Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wonderfool's AHA! Moment

Just finished reading the last couple of are some thoughts:

1) Abby is right. This was not an editing class. This was a project-based class, one where the learning is supposed to come from the doing, as opposed to exercises or lectures. Hopefully Abby, you have picked up more than you think about Final Cut. At the very least, you now know what the process of filmmaking involves, and how hard it is in a collaborative process to keep everything organized and moving forward.

2) Wonderfool....what an awesome reflection! I am not surprised to hear that you are both demoralized and energized by what you learned. You are exactly right that anyone who actually manages to finish a film deserves to be recognized for the stunning accomplishment it is, even if the film itself is horrible. I mean, just go watch "Plan 9 From Outer Space." Spectacularly bad!! But they did it! They made a movie. And even Tim Burton tipped his hat to that awesomely horrible film (Ed Wood).

Even with all the money, time and talent in the world, films that should be great turn out to be horrible. As a fan of "The Lord of The Rings" books, I was both excited and scared when I heard Peter Jackson was going to make those movies. But I thought they were great, even if he DID cut out Tom Bombadil.

But then he went and re-made "King Kong." Loads of money. Big stars. All the time in the world. And it stunk...about 1 1/2 hours too long, boring, etc.

So it's great that you now appreciate movies even more...and I like your analogy of feeling the energy of the people coming through in the film.

And THAT, Christina, is a sign that you understand what it takes to be a director. It is your job to channel that energy in the right way, in the service of a compelling story, to make the audience feel the power of the people behind it. You get it!!!

Now, if only it was easy to do. But I guess if it were easy, we'd all be doing it. And I would be re-making "Plan 9 From Outer Space" just for the sheer joy of it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Almost Finished.

When I signed up for this class, I was expecting something much different than what we did during this semester. I was hoping to learn how to use film editing software which I've become familiar with but unfortunately have not learned enough to be useful in the future. 
The process of making the documentary was fun and to have a part in the final piece will be pretty cool. After seeing the final segments from all the teams, I feel that everyone did a great job with the limited experience that we all had to produce something like this. 

So, class, what have we learned?

I feel like I should have some sort of grand revelation about race now, so let's see...

I realize now far more than at the start of this semester that I was drastically underestimating race's impact on on people now, partially because I'm not getting the short end of the stick, and partially because I was operating on a "if I ignore it, it will go away" mantra.  I never really saw race as biological, obviously people's skin is different colors, but that seems entirely separate from this concept of "race"... certainly no one is honestly upset about darkness and lightness of tone. 

But what then is the problem?  That is daunting, and I'm still torn between the idea of talking it to death and ignoring it.  Neither seems to lead to any solutions... but I guess I've started to ponder what our other options are.  For example, you can choose your friends, not other peoples, but yours.  I don't mean we should deliberately seek out people that look different from us, because we're still making assumptions about people based on appearance in that case.  Instead, get to know people around you.  I was shocked to find out the diversity that existed in a physically congruent group like the one Pat and I interviewed in the Student Union.  Our backgrounds are more diverse than we think, and that's something we have in common.

Another thing I've come to realize, and I think it logically follows when our focus becomes to get to know the other person, is to be aware that we all have different experiences that affect who we are, and some people desperately need the validation that comes from someone simply listening to them.  You do not have to have experienced what they did to listen.

I know I've had some grand revelations about filmmaking, mostly that it is beyond difficult to get what is in your head out into reality.  Left to my own devices, with my singularity of vision and a theoretical abundance of time, resources, and superpower-like skills, I'm not sure I could do something worthwhile.  Add to that that group projects were never something I've relished, and this is by far the most extreme variation of the concept of collaboration.  To call filmmaking "challenging" is laughable.  Every movie I've every seen becomes a miracle simply in existing.  Perhaps that is the magic of movies, you can feel all the energy of a zillion people pouring right out of the speakers and bouncing right off the silver screen.

I have to admit, I think I'm clinically insane.  After all of this, I'm possibly more in love with movies.  

well kids we are winding down. the last couple days have just been scattered because of the senior show, not much has been going on in class. I have been looking up some festivals that we could possibly enter and found some pretty good possibilities. sooooo I guess that's all I have to say byeeee

Monday, April 27, 2009

is it over yet

So here it is, my last week of college. I thought this would never happen. But I would like to just skip over this week and finals and just get to graduation. I have no drive left to finish anything. I just hope I have done well enough to pass everything this semester and not have killed my gpa too badly. Just bring on the cap and gown...

Friday, April 24, 2009

blogger sucks at compressing audio, uggh!

