Friday, May 8, 2009

Observation

video

@ Hanai Preschool, Queens, NY

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Final Paper

Iva Son
Studio: Narrative
Melanie Crean
Research Paper

Music Education and MIDI Technology

Ever since the first version of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) was introduced in 1983, it has helped composers create music and edit easily while reducing cost and the size of performance spaces.1 It was reported in the Music Educational Journal, “At the January 1983 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) convention, sequential Circuit’s Dave Smith and Roland’s Jim Mothersbaugh successfully connected two digital synthesizers from those two different manufacturers.” MIDI truly became real by then. 2 It was a clear advance in the development of computer and music technology. Although MIDI was not the first revolutionary invention for composition, it opened up comprehensive possibilities for composing tools.4 MIDI is simply a system that communicates sound through MIDI devices i.e. software, controllers, and sequencers. Larry Mueth, a music educator and a writer, defines that the roles of MIDI instruments are sending or receiving digital information about note pitches, note durations, note enhancements, and performance information.3 MIDI programs can provide a great variety of sound sources that are very close to the original instrumental sound. The technology is both easily accessible and affordable, thus making it a great resource to teach and learn music. Due to its relative simplicity, effectiveness, low cost, and even its charm, MIDI technology would make music education increasingly approachable for many kinds of students. Its widespread distribution in classrooms would enhance music programs and a diverse range of school activities.
Being used over 20 years, many advantages have been found about MIDI technology. Especially it results in an increase of home recording so anyone who owns the program can create music and even share it online. This has the added advantage of saving MIDI users the time they would otherwise need to physically go to professional studios to record. Also, the user will have an easy access to upload their music and share with musicians all over the world. With their low cost of implementation, MIDI devices offer sounds relatively similar to those of sophisticated professional instruments. Therefore, a large number of musicians or producers prefer to work with MIDI devices (Criswell, etc). Their accessibility, reliability, and portability provide many advantages to live performers. David Last, a musician and visual artist living in Brooklyn, New York, says “The use of MIDI results in an increase of home recording so anyone who owns the program can create music and even share it online. The barriers to entry are now extremely low, anyone with access to a computer, money for software, and some time to learn, can make music.” Thus, students who do not have monetary accessibility to buy real instruments can use many free software available online and practice music at home and school. Sharing musical experiences online with peers will add more interests in it.

One of the main advantages of MIDI itself is that anyone, even non-professional musicians, can look at music and manipulate the notes, speed, and velocity. The MIDI interface connects computers and musical instruments (e.g., keyboards, percussion sets, string instruments, wind instruments, pad controllers etc), reducing the need to hire an orchestra for programs with smaller budgets. Two current examples of this trend are the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) and the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) where each group member is responsible for a particular instrument to create an orchestral masterpiece entirely disposing of real instruments. Members of those two organizations, not all professional musicians, only use Mac Book Laptops for their music creation and live performances. The members play computer play keyboards with each key representing a note, producing the sound of 200 different channels. Even tilting the computer generates different sounds. They also use pillows, stands, bowls, chairs and other inexpensive “instruments” to achieve effects. They build speakers and woofers by poking holes in wooden salad bowls from IKEA.4 Simply having a computer and MIDI devices gives everyone the chance to become musicians because they are portable and not intimidating for ones who do not have real instruments or are not able to perform them.
Also, there are technical advantages that make MIDI more useful and attractive to users. Robert Sadoff, the Director of the Scoring for Film and Multimedia Program in NYU, states that a great advantage of MIDI programs is that they allow the technical manipulation of music, by expanding, compressing, and shifting pitch, and also fading by simply press keys in the program(170). Previous to the development of MIDI programs, musicians, sound engineers, and other technicians needed to work with the actual audiotapes to add expansion, compression, etc. MIDI technology has made music production much quicker and easier. MIDI users are able to produce their own unique sounds, and also replicate and manipulate sounds from nature. For example, if someone is unable to find a specific hurricane sound, they could tweak and create it as they wished. The main role of MIDI programs that include numerous electronic instruments is to save and play the music within the synthesizer. Compared to the analog era, when composers had to write the music notation on the paper, digital tools has made the process easier by automatically inserting or recording music throughout MIDI machine when the user performs with synthesizer (Mueth 49). By simply clicking the recording button on the synthesizer, the keyboards, or MIDI software program will generate and store the sound in the computer.

