Photo Essay

November 19, 2008

colorglasses

7 Themed Pictures

November 19, 2008

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Final: Activist Poster

December 10, 2008

For my final I created an activist poster that focused on a race/event to raise money and food for the homeless.independenceposter

Bliss Poster

October 29, 2008

Movie Poster: Mountain Love

October 22, 2008
All photos used in this are my own or a friend's (Crista Friedli)

All photos used in this are my own or a friend's (Crista Friedli)

Principles of Design

October 15, 2008

 http://images.elfwood.com/art/b/r/bronny/balance.jpg

    Balance: This image has symmetrical balance because it contains objects of the same weight and size on each side.  One side of the woman in the picture is mirrored on the other side.  This picture is also an example of contrast.

 

 http://www.getfitsf.com/images/da-vinci_perfect_man.jpg

         Proportion:  This image, the Perfect Man by Da Vinci, is the most widely known sketch that represents proportion.  The man’s limbs are perfectly proportioned to his body.

 

  http://artchive.com/artchive/m/mondrian/rhythm_of_black_lines.jpg

      Rhythm:  The grid in this picture shows rhythm because it creates order through the blocks formed by the black lines.  Also, the lines draw the eyes to move linearly through the painting.

 

  http://www.artnet.com/artist/6598/shihoko-fukumoto.html

       Emphasis:  Aoi Kioku is an example of emphasis in a piece of art.  The white stripe down the middle stands out among the commotion of blue in the background.  This emphasis is aided by another principle, contrast.

   http://collection.aucklandartgallery.govt.nz/collection/images/display/1951-1960/1953_2_121.jpg

     Unity:   This image of several members of an orchestra shows unity because all of the players connect into each other, creating coherence and harmony.  The consistent shape of the players creates a pattern, and the color is the same throughout, which are important attributes of unity.

 

  http://scorey-art.blogspot.com/2007_08_05_archive.html

      Contrast:  This picture displays contrast because of the way the dark colors make the off white stripe stand out.  The colors separate from each other which creates emphasis on the white strip.

 

  http://media.collegepublisher.com/media/paper859/stills/95m81w60.jpg

     Pattern:   This image is an example of pattern because the red bunny is a repetitive theme throughout the piece of art.  This picture could also be an example of rhythm. 

 

  http://www.floatingworldgallery.com/koi-pattern-deepblu.jpg

     Variety:   This painting is an example of variety because of all that is going on in the picture.  The different colors create a frenzied image.  Variety can be the opposite of unity, and this picture displays that.

Traditional Latvian Jewelry

October 8, 2008

Traditional Latvian artwork is centered mostly on its ancient mythology, as well as the resources of the region.  Latvia’s most known type of artwork is jewelry.  Many different types of jewelry are made in Latvia, but all have a common theme.  Latvian artwork uses groupings of lines as well as branching to create intricate images.  Common depictions include geometrical decorations representing the sun, moon and fertility symbols.  Shapes involved in drawing these images are circles, slanted and vertical crosses, triangles, and wavy lines.  Another element used is repetition.  The images in Latvian jewelry are symmetrical and repeat common themes throughout.

A common image in Latvian artifacts is the auseklis (“dawn seed”).  This symbol represents the morning star deity, Auseklis.  The symbol is comprised of several lines creating an eight-sided star.  This symbol was originally used as protection against evil spirits.  The jewelry shown below is an example of an auseklis.  Another common design in Latvian artwork is shown in the symbols on the smaller parts of the earring.  These symbols are, again, comprised of several lines.  These symbols have smaller meanings, representing things such as woods and other natural objects.

Most men in Latvia wear a ring called nameja gredzens.  This ring can be made of silver or gold and contains three main bands woven about each other.  These rings have a flow to them because of the weaved bands.  Basic nameja consist of just the three bands, but more intricate ones have many embellishments such as smaller twists of silver woven in with the larger bands.  The nameja has a mythology behind it, as to why most men have one:

  The leader of the Zemgalle region was named Namejs.  He was one of the last warriors against the invasion of the German crusaders into the territory of Latvia at the beginning of the 13th century.  Outnumbered by enemy troops, he was forced to escape to Lithuania.  Before leaving, Namejs gave his ring to his young son so that he could recognize him upon return, since his child would be much older.  The enemy found out and began searching for Namejs’ family in order to force him to surrender.  In order to save the leader of the nation and his family, many copies of this ring were made for the citizens to wear.

