Bridge To Next Semester (The FINAL blog post for Media Design, Spring 2014)
1.) What is it that I am trying to investigate in my practice? What am I most passionate about?
- After taking this utterly multidisciplinary course, I have come to reinforce that I am most passionate about storytelling (narrative structure) and films. There is just really something about movies that I have a great passion for and I hope to explore this passion further in the course. Yesterday, I was watching Vertigo (one of my utmost favorite films) and she posed a question to me, “hey, how did he get down from there?” I sat there, pondered, and understood one thing, that it’s the magic of Alfred Hitchcock and his utterly brilliant form of filmmaking. I also started lecturing, just a tad, and found myself loving to teach her about movies and how the whole emotional structure works. At the same time, I felt rather guilty because I don’t want to ruin movies for her because I do believe there is some things that should not be completely understood in films. In my practice, I hope to be able to investigate “good” forms of storytelling from that of “bad” ones. Additionally, I hope to be able to utilize the techniques I learn in my own work and screenplays. I always believed that, if given the opportunity, I can make a brilliant film, but I do believe that before one makes a good movie, he/she must understand the magical medium of films, including some form of theory. This is exactly what I am passionate about, this theory that become attached to motion pictures so that it not only is an artistic medium but also that of a psychological, philosophical and emotional medium. I hope to be able to understand all of it and, thus, that is what I am most passionate about.
2.) What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- Strengths: In order to make a great film, I believe you have to have a passion for movies (i.e. Alfred Hitchcock). I believe that is, perhaps, my strongest element that I possess – that passion for movies. I absolutely adore discussing films and adore watching them even more. This might sound a bit weird but I actually, somewhat, get a high off going to the movie theater and watching a film in the dark in an enclosed space. Some people enjoy literature, some people enjoy mathematics, some people enjoy science, but I enjoy film and I strongly believe that is the strongest asset that I possess and can bring to the table. Additionally, I believe another strength that I possess is actually understanding (to a certain extent) filmmaking and the process of filmmaking (from pre production to post production). I understand, to a certain extent, the shot compositions in the film and actually put that into practice in my own work.
- Weaknesses: Well, I have a lot of weaknesses and one of them is not being confident about my work that I put out there and I, most certainly, do not like sharing my work with others as I am somewhat shy/apprehensive to sharing work. Also, I believe that another weakness I have is that I am not fully capable of editing a film. Don’t get me wrong, I did learn a lot of the techniques in the course on how to make a film but, at the same time, I don’t feel as comfortable as one should. I know, I know, when making a film for a production studio, there are editors (i.e. Rafael Parra) but, at the same time, I think it is essential to understand how to edit yourself. This is exactly why I am motivated to take the film form class which, to a certain extent, teaches, more in depth, editing and using software.
3.) What are the core elements missing from my practice? How will I obtain them?
- We’ve discussed, in this course, budget and being able to do something with and without a budget. If I have $0.00, I probably could still make a great film but, on that same note, if I had $5,000, I could probably make an even better film and get better equipment. I think that the core elements missing from my practice is budget and the drive to start a kickstarter campaign to get some form of funding for the films that I create. Additionally, I think that another core essential aspect that is missing from my practice is a crew (actors, cinematographers, editors, etc…). I think that the more money I have the more I can broaden my horizons of cinema. I am a huge fan of Robert Rodriguez and hope to epitomize what he was able to do with a minimal budget.
4.) What was my preferred media before the course? After the course?
- We’ve explored a lot of different media in this course and, over the course of the semester, I found myself challenged and taken out of my comfort zone. I am actually highly interested in every single form of media that we have discussed in class but, perhaps, the one that stood out the most for me was film. I just adored the whole Moving Image portion of this course but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I didn’t enjoy the other portions of the course. That one just stood out for me the most. I had one instructor, Charles McCulloch, who introduced me to the magic of film and filmmaking and I feel like this course just reinforced what he taught me, that every element is important to note in making movies. So I preferred film before and after this course. But something that I can apply to my practice, is the other tools that I have learned in making a film. For example, Photoshop™, which was an absolute pain in the rear and difficult for me to actually figure out (it was really challenging to get used to it); But I can utilize Photoshop™ in making a poster for my film and I can utilize WordPress in making a website to promote my film so I think that I have gained the necessary knowledge to apply different forms of media to compliment “the moving image.” I think that everything we have studied and practiced in this course, this semester, in some/way/shape/form have an interconnectedness to them.
