Category Archives: FALL 2016

The Unconscious Willingness To Notice People

 

If you read my post about 2017, you’d know how crazy of a year it was, and how many changes came with it. One thing that both terrifies and excites me about new places and situations is the people I meet. I’m a horrible conversation starter. I can end a conversation very quickly, but starting one? What the hell do I say? “Hello, I couldn’t help but notice that you’re wearing plaid right now. What an interesting thing to be wearing in the Pacific Northwest!” I’m the kind of guy that sits around hoping that someone to come talk him. It’s a sucky way to socialize, I know, I’ve been doing it for two decades now. Now, this is not to say that I don’t like talking to people. Quite the contrary,
really. I love talking with people. Some of my best friends are the ones that I can sit down with and have a meaningful conversation with, and those, sad to say it, are few and far apart.

Recently, whilst talking to one of these friends, the topic of relationships and how they’re formed came up. We were talking about how people congregate around like individuals, and how strange it is that we have the immediate ability to tell the difference between someone similar to us and those who don’t fit in. It’s a natural instinct. Humans are creatures with a pack mentality. We have a tendency to gather. Those who keep to themselves don’t last long. So how do we make friends?

I call it The Unconscious Willingness to Notice People, but really it’s more of an unconscious desire. That animalistic urge to find a pack and stick with it drives us to find a pack that we’ll fit in with. Imagine you’re sitting in a classroom. It’s the first day of school, and you know nobody there. There’s a specific person in the room that you keep looking at. You’re not sure why, but there’s something about them. Something interesting. It doesn’t take long for a conversation to start. It doesn’t matter that you’re an introvert and you have never been one to start conversations. The talking was inevitable from the moment that you first laid eyes on them walking into class. As it turns out, you both have a lot of things in common, whether it be your interest in books, movies, TV, Religion, or lack thereof, you are similar.

I think we all have this Unconscious Willingness, a sort of psychic draw to the people that we were meant to meet. Of course, it could be as shallow and vain as “Oh that person looks interesting, maybe I’ll talk to them.”, but I don’t think so. I’ve Noticed too many people that have gone on to become fast friends and even brothers.

Think about the people you know. Think about your friends. How did you meet them? At the end of it all, the sequence of events leading up to the moment that you approach them and have that conversation that leads to friendship all begins with looking up and noticing. So keep an eye out, and listen to that little voice that says “Huh, they’re interesting.”

 

 

 

 

 

This all, of course, is just my observations on the world and the way it works. I’d love to know what you think. How do you make friends? Who have you noticed recently? Go ahead and leave a comment below!

Holy Crap, it’s Orzo!

I will say it here and now. I make a mean orzo! I wasn’t exactly recording the recipe as I was making it, but I’ve got the ingredients.
.
.
.
Orzo (duh)
1 Portabello Mushroom
2 (handfuls?) of baby spinach
4 tbsp butter
1 clove of garlic
One half onion diced
(this is where the instructions get a little dicey)
1/2-1 cups tomato paste
1/2-1 coconut milk
Montreal steak seasoning (my goto spice mix)
Salt and pepper
.
.
.
.
.
1. Brown the orzo in a pot with 2 tbsp butter
2. Once browned add water and boil for 9 minutes
2. In a deep pan melt the remaining butter and stir in the onions, mushrooms (cut to preference) and garlic (minced).
3. Cook until the ingredients are reduced then add the tomato paste, coconut milk, seasonings, and cooked orzo.
4. Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.

My Traveling Dream

Overview

This project has truly been a blast to work on. It features my dream to travel to three distinct countries. I would love to travel to a lot more countries, but for this project, three felt like a good number. The challenge was to use my imagination and the locations/resources around me to create what I “think” visiting each country would be like. I chose to focus on only what came to my mind from years of watching travel channels or seeing gorgeous images. For Ireland, it was the beautiful green hills, ruins, and pubs (hence the video in the credits). For Canada, it’s vast acres of. And for Italy, I am initially drawn to the vineyards, but I couldn’t “see” the product as easily as I thought of the romantic dinner. I also sought to play with soft focus for that dreamlike state and capture the raw beauty of the locations I went to for my footage (except my dining room).

Pre-Production

Before I started shooting, I knew I needed a more concrete visual aid to help me move through this project. I began by expanding the rough sketches I had sent to Teresa for part 1. I then sketched every frame in detail and combined sketches that began to flow into more of the story. I wrote notes and FOV. Then I hoped for good weather.

I did have to change my plans for the Italian dinner. I “saw” this series being shot outside during night fall. I thought the lights would have more contrast. Due to weather, I decided to have the dining room would suffice. Though the initial couple for this series was not available, but my parents (always willing to help) volunteered. I made them spaghetti. And all was well. This is also my first-time filming in a much dimmer lighting environment.

Post-Production

When I got all my chosen video in Premiere, I really did not know where to start. I came up with a ratio of 45:35:20. I knew that the movie would be 3 minutes, so I figured out how long each ‘country would take. I hit every mark.

I used the Snow Ball microphone for the first time. That was interesting. When I started recording, I couldn’t figure out why my playback sounded so far away. I realized that my laptop microphone was picking up my voice. But everything worked out. The audio was not too bad.  Playing with the audio levels in Premiere was fun. I have never done that before. The song choice had to be the best part of the post-production. That result was a happy mistake.

…………………………………………………………………………….

This project has taught me a lot. I found pan-zoom to be much harder. If I could, I would remove these now that I know they’re a no-no. But I am new to film and audio, so I feel pretty good overall with my project.