In addition, usage of MIDI can expand from music to psychology. Through an experiment by Woody, associate professor of music education at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln School of Music, three pianists performed three different melodies while looking at an image and recorded music was transported to the MIDI program and examined for loudness, tempo and articulation (23). By looking at waveform and components of the MIDI software settings, it was possible to analyze how the pianists’ emotions were responding to the image. This experiment allowed the researchers to observe the relationship between both imagery and music, and imagery and emotion, as a result of MIDI interpretation. Since MIDI software can be used to watch the volume, waveform, speed, and rhythm graphically, the experiment showed that subjects felt emotional depression or happiness in response to music, and also that they were better at remembering the images(23).
MIDI techniques are easy to learn since many parts of them are self-explanatory. Among the musicians, there are both agreeing and oppositional views on the use of MIDI technology. Alex Igoudine explains that “the technological tradeoff made for the sake of enhanced user-friendliness and affordability in the larger commercial market limited synthesis capabilities and access and therefore disappointed some composers.” (28). However, it is clear that not only professional, but also amateur musicians have become more familiarized with music production. making MIDI technology a positive contribution to the world of music. Igoudine also states that MIDI improved the chances of experimentation with compositional ideas through different compositional tools (2). MIDI programs offer simple ways to compose; users, for example, can simply click on the grid to create notes. If they don’t like the sound, it can be moved to different parts of grid or erased completely. No pencils and erasers are necessary to create music. Also, many tutorials are available online for free, as MIDI programs like Cubase, ProTools, Reason, etc have become common for computer musicians.

Current music education has strengthened out the program from limited or formal educations to enjoyable and trendy ones. Teachers create motivational and suitable curriculum considering students’ interests and environment for better absorption. For example, an elementary school in Columbus, Ohio, supported by the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for the Performing and Cultural Arts and Ohio State University, selected African American students were taught on an easy-to-use MIDI program and keyboard in addition to traditional bands and orchestra instruments.5555 Students learned how to produce hip-hop and R & B genres that are popular among their culture. It is a positive outcome that music education has evolved more interesting as the MIDI technology has been developed. Lon Beery, an assistant professor of music department at the Syracuse University, New York, explains “Because popular music plays such an important role in young people’s lives, the creative teacher should not pass up the chance to incorporate popular music into a lesson whenever possible.”(38) Teachers are able to manipulate the tempo, key and instrumentation when they demonstrate musical sources. They can also mute, and solo the tracks through MIDI program. Thus, in addition to teacher’s musical knowledge, the technology will give them better opportunity to interest students.(Ruth Brittin 239)

While MIDI programs have risen to a prominent role as a technology to educate students, they also have increasingly been utilized as an educational source in classroom settings. The importance of music education gained emphasis as studies have shown that music listening makes an impact on mathematics problem-solving skills and social behavior (Jeffery 371). Without real musical instruments in the classrooms, teachers are able to show pictures of them online, and play the sound through the MIDI program. Jeeny Wojcik, a music educator, has shown that MIDI software’s can provide inexpensive music classes (61). Beery explains that students are able to create, edit and hear, up-to-date sound with MIDI and synthesizer (35).

Currently, teaching materials are insufficient in many educational settings for young children, and that is a deficiency that will need to be addressed in order to have cohesive music education. Research conducted in 350 elementary schools in the U.S on principles and goals for music revealed that unless the school really valued music classes and expected outstanding results, no funding was given out to purchase musical instruments (Abril 6). Music teachers argued that students needed more opportunities to develop their musical skills; the administrators, however, disagreed (7). In kindergarten music classrooms, teachers are too busy taking care of the children to teach them the rudiments of music, (Martina 46) and there is a shortage of additional teachers who could provide the extra work necessary to run a music class. Music in early development is important as at an early age children have a better ability to accept new materials, and a better curriculum for them would be beneficial. Moreover, as Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of MIT Media Lab, has pointed out, children need to learn how to use computers anyway, which will heighten the quality of their lives in many ways, including musical and social aspects (Barun 236). Children have more tendencies to grasp new techniques than adults. It is sure MIDI technology will help children understand and develop their musical senses while they are spending time with the technology. Now, education with using computer has become efficient that it has been proved to be useful. The analysis of two case studies suggests that the Continuator is able to develop interesting child/machine interactions and creative musical processes in young children. 21 In the study they used a particular system, the Continuator, developed at the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris (Pachet, 2003) age of 3 to 5. The Continuator reacts to children’s musical response.

Recent studies dealing with musical invention in young children (2–4 years) have suggested that the origin of new musical ideas is structurally anchored in the sympathetic interaction established between the adult and the child while playing with educational musical instruments 21(Young, 2004). The relationship between new technology and learning is gaining increasing relevance in the field of music education. 22 As ‘transparent’ instruments that allow children, even outside the school classroom, to make and produce music (Folkestad et al., 1998). 22

From a psychological and pedagogical point of view, the general aim was to study the nature of the interaction between the children and the system, the kinds of musical behaviors that developed, and how interactive systems can be used in the educational field to stimulate creativity and the pleasure of playing.

