Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Make Your Play

Woa-hu-hoaw... long time no speak.

Now, it has indeed been a while since I last had one of those intense sessions of life evaluation. And you know what? I like that.

Reason why however, whether good or bad to the minds of yourself, is that I've made a neccessary mental cage, where my mind locked and my thoughts are my own. Sometimes my torture chamber, but most of the time my haven, as I can finally make those calm remarks upon myself.
With a Gap Year underway, it truly is an Express Rail to independence, and so it should be. I'm 19 now, and I trace back my years of 'adolescent development' finding the missing blank - me. I tried alot to make the great impression of others, going through the school years in battle, fighting over what personality should rule me:

The, "I'm ___ ________ , and what?"

Or the, "Your own, personal Jesus."

And in the end, I realised that a great sense of independence was lost, with a dollop of drama on top. Following to what sounded best to the rest, rather than sprinting down my own alley of ambition.
Right now, I feel confident. I feel stronger, faster, wiser, but most importantly, human. I liked by the stone-cold robotic for the benefit of the "Mess with him, you're dead" attitude everyone got, but my, oh my, did it leave me feeling emotionally troubled.
Hell, I was! But good thing now I can look at that old self and say:

"Don't you worry my young.. You've travelled far and hard, walked the line and sailed that ship, and you're 3 years closer to that island, that cloud, that castle. And I'm gonna take your weight for a while, and keep running hard until we meet again, just to say I'm proud, and it's been an honour to be your future."

I guess what I'm tying to say, is that this is a time for change. For all. To some degree, to some dramatic. But just remember, all that horror, and pain, and misery, that you carry at the back of your head will be nothing by a piece of ice, a piece of ice to your statue. And since it's already melting; why not make the water drip sweet instead?
This is a time to make yourself proud, and sometimes you may need to be a tad selfish to leap that dark, empty hole; but aslong as you haven't dropped anyone down there, you can't go wrong.

It's wise to be selfish with responsibility; that's independence.
It's sad to be selfish at other's expense; that's self-centered.
To sway blame on the world to excuse yourself; that's foolish.

Get on with whatever you wanted to do, and make it your own. Take the reigns and charge your horses to glory to claim the prize, but share your pride with them. As for if they didn't run for you, you'd still be in the barn.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

A Truce of True Words

"I'm sorry, my King, but it seems I must leave. My grace has fallen and I must travel on my path to seek it. I plan on a return but the paths are twisted and I do not know how much time will pass. My liege, I give you my dagger, for while I'm away I need someone to protect my back. You are the only one I trust with that. With my life."

These words are what matter most to me right now in life. Words have never pierced me so strong before. Origional or not, the words' love burnt to the deepest of my heart, scarred in blood and locked with warmth; these are words that I shall never forget, as they're more a part of me than any hair, any freckle, any scar, and any bone. A tattoo to my heart; an ink to my tear.
No Shakespeare play, nor no nightmare, will have me so embraced in both romance and fear. I stand here, breaching tears, swearing ever no harder that the night with my friend, together on a street step, had me more overthrown than any fairy tale, any poem, any song, or any love story; and that if Romeo and Juliet were to have seen us, they two would have gripped tight in sweet sorrow.

"I can wait for you, My Queen. As I hold the words of thy lover and friend, to the darkest part of my heart, that you will come running back to one's Kingdom - Our Kingdom. Our castle, land, sea and sky. For now I promise you trust, trust in that you will fly, high or low, and soar until you find your lost crown. I will still be holding one's dagger. I'll still be holding your heart. I can wait for you, My Queen."

Sunday, 26 April 2009

They Call Me Beast

And here's why, baby...
...in the intellectual sense. Cor, talk about frustrated!

