Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Masters assignment - Mindmapping

Earlier in the week we were given a small talk on the benefits of mindmapping ideas to gain a more holistic view of projects/aims/research.

We were asked to draw out a mindmap with potential research areas for our studies, so I decided to start out with what I'd consider to be my current skill set and expand on that. I didn't find this particular mind map useful, but the exercise in general was pretty handy. I wasn't quite sure what direction to take it in, and it's not something I've done in the past, but I can definitely see why it'd be useful throughout the course.

48 Hour Film Project


To go straight to the video, skip to the bottom of this post! Last week we were given the challenge of filming a short movie in 48 hours, with a few extra days of our own (limited) time for post effects & edit. It was an intense punishment of both body and spirit, but a jolly good laugh too. 

I had the pleasure of working alongside two of my former undergrad animation cohorts Lilly and Steph, as well as our new Greek φίλη, George, which was a top-notch team. 

Each group was given a set of 3 "rules" to abide by... a theme, a quote, and an object.

Theme: Comedy.
Quote: "Listen to them... children of the night, what music they make" [Source: Dracula]
Object: Leather gloves. 

Initially we were flabbergasted at the atrocious combination of rules the animation gods had bestowed upon us, but it all worked out rather well. 

We collaborated on the idea together from the start, and slowly began forming the tragic tale of a nameless vampire who's down on his luck. Various plots were thrown around, including a phobia of blood, fear of the dark etc. Eventually we settled on a vicious character who ends up losing his fangs, his only weapon and (more importantly) only way of feeding off innocent graveyard lurkers.

Production was pretty hectic, and we had 5 different locations to shoot in and the weather was annoyingly beautiful... making our planned day-to-night conversions rather dubious at best. Thankfully we'd decided to go for a "quantity over quality" approach, and cram in as many jokes as possible, so we probably won't win any awards for our film making prowess... but we're confident it ticks the "comedy" box with a satisfying swoosh.  

Given the fact I was (justly) deemed the most vampire-esque, I was given the responsibility of "acting". With regards to other production roles, I set up most of the camera shots, as most of the kit was my own and I was very familiar with the camera. This included a moonlight timelapse from my bedroom window, which inserted a rather incongruously pretty shot amongst our hammed up cinematography. In post, I done most of the dodgy VFX (all showreel worthy, I'm sure you'll agree...) and a decent chunk of editing, which was actually great fun.

All in all the project was a blast, with the exception of the sprained ankles, red hot chilli peppers, multiple slaps to the face, and a scraped back... but apart from that it was OK I guess.