The main lesson learned from these experiments is that it is worthwhile to design and use a particular class of interactive systems – the are called ‘reflective’ – for music education: systems in which the user, regardless of skills, competence level, and musical goals, is confronted by a developing
‘mirror’ of him- or herself.(23-24)


Child’s proposals, and how this aroused in the child a sequence of emotions going from surprise and interest, to curiosity, which encouraged him to turn a random single note (G) into an alternating succession of variants of a rhythmic-melodic cell, making up an interesting, albeit brief, musical dialogue.(32) --- case study 1, jerry(5 yr 10 mo)'s interaction with the MIDI tools are clearly appeared through observation when he played notes randomly on the keyboard Another Tom is also 5 years 10 months. He soon becomes involved in the sound, and learns very quickly how to interact ‘in real time’ with all the stimuli that he receives from the system and from the whole set of equipment (computer, loudspeaker, expander, wires). 33


Observed recently in young children and adults playing a xylophone (Young, 2004): this kind of interpersonal dimension is a potential source of musical creativity for young children. The very fact that the interaction is so similar to that of humans may perhaps explain why the children find it so exciting:
just like in cartoons, where the thing they like most is that ‘it seems real because it’s fake’ (Mattia, 3 years old, in Mazzoli, 2001).40

Result: The two case studies would suggest that the Continuator is able to develop interesting child/computer interaction, very similar to that between humans. This to have its origins in the ability of the system to replicate the musical style of the children. 40


The quality of the child’s explorations, improvisations, compositions and performances depends
essentially on the child’s ear, and it is this aspect that prompts the child to reproduce
an invention, vary it, play with the variation and create special effects. (42 - ear)

MIDI synthesizers and controllers can be used to create a complete setting for a music classroom. The most commonly used synthesizer is a keyboard. Although a keyboard is embedded within the MIDI software program in the computer, it is recommended to have an actual physical keyboard to play with and study the notes. Joong Il Kim, a professor of MIDI at the Music Academy in Kangnamku, Seoul, Korea, recommends keyboards with 61 keys or more for music composition because less than 61 keys will not give enough octaves to play with two hands. About the synthesizers set up in school, John Blacknoir, a sound design instructor at the Parsons the New School for Design, says that the more of them will be required for students. These advanced keyboards are particularly indispensable for experienced performers. Modulation and pitch are easily corrected within the program. Some schools have drum machines, small devices that connect to the computer by USB plug-ins but the virtual versions can be also found within the MIDI programs. Samplers allow the recording, editing, and performance of sound by manipulating pitch, duration, and timbre (Brown 127), and they also include their own software. Producing music with MIDI is very cost-efficient because none of the equipment is required as long as there is a computer with a MIDI software and a sound card. A simple studio setting can be created with only those two elements.

In terms of affordability, MIDI technology reduces both the labor cost and the educational cost. It is particularly useful during concert practice—since the MIDI can replace absent performers, not everyone has to attend every practice by section (Igoudin 148). Unlike playback from a cassette player or tape, MIDI programs allow users to turn on and off any instruments at will. There is a variety of MIDI software, and brands such as Logic, CuBase, Pro Tools, Reason are often popular in music studios. These programs are sold at affordable prices, ranging from $99 to $299, and free trials are available for first time users. In addition to these brands, numerous free programs for computer-generated music are available on the web (e.g., Beat Master, DW-8000, Encore, Midi Gate, Wave Blaster, etc.). Anyone who is curious about creating MIDI music or wanting to explore more can teach himself using these free software.

Sound can also help deliver meaningful images and express emotions. Though there are precedents of relating sound and imagery in European art history, there has been undoubtedly a growth of multimedia and computer based media technology, including MIDI. Contemporary multi-media or interactive artists use MIDI to add dynamics to their sound. A large number of sound effects and music are produced through MIDI programs for animation, films, television shows and commercials. Many soundtracks for visuals are created in MIDI by using keyboards, drum pads, wind instruments etc (Leonardo 312). According to Sadoff the computer music editors’ work with “overall perspective;” in other words, they easily manipulate sound depending on the mood of the film(166). As the media industry moves ever more rapidly, faster MIDI programs for composition and production keep the pace. While some instrumental musicians do not appreciate the invention of MIDI because of a supposedly “unoriginal” quality of the sound, progress on the technology for the new sound interface means that the quality of electronic sound devices will soon meet the expectations and tastes of various users. For example, once the new official sound card for Pro Tools, M-Audio’s Fast Track, is released, it will provide accurate and faster quality for generating sounds (Sound on Sound). iPhone and iPod users can now install an application for MIDI controller for only 99 cents. With that application, users will be able to control any MIDI software program on their computer through a wireless connection. 88 As the multimedia industry is active and always looking for better quality, various helpful MIDI programs will be released along with many other electronic protocols.