A final type of jewelry that is common in Latvia is amber jewelry.  Because amber is such a common resource in the Baltic region, a lot of jewelry is carved from it.  Necklaces, earrings, and rings are all made from amber.  The ring below is a bland, undecorated piece of amber, but many jewelers create intricate carved designs on the amber.  The designs include the auseklis and other deities like Saule and Meness (sun and moon) as well as the other small, linear designs.

The most recognizable form of Latvian artwork is the jewelry produced by the region.  These compositions include the line, repetition, flow, and branching elements of design.  The artwork of this region is also dependant on its resources, which is why amber is a common substance for jewelry.

 

http://www.balticshop.com/jewelry.shtml

http://www.li.lv/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=103&Itemid=491

Notes on the Design Reading

October 8, 2008

Language of Design:

Ø  Basic Terminology:

·         visual language- the ideas that communication occurs through visual symbols, not verbal (words)

·         design- the process of selecting and organizing elements or components in order to fulfill a specific purpose, whether functional or aesthetic (often both)

·         process- a method for solving problems that involves choice and planning

·         art- skill, taste, beauty, truth, talent, self expression

·         taste- personal preference in aesthetic matters

·         elements- components or parts which can be isolated and defined in any visual design or work of art

·         medium- the combination of materials and techniques

Ø  Elements of Design:

·         point-

§  orientation

§  mind creates connections between multiple points

§  gestalt- the compulsion to connect parts; grouping

§  images can be built prom points

·         line-

§  a mark made by a moving point

§  psychological impact according to variations in direction and weight

§  suggest forms

§  combine w/ other lines to create textures and patterns

§  different styles of lines carry different expressive qualities

·         maps, graphs, plans, calligraphy

§  horizontal line: feeling of rest or repose

§  vertical lines: loftiness and spirituality

§  diagonal lines: movement or direction; used to show depth in 2D compositions

§  curved lines:

·         deep, acute curves: confusion, turbulence, frenzy

·         soft, shallow curves: comfort, safety, familiarity, relaxation

·         form (shape)-

§  areas or masses which define objects in space; cannot exist without space

§  organic forms- irregular in outline; often asymmetrical; often thought as naturally occurring (though not always)

§  geometric forms- correspond to regular shapes, such as squares, circles, cubes, cones, etc.; often thought of as constructed (though not always)

§  realistic or naturalistic- recognizable forms

§  abstract- forms difficult to identify

§  viewpoint, lighting affect perception of form

§  2-dimensional form-

·         width and height

·         can create the illusion of 3D objects

§  3-dimensional form-

·         depth, width, and height

·         movement-

§  operates in 4th dimension- time

§  literal- actual physical movement

§  compositional- how the viewer’s eye moves through the composition (there is ALWAYS some sort of compositional movement in a composition)

§  static- jumpy movement

§  dynamic- smooth movement

·         color-

§  hue- the pure spectrum of colors

§  value- the lightness or darkness of a color

§  contrast- separates objects in space

§  gradation- suggests mass and contour

§  similar values will make shapes seem to flatten; contrasting values will appear separate in space and objects will stand out

§  psychological implications:

·         red- (positive) energetic, exciting, passionate; (negative) aggression, anger, violence

·         orange- (pos) friendliness, warmth; (neg) lack of quality

·         yellow- (pos) upbeat, modern, optimistic; (neg) it’s overwhelming

·         green- (pos) nature, life, stability, restfulness; (neg) decay, toxicity, envy

·         blue- (pos) coolness, flattering, spirituality; (neg) depression, alienation

·         violet- (pos) fantasy, playfulness, impulsive, dream; (neg) nightmares, madness

·         pattern-

§  an underlying structure that organizes surfaces or structure in a consistent, regular manner

§  repeating unit of shape or form

§  exists in nature as well as designed objects

§  types of patterns: flow, branching, spiral, packing and cracking

·         texture-

§  the quality of an object we can sense through touch (but is still visual)

§  types: rough, hard, smooth, soft, warm, cold, wet, dry, etc.

