Friday, December 5, 2008

Left Bank (Cucalorus Film)

This was a sorry attempt at making a horror movie. I didn't even understand what the hell it was. I was trying my best to sit up and watch the movie but I kept falling asleep. I was snoring so loud that the woman behind me tapped me on the head twice to get me to wake up. Now what was this movie about? It was about a woman I believe was living another life as a mother or something and she jumped ahead several year ahead to find out that she gave birth to a daughter and then disappeared mysteriously in her apartment building. I don't know; they don't make horror films like they used to. I grew up watching the Nightmare on Elm Street series and Friday the Thirteenth. Those films kept my attention; they actually had interesting characters that you can get excited by watching. I believe that most filmmakers today need to watch those films and learn how to make a real horror film because this one was garbage. One thing I can say about it was that it wasn't the typical horror film. It took place in another country and that was okay. It also featured a girl that was actually very smart. Most girls in horror movies are so dumb that they need to just go ahead and get cut the hell up. Also, the girl in this movie wasn't all that pretty and I don't mean that as an insult. She was a typical girl like most girls and that is alright by me.
The film in my opinion did not have a clear plot; at least in the first hour of the movie. Remember, I fell asleep. But, I wasn't asleep long enough to miss much. The film also had sort of an underlying love story in it. This young girl I believe was a runner. She became very ill dampening her hopes at becoming an Olympic athlete I believe. Instead of following the doctor's orders, she moves in with some man that she just met. She learns of a woman who disappeared and whatever and that she has this crazy love scene that in my opinion was just too damn graphic; even for somebody like me; and I love sex scenes if they are done correctly. But even then, it was made in another country, sex is something that is not taboo over there and they really don't have any type of rating system.
But after that scene, it started to get very boring. It turns out that her boyfriend was an archer or something years ago and he came back to life. But there was a scary scene; I admit . It was pretty weird. This woman went downstairs of her building because she heard a strange noise. When she came closer , she got sucked into the wall. The girl in the end suffered the same fate. Well, I wish I had something very positive to say about this movie, but I don't. I just hope the filmmakers would try to come up with a better story. When I left the theatre, a woman asked me how could I fall asleep to such a good movie? I was pretty angry at the way she asked me about it and I tried to ignore her. So I just said that I had just got off work and I was a little tired. She rolled her eyes at me because she knew that I was lying. I'm not a good liar. I didn't want to tell her that I thought the film was a joke and it was boring. But in my heart, I know the movie was just bad.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Project Evaluation for 48 - Hour Video Race.

This was an interesting project; hard but interesting. I can't believe that I was able to get it done on time. I really like this assignment because it allowed me to work with a black and white camera. I kept wondering what type of prop I had to use. I was shocked to learn what it was: cookie cutters. This was good because it forced me to use my imagination. I went through hell trying to get it put on a cd. I didn't get home until 10pm that night.
The first thing I did was to think of a theme for the project. The star was pretty good. The first icture I took was of the cresent moon and the two planets. For some reason the pictures did not come out the way I wanted them;, so I had to ditch them. So then I took pictures of it along with other props. A tree, water fountain, somebody's arm, and a bottle of vitamin water. My favorite part of the project was takinh pictures of it along with some girls. At first they looked at me kind of wierd, but they were very good at helping me out. What made me kiind of upset about it was that some people who were looking on kept ginving me these wierd looks like what the hell is he doing? But the the girls told me not to worry about it. They made me feel comfortable.
The hardest part about the project was getting it put on a disk and editing it. I went out to Wal-Mart to get it done and I got back around 9pm that night. I went to the editing lab and stayed there until about 4am working on it. I had a hard time editing still pictures but it worked out fine. I wanted to add some flavor to the pictures by giving them some kind of effect. I had a difficult time working with the motion tab. Someone in the lab had to help me with it. The professor said it was good but I thought it could have been a little bit better. I'm gonna spend some time working with still pictures more often and practicing the editing; I think I have a lot of potential.

Project Evaluation for 48 hour Video Race.

Monday, December 1, 2008

6x1 Part Deaux

That would be very interesting to do. What would 6x1 part 2 be like if I designed it? First of all, I would shave 45 minutes off the class because I feel it is too long. I don't think we need to be in there almost three hours to learn everything that we need to learn. I think the class is fun and I love being in there but not that long. I wouldn't change anything about the teacher because I think he is great. No, I take that back. Instead of just Mr. Silva teaching the class, I would have his wife come in as an assistant professor. I think she would make a great asset to the class because they both think on the same page, they both have a shared interest in films, and they both know the subject matter very well. They also instill confidence into their students and make them feel like they can do anything.
The assignments themselves were great also. I wouldn't really change anything much about the assignments. I think the assignments that the teacher gave us were very interesting and informative. My favorite project was the video collage which was assigned to us towards the end of the semester. As a matter of fact, that is another thing that I would change about the class. I would have more assignments that involved more found footage. The professor would assign everyone a theme and the class would have to look for footage that's associated with that theme. Each one would be about five minutes long and the student would have to give a project evaluation on the footage that he or she collected.
In addition to that, I would have the class turn in a three minute narrative piece using a handheld camera. It would be a little similiar to the 48 hour video race where we would have to come up with material in 48 hours. No. 24 hours, that would make the assignment more interesting. The teacher would give us a prop and we would have to turn it into a story. I don't know maybe that's a little too much. 72 hours; I think that would suffice.
Hmmmmm. What else would I do? Oh how about having a professional filmmaker come in and give a lecture on experimental films. He can explain ways on how we can improve our work and he can show us some of his or her work also.
I really like the class so much I can't think of what I would do different. I'm doing what I can to make sure this post has 600 words as required by the professor. So. What else would I do for 6x1 part 2. Okay, what about some textbooks on experimental film. I'm saying this because I love to read and I think I can get a better understanding of material if I read about it. That's not to say that I cannot learn from the professor. It's just that the class is only 1 day a week and I really need something to reference to if I don't have access to the professor.
One more final change that I would make. I loved the Saturday shoots and I enjoy doing work outside of class. I would like the professor to check the weather forcast befor he decides to make us go utside and work. I'm really just trying to be funny here; but I really don't think it would hurt.I just feel I could work better if the weather was nice.