MIDI software can be used in games to teach children beats and rhythms easily. Online music games like Beat Machine and Drum Steps can be found at the Making Tracks BBC Web site. 9999 These programs, as well as others such as O Generator, are fun to play by sequencing simple rhythms (Brown, 71). Considering children’s attention span and appreciation for play, these game-style applications will be helpful to teach them music. Not only MIDI has been used in classroom settings, but it has also helped to educate children at home. Recently, eMedia has released ”My Electric Guitar Tutorial”, where the animated character Rocky the Guitar teaches children to play guitar in a fun and enthusiastic way. The animated interface and exciting motion graphics motivate children to practice the guitar without physically having one. Children can also learn by this method how to play many different kinds of musical instruments through these educational MIDI programs.

Over the past two decades, MIDI has become a core technology in the creation of modern electronic music, particularly a wide range of genres of dance music (Criswell, etc). Its relative quick turnaround for production so one person can handle composing and editing, along with its time- and cost-efficiency have made MIDI very attractive to the electronic music community. Moreover, the interface encourages people who do not have real musical instruments to explore sound. It has been grown as a music education tool for students in schools where no real musical instruments are available. Blackford claims that the music education through MIDI should be more spread through elementary school classroom environment because he believes that children have ability to develop musical skills using the latest technology.
By gaining access to MIDI programs, students can learn “composition, orchestration, and theory of music” (Mueth 49). MIDI software and gear need to be more available in school settings so students can experience their use since the early stages of educational development. As the evolution and upgrading of MIDI technology, much better sound can be expected to make up for the absence of real instruments at the moment. Of course, the instructors of MIDI programs should also prepare accordingly to teach their students in effective ways instead of scaring them away. If the program interface seems intimidating at first, once students become familiar with it, it would then be merely a matter of practice and experimentation. Blackford sees the MIDI technology will develop toward pre-modular synthesis, which will result in faster MIDI programs. Busoni, the Italian pianist-composer of the early 19th century, said “ Music is born free; and to win freedom is its destiny. In the new great music, machines will also be necessary.”20 He knew that new technology would be necessary to produce better music and there’s no limitation to music tools.

Inspiration

The Drum Machine


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Donald Duck's Propaganda Film

IBM TV Commercial



This commercial is criticizing the social networking via internet that people rely too much on these days.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dogumentary: Script

I am Lucy,(My name is Lucy) I am tiny, I am brunette with blonde highlights.

I live my friend, Paul in New York city, Greenwich village where
people are friendly and liberal. In Greenwich Village, there are bars,
movies, museums, cafes, diners…

I have lived a half of my life here. I don’t mind spending the rest of
my life here.

How do I know today is Sunday?

When he doesn’t wake up at the first alarm clock, then it must be Sunday.

It’s 10 am in the morning now, I hear him getting up from the bed, I
guess he has been tired from work for the whole week. He opens the
curtain.

Oh, please don’t turn on the TV. It will be another hour to get him
out of the couch.

He might need a cup of coffee after a shower.

I lick his face and it smells like Gillette shaving cream.

I am ready to head out!

I enjoy going to Duane Reade because he will hold me in his arm.

Who can live without Duane Reade? They have anything you need.

Air’s fresh. It’s a little bit chilly. I like it. I hate summer here.
It’s too humid and stinky.

I’m very independent. I gotta exercise. I keep my shape. I don’t
want anyone’s accompany.

I’m just not feeling comfortable being with others except him. I’m not
an anti-social but I just don’t have time for socializing. Ok~!

That was a good walk. Time for the treat! “Big Juicy! Beef!
Liver!”(Say as if you really really desire)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Prototype

This is a sample video from the dog's point of view. It's my embarrassing voice-acting.


Dogumentary from Iva Son on Vimeo.

Plan on Dogumentary

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Research- Advantage of using MIDI

Despite controversies over use of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), it has clearly helped composers create music and edit them easily. Not only professional, but also armature musicians have become more aware of producing music. Thus, MIDI has contributed to the world of music society over all. Although it is mechanical sound, the tremendous variety of sound sources are nearly close to the original instrumental sound. The most beneficial part of MIDI is reducing labor costs. Besides, increase in speed of processing music revitalizes music industries. Why do some people dislike MIDI? We should all take the advantage of the technology given to us. I would like to research benefit of having MIDI technology and how to utilize it.

