Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Assignment #1b

I give mad props to people who want to do sound design for a career. It's a lot harder than it seems. I could spend hours in front of the computer editing a simple two-minute soundscape and still find ways that I'm not satisfied with it. I can't imagine having to edit sound for an entire feature-length film.

One of the biggest things I learned after  my group messed around for awhile with it for awhile is that you have to layer sounds thickly to make the soundscape sound full enough. If there aren't enough sounds, the entire thing falls flat and seems bare. The more complicated and intricate that sound design, the more pleasing it is to the ear. It was difficult to weave so many sounds together in a way that didn't sound erratic.

I like how all of the different soundscapes were completely open for interpretation. There was no "right" or "wrong", since they were all supposed to be devoid of narrative structure. Some of them still seemed like they followed a linear path like a narrative, but nothing was concrete. It was interesting to hear everyone's opinions of what they heard.  Most of the time people had similar thoughts, but other times I was surprised by how someone's interpretation differed from mine completely.

My group spread out our work on the project over the course of two weeks; I think we met four times total. In the end, being able to hear our soundscape with fresh ears every time we met really worked out in our favor. After sitting in front of the computer for awhile, listening to the same ten seconds of sound over and over again started to make us stir crazy. All the sounds began to blend together and our ears almost went numb. Taking a break helped us out in the end.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Week 1 Reading Responses

What is an Experimental Film?
by Fred Camper

Camper lists six different qualities (not qualifications) of experimental films. I think one of the most important points he mentions is the first one, that experimental films are made by one singular person or small group of people on a very small budget. I think a lot of times, filmmakers get caught up in the giant Hollywood blockbuster budgets we so frequently see, and we begin to think that the only way to create a great film is with a multi-million dollar budget. Experimental film obliterates that notion. It celebrates very personal and emotional connections and obliterates the notion that film needs to make a large profit to be considered a "good" film. Personally, I sometimes forget that the amount of money you make does not dictate the quality of your work.

Amateur vs. Professional
by Maya Deren

In this very brief document, Deren negates the myth that "amateur" filmmaking is something to be ashamed of or looked down upon. Instead, she celebrates the freedom that amateur filmmakers have - they are not bound to the same economic deadlines or conventions of mainstream Hollywood. In fact, the smaller the budget and crew in a film, the more freedom you can enjoy. Amateur filmmakers can explore vast possibilities in their films because they do not have to shoulder the burdens of Hollywood. This is a glorious thing; this type of freedom allows for more ingenuity and groundbreaking creativity. Instead of allowing small budgets and a small crew confine you, Deren encourages filmmakers to use the opportunity to break barriers and explore.

Artist Bio

My name is Natalie and I'm a senior here at UNCW, and I don't feel entirely prepared to graduate in the spring (like at all). I'm an aspiring screenwriter, so I am always very interested in the narrative aspect of film. I find myself focusing more on the storyline in a film rather than the technical aspects. I also absolutely love characters. There are infinite possibilities for interesting characters; I find myself obsessing over the characters and the storyline, almost to the point of overthinking. Complex and compelling characters can instantly brighten any film. Because I'm so focused on narrative film, I thought I would challenge myself by taking this experimental film class where I won't have that narrative element.

We'll see how it goes! 

This is me after graduating from the Disney College Program last fall. It was one of the best experiences I've ever had!