Wednesday, October 28, 2009

character development

1. How does your character think? Very basic and instinctual, but at times irrational
2. How does your character think he/she thinks? Normal
3. What does your character want? Not to be seen as a beast
4. What does your character think he/she wants? To be civilized and successful
5. What does your character believe? Fitting in and conforming will make him a better person
6. What does your character think he/she believes? That wearing a suit and catching a fish will make him civilized and successful
7. What is your character’s truth? Mythology? Thinks that catching fish(food) will make him a successful respected person which means everything to him
8. What is your character’s real truth? Real Mythology?Is really an instinctual beast with irrational tendencies
9. What does your character need? To be accepted by others
10. What does your character think he/she needs? Thinks he must conform and present himself as a clean civilized upper class person
11. What actions does your character undertake? Fishing in the bathroom
12. Why does your character think he/she does what he/she does? thinks catching a fish and wearing a suit will make him fit in with society and become successful

Past he was a beast, who was unaccepted by society
Present he is trying to change that
Future of fitting in and being successful in society pushes him

His emotions are hopeful, confused, feels inferior

This change is very important and urgent to the character because he does not want be seen as the outsider/other anymore or he will go crazy

The character tries to make this change to be accepted by others and be part of the group

His appearance as a beast and the fact that he is wearing a suit makes it obvious that he wants to be seen as civilized. He is fishing in a bathroom which shows his confusion about society. He is a beast and thinks more instinctual, so he believes he will be praised for catching the fish. He thinks of the fish as food or currency, which is how he plans to gain success.

Mainly I think the different combinations of symbolism shown through his appearance and actions will make him original. The way the issue of trying to fit in with the crowd is represented seems different. The way I think a beast would act in attempt to be seen by others as civilized.

The character is depressed and tired of being the outsider, he dresses up and tries to catch a fish to be accepted, which makes him hopeful. He doesn't catch a fish and grows more and more frustrated as time goes on while is fishing. He begins to drink a lot of beer to ease his mind because he is so frustrated and confused. This shows that he is about to lose hope. He gets a phone call, which could be his chance to fit in, but has become so drunk he can no longer play the role of being civilized.

The character's flaw is that he tries to hard to be something he is not, and tries too hard to impress others. He is confused about how to fit in so his actions would not even really help him achieve his goal.

Performance Artists that caught my attention
Marina Abramovic
Tony Conrad
Karen Finley
Paul McCarthy
Tony Oursler
Carolee Schneemann
Annie Sprinkle

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Merry-Go-Round from Wesley Catlett on Vimeo.

Ideas for Group Project

Each of us act in the film as a different character.

Each character would be a monster or at least very beast like.

Each character has a separate introduction in the film where each are doing different random things such as putting together toy models, fishing, etc. This will be similar to the character introductions in Gone in 60 Seconds, and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Each character will get a phone call that interrupts their random activity. They answer the phone and say alright ill be there.

After the introduction of each character, all the beast meet up and do something very common such as bowling.

They all hang out and drink getting along, getting drunker and drunker, until one gets completely out of line and gets on the other beasts nerves.

All the beasts kill the obnoxious beast.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Poetic Film Write Up

I think the final version of my poetic film, Merry-Go-Round came out quite well. The filming went smoothly, but I had a little trouble using the wheelchair for tracking shots. The tracking shots didn't come out as smooth as I expected, but I dont think the jumpiness of the cuts, takes away from the piece too much. The editing of this was a challenge, becuase I had to try and line up the compositions of the consequetive shots as good as possible to simulate one continuous shot. The shots with the same character in the frame multiple times, were also challenging but I think they worked out pretty successfully. I added sound to the final piece, which I think adds another element to the work. Overall, I took the advice from the critique of my rough edit, to make a final piece that I am quite pleased with.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vertical Project Ideas revised

I did not change a whole lot from before besides taking out the white eyes, and beast like persona. I want all the personas to look exactly the same to reinforce the idea of defying space and time with this video. I also took out the part where the mirror changes into a flower and the person spins. Instead, I want it to act as a loop, starting and ending with the same shot. I think this will reinforce the idea that the person is stuck, or cant help but keep going in circles in his/her mind.

