Monday, February 15, 2010
I stumbled upon some interesting videos that deal with interactivity and video. Check them out.. I think that it's good to get the conversation started now, so that we know what we will be getting into and what is feasible within the time frame that we have to accomplish this. I am not sure of the level of knowledge that this will require or the amount of time spent learning this software, or even more the level of involvement we want with this, but this a glimpse of what is out there.
Some of the programs involved that I have seen are: Quartz Composer (free from Apple), VDMX, and openFrameworks (open source).
This is really cool... this video shows some of the power of projection mapping capabilities of VDMX.
This guy is into some pretty interesting interactive projects. The projects I've seen make use of a lot of motion capture. The results are pretty impressive.
I'm sure we've all seen the head tracking video with the Nintendo Wii... here are a few more of his projects, might be a helpful resource.
Examples of what can be done using Quartz Composer...
This is a tutorial vid that might help understand how Quartz Composer works, and also how it integrates into VDMX.
Friday, February 5, 2010
You might of have seen "Hotel Rwanda", but briefly it is about the Hutu extremists of Rwanda initiated a terrifying campaign of genocide, massacring hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsis (who had been given power by the departed Belgian colonists), while the rest of the world looked on and did nothing. Don Cheadle stars as Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager at the fancy Les Milles Collines hotel in Kigali. Paul is a Hutu, and a very successful businessman who smoothly greases the wheels, making powerful connections in all strata of Rwandan life. His wife, Tatiana (Sophie Okonedo of Aeon Flux), is a Tutsi. She urges Paul to use his influence to help local Tutsis, who are being harassed and beaten with increasing frequency, but Paul will only use the political capital he's built up to help his own family, if and when they need it. Soon enough, the violence escalates, and the Hutus begin their genocide of the Tutsis. European guests and staff at the hotel are flown out of the country, and Paul is left in charge. He finds that his conscience won't allow him to watch as the innocent are slaughtered, and before long, the hotel has become a well-appointed refugee camp. Paul is seen as a traitor by some, putting his life in danger, and the predicament of his "guests" grows more precarious every day, but despite good intentions on the part of a journalist (Joaquin Phoenix) and a UN peacekeeping colonel (Nick Nolte), the rest of the world is not eager to intervene and stop the massacre.
Alternative complete synopsis http://movies.zertinet.com/2004/hotelrwanda.htm.
First, My thought with this film is to research and use the real photos from its history ( or snap shots from the movie) as the background. I was thinking to zoom and focus on a specific spot of the footage and reveal the title as a apart of the fresh of the victims, or maybe for instance take the photo of a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, if he has scars on his face, intensely focus on the those areas and animate the titles using those shapes.
Second, maybe use silhouettes shapes ( from the film ) across the lower thirds of the film and have the titles sort of interact with those shapes.
Third, you know that the film is somewhat about the world not noticing or ignored that this was happening in this country. So I was thinking so use that as the concept but I am not sure how yet. Maybe I could use the shape of the hotel to sort of cover up the reveal the titles.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I'm still open for more options.. but Terminator seems to be the most promising for me right now.
First off, I absolutely love this film, likely because I have an affinity for sci-fi films. That said, the Terminator conceptually offers some interesting room for interpretation. The premise of the film is based on the idea that technology inevitably leads to our own demise. In our constant quest to create better, more sophisticated machines and artificial intelligence, we built a technology that became self-aware. The machines' logic brings them to a decision to destroy the human race (judgement day). However, there is hope. His name is John Connor. He is the leader of a resistance against the machines that will save the human race... if he can survive the assassination attempts sent back in time to destroy him before he is ever born.
There are some interesting concepts at work here. I think one of the main ideas central to the film is the social commentary on power struggle. There is an obvious power struggle between the machines and humans on the surface level, but I think it reaches into deeper realms, one of which being, that no one really has control over events that occur. In our successes of engineering and technological development, we created a monster that was capable of acting on its own logic. In this way, we made a supercomputer (Skynet) that was beyond our own comprehension, and certainly beyond our control.
