The Work Of Shaun Jacques

260mc

Evaluation – Montage of beautiful things.

Above is my montage of the work from the words I have used for 260 MC, the more observant of you will notice that I have used some footage from outside of the words I used but I can assure that all of the footage was shot at the same time as those words but may not have been used as they didn’t ‘fit’ with the words video.

Making this video was obviously a process of the last 10 weeks work and I will now go into detail about each of the words that we had, what happened at how it affected the montage in the end, I will also be offering my opinion of what worked, what didn’t and what lessons I have learnt to follow in the future.

Wall.

HAHAHAHAHAHA! 😦

I don’t like it. I never really did, This was a beginners attempt at stop motion but it felt rushed as I was making errors during the production and had a “better make the deadline” attitude to it. In hindsight, I would have done things A LOT differently. For example I would have spent more time and attention into each frame, I would have used a better location and better lighting than the tungsten lighting of my bedroom and a better backdrop than a plain black jacket. What made me feel even worse about this video was that I seen two very good stop motions that week in the form of Leanne and Stan’s pieces. What these pieces did where mine fell short was take much more attention to detail for each frame and also make something that looked interesting. I was also impressed by Stan’s idea although I had seen the concept before I had not seen it executed in the same way. What I learned from this week was to take pride in my work but sometimes No work is better than crap work. A point I will be raising up again later.

Dirt.

I never did finish this piece, despite filming two different pieces for it. I don’t want to use the ‘I was busy excuse’ but I genuinely couldn’t think of an idea for this piece that I liked and when I found the time other words took priority. However I tried experimenting with lighting for this piece, The idea I had was of an alcoholic realizing the situation he is in but being unable to get out of his predicament. I had a provisional title of ‘the dirty glass’   I still have raw footage of me playing the role of this piece, and messing around with emotive lighting, however I didn’t end up editing this piece because of two reasons. 1# being that because I was trying to shoot and act the piece out, framing and such looked a bit odd. I didn’t like the look of the shots in general and 2# I really dislike appearing in my own films, I am one of the worst actors you’ll ever meet and extremely unphotogenic (fussy reason I admit) I also filmed a dirty back alley and had ideas about doing a poem for the area I got some nice shots but the footage ended up being corrupted. I would have just reshot, however I was banned from the loan shop for the last few weeks.

City.

For city I wanted to mess around with photography, I booked out a camera straight after the lecture and decided to mess around with long exposure photography, I ended up with a few photos which are available to see on this blog.

I decided against using these images as I had no ‘idea’ to base around them. I decided to work with James Dann and keep to the photography aspect of things and do a piece inspired slightly by our mutual love of Channel 4 sitcom ‘The Peep Show’ The idea being the inner emotions of the people of a city and the contrasts and contradictions of those people but how similar they ultimately are. This piece I was fairly happy with in it’s narrative form but felt that some of the photos were ‘go nowhere’ ones they also looked a bit ‘touristy’ and not really too artistic,

I also worked on another city piece later on. This one I must credit mainly to Sam Soane for the idea, editing,execution but Me and Jambo went and shot the footage for the following piece (which contains some of my favourite parts of my montage.)

Time.

Time was another one that took a long time for me to settle on. I really didn’t like the idea of using a clock which I had seen a lot of other people resort to, I had an idea of using footage of the present day but giving it a vintage feel and a nostagic look back from the future on it, but this idea was quickly shot down. This word was placed on the backburner for a long time as everything else set into full gear. I did eventually get involved with this video.

This video was mainly an opportunity to take advantage of a lovely day and get some ‘people’ shots. something I was severally lacking in my words thus far. I wasn’t involved in the writing or editing but did take main camera role for the shoot. I disliked a few shots which didn’t make the main edit. If I were to shoot this again I would spend more time on the piece as well as getting some more water shots as they were definitely the highlight of the piece.

Shape.

This was another piece that unfortunately was not finished…well that’s a slight lie. The piece was finished but will probably never see the light of day. What happened with this piece was that we booked out the TV studio and messed around with lighting to create a dark shadow, Myself, Laura Garwood, James Dann, Sam Davies and Gergana Todrova messed around with shadows to create different effects and even threw in a human pyramid in the end. unfortunatly we only had the one back up of this piece and was on G’s hard drive, which stopped working before it was placed online. From this word I learnt to ‘Backup everything’ and to keep extra attention on light and shadows.

Light.

For light I yet again worked with Mr. James Dann and once again used photography, however I wanted to experiment and create an animation similar to a few seen in lectures. I liked the video I ended up creating but, I could have made it so much better in hindsight, I relished later on that I could have made a fluid animation using just two photographs for each ‘scene’ by doing a blank photo and one with a full fluid line and then filtering a little bit more the line in each frame to create a waveform to suit my needs. So that’s a major live animation lesson I have learnt. beyond that I realise the piece has some issues with consistency and I can be seen in a few photos and maybe should went closer into the targets but in conclusion I do quite like this piece for it’s charm.