Ø  Principles of Design:

·         concepts used to organize or arrange the structural elements of design

·         balance-

§  visual equilibrium

§  symmetrical- formal balance; objects of equal weight or size on both sides

§  asymmetrical- informal balance; objects of differing weight or size on each side (objects balance out in weight though)

·         proportion-

§  the relative size and scale of various elements in a design

·         rhythm-

§  timed movement through space

§  creates predictability and order

§  depends on pattern and movement to achieve its effects

§  linear rhythm- flow of the individual line

§  repetition- uses patterning to create timed movement and a visual “beat”

§  alternation- sequence of repeats are presented in turn (short/fat; dark/light)

§  gradation- displays a progression of steps

·         emphasis (point of focus, interruption)-

§  marks the locations in a composition which most strongly draw the viewers attention

§  often a main point of emphasis

§  emphasis is drawn through: repetition, contrast, texture, shape, size or scale, positioning, etc.

·         unity-

§  the coherence of the whole; harmony of all the parts in a composition

§  pattern is the most essential element in unity; followed by consistency in form and color

Media of Design:

Ø  Painting:

·         applying color to a surface (color was created by grinding certain substances to a fine powder and mixing with a liquid)

·         encaustic- powder is mixed with hot wax; produces semi- translucent, durable colors; permits sculptural modeling on the paint surface; used in late Roman times (2nd Century AD)

·         fresco secco- powder is mixed with water and applied to a dry plaster wall; hard appearance; colors flake off wall; 2500-1000 BC

·         fresco- powder is mixed w/ water and applied to a wet plaster wall; colors combine w/ plaster; does not peel; does not allow for mistakes, however; ex. Sistine Chapel (16th Century AD)

·         egg tempera- powder mixed w/ egg yolk; dries quickly; opaque, matte surface; bright colors; common in 14th-15th Centuries

·         mosaic- created by setting small pieces of colored glass or stone in wet mortar; creates image out of points

·         oil paint- powder mixed w/ fine oil; painted on canvas; thinned w/ turpentine to create desired thickness

·         watercolor- powder mixed w/ gum-arabic and then w/ water; painted on paper; creates translucent washes of color

·         acrylic- artificial compound that is mixed w/ water; creates the look of oil paintings; dries quickly

·         collage- created by pasting photographs, news clippings, and other images on the painting surface

Ø  Drawing:

·         usually the draft work

·         can be quick sketches, or longer works

·         can be simple or complex

·         implements include charcoal, pencil, pen, brush, crayon, chalk, etc.

Ø  Printmaking:

·         an image on paper or other material created by one of the following processes

·         can create multiple copies with one template

·         color prints require more than one template

·         relief prints- created with a raise printing surface; areas not meant to print are cut away; ink adheres to the raised parts

·         intaglio- involves a metal plate; created with an embossed surface; ink collects in the sunken areas and the paper is forced into those areas to receive the ink; types include etching, engraving, drypoint, aquatint

·         lithograph- draws on a flat stone or metal plate w/ a greasy crayon; stone is dampened w/ water, then inked; the ink clings to the crayon marks and transfers to the paper when pressed against it

·         silk screen- areas not to be printed are blocked out on a screen; paper is placed underneath screen and ink is forced through onto paper

Ø  Textiles:

·         fibers and yarns-

§  bast, cotton, cord, felt, linen, silk, wool, etc.

§  weaving styles: compound, floats, ikat, knotted pile, simple, twill

§  all weaving styles involve warp (a set of yarns held in sequence) and weft (yarns that are interlaced through the warp); the way the weft is interlaced creates the different patterns

§  coloring:

·         dye- color chemically bonds with fibers

·         pigment- color adheres to surface of fibers

·         painting

·         printing

·         resist- any process by which areas of the cloth are protected from the action of the dyes; batik (waxes block color), shibori (tie dye)

·         needle and thread techniques: appliqué, embroidery, patchwork, quilting, trapunto

Ø  Metal:

·         design can be industrial or sculptural

·         alloys are mixtures of metals that have different properties from the component pure metals