"Musical: The Robots" -Final Project



“Musical: The Robots” is an interactive musical that if a keyboard
corresponding to each robot is pressed, then the musical beats/notes
will start to play. Beats and notes are robot ways of communicating
and unfold stories.
I believe sound can provide narration itself. MIDI, musical
instrument digital interface, allows you to express musical thoughts
without having actual instruments. “Musical: The Robot” will speak
through musical beats and notes. Each robot will have unique sound
that can be interpreted as their voices. In the musical play setting,
the robots will move their bodies up when selected by the Processing
setup. Once the correspondent keyboards are pressed they will keep
playing. Some combinations will sound great whereas some aren’t like
life. You can’t always harmonize with everyone but you try.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Final Project Idea Concepts




After many thoughts, I felt my original idea of comparing 2D and 3D animation was not enough. So I decided to use MIDI, and coding skills I achieved so far. Of course, I would love to create characters for the new project. These two concepts are just idea sketches for now. I may or may not use the keyboard. I'm still thinking about how to make this narrative and interactive at the same time.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dogumentary



-Dog as a best friend, accessory and baby

-Using a traditional documentary style, we will explore the role
of the pooch in society and within an urban environment.

-Urban Phenomenon Dogs as Social Connectors
Dog owners more likely to get date/ attention when walking their dogs
http://jenapincott.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/dog-owners-more-likely-to-get-dates/
Ultra Kawaii website (Japanese meaning "Very Very Cute ”) http://www.ultrakawaii.com
A baby to witness their love: http://www.people.com/people/gallery/0,,1007288_1010653_9,00.html
NYTimes: Dog Run Culture By JESSE McKINLEY Published: Sunday, October 15, 1995 (see below)

-Expenses A Financial Look at Dog Spending in America
Dogs, like children, need love, training, food, medical care and some
miscellaneous items during their lifetime which lasts 8-14 years.
Small to medium-sized dogs

Est. life span: 14 years
First year: $740 to $1,325
Est. annual costs thereafter:
$500 to $875
Total est. lifetime cost
$7,240 to $12,700

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Styleframe for Mini-Thesis: 2D vs 3D



Concept Statement and Pitch for Mini-Thesis: 2D vs 3D

Concept:

"Exploration and experimentation of 2D and 3D animation styles through comparing and showing them at once"


PItch:

In addition to my previous work of a 3D animation, “The Three Little Beans”, a multilingual educational animation for pre-schoolers, a 2D version will be created by using the After Effect program. The goal is to explore and experiment two different styles in order to find out which style works better especially for the particular genre, an edutainment program for kids. It will contain exact same characters and scene but only difference it that the style. The viewers will see the 2D and 3D animations in one screen, 2D on the top and 3D one on the bottom side.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Automatic Writing 2 : Frozen River


Story of two women, one Caucasian and one Mohawk, made me think how the society has caused them live in such difficult circumstances… Did they have any other choice? They needed money to survive with their children. Severe snowy weather on the Mohawk reservation…The Mohawk woman’s husband died so she has to make living and her baby is stolen by mother-in-law. She can’t afford to live without doing illegal jobs, stealing cars and smuggling Chinese and Pakistan immigrants to Canada. She lives in an RV car in the Mohawk Reservation and it seems government isn’t supporting Mohawk’s lives. Once in a while, I heard of North Koreans running away to China crossing the border and go live in Manju. They can get killed if get caught. How bad is the living out there that they want to get out of it risking their lives so bad? Crossing the icy river where there is no clarified certain nation and driving through the sever weather seem like both a hell and a heaven to illegal immigrants. It’s the only way to go to Canada to live on and they might get caught or ice can break while they cross it. The other issue of this film was racial discrimination. Lila, The Mohawk keeps saying it to Ray, the Caucasian woman that she is going to get into a trouble only because she is white. Even when Ray smuggles by helping Ray, she gets suspicious of the black luggage that the Pakistan couple carries and throws away while driving. They end up figuring out there was a baby in the bag but Ray first thinks there could be a bomb. I think the problem is the media effect that our society has. Lots of evil characters are people in color and Arab men are terrorists as we can often see it on TV or films. Actually, I’m grateful to see mothers are getting stronger in comparison to past days.

Semiotics


It is simply the study of Sign Process. Linguist Ferdinand de Saussure introduced Dyadic: two- part model of the sign. A Signifier is the FORM which the sign takes and the Signified is the CONCEPT it represents. A a sign has no absolute value because each sign depends on its relations with other signs. Sassure declares that ‘the entire linguistic system is founded upon the irrational principle that the sign is arbitrary’

Monday, March 2, 2009

Final Portrait Project: Clovis


netport from Nick Perez-Gurri on Vimeo.Our group came up with better idea of expressing Clovis' loneliness through 2nd life. We combined chatting, web images,etc however we just didn't mock her sexual desire. Clearly, she has a passion for her job as a trumpet musician.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reading Response on Narration vs Narrator, Narrative Voice


While reading the book, I kept thinking about 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' and 'Desperate Housewives' as a character narrator and a non-character narrator. We can't hardly say which one is better. In '~benjamin Button', Benjamin narrates throughout the story and it drew my attention to his character even more. In 'Desparate Housewives', a dead friend of four other best friend married women reveals the story about each family's odd side depite they look apparently perfect. It's up to the narrator to comment about what is hidden behind the story so that it would create tension and interest from the viewers.