Symmertry

Symmertry was probably the most fun I had in the actual filming process. For this piece I worked with Sam Soane, James Dann and Laura Garwood. In this piece we filmed at laura’s and messed around with paint and see what asymmertical shapes it would make, Complaints of the piece though include that we couldn’t get a better location, It was really difficult to get lighting right in the kitchen. also It would have been nice to have gotten different camera angles as well. This piece did get me some really nice shots for the show reel due to the outside lighting creeping in to create a nice ‘glossy’ effect.

Text.

This piece was simply an excuse to use AfterEffects as it was program I wanted to use but had little time to get started on, I viewed a tutorial online to get started and create the Text piece you can see above, I planned to use it in my montage but the fact it was in 4:3 Ratio and the fact that it didn’t suit the rest of the piece played into the reason why I chose not to. but I’m glad I made it as it has given me a lot of confidence of using AfterEffects and Motion in the future.

My Own Word ‘Water’

The word water admittedly came about because I wanted to use some stock footage I had shot in prague whilst shooting for my professional experience piece over there. I had myself a free day and along with Matt Riddle and Sean Keaney shot some footage of the wonderful city, my only regret of that is that I didn’t shoot more. I ended up using the word water as I felt that the shots of the river in Prague were the most beautiful and wanted to create a good looking video piece, which I felt my work had been lacking before. I also wish I spent more time in editing and messed about with colour correcting etc, more.

The Montage.

Finally that brings me onto the actual Montage, for this piece I used the footage I had access to (I did not have access to good quality version of the time piece) I used some ‘leftover’ footage from shoots I did for other words, particularly city and water. For the montage I messed around a lot with colour correction and on some shots smoothcam effect, I felt that it really added a nice shine to my piece and made it look more artsy, before I felt that some of the shots had been very bland and didn’t think I would use them, I do have complaints about the piece though, after watching it again and hearing some comments I feel that there are too many similar shots and the piece does go on too long, also there is not one ‘person’ in the piece, If i had more time I would have liked to get  more people in my montage. I would have defiantly liked to have gotten some sports or music pieces filmed as not only would that have helped the ‘people’ aspect of the montage but I would also like to go into filming music acts or sports after my studies at university and it would have been nice to show that off a bit.

The Module.

In hindsight I have really enjoyed the module It has taught me a lot both technically and about myself as a person when dealing with the pressures of constant deadlines. I honestly felt that there was too many words too often to get a great idea from on this module Out of all the words I’ve done there is only 2 maybe 3 I can say I am happy with, if given more time to prepare I may have come up with better ideas, I certinaly would have had time to prepare actors,locations etc rather than some of the dull ones I ended up using. but I understand the point of this module and made me appreciate how important it is to work in a solid group, some of the best work from myself and from others on this module was achieved by getting a group of similar interests together and playing off each others strengths, So if this module has taught me one thing, it’s too know when not to do it alone.

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Process / Development – Symmertry

For this piece I worked as a group of four with Laura Garwood, Samantha Soane and Jambo Dann. Initially we split into two different groups for this piece with Myself and Jambo going to the park to film some shots there and Sam and Laura going off to record a soundscape for the piece, the idea being to portray the stark contrast between the park and the busy city. After this we went back to the Ellen Terry building to try and come up with an idea for symmetry. I brought an idea to the table which was inspired mainly by the music video ‘Can’t Stop Feeling’ by Alt Rock band ‘Franz Ferdinand’

My idea was to do a shorter version of this video messing around with the percieved borders of the video camera, I wanted to use a mirrored effect in the middle as well. me and the group had 2 main problems with this idea. 1. that it would be difficult to film as I envisioned for the short scenes and 2. there was no deeper meaning to the piece.

I had an alternative idea of filming a symmertical dinner scene, where two people sit across each other on the same table eating the same meal and combing it to make a comedy sketch similar to the marx brothers infamous sketch.

Sam and laura had an idea involving the shape and pattern of falling paint, which I thought would be an interesting piece to shoot, we were to drop a load of paint onto an abandoned door and film the asymmetrical shapes that the paint drops caused on this canvas. We decided to film in Laura’s kitchen We also decided to use additional lighting to emphasize the painting, getting the light how we wanted it proved to be a major challenge.When we seemed to get one setup right for one camera the second camera would have an issue which would need sorting.

