Monday, July 4, 2011

Grant Timmy an Internship

I know I said that all you had to do was "click a link", but the more of these comedy youtube videos I drive traffic to the more I will be winning and the closer I will be to that sweet sweet comedy internship.

Click away friends:

BONUS POINTS: If you've made it this far, it's time to pass this blog post on to your own friends! You're the best. All of you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

6 bye 1

This class has been a one of a kind experience and hard to predict. I came in knowing we would complete some projects in goofy ways, but I didn't realize how much I would learn from each project and how much fun I would have.

That's the key to this class, the main criteria to judge a film doesn't have to be it's technical or narrative accomplishments. A film can be judged by its innovativeness and spirit. This class was sort of an antithesis to my 495 narrative class and it was enlightening to be experiencing both viewpoints at opposite ends of the week.

So without further a do, here is a list of every project that may or may not be in the order of which I enjoyed least to most.

G. Cameraless Filmmaking

I learned a lot from this assignment that I could definitely apply to films of all styles in the future. However, I'm not the kind of guy that likes to get messy and not knowing how the film would turn out before it was projected was frustrating.

*. 48-hour Video Race

It is an odd thing to say, but I wish I had had more time to devote to the video race. That weekend was jam packed with filming my 495 and other assignments so I was really only able to devote about 8 hours to the race. It would have been cool to really hit the grindstone and work on the race for a longer period of time. I was happy with the result as it stands though.

.59. Found Footage

This assignment was a whole lot of fun. The result wasn't quite what I had set out to do, but I couldn't find enough footage to make my more ambitious plan a reality. The project was a lesson in improvisation because I had to work with the footage that was available and went to great lengths to attain silly clips.

0101. Stop Motion

This assignment was the most loose planning-wise. We brought our media in and went straight to work without much talking. We never really knew what exactly was going to happen over the next few frames and the film turned out very dreamlike as a result. I was impressed with Sheena and Jon's

™. Rhythmic Edit

I was amazed at how well this turned out with the shaky footage I shot. When editing so quickly the individual shots stopped mattering so much and I was able to create something great out of what I considered to be sub par footage.

:). The Long Take
This was the best class I've ever had on a Saturday. I had so much fun with the group plotting and rehearsing our complex long take. Editing the film with Ian was fun. We didn't have to cut, only worry about the sounds. It was neat work.

TL;DR 6x1 was super fun, made new friends, learned new film techniques that are fun and applicable

Monday, May 2, 2011

Just Say Yes

As a fan of improvisational comedy and general havoc-causing antics, I was surprised that I had not heard of The Yes Men before this class. The film was more thought-provoking than well produced. I felt like key moments were missing from the film and some of the uninteresting segments were drawn out too long. These holes in the film had the effect of making me more curious about the group.

I was left wondering how these men make a living when they put so much effort into their absurd work. Most of all, I was left with a profound respect for these guys who devote their lives to something that they couldn't explain to anyone easily. I imagine them telling their mom's that they were going to a conference in Australia, not as a real presenter, but an imposter seeking to illuminate the hypocrisies of the WTO.

They might have a hard time convincing others that their work is essential, but it really is important. The world needs people that don't play by the rules and use this rule breaking to spread a message.

I'm reminded of the internet use of the word "trolling", urban dictionary, if you would:

"Trolling is trying to get a rise out of someone. Forcing them to respond to you, either through wise-crackery, posting incorrect information, asking blatantly stupid questions, or other foolishness. However, trolling statements are never true or are ever meant to be construed as such. Nearly all trolled statements are meant to be funny to some people, so it does have some social/entertainment value."

The Yes Men are the real-life equivalent of a troll. Their actions aren't meant to be taken as the truth by everyone, in the documentary they expressed the desire to get a rise out of their audience, and their disappointment when they did not.

For our found footage assignment I wanted to use clips that would cause an emotional backlash. In the same way as The Yes Men, who use a context that should be mundane, a business conference, I used a soothing announcer until the film's firry conclusion. The clips at the end contradict what the view is expecting, the soundtrack speeds up, but the clips slow down. I took from The Yes Men their knack for making the usual unusual. I was inspired by this to create something that could not exist without contradictions.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Is there anything more communal than a fort? NO. There isn't. Forts have protected mankind for centuries so there's that. Making a fort is something that kids do with blankets nowadays. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve stacking chairs and blankets on rainy days just to chill.

Making a fort in class brought back these memories and I could tell it did the same for many others. There was a communal nostalgia that spread. Making the fort was a bit less chill than in the old days, some taking charge, time limit, some guy with a clipboard observing(?)etc., but the end result was fantastic.

