the end goal, and this vignette is but a pebble on the path. It is on the path, to be sure, but a pebble it nevertheless is.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

This has been a killer week for me. I've been increasingly tired to the point that today, for the first time all quarter, I started nodding off in class. Though that's got to be some kind of a record for me, it's not because I haven't been getting enough sleep.

I think I'm just getting burned-out. Not because I'm doing too much per se, I love (most) of what I'm doing, more because I feel like the ratio between how much time and effort I'm dedicating to my schoolwork this quarter and what I'm getting back from it (i.e. grades) is pretty disproportionate.

I know I'm learning. At the moment I'm confident of this. And I'm also self-aware enough to know that that is the important part for me. Unfortunately, it's hard to see the forest when you're burrowing your head in a tree. I have so little time now to work on anything outside of animation, that my personal life is pretty much non-existent and even my DXARTS research studio is suffering a bit. Which is pretty shitty when you consider how hard I've worked to get into DXARTS: now that I'm here, I'm pouring all my effort into something else. To be fair, the Animation Capstone does count as a DXARTS sequence. Still, it's the principle of the situation that bothers me.

I'm not sure that by purging my thoughts on this situation I'll actually solve any of these issues, but some clarity if nothing else would be nice.

...more to come later...

Monday, November 05, 2007

sketch_Space vol. 5: Sketched Dimensions


learning to see. again.

free of authorial intent

focuses on image composition, construction, capturing

a series of haikus, vignettes, exercises as preproduction

inspirations: d lynch ==> inland empire, d cronenberg ==> storyboard-free, blocking-dictated

culminates with a conversational sequence between actors/actresses (never filmed one)

blocking will dictate composition per cronenberg

modus operandi: make language and action meaningfully photographic

primary impetus: re-learn how to see what is in front of me; distinguish this from what i "place" there

secondary impetus: conversation construction, actor rehearsals, blocking

undercurrent(s): blur the line between ideation and creation; make the process the product and vice-versa

threads: haikus (complete cinematic agency) and taped rehearsals (photographically agentless) will be woven into a vignette in which both captor and captured will have mutual cinematic agency

to be transplanted to: asap