Final exam time - screening

I'd like to change the time of our final exam. We are scheduled at 2:00 pm on Friday of Finals week. At 2:30 pm is the graduation ceremony for seniors at the Akron Art Museum. I am proposing we move the final time up to 12 - 1 pm. What does everyone think? That way our seniors and myself still have time to get to the museum. We need everyone to agree to a time though, please check your schedules for conflicts. Thanks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thank my lucky Kellie

Hahahaha, you are amazing Kellie!  Thanks very much, it's been a fun semester :P

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Group 2 Final Rough Cut

Group 3 more finished rough

still need music. and the audio needs some work.


Okay, here's a couple festival ideas,

1) NextFrame, University Film and Video Association, $20, $15 if you submit through withoutabox.  Early Deadline is April 30, Regular is May 31... 

2)ASPEKTY, a Polish Anthropological Film Festival!  Not kidding, Deadline is Aug. 1, and it's free!  So I think this is def. worth looking into more :)

(Also, Tony and Phil, this is a site to keep in mind: Visual Anthropology
This site has 2 other festivals, one in Taiwan and one in Finland, both devoted to Ethnography and Anthropology, but they have themes.  So it might work out for future classes...)

I'll post more as I find them 

Monday, April 20, 2009

so many documentary ideas...

As Britney Spears continues her Circus tour throughout California this week, Spears' alleged trespasser Miranda Tozier-Robbins spoke exclusively to E! News about why she snuck onto the pop star's property and the reason she believes things have been blown out of proportion.

Tozier-Robbins, 26, is a former American Idol hopeful who says she has been in Los Angeles for about a month and a half and is actively pursing an entertainment industry career in numerous fields, one being paparazzi-like documentary filmmaking.

According to Tozier-Robbins, Britney's house was simply chosen because of its convenient location and perfect timing—she knew Spears would be in L.A. for her tour this week and apparently her address is available online.

"The documentary is more or less just, [me] on the way to Britney's house, going on the bicycle ride, the camping out in the woods," says Tozier-Robbins.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

watched original- next week is drew and jessica

Grey Gardens is delicious and depressing!
Some Wiki info...
Grey Gardens is a 1975 documentary film ranked as one of the 10 Greatest American Documentaries by the World Film Academy. The documentary is by the direction/cinematography/editing team of Albert and David Maysles, Susan Froemke, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer who first met while students at Cornell University. The film depicts the everyday lives of two women who lived at Grey Gardens, a decrepit 14-room mansion at 3 West End Road in the wealthy Georgica Pond neighborhood of East Hampton, New York. Cousin to Jackie O.

march...what a spring break!

—I moved my praxis exam date to April, but not until I contacted all the teachers I’m observing. I’ve let them all know I’m taking the exam in March- so I’m screwed for April… oh well-another killer semester…
—I observed a few days a Jackson High- freaking awesome arts program… The teacher there had me come in even though I had so much work to do I couldn’t function. I’m wondering why I’m having shortness of breath! My fat butt better not be having a heart attack!
—Born into Brothels came, but not enough time to watch yet. I had a complementary Bollywood movie running during journal writing that was sent with package. Weird one – can’t even figure the title out!
—Forgot to rewrite notes I took during meeting with Fedarria last month… ~I’m in the right place. The discussion board that met will be so easy to approach next documentary class- I’ve really got to take this again! Everyone is into this documentary idea, but they don’t understand our artistic approach possibilities. I did not feel comfortable explaining our role, because I don’t know what groundwork has already been laid by the professors teaching... What if there are funding opportunities for this class through these board members –i.e., if this class meets one /some of the following requirements: 1. if there are students from this class who film speakers, the class gets equipment 2. if students will film the events scheduled for community participation , the class gets equipment/web site 3. if class films fellow students to promote events for the following year – outright advertising! –the class gets permission for another year of work… A discussion during the meeting proposed university web site capabilities for downloading this documentary to mp3 players!

—Finally feel like the documentary is going to make damn good sense – glad we went with graphic designer Jenni ideas! I could not see this thing in any other way than groups of people speaking and artistic pictures /clips! If we had more time –snap! If I had ANY techno-ability in this area –snap!
—It’s so different working with people trained in other mediums!!! Content has been confusing -couldn’t see outcome. The class atmosphere differs greatly from medium to medium! People are the same standing in any field, though.
—Spring break rocked!!! I slept in one day, then the furnace went out and I had to go to my parents house in Conneaut for days on end. Break was when I was to catch-up on my ceramics and my fucking final project for art ed that won’t dry.
—Thank God Almighty break is over. We got a lot done for film, and I discovered foam stuff for the non-drying project in art ed. Our group is well rounded in all art forms – sculpture/hardware advice included.
—I met with Dr. Renee M-C for PhD information. Totally dig her! Approachable and very informative –giving options while leaving room for a student to use own judgment… Would love to hear her give presentation. Now time for research…
—Watched Born into Brothels – recommend for all. Devastating and delicious, with children learning photography! God love them and their artistic eyes…

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Group 1 VERY Rough Cut

Group 3 almost final rough

there are still two questions and the ending missing. also music. any suggestions?

