Good morning.
It's 2:02 Tue, 22 Aug 2017








1 Rhythm & Chaos - DUE Tuesday, January 27

Motion is defined by time and space and can have many attributes. Rhythm is perhaps the most basic trait of motion. Rhythms can be either rigid or loose. Rhythms can take on distinct directions and features. Visual flow can be expressed as linear rhythm, circular rhythm or even as rhythm within chaos. The difference between rhythm and chaos can be a subtle distinction, because there is usually some sense of rhythm to chaos.

“A rhythm can be repeated like a musical beat with characteristic regularity, in up and down, strong and weak, long and short features. But it can also be irregular, continual, in free, flowing movement.” Johannes Itten, The Basic Course at the Bauhaus and Later

Part 1-Rhythm
Using Adobe After Effects create 2 motion sketches that achieve a sense of rhythm (make as many as you like, but upload a minimum of 2). Don't be precious. Experiment while keeping these parameters in mind:
- Only use solid circles and straight lines.
- Your backgrounds should be black or white. Your circles and lines should be the opposite of what your background is (if your background is white, make your elements black).
- Your sketches should be a minimum of 10 seconds long but no longer than 30 seconds.
- When building your animation in After Effects select the Composition Size Preset that is called "NTSC D1 Square Pixel" (720 pixels wide by 534 pixels tall). The resolution of your file should be 72 pixels-per-inch.
(Words to the wise: Try to limit the variables within each composition to focus on the effects of specific combinations of properties, relationship and processes. Where possible, try actually re-working the existing sketches using different variables.)

Part 2-Chaos/Focus
Using the same technical parameters as above create 2 motion sketches that begins with a sense of chaos and resolves to a point of focus. Discover ways to capture and direct attention. Isolate different combinations to bring about focus.

Your final product for this assignment should be 4 movies in total, no sound. You will export your sketches as H.264 Quicktime movies. See this for details on creating compositions and exporting your final videos.

2 Stop Motion - DUE on Tuesday, February 3

Work with a partner!

Reserve this equipment for class time on Thursday, January 29:
* Use either the Logitech USB webcam (no zoom control) OR Canon 7D (all settings on manual and recording in JPG, not RAW)
* A tripod.
* USB cable (for the cameras)

1) READ: Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Casares, "On Exactitude in Science"David Graeber's "What's the Point If We Can't Have Fun?".
These texts, like many of the ones to follow, are meant to be provocative and provide some things to consider in relation to the assignment. The nature of these readings will vary from creative non-fiction to journalism to poetry to science fiction to historical analysis.
a) Clip on animator/film maker Eric Saks
b) Historia Naturae by Jan Švankmajer
c) Martha Colburn's Dolls VS Dictators
d) Norman McLaren's Neighbors

PRE-PRODUCTION (before January 29)
* With your partner decide what you would like your animation to be about and how you will make it.
* Content: Narrative? Abstract? Poetic? Ridiculous? How does it relate to the assigned readings?
* How does it look? What kind of materials will you use? Paper-cut-outs? Clay? Shaving cream? You'll need to bring these materials to class - make sure you have them. You might also need extra lights and anything else that you need to shoot your animation. Try to anticipate everything you'll need.

PRODUCTION (on January 29 - February 3)
* In the lab, use i-StopMotion to record animation sequences.
* Output the animation sequences to Quicktime movies. You can save the Quicktime movies on your portable drive and edit them together in Premiere.

POST-PRODUCTION (Before 5pm on February 3)
* Import your Quicktime movies into Premiere.
* Import sound(s) into Premiere. It can be clips of songs, where appropriate, but be creative and think of other solutions, like some quick foley work.
* You must be ready to export your final animation (with sound) from Premiere at the beginning of class on Tuesday Feb 3.

3 Soundscape - DUE on Tuesday February 10

Using Audacity and sound that you've recorded out in the field (with a Zoom audio recorder, and maybe a microphone), you are to create two distinct, representational "sound spaces," starting with one and transitioning into the other. As a point of courtesy (and sanity), please use headphones when editing in the lab.

Aim for your whole piece to last at least 45 seconds and no more than 1 minute 30 seconds long.

Your "audio pictures" should be constructed out of a clear three-level spatial structure, containing three simultaneous layers of sound: a foreground, a middle ground, and a background. Sounds in different layers of depth should be recorded separately and mixed together, instead of recorded in unison.

In all three levels, your sounds should be unique and chosen carefully, but it is sometimes helpful to think of these levels as increasingly specific as they rise up a pyramid-like structure. Those in the base layer, the background, are usually less distinct, even ambient, but are often needed throughout the "sound picture." The middle-ground levels of the second layer are often a little more distinct, perhaps the noises of other people in the room, and can more easily fluctuate, hesitate, change. The foreground sound is usually the loudest, the clearest, and the least reverberating. It also may not need to be present more than for one quick appearance.

Your audio sources should be recorded by you using the Zoom recorder. You may only employ music or human voices in the

background or middle ground.

Export an mp3 (or WAV) sound file.

* choice of sound (identity, specificity)
* juxtaposition (how do sounds mixed together create space and meaning)
* volume of playback in the mix
* conditions of original recording scenario
* reverb or other illusion of space introduced in production

and thenCONSIDER THIS: Production Schedule
Reserve/obtain/detain/abscond-with a Zoom audio recorder (and a shotgun mic or stereo mic if you need them) as soon as possible. Give your self time. Record the sounds you need. Now. So if you need to go back and re-record, you can.

4 Long take - DUE Tuesday February 17

With a single, moving DV camera shot, tell a one-minute story. No cuts in the video. Your video should have sound - sound that you can edit, sound that might change the meaning of your video. Your final movie should be 1 minute long.

