Saturday, 16 December 2017

Film Reviews: List

Film Review: Mockumentary // What We Do In The Shadows

Film Review: B movie // The Incredible Shrinking Man

Film Review | Exploitation In Cinema | Mad Max Fury Road

Three Act Structure in Avatar: Review

The Hero's Journey in the Hunger Games

Harry Potter: A Hero's Journey and Archetypes Review


Collaboration: Reflective Statement

This project has really been an eye opener into working in a studio environment. It was exciting working as a team because our team had our strengths but also weaknesses, it was gratifying to upload work that complemented other work in your team and it made me feel motivated as we started to bounce off of each other.

The biggest thing that I learned is that communication and compromise are key to thriving together as a group. It is important to talk to each team member together in person to bounce ideas off each other, negotiate ways around possible issues and to give positive feedback on the work that has been done to a good standard, Its easy for things to get lost in translation when typing out paragraphs to send to your team and its for that main reason that I preferred talking in person so that ideas and opinions were solid.

I found it hard when you have a vision for something and for that vision to not be met or to be scrapped. I came up with the Planet Cuckoo name for our Studio and I had a Brand design in mind for the whole look and feel of our studio but for those designs not to get finished or tested because of majority rules was difficult to let go, However I had to keep reminding myself of "What is best for the animation" and to learn to loosen my grasp of control and realise that its a group effort and we are a team and all voices need to be heard.

I've learned that I need to take a step back and to really think about what is the most productive way to tackle something and not jump into the deep end from the get go because I'm stressed of time constraints. With my car model I knew that I was doing it wrong from the start but I kept trying to make it work because I spent so long getting it to that point, whereas if I took a step back from the start and really thought "what is the best way to tackle this?" I think I would have saved more time. It wasn't until Alan showed me the best method for the model that I realise I need to adapt this into every project that I do and I enjoyed finishing off the car after that because I didn't have this nagging feeling that I'm not doing this correctly.

I thoroughly enjoyed using basecamp, It made me feel more productive with its clear interface and I felt encouraged to upload my work onto the site, it felt fulfilling to know that the to do list started to dwindle and that you were closer to a finished piece that you as a team can be proud of.

Even though we didn't get the animation completely finished and polished to our standards I am proud of Greta, Karolina and myself because I think all our hard work paid off from getting a few laughs from our fellow students and lecturers. I would definitely be interested to collaborate and use basecamp again because I feel like I have learned a lot about myself from this project and I feel like I have grown as a person and can use the lessons that I have learned from working together as a group on future projects.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Film Review: Mockumentary // What We Do In The Shadows

Fig 1: Poster
What we do in the shadows is a Mockumentary style comedy documentary directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. The film has a camera crew follow vampire housemates Viago, Vladislav, Deacon, Petyr who are clearly not apart of this century with their dated clothes and vampiric accents and having them get up to speed with current culture as vampires is where the majority of the side splitting comedy stems from. The Documentary style of storytelling is nonfictional but as a mockumnetary parodies the documentary style of story telling, What we do in the shadows cleverly and wittily combines the mockumentary style by following along the lives of the vampires and all the debauchery that ensues.  


The juxtaposition between vampires trying to live their lives and performing mundane tasks while also having special vampiric abilities is hilarious as they have to call for house meetings as Deacon hasn't done the dishes for five years even though he is an extremely young vampire at two hundred years old. When they get into argument out of nowhere they take flight and hiss at each other like feral cats and as vampires are not aloud into any building that they are not invited into, watching them try to get into nightclubs on a night out on the town is comedy at its best. "What We Do in the Shadows is so smart and perceptive about the quotidian ups and downs of its protagonists’ lives that it’s almost a jolt when, say, they start levitating off the ground or get into a passive-aggressive argument with a pack of werewolves" (Duralde A 2015)


Fig 2


The writers and producers of What we do in the shadows are extremely skilled to pull anything this silly off and so well and in doing so the film grossed over $6.9 million with a budget of $1.6 million. The film works on so many levels by challenging the documentary genre by showing the real and hilarious lives of these fictitious vampires parodying the documentary genre and superabundant Vampire themes and showing that What we do in the Shadows is a true example of the mockumentary genre done right.   





