Skateboarding Research

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I used Google Scholar to research, as it is a more academic research tool than plain google or bing; therefore I am able to find more relevant information online, as it filters out a lot of non relevant and non academic information.

We were tasked with creating a mind map with the general knowledge we, in our groups, had about skateboarding without doing any exterior research. I was surprised as to how much information we were able to conjure up once we all put our minds to it. We realised that skateboarding isn’t just the sport but a major influence on culture in Film, Print, TV, Gaming and even the Olympics.

mind-map

Skateboarding’s influence of fashion

“Look at any streetwear brand or personality today. Whether they picked up on 5-panel hats, camo-print pants, or fly sneakers, there’s a good chance their style was influenced by East Coast skaters of the ‘90s and early 2000s.” (Welty, 2013)

The culture of skateboarding in the 90s was a major influence on the streetwear fashion scene. An early adopting brand like Supreme opened it’s doors in New York City 1994; over the next 20 years Supreme would keep to it’s traditional values and not sell out to non-skating, non-streetwear audiences like other brands have; for instance Vans and DC.

These skate fashion brands have grown exponentially since their inception with Vans posting annual sales figures of over $2 billion. (Connelly, 2015)

Influence on music

Perhaps the most famous piece of music featuring skateboarding culture is Avril Lavigne’s “sk8er boi”peaking at number 8 on the UK charts and 10 on the US top 100 (Official Charts, 2017). The genres of pop punk and punk rock heavily featured skateboarding in both their lyrics and music videos.

Some examples of skateboarding in music videos are:

Iconic 90’s pop punk/ punk rock band Sum 41 heavily feature skateboarding in this music video and the majority of the location of the video is set in a skate park.

Another example is Lupe Fiasco’s Kick Push which follows the story of a young boy and his love of skateboarding.

The origin of skateboarding

The original invention of the skateboard is widely debated; however it’s relatively commonly accepted that surfers on the west coast originally concocted the idea. The Skateboarding Magazine says “Surfers in California get the bright idea to surf concrete and invent Skateboarding. The origin of the first skateboard has never been proven as it seems to have been the spontaneous invention of multiple people. Wooden boards with roller skate wheels slapped on the bottom where the makings of the original boards”

Here is an infographic of the evolution of skateboards:

evolution-of-the-skateboard-infographic

http://www.bestinfographics.co/evolution-of-the-skateboard-deck-infographic/

http://www.skateboardingmagazine.com/the-evolution-of-skateboarding-a-history-from-sidewalk-surfing-to-superstardom/

http://uk.complex.com/style/2013/02/how-east-coast-skateboarding-influenced-streetwear/

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/vans-652130-brand-brands.html

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/70881/lavignes-sk8ter-boi-is-big-screen-bound

http://www.officialcharts.com/search/singles/sk8er%20boi/

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Term 2 Week 5

Experimental Lightning

For this experimentation task I wanted to look into how the emotion in a scene can be altered via what type of gels used when lighting a shot. I decided that i’d shoot the same shot multiple times and use different gels over the ARRI lights and see if there was a difference in the emotion portrayed just via changing what colour of lighting was present.

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Red
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Dark Blue
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Light Pink
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Amber
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Light Blue

I think this experiment went very well. The goal of this task was to try and show how emotion could be changed in a shot just via the colour of the lighting and I think I achieved that. The emotions trying to be portrayed in this experiment are as follows:

Red – In this shot I was trying to create a feeling of anger and rage. The shadows cast from his hands in this photo cover his facial features adding an air of mystery.

red

(Garland, 2015)

I found inspiration to use the red lighting from the film Ex Machina(2015). Without the strong use of red lighting in this shot the anger and rage emotions wouldn’t have had as deep of an impact.

Dark Blue – This photo has a feeling of damp and coldness. I has originally intended for a lighter blue colour, and for the photo to have a different kind of meaning, however I still like how the colour came out. I think I put too many layers of blue gel over the Arri light. I’ll now know in future to double check the gels i’m using to make sure the colour is correct.