Some technical parameters: Check out a Panasonic TM700 OR a Canon FS100 from the check out window. You will need your 8GB+ SDHC card to use the cameras. To give you an estimate of how much you can fit: 4GB holds roughly 30 minutes of footage in the settings required.
Follow this general workflow.
For the Panasonic: shoot in HA 1920 mode (this produces a 1920x1080 60i image). Need the manual?
For the Canon FS100: shoot in XP mode and set Widescreen to "yes." The manual.

Perhaps you will need to THINK about how you will choreograph your movement as camera-person? Focus? Close-up? Wide shot? Handheld? Tripod? Point of view? Pay close attention to composition - lighting - color...there's a lot to consider...please do so. Perhaps you will need to arrange and organize and direct the objects/animals/children/deities/spawn-of-satan/F-16's/fast-food-workers in such a way that your story will be told? What exactly are the elements of a story anyway? Perhaps your story will best be told with sound that is NOT recorded at the same time as your long, single video shot?

Final videos should be uploaded to you video hosting account

5 Loop - DUE Tuesday, February 24

For this project, you will work with the concept and format of an infinite loop - a video that has a sequence that ties together the beginning and end. Your loop can be narrative or abstract, one take or a montage. The only criteria are:
* It must be composed of original footage captured/created by you
* It must creatively bridge the end and beginning

Why this format? For many visual artists working with moving images, a museum or gallery is a common place for their work to end up. You have probably been to an art museum or gallery, and walked into a darkened room in which a projected film or video was running. Most likely, you walked in somewhere between the beginning and end. This is an exercise in addressing this context directly.

As usual, send Ryan a link to your video.

6 Dream Sequence - DUE Tuesday, March 10

How do we understand the shift from a rational experience to one that exceeds our understanding of the world? How can the transition from the conscious world to a dream state be visually communicated? Your task for the 6th assignment is to consider this and attempt to produce an audio-visual translation of these ideas.

Your video must depict a transition from the conscious/rational to the unconscious/irrational (or some other binary construct). The proportion of time spent on each is your creative choice (e.g. the transition can happen at the beginning, middle or end of your video)
Have most of your edits be dissolves/cross-fades. Add sound. Responding to the reading, the definition above and your own dreams make a video that lasts somewhere between 50 seconds and 1 minute 30 seconds. Upload the video to your Youtube/Vimeo page, and well, you know what to do.

7 Documentary - DUE Thursday March 19

For this project you will partner with 2 other people to form a crew of 3. During the interview one of you will be the sound-person, one will be the camera-person, and one will be the interviewer. Then you will edit the final pieces together.

Find someone to interview. Arrange a time and place to interview the person. Interview them. For inspiring questions and other ideas check out the StoryCorps site. and these tips.

Make two 1 minute 10 second videos. The FIRST edit should be true to what you interpret as "the spirit of the interview" - true to what you believe is the intent of what your subject said and meant. In the SECOND edit completely alter the meaning and spirit of the interview. Upload them to your Youtube/Vimeo page and...

What do you leave in? What do you cut out? What story do you - as the maker/editor - choose to tell? What nuances can completely alter the meaning of interviews?

8 Object Study - DUE Tuesday, April 7

This project requires you to focus on a single thing. This is a study in the material, observable, visible/audible reality of things.
Imagine that the your camera is the only access to your subject that viewers have. How would you want to describe it? What other senses can be elicited with only visuals and audio? By describing the visual/sonic details of your subject, what else are you saying about it? Can it best be described by direct description, or is there an indirect approach that might be equally useful?

* The thing cannot be your car. (No matter how cool your car is)
* It can be a living thing, but not a person.
* No music, only original audio recordings.
* No effects or transitions other than simple cuts.
* Final videos should be 30 seconds - 60 seconds in length, uploaded...

1. How would you describe your object in ONE word. Use the word to guide your shooting and editing.
2. List 10 additional adjectives that describe your object. These can be literal, metaphorical, analogical, visual, aural, etc.
3. List 10 verbs that relate to your object.

* Depending on what you are shooting, you may need to supplement available lighting with reflectors or a light kit.
* Will you be using sound captured in camera or with an additional recording device (like a Zoom)?

9 Network - DUE Tuesday, April 21

Make a video about a network.
What's a network? We'll be using this definition: "a group or system of interconnected people or things."
You will pick and focus on a network of some kind. Your video should visually describe this network. For your audio, use an instrumental song that you really, really like. Or, better, make your own sound/narration.

Pre-production & Production Process:
1. Select something that will serve as your entry/gateway into the network (could be a cup of coffee, your cell phone, just about anything).
2. Sketch out a diagram of your network starting with your initial object. Do this initially without doing any research, then use that to research your network in more detail. Take a camera with you as you research.
3. Document, with video, your research. The goal is to present us with a short video that visualizes your network in some manner.

Duration should be between 1-3 minutes. Your editing should have a rhythm based on the structure of your network; spend more time on the parts that are more significant. Upload the video...

10 Binocular montage/Video diptych (split screen) - DUE Tuesday, May 5

We have already talked about montage as it relates to sequential cuts in film and video; for this project, you will explore the simultaneous, as well as sequential, juxtaposition of images. This technique has been used in popular cinema since the mid 20th century and is a staple technique for artists making video installations.

* Your video should be composed of 2 sequences that are design to run parallel to one another and . The screen can be divided in any compositional manner.
* You may use found/sourced footage, but at least half of all used footage must be original.
* Sound: No Music, although you may use found/sourced audio of other kinds to supplement your own sound recordings.
* Final videos should be 30 seconds - 60 seconds in length. Upload...

Many of these assignments have been borrowed and/or adapted from the great Deke Weaver