·         casting- using a mold to shape molten metal

·         chasing- created by driving pointed tools into the metal

·         enameling- fusing of a glassy substance onto metal

·         forging- hammering metal to change its shape

·         repousee- pushing out metal from reverse side to create a design on the front

Ø  Wood:

·         easy to work; soft

·         painting preserves wood as well as decorates

·         carving requires use of a knife to shape piece of wood

·         marquetry- using veneers (thin sheets of wood) to create inlays

·         turning- can create rounded pieces of wood by spinning wood on lathe while cutting it

·         bending- moistening the wood decreases it’s rigidity, so it is more malleable

Ø  Glass:

·         heated glass becomes malleable, making it easy to shape

·         techniques include blowing, carving, etching, engraving

·         colored glass is created by adding specific minerals to the molten glass (ex. Gold to create red, manganese for purple, etc.)

·         stained glass- a collage made from different colored pieces of glass

Ø  Ceramics:

·         clay is a type of earth that is workable when moist, but can become hard when heated

·         used to make pots, bowls, pitchers, etc.

·         methods: pinching, coiling, slab construction (ancient techniques); wheel throwing

·         earthenware- clay objects dried over an open fire; porous, soft, not waterproof

·         kiln- creates temperatures much hotter than open flame; creates stoneware, which is harder and stronger, and waterproof

·         porcelain- finest quality of ceramics

Evolution of the Fine Arts:

Ø  Purposes of Art:

·         religious ritual

·         commemoration of an important event

·         propaganda/social commentary

·         record visual data

·         create beauty

·         storytelling

·         convey emotion

·         interpret

Ø  The Nature of Change:

·         historic events affected styles of art in content, form, and materials

·         change in content:

§  photography spurred a change; artists became challenged by perfectness of photography; light, relationships of color, and fundamental form became concerns for artists

§  colonialism brought new styles and techniques

§  psychoanalysis helped create surrealism

·         change in form:

§  impressionism stressed light; painters worked in nature rather than a studio; artist became uninterested by actual subject being painted, just the way light affected it

§  fauvism relied heavily on color; color was put on canvas that had no relation to actual color of object

§  cubism interested in the relativity of a changing viewpoint; attempted to show all points at the same time

§  de Stijl focused on color and proportion

§  surrealism “promoted methods for eliciting images directly from the unconscious”

§  expressionism created emotionally charged images; distortions of color and form impact viewer

·         change in materials:

§  assemblage made a move from 2D to 3D; collages, of a sort

§  found objects

§  movement in art has always been an image artists have been trying to create

Ø  The Development of Modern Art:

·         before WWII, only European art was taken seriously; after mass exodus from Europe, American art became more recognized; American’s became largect developers of new styles

·         pop art- based on the power of popular images, derived from mass media

·         op art- geometric patterns and carefully calibrated colors

·         minimalism, conceptual art, electronic art

Decorative Arts:

Ø  Victorian:

·         eclectic; mingles styles from different ages and cultures

·         love of elaborate decoration

Ø  Arts and Crafts (Mission):

·         craftsmanship and quality became highlight in products

·         design “for the people and by the people”

·         form and function

·         expensive (no longer for the people)

Ø  Art Nouveau:

·         nature is source of all good design: grasses, vines, butterflies, peacock feathers

·         flowing curves

·         similar to arts and crafts

Ø  Art Deco:

·         eclectic borrowing from other sources

·         draws on colors and styles of early modern art movements

·         inspired by Chinese and Japanese art

·         use marquetry, enameling, and other techniques to create surface interest

Ø  Frank Lloyd Wright

·         architect

·         “form follows function”

·         lots of glass in buildings to create feeling of openness

·         Falling Water: use of cantilevers to incorporate nature

Ø  De Stijl:

·         functionalism

·         rectilinearity of the planes

·         no surface decoration except color (only pure primary hues) and black and white

 

Ø  Bauhaus/Modern:

·         combination of de Stijl and Frank Lloyd Wright

·         form following function

·         most honest and direct use of materials the most functional way to design

·         rectilinear

Ø  Post Modern:

·         reaction against modernism

Dress:

