Fade to black time based submission- mike nixon bva 1st year 2011


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Workbook notes on production and process in developing the time based submission for Electronic Arts 3 week module in 2011


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  • Its interesting looking back in 2012, where my skills have expanded again , and ironically, moved back into Stop Motion Animation, something I struggled with and didn't want to do in 2011 !
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Fade to black time based submission- mike nixon bva 1st year 2011

  1. 1. “Fade to Black<br />Time Based Submission <br />Electronic Art module<br />Mike Nixon BVA 1StYear<br />
  2. 2. Background<br />I bought a bit of previous experience to this brief ,having completed two short films, one a profile and interview with a local Hokianga Artist ,Dallon August .The other, a documentary style film, trying to get across ideas about using native trees for forestry.<br />GENERAL NOTES<br /> An important part of my process is gathering material and organising this into logical containers (bins) in Premiere Pro.<br />This allows me to preview all the material and build a visual memory in my mind for later reference when constructing the film.<br />Having got everything together, I put my media in to get started, believe it or not , I am more and more ANTI-narrative , so having a storyboard to tell the “story’ is completely pointless from my point of view .The music in the case of “Fade to Black”, was the story , and it was the pace and tempo of the music , that dictated what images were inserted.<br />The music of Michael Houston I like at a deep emotional level, and I got permission to use his music, and have attributed it in the film, so it is available for public viewing, without legal repercussions .I have send him a link, and if he doesn’t really like it, will take it off Youtube.<br />
  3. 3. But it would be great to get feedback from him , as I would like to work in a more collaborative way in the future. And compose my own music as some of the students in the module did quite successfully.<br />All other movies and still images were my own .In retrospect, I would have to say, the metaphor of the road, was an important one, and the next “layer” in the film, up from the music. The Road as metaphor, was very important to my painting last year, and without even consciously realising it , picked up from that , in my choice of movies. Having it really ”lowfi”, not great technical quality , is something I have used before. Not always through choice, as budgets have limited my equipment, but this has been a good thing in most cases.<br />The movie seemed like a stream of consciousness, which as a yogi and past meditator is a place I have occupied occasionally.<br />Technically, it was frustrating at times, knowing what I wanted to achieve, having a picture , a feeling , that needed expression fast , and not finding the ways to do this quickly.<br />
  4. 4. In retrospect, I would say to hang onto the “feeling” and just explore the options available in the film editing suite, and media there, until it “felt right”. I think making more notes and using the software more regularly, would get around this issue. I think when composing a film, editing it , the interface of Premiere and Windows is slowly developing towards the less “clunky” and more intuitive interface that people so love about the Macintosh Operating System. Ultimately, the best interface would have to be that like the film ?, where the character is just waving their hands and moving films around the screen. This technology is still be tried, but is just around the corner I believe.<br />On Friday night, the week before it was due, I spent a lot of time trying to get the film to what I thought was the “finished’ state. In retrospect, I think this idea was wrong, as it was feedback from people that has allowed me to get it to the next level. And no doubt, there is a level again to be reached as I get more experience in getting it to a resolved level. What I have found very helpful is informed critiquing, people who are brave enough to be honest about their opinions, and know how to communicate their feelings, in a way that relates to the media used.<br />
  5. 5. My first feedback was from my partner of last year, who said it was too dark .That’s the only feedback, but it did make me reflect on the movie footage, it was taken from a camera on a car, and we were traveling into the sun. So it was very bright sun, and as the camera tried to shut down the intense light, it ramped up the contrast, and makes everything but the sun very black. Also in a metaphorical way, it triggered something in me to think of the film in terms of spiritual light, it was dark spiritually, and I needed to lighten it up , lift it .Ironically , in my discussions with David , he suggested increasing the darkness, the negative spaces. And it was far too busy for the limited time, although I realise there must be a balance between engaging the viewer, and overloading them.<br />And in fact, I work best from dark to light for some reason, in reverse from a lot of people, a kind of dyslexic way. That sometimes means creating a work or film in this case, without having a script, a storyboard or narrative. When it has been made, I can then go back and analyse it, write a storyboard, talk about it and write about it.<br />
  6. 6. At the point, if I really feel it’s not working in some way, it’s not resolved; I walk away and leave it. Although this is the first time I have heard the word resolved used, in relationship to painting.<br />I think in retrospect, the feeling of it not being resolved, is associated with feelings of boredom, frustration, its over etc . But its how to move to the next level, which is the issue.<br />Its not being honest with myself, and admit something is wrong. Having done that, the next and obvious step was and is, moving forward and taking steps to resolving it.<br /> Feedback from David suggested that the strengths were in the black, using more black, in a negative space kind of way. I also thought, after a comment from Eddie, that my one of my original motivations and game plan, was suspect.In short , I had planned to “blow” apart Pak N Save, as an example of an ugly squat square building, and have beautiful things like trees and harmonious curvy buildings emerge. In a way it would metamorphism into something else. So what I did was remove the final reference to it , as it didn’t fit the new intent .<br />
  7. 7. Feedback from Eddie was that the latter part of the film worked better for her, and so focused for a while on working out why this was, but could see where she was coming from , concentrated on removing media that didn’t fit the new intent in the 1st 30 seconds of the film, and added another still at the end , a photo of a work “ South Angel” , that was in fact the reason I had taken the footage of going down the motorway, real life meets the metaphor.<br />In the final presentation, the feedback I got was that it was meditative , which really pleased me as it’s a quality I like , so that had come across. I suspect a lot of the younger students didn’t really know what to make of it, it hadn’t reached or touched them, but that’s ok. Some people would like it , some not, that’s the way of the world. Hopefully, not because it was not fully resolved.<br />Other feedback I got from a friend , Dorothy Mackinnon, was that there was an element of nostalgia in it, and yes, it was true, for happy times past , in the Hokianga up north. She also said it was very much me, as she knew me .<br />
  8. 8. Dorothy thinks my strengths in film were more in the poetic , and this is something I might explore more in the future, setting a poem to music, images , to take it other places , or take music and set the WORDS of a poem to it ..Having written and performed my poetry , am now learning music to compose my own music .<br />
  9. 9. TECHNICAL NOTES :Premiere Pro CS4<br />It is NOT backwards compatible with CS3 as used on the MAC based computers at Otago Polytechnic<br />I tried to render it on a MAC and got a major error, it wouldn’t load the project .<br />IN/OUT Points <br />Use IN/OUT points to quickly develop clips of sound and video <br />From existing ones, Shortcut keys I and O<br />~ key switchs the window to Fullscreen, handy for previews<br />