Bibliography 

Duralde, A., Banks, A., Gilman, G. and Otterson, J. (2015). 'What We Do in the Shadows' Review: Horror-Comedy Breathes Life Into Vampire Movies and Mockumentaries. [online] TheWrap. Available at: https://www.thewrap.com/what-we-do-in-the-shadows-review-jemaine-clement-taika-waititi-rhys-darby/ 
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].

Illustration List

"Fig 1: Poster"(2015). [image] Available at: http://ew.com/article/2015/05/18/what-we-do-in-the-shadows-short-exclusive/ 
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].


"Fig 2:" (2015). [image] Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/movies/what-we-do-in-the-shadows-lampoons-the-undead-lifestyle/2015/02/18/09beb3d4-b2f8-11e4-854b-a38d13486ba1_story.html?utm_term=.887734f5a317 
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].

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Film Review: B movie // The Incredible Shrinking Man




Fig 1: Poster


The incredible shrinking man is a B movie directed by Jack Arnold which tells the story of Robert Scott Carey as he is subjected to a mysterious mist that ends up decreasing his height over time, turning him into a spectacle in his home town.

The film was made in 1957 and for the majority of the film it really shows its dated quality particularly with special effects. As Robert begins to dwarf into a miniature version of himself the special effects are clearly visible to a novice in CGI.  The green screen in parts where Robert is juxtapositioned in a world of normal sized people as he walks along the street (fig 2) show no shadow unerneath him which makes him feel like he is floating in the abyss.  The perimeter of Robert seems to animate and ripple in a manufactured manner showing clearly when green screen was used.


Fig 2: Screenshot, showing green screen with no shadow under Robert

At one stage Robert is standing in the threshold of the basement while his wife Louise is looking up at him the wall paneling behind Robert is clearly visible with Robert looking slightly invisible which shows how the special effects in B movies need a lot to be desired (fig 3).


Fig 3: Screenshot, Robert as slightly see through 


The acting in the film in parts is extremely comical especially at any moment when Louise has to show any glimpse of remorse over her husband shrinking down to child size or when she believes that he has been eaten by the household cat, Louise really overacts these parts showing crocodile tears and makes the scenes laughable. On the website Dan of Geek it is described how men are perceived "In The Shrinking Man, men are defined by their ability to dominate those around them – whether it’s their wife, their daughter, or their neighbours. As Carey dwindles in size, so too does sense of power and self-esteem, until he becomes an embittered, deviant character who comes to hate the people he once loved (Den Of Geek 2011".

The movie takes a more impressive turn when Robert is stuck down in the basement as the world around him genuinely seems massive which was not nearly as accomplished when Robert was around other normal sized people. The basement provides all sorts of challenges for Robert as he is now in a quest for survival. The use of everyday normal objects used for weapons and shelter in Roberts new universe is paramount at accomplishing his tiny size and how mammoth and terrifying everything seems at that size as hunting for food and having a battle to the death with a tarantula are all obstacles that Robert faces, all the while his voice overs providing cheesy intropsection of his barren basement of a world such as "eventually Louise would come to the celler, until then I had to keep myself alive with whatever resources I could find in my basement universe... and in myself"


The voice over of Roberts throughout the movie is a nice touch and shows an element of a story within a story as Robert introduces the viewer to his story and shows his elements of brooding which leaves the viewer asking if he will grow back to normal size. The score is also musically melodic to the ears as it instills a sense of eclectic nostalgia that emphasises elements of exasperation and danger especially when Robert faces against the spider. The incredible shrinking man holds up against other B movies and although it is cheesy in parts, its sombre quality shows shows that its a classic story of a mans fight for survival and the ending in particular is unexpected and a nice change from the oversaturated happy endings, In the ending Robert understands that he is one with the universe no matter how small he may be. 