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(Nolan, 2008)

I found this still from The Dark Knight(2008) very interesting and inspirational. The blue tint to the entire city is giving the effect of a cold and unhappy place. Which is precisely the crime riddled city that Gotham is; therefore the lighting really adds to the shot.

Light Pink – I wanted this shot to have a romantic feel to it. I think I’ve achieved this relatively well, however I think the pink could have been a little deeper and darker, as it is a little too light to garner the effect I wanted to produce.

Amber – This is my favorite shot from this experimentation. It reminds me of a strong early morning sunrise and I think the coloring works really well. I was actually surprised at how realistic the lighting looks for the shot and didn’t expect it to come out as well as it did. I found a large sheet of amber gel and folded it multiple times to get the darkness right.

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(Mendes, 2012)

The silhouette created by the amber lighting in this shot gives off an ambiguity to who the character is.  The glowing amber light gives an effect of the growing danger about to occur in the following scenes.  The amber light signifies more of a warning over a red light that signifies ongoing danger or fear.

Light Blue – For this shot I used a very light blue gel to try and have a slight blue tint in the photo. When looking at the photo in full screen it is there, however I think it may have been a little too bright as it does look like quite a natural light instead of blue.

Here is a set photo of me working on the Arri lights to attach the correct gels for each experimentation shot. I made sure to use gloves when handling the light, as the barn doors can get especially hot and could burn my skin without protection.

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Term 2 Week 5

Term 2 Week 4

Fear

In this task I will be looking at how fear is portrayed in scenes from a multitude of movies. The Cambridge Dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotion or thought that you have when you are frightened or worried by something dangerous, painful, or bad that is happening or might happen”. I thought about looking into horror movies as that would be the most obvious place to find dear in a movie, but I more wanted to investigate characters that instil fear in non horror movies. Being one of my favourite films of the past few years J.K. Simmons’ “Terence Fletcher” in the movie Whiplash(2014) stood out to me as a character who inflicted a lot of fear onto the main character Andrew.

I’m looking into Cinematography and so I wanted to see how the shot types, framing and composition effects the theme of fear in the scene.

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The framing of Fletcher looking down on Andrew represents his position of power over him.

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The composition of this shot showing Fletcher looking directly at Andrew and Andrew not being able to look at Fletcher shows that he is scared of his teacher and that he is inflicting fear onto him.

The close proximity of Fletcher to Andrew with Fletcher almost shouting into Andrew’s ear raises the level of intensity in the scene, as Fletcher has no regard as to Andrew’s personal space and feelings it’s clear from this point that Fletcher is a different kind of teacher.

The colour palette for this scene has a lot of strong orange and red colours included in it. Red and deep oranges often represent passion and violence. Both of these emotions are clearly represented in this scene through Fletcher’s brutal teaching style and technique to try and filter out the weak students and find the truly talented musicians who can withstand his torment.

At the beginning of this scene the shots can be seen with quite high apertures; being able to see the walls behind Fletcher and other members of the band behind Andrew. However as soon as Fletcher begins his torment of Andrew and is in close proximity suddenly the director has chosen to use a very low depth of field to make us focus on the emotions and performances of the actors to up the intensity. The moment Fletcher walks away from him the depth of field reverts to encompassing the whole room.

Artificial Intelligence

Another form of fear is the fear of artificial intelligence. Common themes of artificial intelligence and whether it can be created, if AI stay loyal to it’s creator and  if AI can be trusted. The film I thought i’d research into is Ex Machina(2015), as I thought it was an excellent portrayal of the relationship between a human and an AI and the fear of what the AI could become.

Stephen Hawking once said “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race” (Hawking, 2014). The director of Ex Machina, “Alex Garland”, talks of how the general population don’t understand the technology behind most of the devices we use today and we don’t know how they work. This is links directly to the invention of AI and how trustworthy it could be around people.