Ø  the total arrangement of all outwardly detectable modifications of the body itself and all material objects added to it (includes accessories, hairstyles, and any other alterations)

Ø  Functions of Clothing:

·         protection, warmth

·         communicates our identity

·         modesty

·         seduction

·         status

·         ceremony or ritual

Ø  Construction:

·         draped garments-

§   a length of fabric wrapped or tied around body

§  toga, sari, sarong

·         semi-fitted garments-

§  assembled from simple shapes; does not necessarily fit to a specific body

§  kimono

·         tailored to fit-

§  curved seams, round armsceyes; fits exact contours of body

§  suit

·         tailored to exaggerate-

§  padding or constriction of body

§  corsets, shoulder pads

Ø  Historic Dress:

·         women’s dress has evolved more over last 200 years than men’s

·         directoire/empire

§  loss of corset; less semi-fitted; more surface decoration; shawls and gloves introduced

·         romantic

§  skirts fuller; waist lower, corsets reenter; silhouette suggested a weak body

·         early Victorian

§  FULL skirts (hoops supported fabric); bonnets hid face; all skin covered except for face

·         late Victorian

§  black became fashionable color, not just for mourning; full skirts were swept back to buttocks, creating tighter, narrow front

·         art nouveau

§  hour-glass figure; flared, ruffled sleeves; women began wearing pants for sportswear (bloomers)

·         early art deco:

§  narrow, relaxed; hemlines climbed to mid-calf, then knee; tubular silhouette

·         late art deco:

§  hemlines dropped to ankle; dresses clung to body; soft crepe, chiffon, satin used as material; bared back for evening wear; trousers became acceptable for women to wear in public

·         the new look:

§  new domesticity, more feminine look; thin skirts; led by Christian Dior

·         St. Laurent:

§  less closely fitted; sculpt shapes that stood away from body

·         era of youth and change:

§  characteristics stressed youth (experimentation, revolution, innovation); miniskirt; styles branched greatly

·         men’s fashion:

§  the business suit a mainstay for 200 years; now sweaters were in use for leisure, not just sport; clothing of athletes, cowboys, soldiers, et al became common (blue jeans, caps, boots, leather jackets, t-shirts)

Non-Western Modes of Thinking:

Ø  India:

·         over history, India has been invaded by numerous people, all leaving some aspect behind

·         Hinduism main religion

§  many deities, one all powerful god, Brahma

·         animals represent gods often in art, due to belief in reincarnation

Ø  China:

·         ideology similar to Hinduism (animistic beliefs centered on seasons and fertility of plants, animals, and humans)

·         animals in Chinese art all have specific meaning (ex. crane=longevity, phoenix=renewal)

·         paintings on scroll

·         mountain ranges typical subject of painting

·         architecture is timber construction

§  curved roof beams due to belief that demons travel only in straight lines

Ø  Japan:

·         strong connection to Chinese culture

·         Shintoism- nature is filled w/ gods

·         painting is abstract compared to Chinese

·         writing system adopted and developed from Chinese

Ø  Islamic Near East:

·         due to religion, images of living beings are forbidden from artwork

·         works are non-representational

·         large interest in patterning the sky

·         four main colors (red, yellow, green. and blue) represent four traditional elements (fire, air, water, earth)

Ø  Africa:

·         much of artwork has decomposed because it is made of wood, bone, ivory, and fibers

·         all art objects have a function, whether ceremonial, sacred, or practical

·         craftsmanship is highly respected

·         balance between resemblance and likeness

§  ex. a figure should be identifiable as a man, but not a specific man

·         clarity of line is important

·         emotional proportion

·         persons are depicted in the prime of life

Ø  Native Americans:

·         woodlands:

§  designs are highly stylized

§  masks made for ceremonial purposes, believed to turn the wearer into the spirit represented

§  birch bark, quillwork, wood, and stone common materials

·         plains:

§  hunters

§  art made from materials taken from a hunt: hides embellished with quillwork and painting

§  pipes, medicine bags

·         Mississipian:

§  city-builders, but agricultural as well

§  carvings in stone, metal tools

·         Southwest:

§  earthenware, woven baskets

§  used wool and cotton in weavings

·         Northwest coast:

§  elaborately decorated houses

§  woodwork, weaving, totem poles

§  ceramics

Ø  South and Central Americans:

·         Incans and Mayans large source of artifacts

·         religious practice revolved around seasons

·         textiles important in Andes (showed wealth)

·         sculptures and ceramics depict elaborate costumes

 

 

 

Fantasy Films

October 1, 2008

“A fantasy film is literally the ‘mise-en-scène of desire,’ the setting whereby impossible desires may play out to their logical conclusions.”