Getting the angles right was also a major challenge, to get the ‘underneath’ shot seen in the final video we had Sam actually sit under the door (which we had balanced between a TV and a kitchen side impressively) and aim the camera upwards as we couldn’t get the angle we wanted with a standard tripod. We settled on that and me using a standard tripod for the other shot, We had Laura and James tip the paint onto the door. We shot a number of different takes but decided to keep the paint as it were rather than clean it each shot (more on why later) we slightly adjusted zooms and angles but in general kept each shot similar. Once we had all of our shots done we decided to clean, but not after looking at the ‘painting’ we had created. In all honesty I really liked the pattern we had created, I don’t think it came out too well on video. cleaning the paint of the canvas was a major pain and if we had to re-angle the door as it was before we would be in major continuality problems so i’m glad we didn’t try it during the filming.

Sam then took control of the editing for the week, I met with her later in the week with most of the editing work done. We however needed to get a sound right for the piece. after much searching we found the song we ended up using off of Freeplaymusic.com

 


Light Research

For light i wanted to have a look at how artists of the past and present had used light to create intresting effects. Of course as a media producer I am always using light to create an image and a knowledge of lighting techniques is essential to me for any lens based medium.

Picasso light drawing

The above picture is one of world famous artist Picasso as photographed in 1949 by Gjon Mili The images are created by leaving a long exposure shot on in a darkly lit room, I have myself done a similar technique in the past using the traffic of Coventry’s Inner Ring Road, the rest of the photos are available in a previous post.

This technique can create some interesting animation effects when used correctly I wanted to create a video like the following couple.

 

http://img.widgets.video.s-msn.com/flash/customplayer/1_0/customplayer.swf<br/><a href=”http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/light-writing-in-paris/20ioobhl?src=v5:embed:&fg=sharenoembed&#8221; target=”_new”title=”Light Writing in Paris”>Video: Light Writing in Paris</a>

In both of these videos it was obvious a fair bit of planning had gone into the making of it, there are also examples online of people using stencils to create some really amazing animations, including remakes of video game levels such as mario and Call of Duty.

I also considered the way that the ‘word’ light has been used in media over time. From a very quick thought shower I came up with the following phrases or titles that had been used in film, Book and music over the years.

“there is a light that never goes out”

“Blinded By The Light” “Light At The End Of The Tunnel” “Light from above” “The light that burns twice as bright, burns half as long” “Light of my life” and many more songs and phrases that could be mentioned but I think you get the idea. (out of interest I searched the word ‘Light’ on my iTunes and discovered 450 songs with the word ‘light’ in…interesting)

All of the above phrases show how light has been an inspiration for many artistic expressions in media. Some choose to use it as a sign of love and romance, (light of my life) others to show their religious beliefs (light above) others have used it to show their optimism for a given situation (light at the end of the tunnel)  and others their pessimism (light at the end of the tunnel is probably a train) these are all of course only a small section of examples of the subjects that light has been used as a metaphor for in the past.

another important metaphor from the word light is the word enlightenment and more specifically the historical age called the ‘age of enlightenment’ The age of enlightenment was seen to be the age when “Mankind stepped out of childhood as a species and became major”

The expression ‘age of enlightenment’ drew it’s inspiration from the already widely used philosophical term of light, comparing knowledge with vision and illumination, these phrases for the most part have survived into the present day. the age was characterized by the confidence in reason and the criticism of traditional authority figures (political and religious)

Denis Diderot One of the major philosphers of 'Light'

Aswell as experimenting with light I also looked at ways to present good natural looking light for filming. not only for this task but for advancement in my short film work, there is a full post on this on the short film category of this blog but i’ll again point out how much of a help this video was as an inspirtaion and a how-to guide for some types of lighting.

here is my light video, I wanted to create an interesting animation using a number of different lights, but found a useful light app for my mobile phone that did most of the work for me. I wished i made the film more smooth in it’s transitions and found a way of doing this much easier than I filmed it (i shot each shot with a minor progression each time, whereas i could have done one empty piece and one full and edit the trail in post) so this shoot was a great learning experience. any feedback is greatly appreciated.


Experimenting with Photography

Our task this week is based around the word ‘city’. We were told to think about what comes to mind when we think of the word city. I came up with (in about 1 minute): Escape,Big, Busy, Loud, Crazy, Grimey, Diverse and Watchful.

We were told that most of these ideas were to basic and don’t really leave much to make a good piece about, we were told about the concept of the ‘soft city’ which focused on the interchanging relationships of city life. we were shown this advertisement which is revelant because of this idea.

We then looked at a photo of a bus stop and were asked to come up with different connantations based around that, I came up with the idea that if you use the bus reguallry you are considered by some a failure. A belief that has a lot to do with the supposed class war and politics in the U.K. this idea was a recurring theme through things that bus shelters can represent, Thatcherism being the main word that stayed in mind when discovering that during her years as PM she privatized the majority of these shelters.

