Our shorts have been edited, and revised and maybe revised again. They’ve been screened, and today is our last day of class! It’s crazy how a whole semester packed into one month has gone by. On my final revisions, I decided to fully listen to my critics. Since I didn’t have strong direction on how I wanted to edit my two shorts, I decided my peers knew better. Therefore, I didn’t change my stop motion, as they recommended, and I cut out and added some shots to my dynamic motion assignment. I also changed the ending shot which I had particular internal turmoil about. I found that no matter how much I liked the idea of the ending shot, it wasn’t working. So I let it go.
It was really neat watching all the shorts together on a large screen. It was nice appreciating what an impact films can make and the work that’s put into them. I really enjoyed the band playing in sync with the films, and I felt like the whole experience was like an ode to performance and art. I’m so thankful that I got to learn with some very different and interesting people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
In our two final classes, we are working on a still picture. I took mine on campus. When I read the poem I was assigned to go with our assignment, “A Servant to Servant” by Robert Frost, I thought of a tunnel. The narrator is so eager but isn’t getting anywhere. Somehow, that reminded me of a tunnel, or at least tunnel vision. To find a picture that felt like this, I decided a narrow path would work. Here it is below!
I like how the picture is divided by the path: to the left, there is lush life and to the right, there is barrenness. It worked well in the room I was assigned to as my room is the servant’s quarters. Therefore, I had lots of blank space. This was an interesting change in assignment as it examined how a still photo can function to create a setting.
The second version of a short film based on Stephen Crane’s second poem in his series “The Black Riders and Other Lines.” Directed by Tiffany Kim for the 2013 “Auteur 101” class in Film & Media Studies at Johns Hopkins Summer Programs.
The second version of a short film based on the first poem in Stephen Crane’s series of poems “The Black Riders and Other Lines.” Directed by Tiffany Kim for the 2013 “Auteur 101” class in Film & Media Studies at Johns Hopkins Summer Programs.
Stop motion is exciting, so I went into assignment #2 with gusto. The poem I chose, Stephen Crane’s second poem in his series of The Black Riders and Other Lines, is absurd. I really like the conflict between how ridiculous the birds are and how seriously they are treated. The poem’s rhetoric exaggerates the absurdity of the narrative. So I knew I wanted to make a weird, weird world for the short. The poem is also very eerie. To capture eeriness and absurdity, I wanted to create three creepy girls that attacked a normal man. I wasn’t sure exactly how, but I wanted the man in the poem to be horrified of the girls.
I began with clay. I successfully made one horrifying girl who looked both alive and dead at the same time. I imagined her head would start spinning in the short and that she would eventually eat the man. But this never happened as no man was ever created. No other dolls were created out clay after I found it awful to have her move the way I wanted to as it was tedious work breaking anf fixing her limbs. And I couldn’t imagine doing it on four characters.
So I said bye to the clay and struck pen to paper. I managed to make three rather creepy girls. I still wanted to make something horrifying. But as I started to set them up all in a row, I began to doubt my creepy intentions. I feared I was too attached to the idea of making something weird and scary and thought that prioritizing that idea compromised the overall short by making it feel artificial or insincere. So I went about my apartment and gathered some interesting looking things. I made different facial expressions for the girls and kind of let the assignment flow together. It was overall very fun to make.
I am glad that in the workshop people wanted to see the creepy side of Crane’s poem being expressed in the video. I look forward to making something scary now that I’m less scared of coming off as formulaic or gimmicky.
First version of short film based on the poem “The Black Riders and Other Lines (II)” by Stephen Crane, for a stop motion assignment. Directed by Tiffany Kim for the 2013 “Auteur 101” class in Film & Media Studies at Johns Hopkins Summer Programs.