Im on a blog

After about 15 minutes of "The Lonely Island" I knocked out 20% of the final edit of our section in Final Cut.  Im pretty pumped, maybe if I listen to "Im a Boss" Ill be finished in no time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

media offline

my favorite warning. i finally get the 'creative' bug and decide to sit down and try to get this thing as finished as i can at this point and bam stuff is missing. i search and what do you know, its nowhere to be found. so there goes my creativity. now im just frustrated. i don't really find this that much fun anymore. i just want to be done. but that is how i am feeling about pretty much everything right now, so don't take it personally. but on a more serious note i could not spend my life doing this. it would drive me crazy. i been working unintently  (not really a word) for a semester now and im ready to quit. no wonder my sister decided to become a chef after majoring in telecommunications for 2 years. your a strong man phil.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Progress

I admit that I have not been on here to talk about the progress our team has made but to be honest for a while the communication was not there to work effectively as a team. Luckily, that hurdle was made and we came together and pulled out an interesting piece. The direction of our segment has come 360. We talked about several different ideas and we settled on cultural movements in the 1950's -60's and their connection with biracial relationships then and today.

Monday, April 13, 2009

february... weeks of film

—Ordered Born into Brothels on Amazon. Saw part of it in class, and loved this documentary about kids born into the red light district in India’s Calcutta. Paul will dig it- a photographer lives there and teaches some kids to take photos, then tries to get them into schools. Parents don’t understand to improve kids lives- they just miss their kids, so they take them out of school… very disturbing
—Watched Nannuck of the North
—Researched Flash and trying to figure out if I need this to make documentary in the future. Final Cut -might have to take that, or one of the other editing programs. Sucks to not know the programs, but thank Jenni we won’t fail! I should turn that to the next great phrase “Well, thank my lucky Jenni!!”
—What a horrifying month. I hope I get time to buy shampoo instead of using body wash. I’m getting killer dandruff. All the color came out of my hair, too. Big Fun. So Pretty.
—Researched questions for the interviews –there are a lot of questions online. Some can stand a little tweaking. I don’t know how these are going to come off- I’m so freaking nervous! The only super -advantage is that I’m not in front of the camera! This job would be insane – the hours are exhausting but the people are delicious! I’d take this class again already!
—Maybe I wouldn’t take this class again. Holy Mother of God! Dave Brown could not stop! That man has serious energy… I really hope I get to use the information of the interview for a workshop after this class. I’m too fucking encouraging! I told him his picture doesn’t do him justice! If I take this or another class with film, I’ve got to follow interviewers. Kathy Davis constantly did interviews for channel 5 news – I should call her. I walked DB up the hall to Kate’s office –love her!- and she had to take him to speak at a lecture hall. Jenni went to see him speak. I don’t think Jenni and Paul understand my gift of being able to talk to anyone… this is where I can work it – not on the technology end of this thing. There is not enough time in the day for us to get all this filming done. It’s so frustrating not being all knowing. And everywhere.
—I wish Tim Wise could’ve been interviewed. I forgot I had research on him! I hope I get another opportunity to kick-it with him. I should read more of his stuff – it’s so boring to read scholarly stuff. I like his bio better!
—My church feeds people every Wednesday evening starting this month. I pick up the food for the food pantry- this month with John’s help- and pack 50 bags of groceries to hand out after the dinner. This schedule is crazy. I moved the Praxis exam, moved all my observations to April, and am so relieved the tight film schedule’s over.

Even more abstract, philosophical musings...

SO a friend and I were talking today about how half Asian, half anglo people are so attractive, and I mentioned that half black people are too, but my friend did not agree.  And it got me to thinking about how do we decide what is pretty and what is not?  

Some of it is learned, we are told something is attractive through magazines etc, but some of it has to be inherent, because even among sibling or other close people, our tastes vary person to person.  It's not purely regional, although exposure does play a role too... that whole nature/nurture conundrum.

I once heard a theory about how people gravitate toward symmetry, and that beauty could be measured with computer software that finds and matches control points between the two halves of your face and finds the difference and simularities... but I'm not so sure about this for two reasons:

1) Kate Moss's face is VERY symmetrical, but I think it's kind of scary how far apart her eyes are... although, she's actually kind of like Angelina Jolie in that some pictures of her are breathtaking, and others are just really not (nothing to do with makeup or anything... there are glamour shots of both these women that are just not attention grabbing)  Which kind of goes along with this point about symmetry, in that the women's faces do not become less symmetrical, and yet they are less attractive somehow...