It was a pleasure working with everyone!

 

By: Maurissa Keller


P6: Final, “The Room Mate”

My experience with the final project was awesome. The pre-production was fun to make, storyboarding is something that is really enjoyable for me. I made a three page storyboard with about 12 pictures on front and back. These images planned out the whole movie with all the scenes and angles. The filming process was also fun and satisfying. My talent for the most part was easy to work with. The only problem I had was I had to redo certain parts. The only other problem was my talent’s language. They have really bad potty mouths so we had to redo some scenes to make them more appropriate. The editing process went smoothly. I put all of the clips together and messed with all the audio and trimmed the film to the way I liked it. The music was off of freesound.org. The music I thought was fitting. There was only two tracks used one for the scary stuff that happened in the film and a song used for the credits. Overall the experience was super fun. During this class I learned that post-production work in film is something that I would like to move forward with. Thank you for listening and enjoy my final project!


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.


Final Project | 2 Min Short | Every Second Counts

For this project I wanted to really push myself with video in a more cinematic approach. I wanted to do something dark, maybe a little spooky, but resources and time are limited, so I went with a more simple approach. The premise of the video is a car thief steals a car using a slim jim and key jiggler in under 90 seconds. I wanted to make it look as professional and realistic as possible with the cameras that LCC has to offer. I really wanted to focus on continuity between shots, along with camera angles that relay how intense the situation is.  I recorded the video in 1080P at 30FPS, so the quality is pretty solid, however the cameras do not perform that well in low light! I then recorded foley audio samples and processed them using ableton, and added them where necessary.  Every sound heard in the video was recorded, no camera audio was used. All in all, the shoot took roughly an hour, but most of my time spent was in editing and foley recording. Going back I would only change a few minor things, mainly just lighting issues within the car. Thankfully, I had the Ronin Stabilizer camera to shoot this over the weekend, so that was a huge advantage in the smoothness of the camera movement! Big shoutout to my friends for helping me, and starring in my movie for bag of cheetos and a beer! Would’ve added a few other shots had security not kicked us out for filming, but luckily we had most of it done so I just had to edit it a little differently! Was all edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, Shot on a Canon T6i with a 24mm Prime Lens and the Ronin MX2 stabilizer. All in all I am very happy with it, I hope you enjoy!


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.


An Introduction to the Wonderful World of Allethuis

A Post of Fantastic Proportions!

This is the introduction to a world I have been enrapt with for the better part of a decade. It is the first thing you’ll see when you visit my blog, The Wonderful World of Allethuis, an informational webpage where I post reading materials about the countries in Allethuis and their inhabitants. I also plan on uploading lore, documentation on the fauna and flora of the different regions, and character bios of important figures in the worlds histories.

The Origins of The World

In 1987 my father began with a pink spiral-bound  notebook and a palette of colored pens. He drew a world map, borders, and geological features, then he went to work on the individual countries. The pages crinkled and bent as he filled them with demographics, histories, political statistics. One notebook turned into two, two turned into three. The world of Allethuis took shape, and once the world was born the stories took shape. In 14,000 words my father planted a seed, but tragedy struck. Life picked up, school took precedence, he married his highschool sweetheart and had a child, he started a career, and the world of Allethuis found its place on the shelf, where the dust was its only audience.

The Seed Takes Root

I fell in love when I flipped aimlessly through the pages of that first pink volume. A whole beautiful world lay the open and waiting for me to explore it. I dove into that world headfirst. I loved reading about the gold elves of Egyptus and the gnomes of Noricum, their histories and how the geography shaped their societies. I spent months visualizing the savage civil war in Gallaecia and their struggle to remain independent from Gollia even as their own people rebel.

My obsession with my father’s world only grew as the days passed into years, especially with the discovery of the manuscript. Not only had he created a world, he had begun writing a book. The original title was The Chronicles of Avalon. The thirty page manuscript contained the exposition of a high fantasy adventure waiting to unfold, but it was left unfinished, its pages yellowing in a filing cabinet with his other works. I always wondered at where the story could have gone; who lives, who dies, who is the villain, who is the hero.

This year (2017) I decided to undertake a huge task; to record the world of Avalon, now Allethuis, and spread it to the world. I want to introduce the public to the ruthlessness of the Pirate Isles. Climb the mountains of Rhaetia. Display the otherworldly forests of Egyptus. There’s a whole world hiding in my father’s notes, and I want to share it with you.


IMA-Williams, Jesse – P6 Final Project

This short movie clip is about a toy horse named Whitey who wakes up and begins his day by eating a bowl of cereal. It may not sound like much but Whitey isn’t human and he must overcome obstacles in order to enjoy his breakfast.

I really enjoyed making this little film because it allows me to connect it with something that has a lot of meaning to me. Whitey’s full name is Whitey the Wonderhorse and he represents my grandfather’s truck. My grandfather gave Whitey to my brother and I for our first vehicle to drive and we did so for the first year of having a license. The truck is small and painted white but don’t be fooled because it is just as old as I am. For 20 years Whitey has gotten my family and I out of crazy situations and helped us go from point A to point B countless of times. Whitey is more than just a truck and a toy, he is part of my memories through high school and can be seen almost as a heirloom of some sorts. Currently Whitey is back home in California and isn’t really used for big trips and mainly just driving around locally. Never would I have though a vehicle would be such a large part of my life. Thanks Grandpa Gus!


“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.