Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Post Modernism - "Mulholland Drive"

Five reasons why"Mulholland Drive" is an example of Post Modernism

"Mulholland Drive"
is a 2001 film directed by David Lynch that provides a distorted and cryptic narrative of a failed movie actress in Loss Angeles. Regarded as one of Lynch's finest work, the story remains one of his more complex pieces consisting of both dark and surreal imagery. The film "Mulholland Drive" falls under several categories of post modernism. 


1.(Non-linear narrative) The first portion of "Mulholland Drive" is told through the warped mind of Diane, a depressed and failed actress. As a direct result of this the narrative received by the audience takes place in an alternative to reality. 

2.(Reflection on Hollywood) The film's story follows an actress who has just arrived in Los Angeles, hoping to climb up the ranks and one day reach greatness. This, perhaps now typical Hollywood story, has been reflected to the reality of Hollywood with dreams being crushed by the film industry. Those hoping to one day be famous being stuck at the bottom rather than reflecting main stream films of those who gain fame. 

3.(Unreliable narrator) The story is seen through the eyes of Diane meaning that the story is not told with clarity or objective truth but instead feelings of anger and depression. This leads to a interpretation that is used by Diane to escape from her reality. 

4.(Fragmented) The story itself does not have a single conceit story line. This means that the film does not follow a normal narrative but instead takes three different story lines and breaks them down. As a result the story is difficult to follow. 

5.(Realism) There are many scenes within the film that have very loose connections to the story as a whole, seeming incredibly abstract. One example of this is the performance put on by the Club Silencio where everything was regarded as an illusion. Another is the hallucination of an elderly couple that haunts Diane.  


Metanarrative: A grand narrative, theory or reasoning that can offer an explanation for a number of events and experiences. Examples of these include science, art and religion. 

Essentialism: The pure essence or reasoning for an object is referred to as essentialism and regards the importance or pure nature of such object. 

Utopian: An environment (mostly cities) that can provide the best for all its residents. Essential a perfect place where all are happy and benefit greatly as one unit. 

Axiomatic: Without question meaning that the proposed theory or concept does not require evidence as it proves itself. There is no reason to question such a concept.

Dystopian: The opposite of Utopian, describing an area that is unsuitable for living, where all suffer and cannot rise to that of a good living standard. There is no escape from such a terrible life as all are equal.

Scepticism: Doubtful of the information that has been provided. Creating questions and trying to poke holes in the concept or knowledge.

Relativism: A doctrine (a writing telling how to complete or follow and action under certain circumstances) that states there are no absolute truths. 

Pluralism: A principle that accepts the existence of one or more theories of explanation, more often done to suit specific situations and people. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Lord of the Rings - Film Review

fig.1

Directed by Peter Jackson 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' is the first of a trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien's epic high fantasy novel. Loved by both fans and critics this first film takes the audience through the fictional land of Middle Earth. 'The Fellowship of the Ring', sets up the fantasy world and the impending doom of Middle Earth. T
he second fleshes out the individual characters, developing them and the third film resolves all the issues present. Peter Jackson's interpretation remains extremely faithful to Tolkien's book even with the limitations of translating the story into a visual media. Despite leaving out beloved characters such as Tom Bombadil. 

Regardless of the fact the resolve of the overall arc is held within the third film 'Return of The King', 'The Fellowship of the Ring' can still convey parts of the Hero's Journey. The concept of the hero's journey can be very well adapted to 'The Lord of the Rings' and in appropriate fashion as it has its roots from old myths, legends and story tales. Tolkien's books themselves have been written as such and appears as an old tale fitting in with this journey. 

1. Ordinary world: The main protagonist, Frodo, is living happily in the shire with little to no care. Food is lavish and enjoyed by the hobbits who have no need to defend themselves. 

2. The call to adventure: Gandalf initiates the adventure by calling upon Frodo for his help. It is requested by the wise old wizard to go out and deliver the ring to Rivendell so that it can be later destroyed. 

3. Refusal of the call: At first Frodo is unwilling to go on such a quest as the quest is too large for such a small hobbit. 

4. Supernatural aid: Along the way towards Rivendell Frodo is assisted by his old friend Sam Gamgee alongside Aragon and mysterious figure who appears cloaked in black.