--Start with long shot of person alone in a room, staring at their self in a mirror
--Close up of the mirror shows an image of the person
--The camera zooms into the mirror, going through it and coming out in the mirror world
--Once in the mirror world the camera pans past the head while turning to look into the mirror
--Now the mirror holds an image of the person but the person appears very blurred and unrecognizable
--The camera pans away until another persona of the same person is revealed crawling on the floor reaching for the person holding the mirror
--In the middle of the reaching action it will flash to the same person outside reaching to open the door of the house.
--As soon as the door starts to open it flashes back to the person reaching for the person holding the mirror and falling flat on the floor.
--At the time of the collision it flashes to the door slamming shut outside
--The camera then shows the person walking through the doorway of the room where the person was holding the mirror
--The camera then pans away or zooms out again until coming out of the mirror the first person is holding in the room
--It flashes over to the person (who was reaching) dead on the floor. The other persona of the person coming in the door of the room
--A long shot is shown, revealing all three personas in the same room together until the two disappear, by popping back to the first shot again

Monday, October 12, 2009

Vertical/Poetic Video Ideas

I was really inspired by Maya Deren and her use of the camera to show the same figure in different places at the same time. I will use this technique to represent different personas of a character and his/her perceptions of these personas. I want to defy time and space with this piece to emphasize the idea that the viewer is witnessing the character's thought process and feelings. I plan to use doors, windows, and mirrors as recurring symbols. These objects reinforce the idea of perception and act as passageways into the different personas.

--Start with person alone in a room, staring at their self in a mirror
--The mirror shows an image of the person but with white eyes
--The camera zooms into the mirror, going through it and coming out in the world of the white-eyed persona, which is the same room
--The camera pans past the head of the white-eyed persona while turning to look into the mirror
--Now the mirror holds an image of the person but the person appears very beastlike and is outside
--The camera pans away from the mirror and the white-eyed persona until a normal looking persona is shown crawling on the floor reaching toward the white-eyed persona. The white-eyed persona does not even acknowledge it.
--In the middle of the reaching action it will flash to the normal persona outside reaching to open the door.
--As soon as the door starts to open it flashes back to the normal persona reaching for the white-eyed persona and falling flat on the floor. The white-eyed person still does not react.
--At the time of the collision it flashes to the door slamming shut outside and the camera pans over and back toward the beastlike persona staring into the sky
--The camera then pans away from the beastlike persona, until coming back out of the mirror of the beginning shot with the person in the room alone staring into the mirror
--The mirror then turns into a flower and the person begins to spin in circles
--It flashes over to the normal person dead on the floor, and the beastlike persona is staring from the doorway
--Cuts back to person spinning. Person now stops spinning and opens eyes staring at the beastlike persona, revealing the white eyes

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Deren response II

Deren seems to be concerned with the abstract logic of the subconscious mind, and the blur between dreams and reality. She shows how the subconscious can turn a simple issue into a big problem and affect reality. For example, in the stair scene, the task of climbing the stairs and chasing the figure become very extensive and laborous. These are often seen from the first person perspective to add to the ambiguity and confusion between dreams and reality. I believe the content and technique are unable to be separated in Deren's films because they rely on each other equally to create the poetic quality.

Poetry and The Film response

This reading is very confusing but had some interesting points. I agree with Miller's idea of the film being the closest man made aesthetic device to the structure of a dream. I agree because it deals with the illusion of time and space, and the combinations of images. If comparing poetic films to dreams, I would say they are quite similar. They are not always concerned with logicality or a common structure. I agree with Deren's comparison of poetic films with dream sequences from commercial films. Most of the narratives in commercial film's rely on actions and logic to receive logical interpretations, but when they must represent something more abstract, they rely more on emotions and meanings implied through linked images. This abstract representation receives abstract interpretations which are usually different for many viewers. To me, that makes it more poetic since it is not so concrete and allows the imagination and feelings to come into play.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Maya Deren Response

I really enjoyed the camera work and the dreamlike quality of Maya Deren's work. The camera is tilted in interesting ways in conjunction with the actresses movements to create strange perspectives and perceptions of space. It is also interesting how she only showed fragments of the character by tight cropped shots which build up to a total reveal. I think it is a very strong technique, when she cuts to different locations in the middle of actions such as walking through the house, or when she is chasing something. She also makes objects and tasks seem endless through her cuts. Overall, I found Maya Deren's work very compelling and influential.
Artist Statement/Bio

As a video artist, I am interested in the roles people choose to, or are forced to play in modern society. I am also interested in the duality of human nature, specifically the instinctual side of the conscience versus the more social side. I see the more social conscience as a mask that is forced onto people by those with money and power in modern society. I want to remove this mask. I want people to stop being content with hiding their true selves. I want people to be individuals not a mass of masked machines.

Video Synopsis

Numbing Numbers
This is an examination of the social masks or roles forced onto people in society. Those in control are content with the mask because it benefits them. The working class do not benefit from this mask, they are used like replaceable machines, maintained as cheaply as possible to get the job done.