Another way of looking at this concept is from a historical standpoint. The human race, in this view, operates on natural principles that have a "survival of the fittest" mentality -- an evolutionary undertone. Even before technology, our past is filled with war. Power seeks not only to sustain itself, but to accrue in value. When we create a killing machine capable of thinking and reasoning on its own, we give it the power to seek out tactical advantages as it sees fit. Logic leads these machines to realize that the most logical option is to destroy the problem altogether (humans). You could compare the machines to nuclear missles. We created a weapon so powerful that it ends up destroying our species.
There are other ideas present, as well. Some of these focus on the human element, that, in a seemingly hopeless situation, there is always hope. Never give up. Other areas of focus could be related to time travel, etc.
A PDF of the synopsis can be found here.
One of the main reasons why I would choose to work with TLD as my subject is that it's my own story, and I've taken any opportunities that have arisen to work on and develop it further as part of my work here at Ringling. (The existing draft of the story was actually my final project for Creative Writing.) It is something I'm hoping to eventually see realized in the form of a book, or possibly a movie. This could give me a chance to work some more of my ideas out in yet another physical form.
As the story centers around the ship's crew and the ongoing war in the Mej'rahad [desert], the mood of the titles would be somewhat tense and mysterious, drawing on elements from both the sci-fi and fantasy elements of the story. The setting (and music) would probably be somewhat Middle Eastern. I would also plan to work in parts of the tribunal from Chapter I into the titles. As you're not supposed to see Shin'ryu at first, it would probably be mostly audio with a few hints at visuals.
Idea 2: Ender's Game
A PDF of the synopsis can be found here.
Of the handful of fictional books I have seriously enjoyed reading, Ender's Game is definitely among the top five. The story has multiple levels of depth as the narrative takes you back and forth between the main characters. The setting would be in a spacey kind of 'game grid', using elements from the 'games' Ender and the other children at the Battle School play. The underlying story of the war with the buggers could also be illustrated in some visuals and possibly audio snippets (not unlike the into to the Kilrathi war in the opening titles of Wing Commander). Music would be something dark and orchestral, fairly typical for the type of movie, but not cliché.
As stated in my mass email, I'll have some basic mood material prepared for tomorrow's meeting. Hope to see you all there. Cheers. =P
Into the Wild recounts the true story of Christopher McCandless and his rejection of a materialist, conventional life. He abandons societal existence in pursuit of true freedom. I'm going to paraphrase Thoreau here... rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness... give me truth. Chris measured himself and those around him by a fiercely rigorous moral code. He risked what could have been a relentlessly lonely path but found company in the characters of the books he loved, from writers like Tolstoy, Jack London and Thoreau. He could summon their words to suit any occasion, and he often would. Giving up his home, family, all possessions but the few he carried on his back and donating all his savings to charity, Christopher McCandless embarks on a journey throughout America. His eventual aim is to travel into Alaska, into the wild, to spend time with nature, with 'real' existence, away from the trappings of the modern world. In the months leading up to his Great Alaskan Adventure his travels lead him on a path of self-discovery, to examine and appreciate the world around him and to reflect on and heal from his troubled childhood and parents' sordid and abusive relationship. For two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager. Whose home is the road. So now, after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climatic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual revolution. No longer to be poisoned by civilization, he flees and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild. Throughout his epic journey the people he meets both influence and are influenced by the person he is and bring him to the eventual and tragic realization that "Happiness is only real when shared".
My concept for the titles is to utilize the books of the authors he admired, and postcards he sent to the people he met along his journey. Christopher McCandless was well educated and often wrote his insightful thoughts down. He kept a journal to document these thoughts and experiences. I plan to use these objects, (books, postcards, and notebooks) to display the film titles in a manner that documents his inspiration for his journey.