Thursday, 31 May 2012

cut clip edit

I arranged a tutorial session with Nilla who as a lecturer in Time Based Art but who also has dance background and understanding of what I am attempting here. I meet her in the edit room and we discuss our projects. She is working on some film footsge too of a performance she did some time ago. we talk a little about filming performance as record versus as art form.

She helps through some problems I have encountered and shows me how to find filters she though t might be useful. I amtrying to get a slightly more abstract look on some clips so we look at the luma key. I certainly see great possibility and will try it out on some of my footage. By now I ma making copious notes on all I am learning.
Both Malcolm and Nilla have also talked me through some of the shortcuts on the keyboard but in the end I choose to do it the long way round!!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Having just said I must not lose sight of the outcome ...a dance film...I embarked on another animation test today. I have spent some time looking at swans and filming them as well as examining photos and other film footage. Also drawing them...sketches in pastel again. I made a plan of 9 key stages I thought were right and brought it into the line tester. With some great help from a couple of other students I managed to adjust the frames to add 'in between' frames....or 'tweenies' as Brian likes to call them! I also added more frames where the weight of the wings would slow the movement down against gravity.

I am happy with the result and looking forward to starting to colour...with pastel.
Again I see that my grasp of movement is good and that I am able to internalise movement...obviously not flying exactly!! but I feel it does help me to understand movement principles.

At this point in the masters I feel I am only just beginning to explore a fraction of the possibilities and wondering how I might be able to continue after leaving.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Dance film Narcissus by McLaren

Decided it was time to look again at this...McLaren's last film apart from 'Creative Process'.
Interesting that it is billed by NFT as showing a compendium of McLaren's techniques and good for me to reassess it at this point in my own film making.
The lighting is so good...what you can achieve with full crew and no restrictions! But I am not so sure about the use of movement blur tho I can see why Norman used it. I like his use of blur in 'Chairy Tale' and have used the same idea in stills myself. This remains however one of the great dance films and a wonderful example... made in 1983 after all!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

LIGHTING and after effects

This is a short test section of dance footage to highlight the effect I want with lights. I am happy with how it looks( apart from the curtain in the background...this will not be here in the final cut!) and will now try to achieve continuity with other shots based on this.I do feel I might have to take a bit more film to match up a longer travel sequence I have done ... I would like to re-do it with this effect. I love the way Alicia expresses emotional qualities..we spent a lot of time talking about this part of the dance.

After hours of carefully scrutinising the dance footage I have taken for Norman's Skates, I am beginning to select a few to trial in after effects. The ones I choose have lighting which I feel reflects how I want the film to look at this point.
There is a plan for each one I am choosing (and many more ideas in my mind to store for another day!!)
It is wonderful that as I learn new technology and techniques, my mind and eyes begin to see other possibilities for those, and how they might enhance my practice. As I have become more accomplished at lighting and camera I begin to reject earlier trials...too complex...too bright....not enough not still....etc..some of these are just impossible to fully judge until seen in the edit. Some clips work really well in after effects even tho I at first reject them.
I realise my task is immense. To be an expert in only one of these new fields would be enough, but I never lose sight of the fact that ultimately I am still a choreographer and the camera and effects must compliment that not take over. These technologies(edit, after effects, lighting and camera technique)have now, however, become part of my creative process and now that I am really getting enveloped in it I want to spend hours if not years working in this new way!! But small steps first!!

ideas for live action/ motion graphic combination

 I have been talking to another masters student about our projects and found a few common areas of interest. Link wants to film in a wood for his film and I have a few suggestions to give him so we have looked at some of my photos as I feel I have seen areas which fit his description. I have also offered to help with his filming since I feel quite comfortable now with camera. I also talked to him about motion graphics and ways to combine them with live action. We all see a similarity between his work for Mhairi's placement outcome and Norman McLaren's 'Stress' drawings ....and this has given me an idea ...if I have time I would like to introduce  trial of hinting at McLaren's drawing within my ties up many pieces of my research and journey..and Link showed me this film while we were discussing the idea.

At 1.10 in the film a series of lines come out from the fingers of this guy..and a still of this looks uncannily like the drawing in question... I am risking going off on a tangent here but felt I did want a way back in to refer to McLaren!! this may be it!!
Another piece near the end could be a possible for the feathers I am also trying top solve....Time to bring in the troops!!

A number of people have said over the last few days that I am perhaps trying to achieve the impossible in the number of new skills I am bringing to this film but I have also had a number of offers of help which is fantastic!! home straight?..well no...I know how that feels as an ex sprinter... but this feels more like a marathon...and hopefully a sprint at the end??

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Snowfall corrected!

The year 4 students are deep in preparation for their exam week next week and degree show following on from that is amazing watching their work appear in many many talented artists. It is an inspiring place to be right now!
I managed to correct my snowfall test ,even then finding another small mistake.
At home the cherry blossom is falling like snow..and I find myself watching with new eyes as pink flakes fall and fall and swirl in the wind...another kind of research maybe!!