5.Crossing the threshold: It is when Frodo reaches Rivendell that his real adventure begins. Frodo is given the choice to return to the shire, resuming his normal life but instead rises to the aid of those who would form the fellowship of the ring. 

6. Belly of the whale: When entering the mines of Moria the fellowship of the ring enter a more physical representation of a belly. Being forces down the dark depths of the tunnels the group encounter a large number of creatures who they must fight off.

7. The road of Trials: The group continue to counter various opponents including orks and the balrog that kills Gandalf.

8.The meeting with the goddess: Frodo upon reaching Rivendell is told the future by Galadriel.

9. Woman as temptress: In the case of Frodo he is tempted by the power of the ring and the ring itself tries to seduce Frodo into giving up the quest to destroy it.

10. Atonement with the father: While not directly applicable to Frodo, Aragon must go on and confront the legacy set by his ancestry foreshadowed as he examines the sword at Rivendell. 

11. Apotheosis: There are several points where characters gain a god-like power including when Frodo puts on the ring at the pub however Gandalf's power is shown as he fights the balrog. This displays the power and damage he can inflict, far more than a mortal man. 

12. The ultimate Boon: Frodo receives gifts from Bilbo among which are sting, a sword that glows when near orks and mithral chain mail.  

From this point on the hero's journey is more closely linked to the second and third film as they hold more resolve to the three films. 

13. Refusal of the return: Frodo unable to return to his normal life in the shire as he has seen to much strife and death opts to leave middle earth with the elves. 

14. The magic flight: During what appears to be the end of Sam and Frodo on top of mount Doom Gandalf and the eagles lift the two into the air towards safety. 

15. The crossing of the return threshold: Aragon launches a last ditch effort to attack and distract Sauron and destroy the ring. 

16. The master of two worlds: Frodo is able to come back to the shire for a brief while alongside the other hobbits living as he once did before, writing his book. 

17. The freedom to live: Aragon rules over the land of Gondor creating a era of peace in which those who live in middle earth can do so with little to worry about war.

While the films have been well received it has also been criticised for a lack of strong female protagonists from the start. Strong female characters such as Galadriel, the elf-queen are shown but have little role. As stated by critic Peter Bradshaw, "their roles are marginal - this movie is a men-only affair" (Bradshaw, 2001), this further highlights the issue. However the issue can be traced back to the source material of the books, Tolkien himself regarded the lack of strong female characters and has regretted such choices. 

Despite this, the film remains visually appealing with the use of lush landscapes and amazing CGI, "Jackson has used modern special effects to great purpose in several shots, especially one where a massive wall of water forms and reforms into the wraiths of charging stallions." (Ebert, 2001). The use of such well done CGI in amalgamation with the beauty of the natural landscapes helps to bring Tolkien's fantasy world to life often capturing the viewers gaze with its strong and romantic scenery. This was realised with the help of Alan Lee who helped with the concept art. Supported by the costume design fit for its elves, hobbits, orks, human, dwarfs etc. the world of middle earth feels right, solid and full with history.  

Moments of tension are broken with pockets of fast paced combat as the heroes of the story are constantly being chased down through the land. The scale and the opposing force are realised setting up the story for the next films. At this point the film ends with great damage done to the group of heroes leaving the audience uncertain of their future fate.

Overall Peter Jackson's work has led to a spectacular translation of the original books doing Tolkien's work justice. 
 

Bradshaw, P. (2001) The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring | Film | The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2001/dec/14/lordoftherings1 (Accessed: 2 October 2017).

Ebert, R. (2001) ‘Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Movie Review (2001) | Roger Ebert’. Available at: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/lord-of-the-rings-the-fellowship-of-the-ring-2001 (Accessed: 3 October 2017).

fig.1, the-lord-of-the-rings-fellowship-of-the-rings.jpg (1000×1561) (no date). Available at: https://wtfbabe.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/the-lord-of-the-rings-fellowship-of-the-rings.jpg (Accessed: 2 October 2017).




