Category Archives: FALL 2017

The Real 3 Sisters Review

Well I’m glad the turn in date finally got here because I have been working on this for weeks and it still felt like crunch time at the end. I sat and edited audio until 11 am which I told myself was my deadline and had to export. I had a lot of fun shooting this with my daughters. The staff at Mama Mayra’s Kitchen were so nice and friendly and helpful. There was a slight language gap but they worked with us and we got it done without disturbing the other customers. I filmed all of the girls shots in one afternoon. They were all starving when we finally got in because it took over an hour to get everything setup and the outside shots done before it was to dark or started to rain. I had to go back 2 other times in in order to get all the shots I wanted after I started editing and putting it together. I did another filming at home to get the interviews because I didn’t want to try and do it in the restaurant. I recorded the audio in the mic directly on to my computer and did the filming on my camera but when I started trying to match the 2 in all the different cuts I realized that the way I was doing couldn’t be the way. So, I ended up just using the audio from the camera and made it work. I can’t wait to learn how to put it all together.


THE TREE, A Short Film

 

This is the final project for my Introduction to Media Arts class, but hopefully with effort, not the last post I make for my blog. This project was a challenge, the kind that pushed me and I had some success with this project because of lessons I learned from my first project, and there were also some mishaps and new lessons to learn from this time around too. Overall I was able to convey a fun little story that I enjoyed making and I hope, makes sense.

I’m sitting down in class and the teacher, Teresa Hughes, puts a three page guideline for making a film on the desk. Add that to the list, I think. I had several projects in various stages going on for all of my classes, and since I’m in the Media Arts program, there’s no big test at the end of the semester or mid-terms but sizable creative projects. While juggling these projects I was dealing with a problem, What am I going to work on first? After a week or two of thinking about it and that not working, I set a timer to come up with as many ideas as possible for this project, then a timer to write on each idea to find the most workable story. With the best ideas I set a timer to flesh out each of the couple of good ideas I had. Out of that short process I had a story to work with.

Pre Production was demanding, I hadn’t written a story in several years because I didn’t think I’d know how to. I used one of the Production work days in class to come up with a storyboard, using ideas and feedback gained from another class to make my storyboarding process more fruitful. The class was called “Concepts of Visual Literacy”. What I did differently in storyboarding here versus my first film was give the characters more facetime and setup, action and reaction shots, where we see the character look at someone or something, look through their eyes to what they do or are looking at and then see their face again to see what we are supposed to feel. With the subject of my film containing a sense of urgency, it was very important to capture the feeling of each character and look into their emotional experience.

Since I put off writing the story so long, I also had to work very quickly to find talented actors and fortunately I was able to work with family friends young Emily and Andrew and a couple of adult classmates Melia and Malakhai, everyone did excellently beyond my expectations! Thank you.

Behind the scenes were lots of laughs and funny moments because most of us were new to either being in front or behind the camera. Other important pre production aspects to keep my mind on was keeping the people who helped me happy to work with me. I bought food, tried my best to keep them warm and give as clear directions as possible as well as have as clear of an idea of who their characters were supposed to be and the story as possible so my actors were not performing blindly. Nevertheless, some of the best moments were from unexpected improvisation in the way they decided to convey the emotion or reaction I was looking for.

There is so much more I want to say about finding the location and losing wallets and finding unexpected surprises we found on the set at the river, or how I forgot my SD card at home and had to borrow one from the young actors’ dad. Thank you. But here is a little bit on my post production process:

From feedback on my first film from a panel of film critics I learned that sound is very important, if not more important than what you see on the camera. Stitching the shots together was a fairly straightforward and quick process compared to finding royalty-free sound effects and music, and then cutting these sounds together to make sense with what was happening on the screen. I’m grateful to the artists and nameless faces out there that created these clips for people doing creative work to use in their product. I’m no pro but the audio in this film is a step up from what I’ve done before. I learned a lot about basic audio from Mel Stark, my “Time-based Tools” professor and audio engineer and Teresa.

I’m looking forward to experiment with another film project soon, it won’t be my first time.