 

Definitions and Theories:

·         Fantasy encompasses desires: “dreams, daydreams and wishes”

·         Created by feelings of “awe and hesitation” brought on by “strange and/or improbable events”

·         In film especially, these feelings are felt both by the viewer and character

o   Through character: a continuum of questioning the alternate reality or events

o   Through viewer: understanding the reality as questionable or accepting the world as reality of the story

·         “Fantastical” fantasy = simply outrageous elements, understood to be unreal

·         “Uncanny” fantasy = the implausibility of the narrative can be described rationally or psychologically, e.g. dreams or hallucinations

·         “Marvelous” fantasy (aka subcreation or “high fantasy”) = the viewer and character is supposed to accept the fantastical elements without questioning them

·         Purpose of Fantasy:

o   Medium of escapism

o   Raises questions about reality

o   Reveals repressed dreams or wishes

o   “Fantasy makes explicit what society rejects or refuses to acknowledge”

o   Can be explicitly subversive

o   Vehicles for wish fulfillment through “glorification of magical (hence unrealistic) solutions to serious problems”

 

Mise-en-scène is the placement of props, actors, sets, costumes, and lighting in each scene of a film or theatrical production.  These factors contribute greatly to the look and feel of the scene and the film as a whole and can fundamentally change the emotional response of the viewer.

 

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

            Scene- 0:19:24-0:21:32

 

·         Shifts from real world (in Kansas) to the imaginary world (Oz)

o   This is a “fantastical” world, understood by all parties involved

·         Imaginary world becomes the reality, with the both the viewer and Dorothy cease to question its implausibility

o   A shift to a “marvelous” world, without questions

·         At end of the film, the viewer and Dorothy realizes it is all a dream

o   The movie becomes an “uncanny” fantasy; there is a reasoning behind the fantastic elements

·         Thematic Elements

  •  
    • Color Seep: movement from black and white to color and less color to more color.
    • Long shot
    • Pan (While zooming out)
    • Medium close-up
    • Cut away

The scene shifts from black and white to color.  As Dorothy emerges from her home after the tornado, there is a blatant over-saturation of color in the new environment.  It seems as if there is very little effort to make the plants seem natural- evidence of the fantastic nature of the world in which the main character now finds herself.  In the middle of the scene is the yellow brick road with blue water and plants everywhere.  Dorothy’s costume has not changed, but the costume of the good witch immediately instills confidence that her character has a positive role in the story.      

 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

            Scene- 1:04:32-1:08:00

 

·         Like the Wizard of Oz, this movie goes through a range of fantasy elements

·         The movie begins completely straightforward

·         The fantastical elements of the father’s eccentricity and inventions, they are accepted as somewhat fantastical, but real at the same time

·         Then, on the beach, the son asks his father to tell him a story. As the story is created, the fantastic elements become real, and they are surprised

o   An “uncanny” fantasy = they question the reality

·         As the plot progresses, both the viewer and the family fully believe in the fantastic elements

o   A “marvelous” fantasy world is developed

·         The movie ends with the family back on the beach, after the end of the story.

o   While there is no real “uncanny” resolution, the viewer and characters do seem to understand that the movie was indeed a created fantasy within the confines of a story

·         Thematic Elements

  •  
    • Cut away
    • Medium close-up
    • Zoom
    • Zoom out
    • Pan (during zooming out)
    • Long shot
    • Rear Projection: During medium close-up as car moves on water. (Used before green screen).