Monday, 2 October 2017

Post Modernism - Enlightenment Project

Enlightenment Project

The Enlightenment Project is a concept that has been ongoing since the 18th century being discussed by a number of philosophers and great thinkers. At the core of the project was the rejection of previous reasoning of life such as religion, creating a rational explanation for issues or problems faced by people.

This was an attempt to create a world in which understanding all relations and activities of humans could be possible. The pursuit of truth would give the framework for understanding society but lacks regard for factors such as religion or individual issues. With new thinkers came new advances in science. that people believed could resolve issues drawing connections between all people and problems.

In terms of modernity it follows the concept of moving onto a new age of thinking. The concept of modernity is the contemporary way of thinking that is fit for the modern man. Religion is replaced with science driving forward knowledge and pure devotion to function over form. As the essence of an object is within the purpose issues can be resolved by removing its appearance. This relates heavily to the project as modernity tries to draw connections to the most basic building blocks that connect to more complex issues.

Structuralism: Structuralism is the concept of understanding the relationship between an object and the overall part it plays. It is the attempt to understand the core relation between a object and a person. As a result the chair will be made to suit the persons need above all else rather than fitting it towards aesthetics.

Ahistorical: Is not affected by time or history and as such are above both, being relevant not matter how much time has passed.

Irreducible: Cannot be made any more simple or be reduced to a more basic component.

Objective: Devoting purely to the goal in which is not effected by any personally elements or factors.

Universal: Applicable to all people or groups. Is the one common factor that can be applied to all.

Definitive: Is the complete end or solution to a problem or situation requiring no future amendments.



Sunday, 1 October 2017

Post Modernism - "Inception"

Five reasons why "Inception" is an example of Post Modernism


1. (Non-linear story telling) "Inception's" is told through a non-linear narrative meaning that the story is not conveyed in the correct chronological order. This is seen in the very beginning of the film as confused viewers will see Cobs, the protagonist being dragged to from the beach near the end of the film. 

2. (Blurred sense of reality) During the events of the film the characters venture through the dream world which simulates a reality perceived by a select person. This results in an altered perception of reality in which the story is told through during each layer.

3. (Unreliable Narrator) The story is told through an unreliable narrator meaning that the story is not being told truthfully either through omitting parts of the story at a time or making false conclusions. The audience is left with only parts of the whole story as it progresses.

4. (Ambiguous ending) The ending of the film leaves the viewers uncertain whether or not the protagonist is left in a dream or not. Cobs leaves the spinner before it is able to finish spinning and so taunts the audience by not giving a straight forwards conclusion to the story. Instead the audience have to choose if Cobs is in a dream world or the real one. 

5. (Perception of time) "Inception" makes great use of the perception of time. As time passes mores slowly in the dream world in comparison to the real world. This is a major component to the film as it adds more layers and stretches the film as audiences have to keep up with each layer.


Friday, 29 September 2017

Artist Toolkit - Life Drawing (27/09/17)




Artist Toolkit - Maya, Moom Poses (28/09/17)

Once again we were tasked with posing Moom however this time Moom must replicate a more subtle acting pose. 

James Bond

Dunkirk

Kick Ass

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The Walking Dead

Monday, 25 September 2017

Collaboration - Initial Ideas


In order to create a story for the Collaboration each member of the studio was instructed to come up with several "loose" initial ideas. The premise that was given to the group was "the wrong response to....".

Examples given included

I love you
opening a present
meeting royalty

Addition ideas from brain storming as a group included 

Blind date/Speed dating
Online chat/Forum question
New neighbours/roommates
Hair cut/Wedding dress/New look
Bad comedian
Emergency response/999 call
Funeral/Death
Pen Pal/Foreigner
Award acceptance speech
Bad food
Assassin
Computer error
Bomb disposal
To a child('s question)
IT helpdesk
Being stuck in traffic/a line

From which I wrote up four scenarios, in short

Bad Meal

A father reading a newspaper as one of the table has a plate with a steak on it. At another side of the table the daughter waiting for her food. The daughter receives a plate of food trying it sceptically. This makes her gag and she looks for other options seeing the steak. The daughter then tries to swap the plates around without alerting the father each time escalating in complexity. Eventually the daughter completes this task and takes a bite of the steak. This makes her gag and wretch underneath the table as it is just as bad. the father becoming suspicious lowers his newspaper revealing him eating from a packet of crisps. 