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp99/rp99-059.pdf

We were then asked to look at Pyschogeography and situationism, which I will look into greater detail later in the week. but it gave me the idea of rebellion and in term that brought about thoughts of Punk attitude and music and how it was rebelling against the political movement at the time. I then moved a slight angle from that view and thought of paranoia, In this country we apparently have 20 cameras for each one person so is it not expected that we could be a paranoid nation? I also had ideas about impatience due to the modern multi-functional always moving worker/student as well as the random thoughts and impressions people have and make in an everyday situation. Me and Jambo were thinking on a similar wave-length, we have decided to do a photography and audio piece this week based on the paranoia and the ever changing ‘thoughts’ of a couple of people in this city, one new to the city and one who has been there for a long time. The idea is inspired partly by Channel 4 sitcom ‘Peep Show’. I would like the city ‘veteran’ to be paranoid and look down on everyone he walks past (similar to the ‘Mark’ Character of the Peep Show’) and I would like the ‘newcomer’ to be very shy and afraid of the city because of his inexperience of city life.

For this weeks ‘City’ project I thought it would be a good idea to try out some Photography for the project, I decided to book out a Canon D40 and see what I could do, below are some photos I got from experimenting with a Canon D40

NOTE: Apologies for being behind with other 260MC pieces, they will be finished and the process will be reviewed in due course.


x factor debates

The above video is an excerpt of me and a number of fellow students watching last weeks X Factor, a show which as you may know I personally can not stand. We watched this so we could look at the context of the show as well as it’s effect on the audience.


Genre – The HitchHikers Guide To The Galaxy.

The HitchHiker’s guide to the galaxy is a 2005 film directed by Garth Jennings, It is based on the book of the same name which was wrote by Douglas Adams.

I wished to discuss this film as I find it hard to put into a specific genre, it’s a Science Fiction film but it’s also a Romantic Comedy, but also contains quite a lot of dark humor, which would normally be put aside in a rom-com. The film starts off with this hillariously catchy tune which is meant as a warning for the human race of their impending doom.

what is quite cleverly done above is turning what is really a dark subject matter (the imminent destruction of the planet earth) into a joyful and catchy song involving dolphins. this follows the theme of quite alot of the film, but what genre would you put it in?

By location alone, most people would say ‘clearly Sci-Fi’ but does it follow the conventions of Sci-Fi? in parts yes, but in others not really, how many Sci-Fi films do you see where the earth is destroyed in the first 10 minutes? Comparisions could be made to universes such as Star Trek’s and I believe that was the writers intention, but I wouldn’t class it as any more than a homage to there universe rather than following their conventions fully.

The facebook fanpage lists the film as a comedy, but does comedy really sum this film up? would you for example play this to somebody that like Home Alone?, both are under the comedy umbrella, but I don’t think anyone would ever compare the two films realistically.

I believe that this film uses a mix of genres to create this story, I don’t believe that you can class this film under a genre of even a hybrid genre without over-generalizing the film and I do believe that there are a few films like that. I don’t believe that the audience would be confused by this however, as the film makes the point of making this clear from the start, unlike films such as ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’

The author of the book owned the rights to the story and character, unfortunately Douglas Adams passed away part-way through this films production. The film itself is owned by the studio Spyglass Entertainment and Distribution rights are owned by Touchstone pictures. I believe the director’s main motivation (particularly after Adams’ death) was to create a film that perfectly captured the vision of Douglas Adams’ book in a way that the radio and TV series had not done before.

Genre:

the introduction to the guide, is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind bogglingly big it is. And so on.



What Matters To Me…Analysis

The above video was made to demonstrate a point I wanted to speak out about in favor of my chosen subject of video games, I decided to go with the format for two reasons, one: I had seen something similar that worked well on a number of different sites and two: I felt it was a fairly obscure and unique way to grab people’s attention if they had not seen it before. The audio could certainly have been improved if I had more time to recorrect errors but the video took much longer than I had originally expected. I also feel this piece could have been improved if I focused on a particular area rather than try to skim through a number of different points.

On Monday I had my feedback from Steve Dawkins and Green Group. I was happy to see that a lot of the group liked it. stating they liked how the pictures even when placed out of context could both back up the audio and also form a narrative collision between the audio and visuals aswell, this allowed for both visual and audio learners to be interested and hopefully entertained. People also liked how I voiced my opinion throughout the piece making it (as the brief stated) a very personal piece.

Steve had a problem with the piece from his point of view, stating that there was little time to soak up the infomation, he also questioned whether I would only be preaching to the converted, however Charlie then backed me up stating she was in the target demographic, yet all this info was news to her and she enjoyed the video. Bar that the only suggestion made (bar the ones I made myself) was to allow for a longer pause for the audience to consider the questions asked.