Progress with Clovis Portrait

Our prototype of a Portrait of Clovis. We would like to express her habitual life, interest and desire through websites that she browses.
portrait rough cut from Nick Perez-Gurri on Vimeo.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thoughts on Abbott's article "Character and self in narrative"

Why do we need characters and actions in narrative? Without them, stories can't be clearly told to the audiences. Personality shows the perspective within the film. Self is very much influenced by surroundings around him/her for sure.

Koyaanisqatsi




As I was reading Bordwell's book I found out that 'Koyaanisqatsi' has more clear cut that "A Movie" but there weren't any specific explanation about this film so I decided to watch it on Youtube. 1 hour and 26 minutes. Alright. Why not? What is it mean by the way? I didn't looked it up the meaning of 'Koyaanisqatsi' until I watch the movie. I thought I might be able to figure it out through out the movie. The song? It keeps saying 'Koyaanisqatsi over and over again with brownish tone images of flickering ashes. It is quite depressing. What does it want to tell me? Is this a Grand Canyon ore what? This is distributed by MGM, When I first saw the lion I expected something more than this. Maybe it is volcano in the middle of the scenes. I see desert... Everything seems so empty. Shots are pretty nice. The angle, natural lighting... The long shot of the valleys, mountains, clouds, oceans... but what am I getting out of this? Hmm...... Almost no organisms present. Little bugs fly around. Depressing. They are not still images though. Water falls, clouds moves and dust flies. Was music pre-composed? Not sure. They might have added according to music. Watching the film was not so exciting because I'm used to Hollywood's clear narrative style. Music is not so calm. My mind was unstable as I was listening to it. It was hard to sit through out the whole thing. Many experimental or documentary films tend to test my patience or endurance. I wonder how many years took to collect all those images. By the way what is the director try to convey through his film? In the beginning lots of scenes like ocean waves or water falls are in slow motion. No single words... I want to hear some voice at some point. After sequence of nature, wee see the developed part of the city, factories, constriction places. Machines... Explosion. Pow!The director is blaming the development of mechanisms, pollution? Is that a nuclear bomb or something? The mushroom gets bigger and bigger. Tall buildings and people looking at them, kind of happy faces. I don't know.... for sure... There is a scene where airplane moves from far away. Very slow.... Why so slow? Battles. Which I am afraid of. Air force jets and tanks all over. Destroyed cities. Grey color cities. No vividness. Broken city lights, windows. Then, buildings, bridges, and everything collapse. Scary... Lots of people in the city. Things are so random here. Scenes of nature, battle, and people. Citylights and cityscapes are expressed with fastforward movement... It contrasts with the slow movement of the nature scenes in the begining. I really wonder what the huge fake moon means...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Musical: Story of My Life


Thomas and Alvin they have been friends for a long time(30 years). Thomas had left the town and succeeded as an award winning writer. However, he and Alvin start to feel a gap between them. Alvin stays in the town to inherit father's bookstore and dies when he has a fight with Thomas after he gets engaged and cancel inviting Alvin. We don't know how he died. Audiences see both characters from the beginning but Alvin is actually a ghost.
It doesn't clearly say that but Alvin love Thomas. It's a more than a friendship. It was a moving and heart warming piece. Lighting and setting were very minimal so I wished it was rather played in a small theater.

http://thestoryofmylife.com/

Happy Valentine's Day :D

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Non Representational Portrait: Clovis




Gender: Girl
Age 30s
Where: New York
Neighborhood: Brooklyn
Race: French-American
Job:j janitor, part time musician : trumpet
Marriage status: divorced
personality:eccentric, bad temper, sexual, self-centered, greedy, compassionate humanitarian, vegetarian, feminist
Appearance: Fat, mid-height (5' 6''), Brunet
Style: oversized t-shirts, baggie jeans
habit: chain-smoker, drinker
Music: Heavy Metal(Metallica)

Central Problem : Loneliness + Sexual

Website she frequently visits:

Brad PItt Fan Club
http://bradpittfan.com/

Sliming product:
http://shop.nordstrom.com/Slimming

Fresh Direct
www.freshdirect.com

Blind dates
www.match.com
www.chemistry,com
eharmony.com
honrymatches.com

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My experimental film?

video



I filmed this piece called "Deviation from Daily Routines" in college. It was an experimental film portraying students having difficulties waking up by alarm clocks sound and starting daily routines.It has a narrative but style of it was experimental for me.