2) If you've ever done that Photobooth special effect where it mirrors one side on the other you can give yourself a perfectly symmetrical face, and it is not attractive.  Interesting, but not really hot.

Friday, April 10, 2009

More stuff during january...

—Polls on children/by children –whether they hold family to be important/want to hold family to be important=cant remember why but “bias “in notes… I wonder if questions asked directly after some sort of abuse-children from broken homes, devastated, then used in a study “just a couple more questions- then juice!” Welcome to the foster care system.
—Almost stole tampons from target – oops!
—Gave away food from food bank .
—Couldn’t comply with government questionnaire –study from Akron Canton Food Bank that is mandatory to receive low cost food for needy people in the community. Couldn’t find the fucking fax number on any of the three stacks of papers from this government facility that receives donations and charges you to give them to people in the community.
—Worked for 4 hours on research/PowerPoint
—So proud? To be here w/ Obama! Listening to Maya Angelou on Tavis Smiley tonight WOW!
— Nelson Mandela invited his prison guards to be with him at his inauguration !!! I’ve watched India documentary. Gandhi spoke- love that little guy. I finally gained insight to Muslim/Hindi split with Palestine- how devastating. O India. OMG
—Stayed home and worked on Racial Persistence/research all day. Barry took Slate –Thank God!- for a few hours so I could work w/out “the jumper “ all over me. Yeah, many epiphanies –love school today.


—Here it goes. One semester closer to being done. For what? I don’t want to teach in a classroom filled with little darlings. This semester is killing me already. I hope I figure out how to do what I want to do.
—Elisa’s Monday class is supposed to be only 40 minutes all semester. I’m sure that’ll change again.
—13th –great day. This past Sat., Barry pushed Daiv and Slate in cart all over Target! Slate-3 Daiv-50! Very fun -cause I didn’t hang with them.
—Can’t take another semester like last one. Doc class seems to be what looking for in terms of future use – documenting my trips to homeless shelter in NY for the non-profit.
—Didn’t take myself or son to class cause –negative 30 degrees!!! Repeating stuff from last semester in Elisa’s
—Dig Prelinger site. Damn. Watched entire Last Man on Earth (awesome) Watched Prelinger video on checking-out vaults.
—Excellent foresight- before government or private company(DISNEY) grabbed videos for commercial exploitation/monetary gain, Prelinger vaults them! Good idea
—15th – Laughed @ Phil story and got mascara all over face! Fucking freezing. Told terrible story about Donna/dream/stress at the Color line
—16th- stayed in house all day. Fucking freezing-25. Worked on presentation, worked on kid.
—17th-Worked on presentation today over 4 hours. Doesn’t look like it. So much information online

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

bloo blee blah

so last week we showed our videos and it looks like everyones is coming along nicely, we aren't as far behind as we thought we were after all. Before showing them we went out and video taped people holding our signs with our questions on them which i think will be a nice little addition to the video. We still need more b footage to break up the interviews. I didn't go to class today because i literally drove around the parking lot for 20 minutes trying to find somewhere to park, and failed so i gave up. Thursday i must leave a bit earlier

Monday, April 6, 2009

So Im in a Middle East Class

Im thinking that next years documentary should be about the relationship between the U.S, Saddam Husein, and the Kurds.  We are watching a video right now and its really interesting...just a thought.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Everyone is a winner...

Special olympics rock. I heard a story about these runners taking off, and one guy fell down. A few runners stopped to help the guy up, realized he was hurt, and walked with him to the finish line. What does that have to do with us, you wonder?

I'm so excited...

We've really pulled it together and I think we have the makings of a smashing piece. Speaking of works of video art, I've decided to create a video "Boobs - I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours!" I've cast my breasts as candles every couple of years, and this summer I'm going to showcase EVERYONE'S breasts! Wanna be in pictures?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Things are coming along pretty well, we are still a little behind but I think that we are going to pull through and come out with something that is some what decent. I mean I wasn't expecting an academy award winning piece anways. We have learned so much in this class and it was a lot to take in so I think what we have is pretty good. We have the gist of what everything is going to look like and everything seems to be falling into place. I worked on some posters for our questions. We thought of like protest like posters with our questions on it would be a good idea instead of just saying the question. Abby made a pretty cool flash thing that is in the beginning of our doc. We also picked out some pretty cool music too. So on to the next class to see what we will do nextt