A Level Graphic Design : Exam Project : Evaluation

This examination project began with the decision upon brief question ‘Fictional Film Character’, with the interest of being able to participate and contribute to the industry of creative design within film and advertisement. Working directly from the brief proved difficult, as my exact understanding of how I could interpret and respond through a work path was vague. I found that trying to work by the brief’s exact words was uncomfortable and doubting in producing a strong body of work. Therefore, I analysed the question’s description, and broke it down to it’s most fundamental elements: Fiction, Film, and Characters. From this I made observation of what methods have been used to combine the three successfully, looking at promotional film material like posters, websites, and DVD content. Studying there designs, it came apparent (just like the brief’s description stated) that it is the characters/subject/objects in a film that promote it best, and the way in which audiences can recognize and com accustomed to specific/particular fragments of a motion picture. I came across the Watchmen website, which is dedicated to the movie, including trailers, images, character profiles, and additional exclusive information - all things that make the audience feel like they know they film a little better, like they are further in touch with it; a part of it even. Being a Watchmen fan, I couldn’t help but take notice and study the visual aspects of both the website and the film (which I had watched not 2 weeks before the project’s start), and comparing them to the likes of the 1980’s comics and graphic novels. I was interested in the shift and transaction of character representations between the paper and screen works, as the characters of the story were true icons in their own right - but this is 20 years ago, so wondered about how they will be depicted, portrayed and embodied.

From this, it was clear that my heart and mind lied in the exploration of Watchmen and it’s aesthetic values, with two eras over 20 years about, hoping to be able to improve my understanding of these things:
- The historic development of illustration and imaging within the realms of comics and films
- The importance and effectiveness of both the graphic novel and film’s visually constructed forms
- The ways in which anyone can create the jump/development of communication within the chosen area

I set myself brief, adapted to my chosen subject, which still compliments the Exam question’s information. I chose to try and create my own material for Watchman, to attempt and bridge the gap between the book and film - a pre-movie/post-novel design style. This would be a webpage design, one which brings the two audiences together, a form of equilibrium for fans of both the literal and cinematic kinds.

My journey begun with a brief look into promotional material to help promote a film, all in the website scene. Websites that were effective in creating anticipation and awareness for all to follow, a form of tease to the eyes of film-goers and the general public. My first ever find was the campaign-associated I Believe In Harvey Dent, a website dedicated to the character, with a cynical twist. Illustration and typography work of a sinister nature covered parts of the pages, where a seemingly legitimate profile on Batman character Harvey Dent has been created, tying in to the (at the time) upcoming movie The Dark Knight, where Dent runs as leader for Gotham City. All of the unfit, over laying scribbles of “HA” and smiley faces are constructed to have been in the style of classic Batman villain The Joker, creating ultimate suspense and attention from audiences as mystery lied within the website’s connection with the film. The fact that it was a more vintage style of illustration work motivated me to work in similar lines with my dedication to Watchmen, and bring visuals of the past to the modern world and study it’s effectiveness in complimenting the film (of course, it’s the comic that started it all, so the film must follow the story’s initial themes and elements, both in narrative and cinematography).

I began with making a brief study of the film’s visuals, from both movie trailers and the website’s promotional material. From here, I then made an intense and thorough observation of the two decade old graphic novel, and how the imaging and character depiction has developed/change for a more cinematic-appeal era; the jump from then to now. My practical work begun with taking particular pictures and scenes from the book, and investigate the variation and range of modification the illustrations could take via Photoshop (a tool which is highly credited for it’s power in the film industry for CGI and Special Effects).

My fixed intention was to try and bring the comic illustrations to a more appealing fashion for a more modern time - drag it up through the years and see how well it could fit in the pool of comics and animation from the later years of 1990 onwards. After various styles, experimenting with the power of colour and lighting (two key things in the comic book world, ultimate tools in character association), I came to the conclusion that in order to create mystery towards such a recognizable graphic work, it would be that the removal of colour would encourage the hidden identities of the characters - working in an exact opposite manner to how the makers of the Watchmen movie, website and even the book’s illustrator Dave Gibbons and colourist John Higgins, who have all used colour to their advantage in making each character as visually iconic and memorable as possible. Working in contrast to this, I favoured the likes of Film Noir, with the conventional use of silhouettes, darkness and greyscale/black & white nature to emphasize mystery within stories of crime investigations, murders and other dark/tragic events - all things that are in the Watchmen story, the focus drive even.