Bibliography

Den of Geek. (2011). The Incredible Shrinking Man: a classic book and film. [online] 
Available at: http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/the-incredible-shrinking-man/18183/the-incredible-shrinking-man-a-classic-book-and-film 
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].


Illustration List
Arnold J, (2011). "Fig 1: Poster" [image] Available at: Den of Geek. (2011). The Incredible Shrinking Man: a classic book and film. [online] Available at: http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/the-incredible-shrinking-man/18183/the-incredible-shrinking-man-a-classic-book-and-film
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].

Arnold J, (2011) "Fig 2:  Screenshot, showing green screen with no shadow under Robert"
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].

Arnold J, (2011) "Fig 3: Screenshot, Robert as slightly see through"
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].



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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Collaboration: The Blind Man - Textured & Modelled


The Blind man is textured and Modelled, although I'm not sure why his pants are rendering brown when I textured them black. I'll see if I can make the glasses work with template handles as they wrap around Mooms head really strangely because of how abnormal his head is.

Film Review | Exploitation In Cinema | Mad Max Fury Road

Fig 1: Mad Max Fury Road Poster


Exploitation in cinema has many different forms. Films that are generally made to exploit the viewer with pastiche popular elements and genres which include but are not limited to,  sex, violence,  horror and romance. Exploitation in films are used to draw the audience in and captivate them with flashy trailers usually resulting in the films being low quality B movies. Exploitation films were extremely popular in the 1960's and 1970's especially around the time when drive in movies became popular as they would please the masses with the over excessive genres that B movies are known for. If the films did not pass the Hays code which was a code of conducts put in place to make sure that no overly offending scenes made it into films such as gore, sex, slavery and using any religious profanity, The movies were shown in grindhouses.  

Exploitation films can also revolve around exploiting the culture of different nationalities one of which is Ozploitation which is the exploitation of Australian culture and one film that exploits this is Mad Max Fury Road (2015) directed by George Miller 

Usually exploitation films have cheap cheesy special effects and props however Fury Road defers from the norm with the explosions of steampunk vehicles and barrage of fire, crashes and mammoth fight scenes on top of post apocalyptic vehicles is done with impressive stunts coupled with the orange haziness of the dystopian dessert is an adrenaline junkies dream. The use of CGI is limited as the majority of the stunts were real it is a nice change from the CGI ingested action films that are rampant today and shows that manufactured CGI cannot win against the real. 
"The first Mad Max film was made on a budget of $350,000 and became the most financially successful film for decades until CGI came along. Fury Road, shot over a 3-year period, done almost entirely with stunts and without graphics and with $150 million in the bank, eclipses any Marvel film and inspires a feeling of wonder that little art can muster." (Bunker, 2015)


Fig 2: Coma - Doof warte with a flame throwing guitar

Woman are presented in a different and admirable fashion in the film as they redress the usual damsel in distress that is excessively oversaturated in action films. The main female protagonist is Furiosa (Charlize Theron) - a buzz cut haired badass with a titanium arm who feels more like the hero and puts up more of a fight as her male counterpart Max (Tom Hardy) while trying to protect the five wives of the cults leader Immortal Joe. Furiosa along with the five wives of joe are all heroines in their own right as they can fend for themselves and fight for each other without needing the help of a man. "Fury Road’s alpha male is, in fact, a woman: the rogue soldier Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, who masterminds the escape while Max rides shotgun. Furiosa is one of the toughest, most resilient action heroes in years, with a metal prosthetic arm that hints at past trauma and a steely gaze that sees more on the way, Theron superbly embodies her stoicism, nerve and resolve."  R. (2015). 