Emergency response

An unconscious character is laying at the side of an accident, two paramedics spot him and come from either side. One reaches hims first and completes some chest compressions reviving the man. The other paramedic races over pushing the other paramedic out the way and knocking the man unconscious again. The man is once again revived using a pair of paddles. The two paramedics continue to knock the man unconscious and bring him back with various methods. Eventually the man tires and stays conscious enough to knock both paramedics out. Soon more paramedics arrive to help the ones who have been knocked out. 

Death (hero's death)

Set much like a cinematic block buster a hero lays centre stage with his dead companion in his arms, the remains of a harsh battle around him. The moment is interrupted as the villain and his henchmen approach from the screen. The villain points his gun at the hero threatening to shoot him. The hero challenges this by grabbing the barrel, point it towards his head. A pause is given before the hero sticks up his hand, giving a gesture that is blurred by the camera. The villain finds this offensive back handing the hero. In return the hero carelessly disregards the body of his friend, standing up slapping the villain back in a childish manor. Looking hurt the villain drops his own weapon to slap the hero back. The henchmen look confused, uncertain of what to do. The hero picks up the his companion only to use his body like a bat swinging it towards the villain. The camera cuts to a later date showing the discoloured body with flies circling it. The two characters tired out and a janitor cleaning up the mess.

Death (the hooded figure)

Two typically British men are drinking tea and enjoying biscuits as death suddenly manifests in front of them pointing his finger aggressively at one of the characters. The two pause having little to no reaction before continuing with their lives. Death massages his head underneath the darkness of his hood. He then gestures more politely and one of the character stands before the other tells him to sit back down for tea. He then also extends the offer to death who reluctantly agrees. Death sips the tea and eats a biscuit which he chokes on and promptly dies. A ghost appears from the corpse of death shaking his head. Another figure manifests wearing the same hood as death in addition to a scrub and a ID tag. He goes over to the ghost of death before taking him away. Once again the two continue to act nonchalantly. 



Collaboration - ArrowPark Studio's Title Card

ArrowPark's new logo

My colleague Anastasija Strelcova has created a professional looking logo to brand our studio. I have Animated the logo to act as a title card for any future animations. 

Collaboration - Blog

Blog collaboration with Ellie Row and Anastasija Strelcova 

https://arrowparkstudios.blogspot.co.uk

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Post Modernism - Key Words

Defining Key words in context of Post-Modernism.



High Modernism: A movement that is known for having belief and confidence in science and technology as a way to bring order to society and nature. This form of modernity was most prevalent during the late 50s and the 60s.

Capitalism: A political system that has a country's trade and industry controlled by private markets who do so for profit, rather than being controlled by the state.

Superabundance: An excessive amount of something that is beyond the required amount, possibly with negative effect.

Disconnected: Broken, taken away from a group or the situation at hand.

Schizoid: Characterised as having varied emotions and habits in an inconsistent manner.

Pop: Popular culture of the time; including art, music and fashion.

Fragmentary: Consists of multiple, broken down fragments or pieces that no longer connect.

Eclectic nostalgia: A false sense of nostalgia and pleasant feeling resulting from a number elements that imitate the past.

Superficiality: A lack of any depth of real character or thought.

Simulacra: A representation of something, or a cheap, unsuitable substitute.

Flippant: Showing disrespect through one's attitude not giving a serious response.

Fabulation: Reinventing a story or tale with false elements. This could include works of fantasy of which the phrase originated from.

Pastiche: An artistic style that mimics or imitates the style of another artist or work.

Bricolage: A collage of available materials to create a piece of work either physical or in literature.

Aleatory: An adjective that describes the random choice in the formation of art.

Depthless: Without an end.

Skeptical: Doubtful and uncertain of the information provided.

Ambiguous: Unclear and undefined.

Innovative: Changing the norms and breaking boundaries that were once perceived as absolute.

Obfuscation: Making a subject unclear, or more difficult to interpret.

Artist Toolkit - Maya, Moom Poses (21/09/17)


Posing with the character provided for us has proven a fun and time consuming task. Completing this has helped to realise the importance of centre of gravity in a pose and how much it can change the dynamic of a stance. This has also proven to be invaluable practice with the "Moom" model which will be used for the later animated short.  

