FE382B: Experimental Animation Undergraduate Critique

“Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear” –Esther Mera

Syllabus

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Evolving Class Schedule for Spring 2013 (continued from Fall 2012):

  • February 8
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    David used a set of diagrams and drawings to present an extensive look at the background for the expository aspects of his project, The Claytheist. He mentioned that many dream and nightmare movies (such as Labyrinth –a movie that he loves) become unnecessarily confusing due to the lack of a set of structured rules. He does not want his film to function that way. To this end he has been working out a set of rules for the world of his film, He has been developing a scientific view of the mind in which his film takes place.He is writing the script with maximum exposition at this point, but in the end he wants to use as little exposition as possible.

    The structure of the beginning of the project is as it was before, where the puppets get in an argument then a fight and the animator intervenes. Once the performance interaction begins there is a five song cycle, followed by a middle film section, and then another five songs and a little ending.
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    The main thing is that are four different types of space and they all represent different combinations of physical+space/physical+time and psyche+space/psyche+time. Space number one is physical+space/physical+time combined –which is like reality (as we normally exist). Space number two is psyche-space/psyche-time combined and thats dreaming (like when you are purely inside your own mind).It gets a bit complex in space number three, when you combine physical-space with pysche-time (that’s like the process of animation, or when the body is bringing things in the mind into reality). Space number four is psyche-space combined with physical-time and that’s like drunkenness or sleep walking when the mind is somewhere else.
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    When the animator intervenes in The Claytheist, all four combinations start to happen at the same time. David’s rules for the functions of the world of The Claytheist become more complex as they branch ever deeper into foundational relationships concerned with regulation of the balance between space and the the mind and the physical world, and time and the mind and the physical world.
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    Chris presented a set of story cards for his film project Illumination. The only major change from his script presentation is to the opening. This change is based on a suggestion by his mentor. The mentor thought that it would be a mistake to open with a boring story as it would bore the audience.
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    The film will now open with a shot of a preacher, then pan out to reveal a column with an ornamented capital and the title text . Chris will flip the title with a drop of water to show that the text is an actual physical artifact, then there will be a cut to the person writing. A servant will come over and put down a bowl to catch the ceiling drips. The next shot cuts out to reveal the full view of the room with the King, the scribe, and the rest of the court. The space will be busy with other servants going back and forth. In the next shot we can see what the scribe is writing. We see the scribe become bored and begin writing in the margins. Next there is an interstitial with the marginal illustrations. Eventually a startling sound brings the writer back out of his reverie in time to witness the commotion of someone falling off a chair. This event then leads us into another story.
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    In the final scene the scribes marginalia filled page turns into a slide that a professor is showing in a modern lecture hall. Someone in the back of the lecture hall is doodling in a notebook. A shadow falls over the book and the professor says: “You will never amount to anything of importance if you are always drawing in the margins”. The film ends on that shot.
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    Chris asked for input about shot composition and transitions and received a number of queries and suggestions to consider from Sieun, Vincent, Meghan, and David. Chris’s next step will be marking up the boards to analyze how many pieces he will have to cut out in order to animate each character.
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    Sieun projected her film which is about two thirds complete. She has to add more scenes to the last part of the film, develop the layout, and do the animation. Color correction will also be needed on the finished film. Her sister is going to compose the music for the piece which will be performed on guitar. David commented on how much he loved the scene where the mother is walking toward the pyramid which seemed like a dream. He felt that the music could become ambient and dreamy at that part to underscore the power of the scene.
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    Meghan thought that the size differences between the mother and the child worked very well and captured a child’s sense of scale. Sieun wondered if people thought that the background design was too simple. The group felt is was perfectly suited for the feeling of the film. Vincent was a bit confused about what the giant thing was that the mother was carrying in the restaurant scene. Sieun said that it is a tray that will later have dishes drawn inside it, which should clarify its purpose. David commented on the value of the lengthy mopping scene as it characterized the mother as doing hard work no one else wants to do. He felt that a little less detail in the dining room scene in terms of tables and chairs might un-clutter the scene and weight it more appropriately.
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    Chris wondered if people who do not already know the story realize that it is the baby coming out of the blanket in the last scene. Meghan commented that the color coding should convey that information. Sieun is going to make the baby-as-butterfly smaller than the mother to help identify the baby after the transformation. David suggested that perhaps that when the baby comes out of the “cocoon” it is still green, but then the color drains to match the mother. Siuen has some ideas about additional scenes involving seasonal changes in order to clarify the ending. As we continued looping the movie much more discussion ensued. The consensus was that the film is very well realized so far and everyone is looking forward to seeing the next stages.
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  • February 15
  • Notes not yet processed.

  • February 22
  • Notes not yet processed.

  • February 15
  • Notes not yet processed.

  • March 1
  • Notes not yet processed.

  • March 8
  • Notes not yet processed.

  • March 15
  • David took the very helpful feeback from last week’s presentation and is working with a collaborator on the creation of program notes for the project peformance. The notes will consist of around twenty pages styled in the form of an old science text book. He is still thinking about the idea of doing a two minute slide show, but is leaning toward incorporating small documentary bits inserted througout the performance. David has finished the last of his musical demos and is going to be meeting with his music person on Saturday. He is moving into the Chiodo Bros. studio on Monday so that he and his crew can start prepping the set for the moco shot scheduled for April 8. David is colloborating with a new person to work on building up the puppet on his ball and socket armature. The wooden frames for the sets are constructed, and the work on taking them to completion is underway. David took questions from the class and a wide ranging discussion ensued. Next week all class members will present their progress to Myron Emery, who will be sitting in for me while I am away in France teaching a stereoscopy workshop at the Unversite de Toulouse, ESAV.
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  • March 22
  • As arranged last class, all course members will present an overview of their projects under the leadership of Myron Emery, who will be standing in for me this week, and the week after spring break.

  • March 29
  • SPRING BREAK

  • April 5
  • Myron Emery will be conduct the course this week based upon decisions made the week before break.

  • April 12
  • A return to your usually scheduled programming.

  • April 19
  • Visit A404 B&W Gallery to experience Elijah’s installation +.

  • April 26
  • TBD

  • May 5
  • TBD

  • May 10
  • Final class! Prepare for our class screening at the Bijou Festival scheduled for Thursday, May 16, 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

  • May 17
  • Graduation!