Fig 3: Furiosa and Max

Miller has managed to pull off a 21st century masterpiece that is an adrenaline fuelled frenzy of fast paced steampunk car chases, skilful stunts and  beatufill backdrops of the derelict desert that puts the pedal to the medal and goes against the grain of exploitation films and is understandably hailed by critics and viewers. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is an action film about redemption and revolution. Never content to merely repeat what he’s done before (even the first three “Mad Max” have very distinct personalities), Miller has redefined his vision of the future yet again, vibrantly imagining a world in which men have become the pawns of insane leaders and women hold fiercely onto the last vestiges of hope."


Bibliography 

Bunker, C. (2015). Out in Theaters: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. [online] Silver Screen Riot. Available at: http://silverscreenriot.com/903-out-in-theaters-mad-max-fury-road/ 
[Accessed 17 Nov. 2017].

R. (2015). Mad Max: Fury Road review: 'a Krakatoan eruption of craziness'. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/mad-max-fury-road/review/ 
[Accessed 17 Nov. 2017].

Tallerico, B. (2017). Mad Max: Fury Road Movie Review (2015) | Roger Ebert. [online] Rogerebert.com. Available at: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/mad-max-fury-road-2015 
[Accessed 17 Nov. 2017].

Illustration list

Figure 1: "Mad Max Fury Road Poster". [image] Available at: https://cdn.empireonline.com/jpg/80/0/0/1000/563/0/north/0/0/0/0/0/t/films/76341/images/tbhdm8UJAb4ViCTsulYFL3lxMCd.jpg [Accessed 17 Nov. 2017].

Figure 2: "Coma - Doof warte with a flame throwing guitar" Available at: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/UtjGTrVwRr4/maxresdefault.jpg 
[Accessed 17 Nov. 2017].

Figure 3: "Furiosa and Max"  Available at: http://www.syfy.com/sites/syfy/files/2017/07/mad-max-fury-road.jpg 
[Accessed 17 Nov. 2017].




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Sunday, 12 November 2017

Toolkit 2 // Pipeline 1: Head Modelling Part 7 - The Brow


Perspectives: 5 Reasons Why The Truman Show Is Postmodern




1)  The Truman Show makes it known that it is metafiction, showing the fabrication of the world that         
Truman resides, He is living in a mammoth dome that is controlled and manipulated with his every move filmed for the outside world to view.  Cameras show his every move as he lives inside a tv show with the world literally revolving around him. As the film progress the shackles of the world begin to rear its manipulating head as a studio light fixture falls from the dome and fraudulent rain begins to fall only on Truman.

2)  Truman is living inside a simulation with every resident apart from him having roles to play and scripts to follow, he is living not in life but the creators vision of a hyperrealism manufacture which is a blend of the real which is Truman and the fiction which is everyone else. Truman starts to question everything, he cannot tell what is real anymore as the constraints of the dome start to become apparent, he notices patterns about the residents and strange occurrences that hinder him trying to leave which start to make him paranoid that he is a in a simulacrum where his meaning is becoming destabilised. 

3)  The Truman Show is a pastiche and parody of the American Dream where every  house looks the same and every resident resides in this idyllic picturesque bubble. Celebration town in Florida, California comes to mind as this town is seen as the perfect place to live when in reality the town like The Truman show has strict rules that the residents must abide by which include embargoes stating why they left. Truman's wife is parodied with a satirical view on America as she constantly talks about consumerism, showing the viewer many different types of product placement to seemingly enrich their lives. 

4)  The Truman Show is a representation of the media in American, where Truman is completely controlled and manipulated by the media as the viewers completely devour everything that is shown to them as they are stuck to their television sets like glue. Fake news can be instilled into the whole plot of the truman show as he is controlled by the creators and the actors that revolve around putting on a show for the audience are fed through an ear piece all the scripted lines to say around Truman to fill the watching sheeple with their predetermined expectations. 