Ballerina pose

Basketball pose

Boxing pose

Street Dance pose

Kung Fu pose




Post Modernism - "Kill Bill"

Five reasons why "Kill Bill" is an example of Post Modernism



"kill Bill" is Quentin Tarantino's forth film which has been well received by both audience and reviews. 

1. (Pastiche) The film consists of numerous homages from other films taking example of shots and scenes. These are often taking from multiple genres creating a Pastiche as the film replicates multiple styles. One example of this is the yellow biking leathers worn by the main character played by 
Uma Thurman, imitating the costume worn by Bruce Lee.

2. (Intertextuality)"Kill Bill" takes a number of genres such as action, western, thriller, fighting, anime, etc. to create a single piece of film showing Intertextuality. 

3. (Hyper realism) There is an exaggerated amount of gore throughout the film often or not breaking the suspension of disblief. As "kill Bill" progresses the blood is shown to spurt excessively out of surely fatal wounds, fighting begins to take to the air defying gravity and people are hurled across the room. 



4. (Contrapuntal Sound design) While the norm for films is to have music and diegetic sounds to fit the imagery provided Tarantino's film goes against this having Western, Mexican trumpets play against the Japanese, samurai-like sword fights. The choice in sound seems to heavily contradict the imagery chosen. 

5. (Animated Scene) Breaking the convention of films before it "Kill Bill" makes use of animation to help show the origins of one of the antagonists of the film. This use of animation done in the style of Japanese anime contradicts the live action footage but also reflects elements such as the excessive amount of blood.  


Artist Toolkit - Life Drawing (20/09/17)

20 minutes

5 minute poses

20 minutes

Monday, 15 May 2017

Story Telling and Commission: Fantastic Voyage - Sounds

Story Telling and Commission: Fantastic Voyage - Reflective Statement

This project has proven difficult and has required the previous skills that have been developed over the course of the year. While a final product has been created in time for the client it has been difficult to keep up with all the work required for the course. Looking at other course members both past and present has helped to inspire and drive my work. Areas that I have found exceedingly difficult have included time management and Maya. Alongside this I have not posted as much in comparison to the previous projects and it has shown. 

Story Telling and Commission: Fantastic Voyage - Art Of

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Story Telling and Commission: Fantastic Voyage, Progress update 2

The majority of the animation has been completed. With the lack of Maya at home it has been a struggle to complete most of the work load but it has been possible. Currently only a few scenes are missing including the G2 and S phase. Additionally the voice has arrived with multiple takes. The final takes have been selected and cut. Finishing touches visually include correcting the colour, changing the transitions and adding titles to the scenes.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Artist toolkit - flash, Show Reel

Story Telling and Commission: Fantastic Voyage, Progress update 1

It has been a while since this blog has been updated, currently several seconds of the animation have been completed and rendered. Cyril has been completely finished and rigged. Alongside Cyril props such as the school, book and pencils have been modelled. While a large majority of the animation has yet to be finished the scene below has been completed. Despite this I have realised that the scenes will have to be re-rendered as they are not sRGB gamma colour corrected. Alongside this a voice actor has been hired and will have the voice completed by the 30th.


Saturday, 1 April 2017

Story Telling and Commission: Fantastic Voyage, Pitch Reflection

Reception

I was pleased with the reception from the pitch. The main character Cyril was well received by the client and the concept of using a school setting was liked for its inclusion of humour and sense of nostalgia. 

However there will have to be a number of improvements and changes including the removal of the G0 phase and inclusion of digetic sounds to increase tension during the exam such as the clicking of the clock and pencils scratching on the paper. Additionally the paper must be animated so that it appears to be flipped through during the text book stages to make the animation more fluid. The dialogue must be revised in order to create a sense of school nostalgia and colloquialism giving Cyril more character. The world that Cyril is based in must also make use of more vibrate and saturated colours giving a more cartoon feel while making the others de-saturated to draw attention to Cyril. Finally the ending must have a better conclusion either with Cyril "remarking" at his joy of starting school again or restarting and reverting back to his former self.