Procrastination GIF

What should you do when you have a trillion assignments to complete and a massive research paper breathing down your neck? Probably spend irresponsible amounts of time on the internetz and make a GIF to commemorate the experience. I present to you, “Wow Vancouver!”

Owen-Wilson-Loves-Vancouverforever

Early Brainstorming for a Short Film

I can’t decide what to do. I was up well past 3am last night pondering what I could do to create an interesting and compelling short film. I’ve come up with several interesting ideas, but I’ll save that for a post where I can fully flesh out the idea. Here I’d like to start by framing my project with some movies who’s styles I’d like to emulate.

1. MANIC (2012) – Specifically the remake starring Elijah Wood. Please do not misunderstand, I do not recommend this movie to anyone who does not love graphic, highly disturbing horror films. When I first saw this movie, a couple friend suggested we go to the midnight movie at an Independent theatre where I was living at the time. Usually this was a great experience, we went to the hookah bar and chatted for a few hours, drinking coffees. I knew nothing more than the title of the film and something about mannequins. It took five minutes for me to realize my mistake. It is a haunting first person experience, full of dreamy angles, shifting focus and reflections.  I hope to borrow some of this cinematic style, and none of the thematic elements.

2. Natural Born Killers (1994) – I first saw this movie two years ago, while carving pumpkins for Halloween. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it sooner, it blew me away. I love the narrative style: the use of flashback, the trippy cuts and colors, the way it all unfolds in fits and stops. Once again, I don’t want the story to be an action/horror, but I’d like to borrow some stylistic elements.

3. Paper Heart (2009) – A mock-umentary film starring Charlyne Yi and indie hero Michael Cera, the characters (who retain their real names) ask a bunch of people about their experiences with love. This kind of format/concept lends itself well to all my ideas so far. Let me elaborate: I want the film to pull heavily from reality, while still having some fantastic elements. I want to express a certain childlike sense of wonder, already I have several scenes envisioned in my head which I could insert into any number of different plots.

4. Another influential piece of media I’m heavily considering comes from a Bright Eyes song: An Attempt to Tip the Scales, from the album Fevers and Mirrors. After the song plays, it transitions into a radio interview with singer and artist Connor Oberst. At first it seems to be very standard, but as it goes on it becomes increasingly surreal. Though it was probably scripted, it doesn’t come across as being contrived. Some elements are true and others are fiction, yet all serve to provide deeper insight into the themes and ideas communicated in the album. It makes me recall a quote I mentioned several posts ago, from Picasso:

“Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.”

This is something I’d like to draw into my short film, if possible.

La Vie Quotidienne du Chatte

EDITED: this is the final version.

My main sources of cinematic inspiration when creating this piece were Stoker, and Amelie. I love the whimsical/dramatic style of narration in those movies. I really enjoyed adding the narration and subtitles, it was like a project within a project (projectception? too far?).  I wasn’t quite prepared for the nostalgia this project awoke in me. Speaking French is something I rarely get to do, it’s a little known fact that I studied it my entire school-age life. Something about experiencing the language opens a sort of portal back to those childhood feelings. My cat knows all about it: she was there, never wavering in her daily activities.

This

Okay, sometimes I get lost for a couple days digging through all manner of ridiculous videos on YouTube. This one really takes the metaphoric cake though, check it out.

They fly away on a pigeon. I’m sure it’s supposed to be some kind of romantic, but all i can think of is how filthy that pigeon is. Also I know a guy at school who distinctly reminds me of the German speaking guy, not gonna be able to look at him the same way anymore… Happy Monday everyone! 🙂

Coatie Pop: Gangsta Rap Queen

So this video was made by my friend Lil’ Coatie over at Hardcore Anarchy as a parody of Lil Wyte’s Oxy Cotton. She first showed me this rap around new years. We were all chilling with some friends’ over at their house, talking about our hopes and various artistic endeavors. Around one in the morning, with a half smoked Bronson in one hand and a smartphone in the other, she played the track and showed us this fantastic parody. I’ve been looking forward to the video ever since. Drawing on her talented circle of friends, they designed and produced this over the past couple months, finally releasing it earlier this week.

Already she has been shared by Lil Wyte on Twitter!

What remains to be seen: will it go viral?

Proposal for Stop Action Video

my very own cat-hat!

my very own cat-hat!

All weekend I’ve been shooting thousands of stills in anticipation of my next video project: Stop Action. It occurred to me I never posted a proposal for this project. The objective is to document some kind of routine. The most obvious subject for me is my cat. She’s been my best friend for the past 14 years. I have been developing a collection of photos and art about her for several years now, it only seems natural to map her routines. So far I’m focusing on her sleeping, since that is her major pass time. I’m hoping to catch her doing some other things also, though it’s hard to document cats without influencing their behavior. She keeps looking up at me in confusion, or she wants to rub her face on the tripod, or she walks out of the frame. The key is just patience, I’m positive I’ll have some good scenes when I start combing through the raw frames.

Original artwork inspired by my furbabyOriginal cat inspired artwork

Stop Action

Our next project deals with stop action and ‘mapping routine.’ As my example for this I’m posting one of my favorite pieces of stop action film. It’s not about mapping routine, but I still think it’s worth while to examine because it does follow specific parameters. Anyway here’s the film:

I think this video is relevant to our project because it is stop action, and it does follow some specific parameters. I think I can say it does map routine, because it is a symbolic portrayal of dreaming. As far as parameters for shooting, all the action in the film happens on the bed, which creates that specific dream sphere. Technically, it’s very smooth as far as stop action is concerned, which is one of my major concerns in using this medium. It must have been made with some kind of steady/mounted camera, and a high frame count, to create the apparent smoothness of the scene. I love how whimsical it is, and also how simply it was made. They use everyday objects to create more fantastic surroundings, it draws the viewer into the imagination of the overall piece.

Video Project and Reflection

Making this video, I took inspiration from a very specific dream sequence. Here in the final piece I can only see a faint glimmer of the original plan. Seeing that seed glimmering in the heart of the final product made me recall the old saying: There’s a grain of truth in every lie. Picasso himself famously said,

“We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

I’m not saying there is a universal truth in this video, but there is an individual truth. The truth of my emotion and my dream experience, and I think I captured/communicated that well. I made it with the intention of stirring the imagination. I made it with the intention of questioning the superficial, and in an effort provoke deeper thought in my audience. I make all my art with these intentions. I hope to create visually fascinating things that connect and communicate with others.
I hope to convince people that my art holds truth.

I give you my final video project: (recut)

 

I thought I was done posting, and then I found this…

Wow. If this doesn’t make you think and feel, then you might be dead. Just one of many strange and wonderful video remixes by Cyriak. I don’t have time to reflect much on this now, but I don’t really think it needs my commentary. It’s pretty outstanding.