A fort to end all forts that everyone in the class could fit under. Watching our films on a sheet gave the whole thing a hipper feel and the laughs were even more contagious in such a small area.

Being a rough theater, I expected adding food would make the whole affair a bit messier, but everyone remained civil. Food always seems to be tastier when eaten in a class setting and this was no exception. Little Ceasars was actually very delectable. The real winner on the food front was the buffalo chicken dip I was sitting in front of the projector so I had to do this awkward sit/lay thing and I was afraid I would end up in the lap of one of the folks sitting behind me.

We made a 3D short ourselves, Mr. Cameron eat your heart out. It was easier than I expected.

I think it'd be cool to make an old-school 3D horror movie and really turn up the camp. It'd be a great gimmick at festivals, passing out glasses and all. It's cool that a normal projector can still produce such a profound three-dimensional effect.

The 48 hour films were great. I loved seeing everyone tackle the same thing "my secret" from different angles. There were some really impressive moments and many of the films I would not have guessed would have been made in such a short timespan with such technique limitations.

The output of the class gets more and more creative as we go along. I think this is because everyone is getting used to the format of a one minute film, and everyone is bouncing ideas off one another as we press to see just how far we can go.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Rough 48ish Hours

My 48 hour video race was rough. The race coincided with my final 495 shoot dates so I knew I would not have much time. As a result, I thought a long time about the concept when I was not working on the race and I think it shows.

The movie came to me in two parts. The first of which was a fairly logical leap in thinking and not too shocking. I heard the theme "my secret" and the initial image that came to my mind was dirty laundry. I couldn't use a camera so I went with my trusty cellphone.

I piled up my actual dirty laundry and shot a stop motion animation of a sort of laundry centipede escaping my house. I also added to the secrecy by making a cryptic series of numbers out of my clothes. (The numbers are part of my student id)
The result was interesting if a bit shaky and typical. A day later, I went to the digital arts lab with my pictures and got to work. The animation totaled about 20 seconds when I put it at the desirable speed. This class ain't called 6x20seconds- what was I to do?

I pondered the assignment and remembered that the ideal of using no camera would call attention to the fact. BOOM.

What if I made a transparent film? One that reveals how it was made while you watch it?

I took pictures of my cell phone with a Mac. I took pictures of the Mac with my cellphone. I even through in a few tricks that make the whole thing a sort of puzzle. The one minute film has a twist.

The film was rough because not using a camera is like painting with dirt. The quality of anything else pales in comparison to the footage of a camera. In this roughness lies intrigue. I think the theme of "My secret" was perfect for what we discussed in class. The roughness of the medium added a sense of voyeurism and "I'm not supposed to be seeing this" mojo.

I cannot wait to see what other folks in class have come up with in such a short time. (Not just because I am intrigued as to what everyone's secret is) It might get super personal and that sort of rawness is key in "the rough theatre".

Side note- there is no theater rougher than stand up comedy- lonely, simple - just a human, a mic, and a crowd. I think this is why in stand up, the truly open comedians are the transcendental ones.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Ian and I planned to listen to the entire 24 hours of a stretched out symphony. Unfortunately I haven’t been around at my house enough for that so I only listened to the required hour. Andre suggested the entry level movement, the third, was a chill place to start in the Beethoven’s ninth beet stretch. I started there but quickly moved on.

The parts I listened to seemed to always be on the rise, a seemingly never ending crescendo.  The music could almost be considered triumphant were this same thing not continuously happening. The triumph became monotonous.

Once I zoned out though and closed my eyes for a bit the music started to make more sense. It seemed headed to a point, but one that I could never understand. It was music for hyper-intelligent alien sloth beings.

This puzzle did not dissipate. Instead of boring the swells became intriguing. Was there meaning here? Gone were the musical tropes of a Beethoven suite and earthly sounding instruments, but there was something new there.

The instruments became even more organic at such a slow speed. The sound of trumpets became the cries of whales.

An interesting thing to consider in all this is what a musician performing beethoven's 9th might feel were he to hear this. His hard years of practice abstracted into an art piece. Each carefully constructed progression blown up into a movement. Would a musician able to perform this piece be able to more easily distinguish each part?

I had a tough time comparing the beet stretch to the actual piece. Even side by side I couldn't put my finger on quite which part was being played. The length of the notes definitely gave the piece a life of its own.

Beethoven is turning in his grave all right. Very slowly.