After much work on reviving the illustrations, I applied the use of image fragmentation and distortion to play with the clarity of characters and scenes, as it was in my best interest to only tease the viewer, the give away the story. This was all part of the exploration and discovering in ‘how much is too much’ in the world of hysteria in revival advertising.

Taking all of this into great consideration, and collecting all my pieces of work together, I then moved onto the designing of what my final piece was intended to be from the start: A teaser-page that does not show any answers or immediate information, leaving audiences dazed, questioned and unfulfilled - they are the ones who are wanting more from me, even without certainty to what they have initially found and viewed.

In order to keep in both reference and relation to the actual/official Watchmen website, it was needed for there to be colour, but of course this first came as a confliction with the greyscale illustration work, and so options were made and considered, to prevent there being a problem with the combination of a Film Noir/comic illustration hybrid and a colour coded webpage. Reflecting back on the beginning of the project, I was reminded and assured that there is a colour code to Watchmen, which isn’t exactly unique. With Edward Blake’s smiley face badge as (if there is one) an iconic figure, character and symbol to the story, it is the yellow and black combination that has been repetitively used in picture scenes, the comic and film’s title typography, and even characters Sally and Laurie Jupiter, also know as Silk Spectre’s I and II. And with this, it was made certain that if anything, this was the colour code, and one that would not give away the work like a red and yellow ‘S’ would for Superman (this is where the research points of Superman: The Complete History and Frank Miller’s Sin City books The Hard Goodbye and Hell And Back came I into play, studying their generic uses and independent rules of colour association) . I wanted to make sure that there was no (seemingly) significant jump from my webpage design (speaking in the sense that mine is intended to have existed first, to be deleted and followed by the official website later on and closer to the release of other promotional material such as posters and movie trailers) and the real website, so I made great observations on the existing designs, with professional experimentation on the elements of layout; and from here I worked closer towards my design.

The piece itself is intended to be in the style of a mysterious, slightly dark setting, with a fairly intruding feel, like the viewers are peeving in on something, with that ‘something’ being a pile of fragmented pieces of the historic comic, collected together like how a classic detective would pile up evidence and clues in a case or study (which is what both the project and Watchmen is - the revealing of events, all noted in drive-character Rorschach’s journal). The layered style was heavily influenced by www.IBelieveInHarveyDent.com’s overlaying illustration work as it hides particular words and important parts to Harvey Dent’s campaign in Gotham City, to help oppose the likes of The Joker. And so by having the collected and worked images piled on top of each other, with dimmed and slightly sleazy lighting making a dirty shine on some of the cuttings, it boarders impossible for audiences to see all and make definite of what lies on the page, bordered and held back (in reference to the context of Watchmen’s long sitting as a book alone, urged to have come closer to life through cinematic medium) by the same bold yellow strip that is used in the actual website.

Both my final piece and entire project are intense, progressive and coherent. If there were any future intentions, it would be to further expand the project, working on a greater time scale and more web designs, to fulfil my thought of having multiple WebPages that arrive and replace each other time; so just like what I done here with filling the gap between the comic and film, I would make developed designs to help smoothen the transaction made between my final piece design here and the website, gradually revealing more Watchmen material for further audience tease, greater awareness and stronger anticipation.


Final Piece goes here WeHey! http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmo-ydargo/3471150948/in/photostream/

Now have a good day people, 'cause mine's bangin'! The Magical Legend of the Leprachauns, film!

Hope you like BANGIN'! too.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Evaluate Everyone, Appreciate All

This is an evaluation for the short film Double Vision, from the AntiCount crew (That's JMOG and JM to you). Youtube accessability will be soon, within the year... pssht!

Andddd read.