Mise-en-scène:  In the first scene, the car is placed on the beach with the actors in various positions around/in the car.  The lighting is appropriate with the scene taking place on a sunny beach.  The colors (both of the surroundings and of the man-made objects that appear in the scene) are natural and muted- reinforcing the realism (or the notion that the story has very real components and could conceivable have taken place) of the story.  The characters are dressed in accordance with the time period (1920 or so), a great contrast with modern beachwear.  The father and son are dressed in suits (or the equivalent for a young boy) and the woman and daughter in white dresses.  When the change from reality to fantasy occurs, the characters suddenly find themselves and the car in water (as the tide has instantaneously risen).  As the action rises, the car becomes a boat and the scene changes to showing the car/actors motoring in the open ocean.

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

            Scene- 0:26:40-0:27:40

 

·         This is one of the most popular current fantasy series.

·         The series begins with the Hairy Potter being thrust into a fantasy world of magic.

o   It is rather “uncanny” for both Potter and the viewers, who do not believe that such a world exists

·         Soon into the first film, and throughout the rest of the films, the validity and realism of the world is indeed accepted by all players

o   Thus forms the basis of the “marvelous” fantasy created.

·         Purpose of the film:

o   Raises questions about reality – Does witchcraft really exist?

o   Reveals repressed dreams and wishes – Many youth (and adults) wish they could fly and perform magic

o   Explicitly subversive – the film has taken much criticsm from religious groups that condemn witchcraft and paganism

o   Glorification of magical solutions to problems – magic (literally) is used to solve the characters (and thus the illusion, thoughts, and dreams of our own) problems

·         Thematic Elements

  •  
    • Pan
    • Extreme close-up
    • High Angle
    • Over the Shoulder (Multi shot)
    • Medium close-up
    • Cut Away
    • Zoom
    • Close-up

Mise-en-scène:  The characters are all dressed alike (as would be the case in a large English boarding school) and are wearing robes because they are wizards.  The colors (of the costumes and the set) are muted and dark because the scene takes place inside an old building with only candlelight.  In the dining room scene, the characters are evenly spaced at the tables and provide some order to the shot (in contrast to the relative chaos of scenes, including the following scene, in which the school is changing classes).  The characters travel in a group (consistent with their roles as close friends) and are well spaced throughout the shot.  The constant changing of the staircases adds to the visual complication and fantasy of the shot as the characters head back to their dorm.  As they walk up the stairs, they are greeted by an animated portrait that guards their room.  All individuals in the portraits on the wall move to watch the guardian adding to the fantastic nature of the shot/film.        

 

Sources Used:

 

Scavenger Hunt Videos

October 1, 2008

            Of the Scavenger Hunt videos watched in class, the best was Dirty Chase, by Zach Bartscherer and Ben Shelor.  It was very humorous, which made me want to watch it repeatedly.  Also, the way the two of them built the viewer’s anticipation was remarkable.  The viewer actually gets into the story, despite the fact that the two main characters are inanimate objects.

            Part of the reason this film enticed the viewer so well was due to the music.  The song used in the film, the theme from Requiem for a Dream, cues up almost perfectly with the video, getting intense and suspenseful as the action rises, and becomes fully forceful when the action climaxes.  Another way the film draws in the viewers is through its creative shots.  The shot of the sock through the bleach handle may be my favorite.  This shot really makes the viewer realize that the bleach is stalking the sock, and is almost creepy, because it is kind of a voyeur shot and puts the viewer in the bleach’s shoes.

            This film doesn’t need much work at all.  Other than fixing up the smoothness of some of the shots (the camera was a little jittery), this film is perfect.

 

            I was very happy with my group’s Scavenger Hunt, A Day in the Life.  In this, Sebastian and I tried to convey an average day using different emotions in each shot.  We both worked together very well on this.  The two of us would bounce ideas between each other until we came to what we thought would be the best way to convey a shot.  Also, we both contributed to the editing process, cutting the scenes to fit and placing in the subtitles.  I learned that Seb and I work very well as a film making team, me as the director and him as the actor.

            After watching our film in class, I don’t think there is anything I would change about it.  I thought the approach Sebastian and I took to convey our theme was unique, in the fact that we added different emotions to each shot, rather than just sticking with one, as most of the other groups did.  Also, many of our shots were very creative; I think my favorite of our shots may be the POV sit-ups.

            Having others watch my film was very gratifying, because it invoked a positive response from the viewers, letting me know I did a good job on it.