Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Videos, Music, It's An Extravaganza!

As promised, for your appreciation or ridicule, here are the two main projects I did for my Digital Video Editing class at the Northwest Film Center School of Film.

The first one, "Slacker Manifesto," is the final project. The point of the project was to create a portrait of a person, place, or thing. As often happens, I had an idea that just would not go away, and despite its somewhat tangential relationship to the project's stated goal, I went ahead and did it anyway. This despite the fact that the portrait is of an imaginary person -- well, sort of an alter ego, really. Plus, the last few videos I made were pretty arty and heavy, and I wanted to do something fun and frivolous. I will preface the video by saying that the views expressed in the film are not necessarily those of the filmmaker, even though the filmmaker wrote, edited, and "stars" in it.

For the second video, each student was given a tape with 60 minutes of stock footage and told to edit down to a 1-2 minute piece to accompany a haiku that each student wrote based on the film. We had no say in what footage we got -- we simply had to make something of what we were given. It was an interesting project. The footage comes from the Prelinger Archives, a foundation whose goal is to preserve old films that otherwise would be lost. These aren't movies, usually, but instead are old industrial/trade/educational films, student films, home movies, old short films and other footage. I highly recommend visiting the site and cruising around. The search function is very good and you'll turn up some interesting stuff that you won't find anywhere else. (A high-speed connection is highly desirable, however.) Anyway, here's my haiku.

In other news, "The Unlikely Event," the electronica band of which Argotnaut and I are a part, have finally posted some songs. You'll find them here.



Tavia Rowan said...

Interesting. So, the students saw their footage, thenwrote the haiku for their own films?

As for the other film, ha ha ha! Can you imagine takking a C+ home in our fam? (Except maybe in math)? I was just talking with Ursa the other day about where we get our expectations from-- I don't remember there being pressure, exactly, to bring home good grades, yet somehow I absorbed the "if it isn't an A you suck" manifesto. Maybe I burned out on the pressure in grade school, and that's why I've been a slacker ever since. I sometimes say I'm a recovering perfectionist.

Andrew said...

Yes. For example, most of the footage I used for the haiku was from two short films. One was a film by, I think, a grocery association that showed how to be a good cashier and how important it was that cashiers be well trained. That was were all the supermarket footage came from. The other film was an Encyclopedia Britannica film about disappearing farm land, which was where the logging footage came from. I had the idea of intercutting the "urbanized" and the "nature" footage to contrast where goods start and where they end up. The haiku I wrote afterwards. It was a good exercise for editors because most of the time they don't work with their own footage, but with footage shot by someone else, yet editors have to get a good feel for the footage and try to craft it for emotional impact.

I didn't feel that much pressure from the 'rents to "get good grades" in school, but then again, I rarely got bad grades, even in math. I do remember that I always used to get the second-best grades in class throughout grade school, and Steve Terranova always got the highest ones. Funny how I remember that. Of course, by high school, I didn't really care to try that hard. A slacker was born!

Tavia Rowan said...

OK, I finally listened in on the UE songs you posted. Wow. 8o's flashbacks. I didn't realize Argotnaut had such a high voice-- funny how you can know someone for years and never hear them sing. Of course, when you mostly listen to David Eugene Edwards, it's a bit of culture shock, going from banjo and an old Gretsch (sp?) guitar to your stuff. But I liked it-- are you going to have anything on disc in time for Sirius Rising/Starwood in July? I can have the DJ play it on Dog Star Radio (the event has its own radio station). What do you think?