5.) What is the next topic, theme, or question I would like to investigate in my next project?
- The next topic that I would like to investigate in my practice is writing, collaboratively. In the fall, I am signed up to take a Writing from Screen to Screen course with Kristina Kallas. The curriculum of the course entails writing collaboratively. We’ve done it this semester with “Time Jetty,” which was extremely difficult (personally) for me to follow. I tried to tie all the loose ends together and offer a form of closure but I think that the experience alone, somewhat fostered to my understanding of the magic of storytelling. There was that sense of interconnectedness, although 15 students worked on one story. So I hope to investigate storytelling next semester and not traditional forms of storytelling but storytelling in a unique form. A question I have is “how do we bring it all together when so many people, with different thoughts, are working on one story?”
6.) What is something that I learned in this class that I could teach to someone else?
- I am literally snickering as I am writing this question! I’ve learned so much this semester, that I wouldn’t know where to begin with in teaching someone else what I have learned in this course. I’ve gained so many different tools this semester and I think that, if I were to be able to teach someone something that I have learned this semester, I would just go down the syllabus and pinpoint everything, simply because I got a taste for everything this semester. But okay, if I were to choose one thing that I learned this semester, that I could teach someone else, it would be (he thinks really hard as he is typing this) Photoshop™. You know, I never liked Photoshop™ and I still don’t like Photoshop™ til’ this very day because I have run into so many problems with it BUT if someone were to ask me the basics of Photoshop™ and the possibilities of Photoshop™ and what it’s about, I would be able to teach them the logistics of Photoshop, confidently. I might suck at it and I think I learned more from trial and error in this circumstance but I would be confident in teaching them some of the basics.
7.) What is something I will try do next semester that I have never done before?
- I am actually contemplating in creating a movie poster for a film that I have been thinking of developing for years. I think that I would like to take the Film Form lab and actually attempt to execute the film and see if I would be able to get a crew! I don’t think I have ever thought of actually embracing making the concept that I have had in mind. As an undergrad, I had one instructor, Darryl McCane, who had told me that he would like to see me actually follow through with my filmmaking and that he would, additionally, like to see me go to grad school and shoot films of the scripts that I have developed in his class and I think that I am going to do just that, attempt to actually film the scripts that I had developed, or at least one of them.
8.) What is something I will try to do every day or every week that I did not do before this course?
- It’s not necessarily pertinent to the curriculum of the course (according to the course description) but something that I would like to do more after taking this course, on a daily basis is exercise and live a healthier lifestyle, in general. The course curriculum called for us to look at some of the Instructors work which entails medicine and I actually have been inspired, to get a second masters in Kinesiology. I have always been fascinated by movement and the human body and, just looking at this course, I feel as though I have to be able to take care of my body first before I can take care of anyone else’s body. This is exactly why I hope to be able to live a healthier lifestyle, in general. I will say this, after looking at the Medical Avatar things, the apps and things of that nature, I wonder to myself, how would I be able to age gracefully and have come up with the ultimate verdict that I would simply have to take care of my body (it’s easier said than done). I have always been, somewhat, athletic but I found myself going to the gym and exercising less and less after high school and it was not until this academic term that I was able to realize the importance of exercising. I think that the Medical Avatar concept is absolutely amazing and I feel as though it did inspire me, personally, to take care of myself.
9.) What is a creative project that I would do with a budget of $150 million?
- God, if I had $150 million dollars I would, probably, make an incredible film. Not to sound conceited or anything but I just have so many ideas flowing through my head that, if with the necessary funding (i.e. $150 million dollars) I could make a great film. I have always thought to myself, how can one director mess up a movie with a budget of $150 million dollars (or more)? I always look at films, from a critical perspective, and ponder on some things that I would have done differently and, moreover, ponder on how I could have maybe created a better film than I just watched in the theater. So if I had that kind of budget, that is exactly what I would be doing, making a blockbuster.
10.) How could I do the same project with a budge of $150?
- Well If I had $150 I would still probably be able to make a great film, but it wouldn’t be as great because I wouldn’t have access to many of the incredible resources that are out there. But I have no fear of that because I strongly believe that I could still, nevertheless, create a great movie with a minimal budget. I know, my film was not perfect this semester and wasn’t the best film ever but I had a concept and I executed it and I am proud of that, honestly. I believe that I could still be able to make a film that reflects my dedication and talent with just $150 dollars, so I look forward to actually doing that in the near future (this upcoming fall term).