“BOOP”

 

For my final project in Intro to Media Arts, I decided to follow up on the last project I did. Using my light board and art supplies I created a stop motion short film. The film was made using transfer paper, pens, pencils, and erasers. I started my project with the idea of having a girl ironing a shirt. Her cat walks up and meows, but she ignores her. The cat jumps onto the ironing board, the girl tells her to get down, then bends down to the floor. The cat then jumps down and walks between her legs and boops her nose. I struggled so much with the proportions of an ironing table and when I was done with my thumbnails, I realized it was way too long. I got rid of most of the project, and just did the end scene. Though I love drawing, Repeating the process can be a bit tiring, and repetitive. I also am not used to drawing cartoon animals so my cat drawing was a bit funky.

One of my favorite parts about this project was finalizing it. After the meticulous drawings were finished, I shot images, credits, and the Title. Setting up the camera and quickly taking shots is very fun for me. When I imported them into premiere, I found myself extremely bored again editing the timing of the images. As soon as I was done I added some music and felt rather content with my project.

Ive always wanted to record my art and have it be shown in a fun way. Im excited so say I finally got to do it, and that I wasn’t unimpressed with my work. If I would have given myself more time and supplies, I think that I could make a much more put together piece. Thankyou for watching, I hope you enjoyed it.


F17-P6FinalProject

Roller derby is so much more than throwing elbows and wearing fishnets. Within a derby team there is so much community and passion. Through this video I had hoped to demonstrate that very notion. Getting ahold of the Emerald City Rollers was super easy, yet I never actually expected a reply. Within a day after contacting them through Facebook I was able to get in touch with their social media gal. She informed be days, times, and locations I could get some good filming. That very Saturday I was able to go out and film a bout (a game). I was there for a good two hours, and sadly because of my poor filming had very little useable footage. I showed up with two Gopros, a T5i, and no tripod. I thought I was recording the whole thing on the Gopro, and didn’t realize I wasn’t until I brought it to class, and I only had a few two second videos. I didn’t use a tripod so footage on the T5i was incredibly shaky and unusable. In the end the majority of my video is footage from the very last day of shooting. I filmed and interviewed the Emerald City’s recreational team (T-rec) at one of their last practices of the season. It was super awesome to actually interact with the players and hear some of their stories.

I came into this project with too high of expectations and I let myself down. I think my message and overall idea was in the right place for an interesting project. I just don’t think I carried it out fully how I wanted to. My participants were so awesome and gave me such great content. I just don’t feel like I gave them justice.  At the bout I was only a spectator and couldn’t really interact with players. I wouldn’t want to take their focus out of the game anyways. It was the same kind of feeling at their practice. I didn’t want to impose or distract or make anyone uncomfortable with the camera. Because of my shyness and the feeling of being an inconvenience I feel as if my project came out flat. Almost every clip in my video was from the same spot. I wish I could have been more creative with my shots without distracting the players. In a year or so when I am on the team I’d like to try this project over again with more creative and dynamic shots. hopefully next time I will be a participant and not a spectator.

In the end I am happy I constructed my project from a topic close to my heart. I’m happy  I ended up footage to work with, and I’m excited to have made the contact with this team and get to join up with them in January.


F17.P6.FINAL PROJECT. BLAKE IRWIN

This video is inspired by a time that I went to go play basketball. Sometimes, the urge to go play basketball and get outside is so strong that I have forgotten to even bring a basketball. Then, my only hope is to hope that someone is already there playing so I can use theirs.

Ironically, that is the thesis for this video. I wanted to make something that I relate to while also making something that is a little weird and funny and odd.

To walk to a basketball court without a basketball is quite obviously not the best move, but to get to the basketball court and by chance find a ball of any kind, you are most likely to make do with what you have at hand at the time.

I decided to use my friend Jacob for this role because he also knows the feeling of wanting to play basketball while simultaneously not having all the resources, and making do with what he can find on a given court.

A sense I would strive to give a viewer through this video is relatibility, as well as a sense of can-do and make-do attitude.

My personal favorite part of this video is my post-production and continuity of the edits.