"The entire production of this short film was thoroughly enjoyable. From the narrative structure to the cinematography, the experience of bringing a script to life has been extremely rewarding and valuable, as my understanding of film production has been further tested and further broadened. There were no major setbacks throughout, thanks to regular discussions on the film’s planning, in particular the shooting day’s schedule. The predominant intention with the filming was to shoot in order of appearance, in order to hold and show an authentic understanding of time, both in the film and it’s making. With this, shooting began at dawn and went on throughout until the afternoon, in attempt to respect and stick to reality as much as possible. Being influenced by personal experiences, my goal was to ensure that although digital editing and flash cinematography was the definitive technique, the story and message did not come across to audiences in a fictional manner, and so repetitive reflections on the work helped stay on track with effectively conveying a true yet peculiar issue. This is what governed the careful use of editing, as there was forever a desire to keep the film’s message and methods simple, making it as accessible and as understanding to viewers as possible. Of course, I wanted to show my fascination with visual irregularities like Forth Nerve Palsy and how they can affect with the mind, causing false perceptions (similar to hallucinations), which in turn resulted in the seemingly strange, but (more importantly) surreal use of various shots being layered, mixed and integrated, allowing viewers to experience the slightly confusing shots of inconclusive and non-self-explanatory visions - a realistic reflection of people who experience these daunting and troubling happenings.
The storyboard was never fixed, only the beginning and ending shots. However, the end result is not far off at all of the initial shot ideas, with only a variety of shot lengths and angles playing to any change. It could be said that there was a lack of professionalism due to the lack of equipment (only having a camera at hand), but this actually played to both mine and the editor’s advantage in creating a slightly disorientating view, with the juxtaposition of layered shots help defining the unclear nature of my previous visual default on screen. Difficulties did lie within shooting though, predominantly with the location’s public use. Pedestrians and car drivers were regularly passing by, which (when shooting) diverted attention, creating distraction, and killing the scenes’ atmosphere. This meant that persistent retakes were required in order to get shots that both excluded any visual/physical obstructions, unwanted sounds too.
This issue of public use caused great concern and difficulty for the beginning and ending shots, as there was no control of road traffic, proving very small time slots to successfully execute the driving shots. The lack of a car proved a great setback also, but this was countered with some camera work on a skateboard, with retakes to try and get the straightest boom shots, ultimately passing off the realistic views of cars. All acting participants were brilliant, as little dialogue was needed, only enough to establish the potential nature and reasoning of the central character’s condition (after all, this is about sight and perception. Sound here is more of a secondary tool to literally inform audiences, simplifying the film’s aesthetic complexities so that narrative remains clear and coherent).
The final piece pleased me truly, with there being no play with the script needed to have the film an intriguing experience for both myself and my audience. It depicts my visions and experiences with cinematic appeal, conveying perceptual understanding and social consequences."


Reflection on the world? Sure.

Monday 6th - Building. Manual Labour. Ace. Shoveled and lugged four tons of concrete and sand from the truck to the back garden of a house still in progress. Owners were architects, and they had some style. But for Plumstead, haha, BEAUTY! Garden work too, fence setting and patio making. Payed well for a day's workout and per-lenty of drinks and sausage rolls. Ace.

Can't remember much else... woops.
Tell much (some) more of the Easter activity soon.

15 hour Graphics exam, beginning in 12 hours...


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Sleep Is All She Wanted

She Wanted, She Wanted, She Wanted.

She Got What She Wanted
She Get What She Deserved
Laid To Rest,
The Girl That Did Not Know

Friday, 3 April 2009

Without Regret - Aims, Plans, Accomplishments

- Double Vision: Cinematic Aims

Double Vision is a fiction-based surrealist piece, inspired and in reflection to a past factual personal experience of Forth Nerve Palsy. The film is fixed around the conventions and understandings of perception, with eye sight playing as the key issue, allowing audiences to engage and increase the awareness of serious, everyday visual-recognition disabilities/distractions like hallucinations and alternate sight, where the mind’s justification of reality and imagination can be left unresolved. The film piece is targeted for audiences of all ages, with both comic and serious attitudes made accessible to a variety of ages. However, this is a morally-influenced story, where in which any who suffer from some sort of sight blemish can recognize the film’s nature, with the use of 1st person views and emotionally engaged acting playing as a pair of shoes for the unaware to step into. An aspect of campaigning lies here too, so presentable purposes such as adverts or documentaries could compliment the video, and vice versa.