Everyone has desires and dreams but they also have to live the unavoidable and boring daily routines. Using Techno music in the day scenes reflect with their mechanical daily routine and fusion jazz music adds delightfulness in the nighttime scenes. The Bolex camera was used to create more natural color.

Reading Response on "Experimental Film"

When I was in college, I always thought why do people make these nonsense experimental films? What the point? Why do those filmmakers want to be different from mainstream ones? They don't care about earning profits? Are the all rich?

Now, I can understand a little better. They want to explore things like scientis. Not all the films need to have narrative, and some can have jump cuts. Who made all the rules of films? They seem like they are not obligated to respect 180 degree rule, contunuity or any other rules. By not having narratives, some experimental films show more aestehtically and peotically done pieces.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reading Response on "Narrative and Life" & "Closure"

I believe narrative can be both artistic and non-artist-like. It could be as simplest or the most complicated as it can be depending on target audience and the taste of the author. It could be expressed in variety of forms, spoken or non-spoken. I sometimes prefer non-spoken like paintings because I can unfold my own stories within my head. Non for the films but for some novels I prefer open-ended narrative.

All sorts of narrative have its time, called "narrative time" in Abbott's reading. There needs to be timing so the story could be understood by viewers. In "Citizen Kane". flash backs brings the time to the past to explain the context. Without adequate narrative time, viewers might get confused. Some paintings are exceptions because they denies our "narrative perceptions" In the reading, it's called "narrative jamming" It sounds something like a traffic jam where all the cars are stuck at some point and difficult to find solution.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Story of Mr. H, Ms. E & Mr.B



Mapping Project: Yum's Body Parts



I created my cartoon character 'Yum' to tell a story about 'Love'.

What is definition love?

Love is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection and attachment.

As an abstract concept, love usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person. (Wikipedia)

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Features:

-Brain is the largest in scale

-Everything happens within the body

-3 different events(happenings) take place in brain, heart, and eyes.

-First Person View to Omniscient View

-Action Verb: Love

-Symbols: B, E, and H

-Narrative goal: Listen to three stories of fairies in the body map and have the viewers get their own solution

-Materialistic vs Idealistic vs Honest

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Story Map Brainstorming: Love is...






What?
I was looking through some pictures my boyfriend (he's a photographer) took and tried to find meanings of LOVE. How would you bring Love into three different stories?

My goal is to create a child-like tales of three fairies about seeking real LOVE.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reading Response on McCloud Reading

What I like about comic book is that you can manipulate time however you want. You can even play with duration. There would be limitation to shot slow motion with the film however comic book can extend one part very easily. You simply need to draw one frame to next frame with a tiny change like a stop motion animation.
The depiction of a rope is simplified as a second which includes twists within the plot. Comic books allow you to emphasize the moment by expressing the frame in size (or length of x-axis and y-axis) and shape(rectangular, circle, trapezoid, etc) and you can also use different shaped bubbles. I personally like the cloud shape with mush edges.

There is a 180 degree rule in film that if the camera moves more than 180 degree from the object than the point of view flips and that can confuse people. But I think since the comic book is a set of still images, readers won't get too confused if angles or directions are switched.

Also, by adding one text, the characters can move to different places. Let's say "1991. Seoul" is written on the top left corner, then the readers will shift the space automatically.

There is one Japanese comic book I loved and the final volume took 6 years to be done from the second till that. The author played with the time of the real world too.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Citizen Kane: Iva's response




1. Which story events are directly presented to use in the plot and which do we infer? Is there any non-diegetic material given in the plot?

Death of Kane, adoption of Kane in childhood, successful newspaper company, unsuccessful marriage, and failed political campaign are directly expressed in the film. However, we need to infer Kane's childhood after adoption, college life and marriage life because they are omitted throughout the story.

Non-diegetic materials are voiceover and background music. We hear narrator's voice throughout the film which directs us to follow with the story line along with sound effect and music.

2. What is the earliest story event of which we learn? How does it relate through a series of cause and effects to later events?

We see the death of Kane in the earliest stage of the story and leaves one mysterious word "Rosebud". Audiences are invited to find out the true meaning of the word by guidance of the reporter so the story move backwards to show the life of Mr. Kane.

3. What is the temporal relationship of story events? Has temporal order, frequency, or duration been manipulated in the plot to affect our understanding of events?

The order of events may confuse audience since the time is not chronologically shown. Also, flash backs are often used to tell the series of events. Audiences themselves can piece the puzzles together into the correct order according to Kane's aging and events occurring.

Some events are repeated to emphasize the plot. It is interesting to see the repetition of Emily and Kane's breakfast scenes and it depicts how they are unhappily married whereas Susan and Kane's apartment scenes seem happier. We do not know what is really going on between Emily and Kane but as these scenes are repeated frequently, we could assume their marriage would not last long. Also, Susan's opera scenes are reoccurring to express it was only Kane's will for her to be an opera singer and she clearly had no talent.