Final Project

For my final project I wanted to do another stop motion. This time, though, I was determined to get the green screen to work. In addition to that I was to stray away from the idea of using a green screen and to create an actual set for the scene. I also wanted to play around with some other things that would be new to me.

As far as the green screen goes, I think I had a success. This time around I had a broader knowledge about lighting and I had more lights to work with. That, mixed with a new technique I came up with made the green screen work out. The technique was that I glued together two small cardboard boxes and also glued green paper to it. This acted as a stand for the spaceships in order to raise them from the ground. This meant there would be less shadows in the shot. All in all the green screen worked great. There were definitely times where some shadows appeared that I didn’t expect or even see until editing. The same goes for green reflections onto white figures.

The scene with five clone troopers is actually six different sources all composited together. The background was one source. One of the other ones was the green clone trooper. The four was just one action figure that I used over and over again to make it look like four different people. That whole technique was very fun to put together. Going into the project I had never thought that I would have done that.

For my actual set that I had I used VHS tapes as the walls on floor. I printed off a backdrop of the inside the ship they were on. I cut out the windows and glued green paper to the back. I ended up using some green screen here even though I intended to not do so. I just wanted it to feel more accurate, so I made the windows show outer space.

In this project I created all of my sound effects. I used a snowball mic. For the last project I used creative commons sound effects. This was the first time I created my own. That was interesting. For instance, the ship sounds is just my trucks engine running. The music I did use was from a creative commons source.

The last new thing I tried was having voice talents. In total there were four voice actors. I was one of them. This was my first time having to direct someone other than myself to get what I wanted. That was a really neat experience to see how they thought about things compared to how I did. There were definitely some minor last minutes script changes that were suggestions to me that overall made the video better.

 

By: Tevin Goddard


Final Project” by cliff service

For my final project I wanted to do something that  brought attention to  a larger cause or situation,  but i also had to tell a story and  keep it under three minutes. for days i wondered what i would  go with when  i remembered my girlfriends brother had passed away under terrible circumstances. after asking for her permission to bring light to his situation and final days, i had found  the story i wanted to tell.

having met her brother Chris only a few times before i had a bit of creative trouble on what was going to be included in the story. i wanted it to be emotional but  educational about how not all homeless people are the same  but at the same time a project the his sisters and family would find a suitable tribute that defined him.

I went out to find actors for my live footage and shot many different dialogs and interactions. mostly surrounding A typical assumptions around homeless people. it wasnt until after Chris’ sisters gave me photographs of him through out his life to use that the real picture of what my story was going to look like  came together.

at first i wanted the project to be all film shots but after adding the pictures i knew that it was going to have to snap away from the beginning to end narrative. there was plenty of shots as him as a kid and i wanted to add those to humanize him and remind the audience that every one was a kid at some point.

I regret not adding more about how he was a homeless youth before he was a homeless adult  but also a lot of my original film shots included his stories of what he did do with his life. He  did alot of odd jobs, traveled more than most people i know and had an impressive story about being in a homemade airplane a random encounter made and flew back to Oregon from one of the center states. that part would have been great to  put in because it reminds people  just because you see a person on the streets acting stagnant  and  unmotivated  doesnt mean  they havent lived fulfilling and exciting lives.

Over all it was a very motivating project to work on and I wish i had more than three minutes to tell the story. there are many lessons to be learned from the events of his life and it was heart breaking going through his old photos knowing how it all ends.

 


Pizza Time_Video Edit

In this video I was trying to have two friends make a pizza, were one friend would be the arms of another friend. I wanted the video to be funny and playful.

I used a canon T5i to shoot the video and edited the clips in Premiere pro. I added sound effects and Italian music which gives the video a fun and playful feel.

Working with other people was a lot harder then I thought. It was not till after I put the videos on my computer I noticed a lot of the flaws. There are a couple shots where the head of my friend is seen behind the others back. There is also a couple shots you can see legs of my other friend. Sense some of the video had to be shot in one take I had to cut some of the parts out. The friend who was the main subject kept on talking and guiding my other friend this makes her mouth move throughout the video.