6x1 2

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tulia, Texas

Just when I thought race relations in America were getting better. When I first heard about this film I said to myself "no way." I went into the theatre with an open mind about this film and I could believe what I was seeing. Forty six people wee arrested for drug possession and distribute. Thirty eight I believe were African-American. All of these lives were ruined based on the testimony of one corrupt cop who he himself were was under investigation. When I was watching this film I couldn't help but to think about Jasper,Texas. The same town in which a black man wan chained to the back of a pickup truck and drug for several miles. Although the situations are different, they're related in a sense that the two towns were divided. Whites lived on one side of the town, blacks lives across the tracks. And if any one wanted to score some drugs, the other side of the tracks was where they had to go. And it was that type of prejudice that pretty much caused problems in the black community.
Don't get me wrong, drugs is one of the problems that plagues the black community today; make no mistake. But it rarley results inthe arrest of thirty- eight innocent people. It all began with a corrupt police officer who was paid lots of money to do what I'm gonna call a "roundup of the usual suspects." The film does not go into detail about the actual arrests that were made. All I know was that most of the people who were arrested were black and that not only were they arrested, they were arrested in the middle of the night and they were brought in unkept. No one in that theatre knew the anger that went throught to see that; I was so embarresed for those people. The first thing that went through my mind was why were they doing this.
The documentary revealed the more arrest that the town made, the more grant money they received. And who other than a corrupt cop would be better to put innocent people in prison.
One of the subjects of the film was a young man who was arrested and and tried for cocaine possesion with an atempt to distribute. he was sentenced to 99 years in prison. But with help from the lawyer, he only served six years. While I was watching the film, something kept running through my mind. How can a community so poor be able to afford such a high marklet drug. Cocaine and crack are very expensive and more available in larger cities where the population is higher and and there is more money. I also became very disturbed when I learnde that the more arrests that the countyu makes the more grant money they recieve. This is good, but it also creates a situation where corrution can occur such as what happpend in Tulia.
Whenver there is a stiuation like this, it's good when someone has the courage to come forawrd and right a wrong. a lawyer ( I cannot remeber his name) found the situation very suspicious. During his investigation he learned that the police officer who was working undercover had a warrant out for his arrest. I believe it was for theft or something like that. That police officer was later tried and convictred for perjury. He recieved probation. The people who were convicted recieved a huge settlement from the state of Texas for six million dollars. That really isn't a lot if you consider how much the lawyer ecieved incliuding court cost. Evryone got enoguh to buy a home and a car. They also recieved a pardon from the governer of Texas. I guess it's better than nothing.
When I hear about injustices like this, it no longer surprises me. It's a harsh thing to say but we live in America and we still live with prejudice. Incidents that happen like this such as the Jena 6 incident has been around for years. It also creates a situation where people an also become very wealthy. One thing I'd noticed about the documentary was that no black civil rights leaders got invovled. I wonder what they have to say about this. Well anyway I'm gonna keep on and wait for the next huge racial conflict to emerge.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

6x1 Freestyle

I have some very serious issues with this class. I need to work much harder in this class. For a while I've been lolly gagging. I enjoy the class and I respect the teacher very much. the class is very unique in that it shows you how you can make a film that is not done in a traditional way. The projects included all of us using our imaginations rather than using a detailed script. But despite that, the projects all seem to construct some kind of narrative.
I wish that I can start all over again clean. If there was another class like this, I would not hesitate to sign up for it. At first, I thought this class was very easy. But its not. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to do very well in the class. My favorite project was the first one. I really leard a lot about the motion picture projector and I also learn that you can manipulate film to get an image. Until then, I thought that you could not put your hands on film because I always thought hat It was sensitive to touch, and that you can damage it. But the professor showed us that you can scratch it, bleach it, and draw on it. If money was not an issue, I would but me those things and make some short films using the techniques that I learned in class.
Another thing that I personally took from the class is that you can make films using different types of cameras. I was shocked to learn about the Bolex camera. When I first saw it I thought "what the hell is this?" But it turn out to be very invaluable. The Bolex camera was very useful to me in this class and it was also very useful to me in my documentary class. I'd like to own one but there are very expensive. My experience with the camera came on a day when we had to do a one shot assignment. The frames turned out to look like something from the 1940's but it was very funny. Another experience I had with the camera was when I was working on my documentary. It came in very handy when we were in the serpentarium and we were able to get some great shots. I'd like to one one of those cameras but they are very expensive they were used during the sixties and seventies but they produce some of the best images that I ever seen.
My favorite part of the class is the hands on stuff. Me personally, (no disrespect to the teacher) I wish that we didn't have to do the blog stuff. I feel I learned a lot just by watching the teacher work and show us some new things. But at the same time I understand that the reason for the blogs was to make sure that we did all of the reading that were related to this class. The readings covered some very interesting topics; everything from animation theory to plagiarism. Well I guess if you are in college you have to do some readings.
I'm really looking forward to our next assignment; the 48 hour video race. This is going to be very difficult for me. But one of the ideas that I had was using a black and whit camera for my images. It's really going to cost me some money. The great thing about this assignment is that its really going to force me to use my imagination. I don't really know how I'm going to pull this off. But I guess the teacher wouldn't make us do anything that he feels that we cannot do.