I started my first short with the idea of rebellion. That was the mood I got from the track I was provided by the wonderful Parallel Octave. Thinking about the many treasures of Baltimore, I decided I was going to shoot clips of graffiti. After a weekend in DC, I woke up early on Monday, hopped on a JHMI shuttle to Penn Station, and started exploring the area. It was glorious. I immediately came upon large murals and worked my way into hidden alleys and backstreets. Along the way I shot clips of interesting vandalism like on mailboxes and doors and cars. I fell in love with these people who tagged up this city. Even without seeing their faces, I felt like I knew them.
I was working my way onto the stoop of an abandoned house when a man sweeping leaves on the sidewalk noticed me flirting with the painted characters on the boarded up windows. He asked me if I’d been to Lanville, his speech whistling through missing teeth. I said I hadn’t and eagerly took his directions to find a quiet street covered in street art. It was amazing how exposed and free the graffiti looked. It was rightfully shameless.
Before I headed back to campus. I took a walk to a spot I had read about online at http://hiddenbaltimore.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/baltimores-graffiti-alley/. It was a great way to end shooting. The blog post describes the hidden paradise very well, so I will just share a photo I snagged on my phone.
The shooting experience was phenomenal. So I expected the editing process to fall a little short. I really enjoyed working on cutting my clips and arranging them. Which made losing my work very disappointing. I had to restart on Tuesday after incorrectly saving my clips. Then on Wednesday, half of my clips disappeared. Luckily, the original clips hadn’t been removed from the camera. There was a point where I was very frustrated and wasn’t sure if I liked what I was doing. But I comforted myself with the fact that this was only the first version. My peers provided extremely helpful insight, so I look forward to going back to editing! Overall, it was a great first experience.
First version of short film based on the poem “The Black Riders,” by Stephen Crane, for a dynamic movement/editing assignment. Directed by Tiffany Kim for the 2013 “Auteur 101” class in Film & Media Studies at Johns Hopkins Summer Programs.
What annoys me in art, as with anything else in the world, is a very personal matter. It’s not just that what I find annoying is based on my personal taste, but also that somehow the art or artist is attacking or cheating me. In other words, I’m taking it personally.
I lean towards liking classically or conventionally attractive things. But everyone hates cliche. To add to that, I hate redundancy. I like flowers, pastels, and watercolor for their feminine, pretty qualities. But I will probably be annoyed by a painting of flowers in pastel watercolor. The medium, form (color) and content are too redundant. The painting is treating me like an idiot by subjecting me to such flatness. If a painting of flowers in pastel watercolor wants to be interesting, it will have to have another level of intrigue that creates tension in the painting. Things like loose contours or challenging composition can elevate redundancy in this case of the flowers. Similarly, as we discussed in class, literalness in film can be very patronizing. If a story is being told, the viewer does not also need to see an exact visual representation of that story. After all, I don’t know many people who are thrilled by voiceovers in movies.
On the other hand, extreme things created to spite convention annoy me. Especially when there is little thought involved in the actual product. Randomness piled together can’t be expected to represent complex meaning. So overwhelming statement art annoys me. I feel cheated by it because the motive behind it has swallowed the art.
But the thing that annoys me the most, is indulgent art. I’ll roll my eyes at it, that’s how personal I’ll take it. Art that is so self involved and important need not exist. Art exists because of a viewer, so it doesn’t need to belittle her/him by being so abstract it makes no sense or insists on a feeling of apathy as if the art is saying, “I’d rather not be here”. Luckily, I can’t think of an example of visual art off the top of my head, but movies like Melancholia I find very annoying.
The Black Riders and Other Lines by Stephen Crane
Black riders came from the sea.
There was clang and clang of spear and shield,
And clash and clash of hoof and heel,
Wild shouts and the wave of hair
In the rush upon the wind:
Thus the ride of sin.
[This poem packs an epic feel into six lines.]
Three little birds in a row
A man passed near that place
Then did the little birds nudge each other.
They said: “He thinks he can sing.”
They threw back their heads to laugh.
With quaint countenances
They regarded him.
They were very curious
Those three little birds in a row.
[I like the absurdity of this poem clashing with how self-important the birds consider themselves. Crane’s treatment of the birds is as curious as the birds themselves.]