If I did this project again I would buy enough stuff to make three or four pizzas. This way I could get more video clips and choose the best ones. I would also have the main subjects hair down to cover my other friends head better. I would guide the subject that couldn’t see (the arms) so the main subject’s mouth wouldn’t be moving. Lastly I would film more time before and after the clips making the shots longer and easier to work with.

We all had a fun time making this video. I would do a project like this again.

 

 


Chocolatey Cake Goodness

This project started out with a list of my top 5 favorite foods. That quickly changed to focusing on one of those foods-chocolate. It did not take me long to think of the five factor. So I decided to summarize the process of baking a cake in 5 unrealistic steps, or phases. That factored down to just incorporating 5 throughout the video: five letters in the title and five phases. I wanted to incorporate 5 summary photos/video in each phase but some images did not come through well and I ran out of video time.

I sketched my shots first with notes for what I was to aim for. This helped me a lot and saved me a lot of time. I used my Canon Rebel T5i. I wanted to use my iPhone, but it died and I wanted good quality. As I started shooting, I became aware of lighting and shadows. This played heavily into directing the people who helped. In the opening video, I played a lot with shooting smoothly and in focus while moving down the counter. I also became aware of the fact that photographing food is not easy. When the light sources were rather poor, how I positioned people and set up props was all the more important. Also, baking, being a poor college student and being on a time crunch, I had to make everything I did count. I took tons of stills when the shots were needed (and to factor in that my hands are shaky) and made sure that my video tools were set up right.

With Premiere, I have never used it until this project. It is not as intuitive as I would have hoped. When I opened the software, I had no clue what I was doing. But a few classmates gave me some helpful tips and then I ran from there. I did do some research on the zooming out effect and I think the pan effect too, but after doing that once, I was able to figure out some things. Keeping my work organized was huge. I created a folder for each phase that contained all the images for that phase. I then pulled the hopefuls out and edited them in Photoshop. Then I exported the finished files into subfolders for the top picks. When I started placing my work in Premiere, I just went to those subfolders. One challenge I faced included showing the stills correctly in the Production window. In this window, my stills were zoomed in and it took awhile to fix that. Setting the text was also a challenge that took me some time to figure out. After playing around, I found the solution. I just knew that I needed to get this project done, so I kept my effects simple.

Overall, for being my very first video, I am pleased. And I appreciate my mom and my neighbor helping me out. This was a fun project.

By: Maurissa Keller

 


Food for Thought from a Professional Freelancer

photo-1493309907469-693921760e42As many of you know, I have been digging deep into the world of freelance. Primarily this is due to where I am right now and the income/skill opportunities that have come up within the past few months. As students in the Media Arts program, you get your first taste (unless you have a past in business) in Business Practices. In the class, you cover different types of work, contracts, and important forms to have when meeting clients. These are great things to get you started. But that is just it, the class is a starter kit for much more. Hence, I am in that “much more” category.

This need for more information and insight is how I met Chris Elliott. She was referred to me by Teresa. Chris is a delightful professional freelancer in multimedia with an impressive background (which is rather important to have) that provided her the foundation to start her own business, called Elliott Image. When Chris started working, she began in the restaurant business. Her responsibilities ranged from traveling to hiring managers. That, I thought, is quite a significant jump from multimedia. On her website, she stated that one word, however, had changed her life (these are my own words-not hers). I became greatly intrigued. When I asked her more about this, she said that after she started a family, she had wanted to return to school, but did not know what to pursue. When she went into U of O, she looked in a catalog and saw “Advertising.” You could now say that the rest is history, but there is so much more to tell. Anyway, what drew her to advertising was that, hopefully like many of us in the graphic design/multimedia programs, she wanted to do something that enabled her to be creative while also using strategical and analytical skills at the same time. Creative problem-solving-that is what we do.