4. Does the closing reflect a clear-cut pattern of development that relates to the beginning? Do all narrative lines achieve closure, or are some left open?

Clearly, the film begins and ends with "No Trespassing" sign but the audiences' mind of state changes from curiosity to certainty about "Rosebud". Not all narrative lines are closure since we do not know what has happened to other characters. However, there's no problem understanding the plot with some open narrative lines. It is rather open up to audiences' imagination.

5. How does the narration present story information to us? Is it restricted to one or a few characters' knowledge, or does it range freely among the characters in different spaces? Does it give us considerable depth of story information by exploring the characters' mental states?

The story of Kane's life is told by people who are close to Kane: Bernstain, Leland, Susan, and Raymond. Thus, audiences are only seeing objective views(or 3rd person view) on how Kane's mental state has changed. Audiences could symphathize and understand why Kane has become egocentric and unfaithful. However, the protagonist, Kane, cannot view the truth if there is any. The information told in the story is freely open to audience.

Artist Statement

As a child, I fell in love with animation and cartoons. I grew up exposed to Japanese animation because I spent my childhood in Seoul, South Korea where Japanese animation is popular. I remember that in grade school, my classmates and I would regularly draw two pages of cartoon newspaper every other week. Even as a child, my family and friends always comment that I never run out of ideas and concepts. My love for motion picture eventually led me to discover animated films. It was then when I found out how potent a medium animation is. I realized that the images and stories that animators weave do reflect the society within which we live.

I have been traveling around the world with my family and these travels eventually helped in broadening my horizon as they exposed me to various cultures around the world. Making sense out of these experiences is a challenge that I would like to meet through the creation of animated films. Like Hayao Miyazaki, the creator of Spirited Away, I have always wanted to create hopeful messages via the animated medium. We tend to be bound by the images we see. For animators, tragedy lies in lack of creativity and imagination. In fact, when I finally decided to devote my life to animation 2 years ago, I also elected to change my name from Stephanie to Iva. Just to be unique and different. I am here at Parsons to nurture my creativity and knowledge, and express it through the newest technology.

I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications Arts, major in film, television and radio from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is apparent that as early as then, I am already attached to moving pictures. I already understand the media involved, and I was also able to produce my own short films back in college. I was particularly influenced by Chaplin’s many works in fact I was taught dialogue or verbal expression isn’t a crucial factor as long as the narration can be fully expressed in actions. Andrew Stanton’s recent animated film Wall-E also had very few lines but portraits emotions through motion. My fascination with movies – animation, most especially – lies on the fact that they are able to temporarily convince their audience to believe in their story. This part of story-telling inspires me a lot.

After graduating from the university, I worked as an editor at the Korea Times. I chose this job to expose myself to the different software applications -- such as Macintosh Quark Xpress, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator – that may prove useful to me later. Indeed, this move has been advantageous for me, as I was able to go beyond academic theories and learned hands-on how to design media. I did not only become familiar with the latest computer graphic works, I also began to understand the field of advertising and news. At this point, I also realized that many advertisements are heavy in animation, and that the opportunities in this field are endless.

While I was working at the Korea Times, I also experienced being the cartoonist of Yum’s Diary, a 4-cut cartoon of the newspaper. I was so overwhelmed and thrilled to be able to express the angst of Korean-American youth. Having influenced by Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s book, Le Petit Prince, I would like to create animations that audiences will want to watch them more than once and have different feedback each time. Every time I read Le Petit Prince, I’m amazed by how my perception changes such as the image of “the hat” in the first chapter doesn’t seem like a hat to me anymore because I matured enough to understand the story is all about looking inside of an object.

From year of 2005, I worked on an independent film -- The Main Character -- as associate producer. I set up the production props, designed setting, supervised script, promoted to sell tickets and DVDs, and participated in filming as an audio and light adjustment crew. After working in the film industry for years, I entered animation industry as a Line Producer where I revised scripts, kept the production schedule and communicated with international offices. Working closely with sound of the films, I am into producing background music and sound effects. Nowadays, Nujabes, the Japanese DJ, affects me the most on music works. Not only he composites hip hop lyrics and music, but also creates soundtracks of popular Japanese animations like Samurai Champloo. I believe learning Pro-Tools for editing sound system in ssParsons will improve my skills tremendously.

In the end, my ultimate goal is to create my own animated films that both adults and children can appreciate and learn from. I want to work hard on character developing, which is the most important part of the animation process in my current hand-drawing and Maya software projects. I am going to help put animation at par with other kinds of films. I dream of this because I know that even if there are already many animated films in our midst, many people still hesitate to spend money and watch them in cinemas. In other words, I want to help develop a loyal following for animated films.