5)  The ending is up to the viewers own interpretation as Truman leaves the controlling but safe Dome to be thrust into real life, we don't know how he actually gets on. Does he have a serious case of culture shock? Is his better off living in the confines of the Dome, Does he ever make it to Fiji to make be with the one he loves, The viewer can only imagine. 
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Saturday, 11 November 2017

Collaboration: The Driving Instructor - Modelling, Texture & Prop Progress


A few more details need to be tweaked and polished until the driving instructor is complete.

Perspectives: Lecture 8 - Key Words

• Hyperrealism:
is the blend of real and fiction forming a simulation of reality especially in technologically advanced postmodern societies such as the one in which we live, As example is social media in which everyone projects the best version of themselves online to validate their credibility to their peers.

•  Simulation:
 Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time  

•  Simulacra
copies that depict things that either had no original to begin with, or that no longer have an original

•  ‘Fake news’
 is not just a public figure’s spinning of half-truths. It is mainly a media-driven, and deliberate attempt to spread a false narrative of propaganda to advance a political agenda that otherwise would be rejected by a common-sense public. The methodology is to manufacture a narrative attractive to a mass audience through media that will then devour and brand it as fact—and even lobby for government redress.

Perspectives: 5 Reasons Why Dancer In The Dark Is Postmodern



Pastiche
In the musical numbers Dancer in the dark is a pastiche of the musical genre albeit a less opulent and more grittier version as Selma played by Bjork manifests her visions of musicals into her mundane life.

Deconstructed:
The film deconstructs the musical genre and flips the viewers expectation, juxtapositioning it with the harsh truth of Selma's reality.

Parody:
The film is also a parody of of the musical genre as the majority of musicals are full of vitality that enrich your eyes with glamourise set designs and costumes that feel otherworldly and too good to be true. Dancer in the dark capsizes this oversaturated genre into a storyline that is extremely melancholy as Selma is progressively getting more blind with her son being diagnosed with the same condition. Only in Selma's day dreams of musicals can she feel free and vivacious feeling the rhythm of music in the dark and dreary warehouse where she works as "nothing dreadful ever happens in musicals" and "someone is always there to catch you in musicals" only in Selma's actual reality, those people to catch her are the police to whisk her away for the trial of manslaughter. 

Fragmented:
The film is fragmented and broken up into parts that question what is the viewer actually watching, a musical? or a indie film? shot on a cheap hand held camera. As the film is shot on a motion sickness inducing hand held camera such as The Blair Witch Project it feels as though the viewer is watching a day in the life of Selma, but then the musical numbers are implemented late into the first arc with Selma telling the viewer "In musicals why do they start to sing and dance all of a sudden" it is more of a slow burn into the musical element as Selma starts to hear patterns and rhythms all around her.

Mise-en-abyme:  
Dancer in the dark is littered with Mise-en-abyme as Selma's day dreams of hearing the hum of factory machinery and having them merge into an orchestra of sounds that translate into a musical number in which all the characters on screen join in is tapping into Selma's unconscious.

 


Perspectives: Lecture 7 - Key Words




•  Metafiction 
Metafiction is an example of the self-awarewareness which is often found in postmodernism. Rather than trying to pass itself off as a window on the world and disguise its structure and techniques, metafiction tells the viewer that it is artificial.  story-within-a-story, making obvious references to storytelling conventions and breaking the 4th wall are examples of Metafiction


•  Intertextuality
Refers to the relationship between literary text in which that text reflects and influences other texts.  Intertextuality is an important stage in understanding a piece of literature, as it is necessary to see how other works have influenced the author and how different texts are employed in the piece to convey certain meanings.

•  Mise-en-abyme
is the a form of self reflection in which ones image is seen more than once. A film within a film or a dream within a dream is an example of Mise-en-abyme.

•  The 4th Wall
The fourth wall is the imaginative space that separates the performer or actor between the audience or the viewer. In film breaking the 4th wall is when the actors look at the camera denoting to the audience of their fictional nature such as when Peter looks directly at the camera in Funny Games.