Sunday, 27 December 2009

The Futures Orange : Ian Anderson Workshop

I was very flattered (although i have the feeling she asked me because I was her only friend who wasn't already taking part) to be Katrina Curries 'creative friend' for the Ian Anderson workshop. I said yes mostly because I wanted to start taking part in more studio activities than i had been already and I am slowly being persuaded that doing my work cooped up in my bedroom is not always the most productive way of doing things. So in an effort to get out of my room I agreed and so found myself in the studio at 9am (a task in itself) on a Thursday morning. I was looking forward to working with Kat but unfortunately we were split into groups of 4-5 according to the first letter of our names. This was to force up to work with people we might not usually work with. From a creative view I can see that seeing the way other people think aside to you and your friends is a good thing, but from a schoolyard point of view 'its always more fun when you get to play with your friends'.

Ian Anderson then gave us the brief : ‘In the future the world is run by one powerful thing/ one corporation. Its up to us how they run the world whether it is good or evil. Situations conspired that in this future each colour is owned by a different company. Somebody at the world government has decided they need to re-brand across the world with new signs and uniforms etc. Because of language barriers the best form of communication is by colour coding. Of course this means that the company who’s colour is chosen will be quid’s in as their colour will be used on everything across the world. Each company is desperate to win the contract and each team represents a company. Present a fool proof but entertaining pitch as to why your colour should be used.’

Our team were given the colour Orange. ‘Oh dear’ We had landed one of the hardest colours. How are you supposed to persuade a room of people that orange is the best colour when you don’t feel too friendly towards it yourself? We decided to start considering the emotions linked to the colour orange, such as energy, warmth and good health. I thought this was a good place to start and after going through some of these factors I did start to believe in our colour. Next we looked at the things in our world we associate with orange like high visibility jackets and juicy fruit. However, after a chat with Ian we started to think a little more outside the box. Ian reminded us that this was the future and we could make up the situation with which the world was currently in to perhaps help our argument. Although he reminded us that if we were going to make up a story it had to be believable and we had to be able to answer questions succinctly and with confidence so as to convince our audience.

Our next approach was to make up a humorous story, which was completely untrue but which could be believed. I’m not sure how we landed on this idea but between the four of us we made up the story that in this future all our skin was orange due to eating too many carrots. This was after the hit of global warming the government had decided to ban all artificial lighting leaving it impossibly dark at night time. Scientists had suggested that everyone in the world eat at least five carrots a day to improve their night vision but with the unfortunate side effect that everyone was now a slight shade of orange (strangely enough we actually investigated this and found the something in carrots does actually improve your eye sight and if you eat too many of them you will actually turn orange). This meant that orange was a colour with which we were very familiar and comfortable with and which united everyone in the world.

Our argument suggested three different ideas; the first suggested that the left over peal from the 5 carrots everyone eats a day could be crushed up and scientifically mixed to be turned into a bright orange paint to be used for the signs. This would be recyclable and an efficient way of disposing with all the carrot waste. The second idea mentioned the colour being of high visibility in the dark world that we now live in. The third idea suggested that emotionally the colour would bring a feeling of energy and joy to the world’s inhabitants, which is much needed in the darkness.
Compared to the other teams presentations we were the only team who thought openly and outside the box. Everyone else took quite a formal approach to the topic. We were the only team that made up a story. However, because we spent so much time trying to come up with a funny story for our presentation we didn’t actually have time to practice and so fell short in our delivery. I think the carrots and watsits we handed out went down well though.

This was very much a team effort. I couldn’t say whether anyone contributed more or not. Although we lost Ian Anderson said that as a group we all had good creative minds and it was good that we took a totally different approach to all the other teams. It was mostly about thinking outside the box and having fun, which I think we were successful in doing. I am really glad that I took part in this workshop. At first I was worried about the amount of days for my other project work I would miss out on, but I feel that it was worth it. Ian Anderson was an interesting person to meet and I thought it was really interesting to see what he thought about each groups presentations and ideas. Our presentation would defiantly have been received better if we had practiced it before hand instead. I think we sold ourselves short by not practicing it and it didn’t show off our creative ideas as well as they deserved. However, mostly from this workshop I have learned that I definatly still don’t like the colour orange.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Object React

Last week Johnny Hardstaff came into university to do a workshop with us. The workshop brief was to go to the Manchester Museum and pick an object which we then had to 'bring to life'. We were asked to research the artifact and then explore how we could display it in a museum in a way which was interesting and entertaining.

'If the object could speak, how would it speak? How would it visually express itself?'

Choice one: Cast of Foot of Flightless Diving Bird
Not the most interesting object but i think the name of it is great, its just so pathetic you cant help but feel sorry for whatever animal it used to belong to

Choice two: Childrens Wooden Horse Toy
I thought this had potential to be an interesting object to play around with
especially with it being a child's toy.

Chosen Object: Collection of Heads Broken from Vases and Figurines
This is the collection of objects i chose for the brief. I just thought that the idea that someone has gone around collecting these small heads was really funny. Even better though is the expressions on the faces of some of the figures .

Now ive chosen an object i need to quickly research it and then start thinking about how i can really bring it to life. When I first saw it I was instantly reminded of the talking shrunken heads from a computer game i had played (I think its Monkey Island but i cant remember). One option could be to try and animate the heads with recorded projections of them talking, using an actor to play the part. Or another thought is to make the museum visitors try and mimic the expressions of the heads and maybe use some sort of program which can take a picture and import it onto an image of a vase or figurine. These are just initial thoughts though, I will post up my finished reaction for this soon.

Its that time of year

This is a handmade Xmas card i got from my housemate Shauna. I think its such a nice card its worth a post. The design is really pretty and i especially like how the tracing paper layer is sown in the corner.
I never even bother to give out bought Xmas cards never mind take the time to design and make my own. Hats off to Shauna this is my favourate card by far.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

They Build Statues Of Us

I first heard this song on the soundtrack for the awsome film 500 Days of Summer and absolutely loved it. Now i cant stop listening to Reginal Spektors music but the song on repeat is this track. Just to top it off i love the music video that she has made for it. I like that they've used what looks like stop frame to make the different effects of her throwing stuff on the walls and towards the end when she screws up the piano and the wall painting folds into a paper airplane. My favorite bit is when she is in the black and white world. Its only a short bit but I think its just really nicely put together. I mostly like how playful and cute the video is and also different from lots of other generic pop music videos that are around.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Super 8

This is a short video made on super 8mm film. I came across it on a webite that I occasionally follow called I absolutely fell in love with this video the first time I saw it. I think its a mix of the great song choice and cheeky characters as well as the very romantic and hazy style of how its shot. The video is titled 'my brother and my father and I' leaving me to assume that this is old footage of the directors own personal home videos. This appeals to me alot because i have always liked the idea of home videos and always wanted a video camera of my own so i could make some. I never got the video player.
Ive actually never heard for this style of filming but i'm sure I have seen it used before. I really love the look of it though and would love to maybe have a go at making my own. Im not sure this will happen though i hear they're very expencive.