This next question was geared towards whether Chris’s professional knowledge came mostly from her experience working for an ad agency (she was hired on after graduating) or research. Since I don’t have the solid background of prior experience, I have been wondering if I can make it still being a fish only swimming in the shallows, grasping at info-tidbits when I can understand them. Chris replied that most of her knowledge did indeed come straight off the job (again, in my paraphrase). While her restaurant experience gave her the ability to communicate with businesses (a HUGE plus being both a designer and a freelancer), she learned about doing creative work with television and radio and how to build campaigns for those creatives. But she learned the most while working at a tv station. It was here that she found herself doing more than what her education provided her with. And she succeeded to the point of becoming manager. This is where she did audio/video to help promote the tv station, worked with both small and large businesses, and software research (more for her know-how, but her research came in handy).

Hands-down, while you in are studying at Lane, either in the arts or not, you have either been asked, or pondering still, or already know what you want to do after graduating. For some of you, it may to work with an employer, others-freelance. So I asked Chris about when she knew that starting her own business was the right move. She replied that it has been a desire of hers for a long time. For the last 4 years of her 18-year employment with the tv station, the thought of starting out on her own was much heavier. I am used to hearing of freelancers being successful, but not so much when they were in a good position at their employers. Chris was scared and, despite her professional experience, still insecure. However, she has made a very successful business. Taking risks-that is definitely a trait of a freelancer. If you are not a risk taker, then being a freelancer may not be the right career move for you. Yet again, if you want to be moved out of your comfort zone and like making your own schedule, then it might be worth considering. When it came to resources, Chris said that it did not take much, such as equipment. I then asked about the business side since my research has not been super successful. Chris was very helpful in telling me that Commerce (I think) offers free consulting for small businesses or online research. Chris did need to research insurances a bit as there are a few different kinds to consider when taking your business startup to the next level.

If you are wondering what a multimedia freelancer’s day typically looks like, I did ask Chris. One of the perks of course is making your own schedule-that includes the ability to sleep-in or not. Overall though, she does a variety of tasks, especially those related most to multimedia. These tasks range from writing (she writes scripts and creates concepts), doing post-production, and photography. She did say though that 75% of her time goes to the computer.
Due to the variety of jobs she has and their varying complexity/priority, I was curious about her means of balancing it all. Her remedy? Lists. She said that lists help you keep current with projects. Sometimes those lists are categorized by the time frame of the project, sometimes it’s by type of job. As a freelancer, you could choose what you do during the day. Chris also uses a calendar as well to track information such as mileage (you may be needing to travel) and client work. I should say right now that if you are considering freelance, you need to be go-getter. As part of your job (maybe a large part of it) is going to go to self-marketing.

What about pay? This topic is tough and every freelancer I have talked to has a slightly different reply. Chris has a plan, though this part of her work is still challenging. Because she knows her skills, her capabilities, and resources, plus has an excellent work ethic (this is also HUGE), she treats each job with its own price. I have heard this from other designers too. She has a flat rate, but it varies. I currently have an hourly rate, but unlike Chris, I am starting right out of school. So my rate is also a lot cheaper. Even when bidding for projects, she provides a safety net within her budgeted price and never exceeds it. When considering how you’ll charge people for your work, be real about this. And really know yourself so that you charge what is fair for you, but also for the potential client.

I also inquired about industry competitors. This is a decision I am facing, and I am sure you will too. Chris’s approach (so that you maintain professionalism in everything) is to purposefully change gears. The people who work with Chris know that she is highly ethical and will not give out information. She literally changes ‘hats’ between jobs and solely forces herself to focus on that one job. As she said, “there’s always enough room for everyone to play in the sand.”

What about interns? She has worked with them before. However, she is not taking any right now. She loves providing them experience and understands the value of on-the-job-learning aspect of internships. So I asked her about an ideal intern. Her reply? Passionate and excited! Excited about learning and is energetic. That is contagious for lots of creative fun. So I asked her her advice for recent graduates. One of the bigger positives of getting employed after graduating is that you get to know a lot of people. That networking is very important, and could be helpful when freelancing.

Chris was incredibly insightful and really fun to meet. If you want to learn more, visit her website: www.elliotimage.com.

Image provided by: Verena Yunita Yapi from Unsplash.com

By: Maurissa Kellerphoto-1493309907469-693921760e42