The film’s predominant use of image and audio layering is in direct response to avant garde short Outer Space (Peter Tscherkassky, 1999), which includes the most aesthetically perfected use of handwork. With celluloid as the key subject material, well-tamed combinations of multiple film sheets convey the exploration of “theories of subjectivity, memory and perception, as well as the aesthetic limits of the cinematographic image. Tscherkassky sculpts with time and space, rhythms and arrhythmia in a way that feels like an entirely new film space, a new language altogether” (Rhys Graham – Senses of Cinema, 2001). The way in which the visual juxtapositions of various material/imagery cause a sense of complimentary collaboration between seemingly incompatible narratives and scenes, ultimately creating a rare sight surreal-realistic living. Visuals explode into multiple directions, often simultaneously from start to finish.

The character’s possessed nature is reflected in the sheer physicality of violent flashing and image shaking, accompanied by rather dated horror-styled, optical soundtrack, overlaying the segments of silent diegetics. This all together creates a story portraying the sinister and unsettling nature of an individual lost between the realms of the natural and supernatural, demonstrated through a combination of performance art and cinematography. Micro elements like lighting and camera angles from Outer Space will be incorporated, but with a fairytale twist aspect added also. This accompanied by a small cast will help create the personally difficult and isolated nature that has been conveyed through not only Outer Space’s character, but my upbringing of distorted vision, which I hope audiences will be able to acknowledge through my short film.

Ultimately, my intention with Double Vision is to recapture, almost mimic (just like what Peter Tscherkassky done, working from Sidney J. Furie’s The Entity [1981]) Tscherkassky’s creation, but adapt it to a more modern, socially-recognized fashion. Working with both the interior and exterior settings of my house, I will be creating a contextual equilibrium between the contrasting time settings of Outer Space and Double Vision.


Much else?

Breaking records, losing trust at the same time.
Quad Curls: 70kg, 30r
Bench Press: 90kg, 20r
Chin-ups: (And I way...) 72kg, 27r
Tri-dips: " " ", 30r

Proud. But honestly intrigued, almost scared. I've pretty much doubled everything I could do not two weeks ago
- Courtesy of BKFusions...!?!
Wednesday: ICA Intro special. A public crit with fellow art students from Welling ('A Specialist Arts College', pshhht!). Soon as I get the photos and video records from the institute, I'll show you all!
Term Over
Thank Youuu
Oh, and it is now proven that my fellow bloggers are pure Singstar sillies. Dea - ry - me.

Friday, 27 March 2009

5 Days, 500 Nights

- That's what it feels like trying to sleep now. Silent, dead, but splintering.

Anywho, here's the week:

- Monday:
Look over Si and Bobbie's video piece
Take Si's Graphic chair, pick her up too (with some recalls of Bobbie's mother, dearest)
Shed refurbishment - Personalised Organized Style
Modelling - Because shed floors are the way-to-go if you want a stoned back, bloody torso too.
Fragmented photography - Payback

- Tuesday:
History of Art - Keep the smart thoughts to yourself, man
A-Level Drama - Amazing

- Wednesday:
Late appearance to V_ ... Andee C's. "Joe, don't bother. You'd make a shit actor."
Gym - New record: Quad Curls - 70kg, 22r.

- Thursday:
Slow start...
The Piano, close study, musical influental
Gym - Relatively pointless. Made certain to lay off, courtesy of left-pec'-defeat.
Filming - Don't be a fool, be a clown. Becky's cool, and that's without the Woopass she gave Jell's.

- Friday/Today:
Back and forth between School and 'home', neither place I have much pleasure for.
King's LSFF - Shortbus (Really good, surprisingly. Worth a re-view, and a review - Neither happening soon, suckers.)
Newly Discovered Short Film/Motion Comic Phenominon - John O'Grady, Joe Murphy, and Matthew Hammond bring you - DEEE!

- Told you I'd do it.