Friday, 4 January 2013

Week 8 (Thurs 29 Nov)

Today's session was made up of two parts: looking at the recreations of scenes from the different teams, and then looking at brainstorming.

First, we looked at the concept of brainstorming as it pertains to film, looking a tit as if we were going to develop and/or pitch an idea to a production company, and looked at some helpful ways to make it easier and more straightforward:
  • Form: What type of film is it? (Short subject, feature length, episodic, narrative etc.)
  • Subject: What is it about? (Themes, genre, ideas i.e. Horror, law, corruption, spiritual etc.)
  • In a Sentence: The idea in its most basic form (A soldier fights mutants while trying to save some scientists/A man goes on a journey to rediscover his spiritual indentity)
  • Key words: Words that summarise the idea/ideas for the piece (For an action film ala Rambo: war, violence, sex, explosions, villainy, comedy, conspiracy etc.)
Then, if things were desperate/writer's block, we looked at the ideas generator, a system that can assist in coming up with concepts: Research (Passive i.e. watch some films, read a book or do some internet browsing/Active: go out and investigate, utilise resources available to find something of interest), Reflection (what have you done before, and does it have anything you could revisit/expand upon, or have some type of connection between them, like a theme, character or idea), Brainstorming (just go wild and throw out as many ideas as you can, and see which ones you like the most) and Emcompassing (immerse yourself in a subjetc of your own interest and see what can be yielded there).

Additionally, one can also use these other avenues: Critique (get feedback/input for your project/idea), Collaboration (find someone you have a 'spark' or 'flare' with, assisting you in your creativity and providing with possible ideas), the triple R rule (Research, Represent and Refine: Find out information, how you can pull it off, and then, polish up/tighten to what is needed and essential) and S.C.A.M.P.E.R (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to other use, Eliminate, Rearrange, which is more or less an expansion of the Triple R concept).

Also helpful are Protoypes/tests (see what does/doesn't work), storyboards (getting across a accesible, more immediate version of your idea), Ask an Expert (call on outisde help for adivce if you are going into new/unknown territory), Audience trials (see how others respond to your idea and how it's presented), Documenting (recording how things go and be able to evaluate so as to come to the best possible conclusion for your project) and Time (don't rush it, give it the time and space to germinate and grow to give you more options and ideas to play with and test out).

To illustrate this, we each wrote down an idea on a piece of paper, gave to someone else and then, with this new idea, we began to play with it, noting down ideas and directions for the piece. The on I recieved was about someone who makes a mistake, and I chose to expand on this, making akin to 28 Days Later, and Contagion, an science-ficiton thriller centering a scientist who make a product that puts millions at danger, and his race to try and stop it from being abused by higher, darker powers.

Moving on to the other part, we looked at each other's recreations and gave feedback afterwards on how well it was made and how well it matched the original: my team's piece, the recreation of the bedroom scene from Requiem For A Dream, was praised for its ambition, but was criticized due to the shots not being as well colour matched as in the original, and occasional issues with the croping and framing, making characters look a little 'off'. However, the lesson, at this point, was cut short as Helen had to rush off for personal reasons.

In closing, I felt today's lesson was fairly interesting, and the tips and tricks we learned today I imagine will come in handy at some point, either at University or at some point in the future in my creator, and as for the criticism of the piece, I understand and I admit that, due to the time pressures and the editing being taken over partway through by someone else, the work may have ended up not as polished and fine tuned as it could have been, but I can learn and take away from that for the next time.

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