I’ll be looking at the cinematography in this scene from the film between 0:05-1:00. What particularly interests me in this scene is the colouring used; deep red lights are used as the pair of characters engage in powerful conversation after the character of Nathan believe’s that he has figured out his plan to break out the AI, however as the scene continues it comes to light the plan has already taken place and Caleb has duped him.

Throughout the scene the camera is positioned so that Caleb not once looks at Nathan and Nathan is always positioned behind him. Much like in Whiplash where Fletcher towers over Andrew in this scene it’s clear Caleb is shown to have power over Nathan by his positioning.

Research – Unrequited Love

For my practical experiment I want to create some shots that give the feeling of unrequited love. I’ve looked at films such as 500 Days of  Summer(2009), Forrest Gump(1994) and Love Actually(2003) and am going to try and create some shots that have a similar feeling and tone to what i have seen from my research.

These are the shots i took:

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This shot represents the longing of the male character for the female watching her from afar.

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This shot shows the male character finally getting what he wants, but also contrasting that shows the female not looking as happy in the situation; as it’s clear the emotion is not reciprocal.

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Finally this shot shows the female character meeting someone knew and the male still longing for her can’t let her go and so watches her.

Term 2 Week 4

Research – Cinematography

I will be looking into Cinematography; what the job role is and what effect it has on a film.

I thought I’d begin by looking into one of my favourite DPs Wally Pfister. Commonly known for collaborating on almost all of Christopher Nolan’s films. In 2011 he won an oscar for Best Cinematography for the film Inception(2010). He has his own style of giving the effect of natural lighting

http://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/wally-pfister-dark-knight/

http://www.avclub.com/article/whats-it-be-second-unit-director-hollywood-blockbu-220582

Research – Cinematography

Personality test

This is a personality test that I conducted which asks you questions and then predicts what kind of personality traits you have. I did find that the conclusions the test came to about me were very accurate in some places, however I found that a couple of my answers seemed to change a lot about my results. For instance I answered a question about being truthful over caring about peoples feelings in an argument; in which I strongly agreed about the truth and that answer alone seems to have shaped the majority of my results.

Personality type: “The Debater” (ENTP-T)
Individual traits: Extraverted – 58%, Intuitive – 71%, Thinking – 60%, Prospecting – 81%, Turbulent – 51%.
Role: Analyst
Strategy: Social Engagement

Link to your profile: https://www.16personalities.com/profiles/5874bb9f9b7cf

When George did the personality test on me it got quite different results. Whereas I got “The Debater” George got “The Logician”. After reading the results of “The Logician” I think it better suits me than “The Debater”. This is interesting to me, as potentially George doesn’t know as much about me and so got a different result, or he sees me for what I really am where I wasn’t being truly honest with myself.

Personality type: “The Logician” (INTP-T)
Individual traits: Introverted – 54%, Intuitive – 59%, Thinking – 78%, Prospecting – 83%, Turbulent – 58%.
Role: Analyst
Strategy: Constant Improvement

Link to your profile: https://www.16personalities.com/profiles/5874eb8eb87a9

 

 

 

 

Personality test

Interview task

I found this work particularly interesting, as I felt it was more centered around journalism. We were tasked with practicing how to conduct a proper interview with more in depth and open questions rather than closed ones.

I pre-planned some open ended questions about things I knew George was broadly interested in. Including questions:

What brands are you wearing today?

  • Why are you wearing those?
  • What are your opinions on Kanye West?
  • Do you like his music?

Do you like to skate?

  • Did anyone get you in to skating?
  • When did you start?
  • Can you do any tricks?

I only had 2 or 3 relatively broad questions to ask George, but I then expanded on his answers and got some more in depth information about the subject at hand.

 

Interview task

Transformation project

Film:

The task for this project was to take an existing piece of media and alter or transform it in a way to make it our own piece of work. I started by looking at my 2 case studies on Deep end(1970) and The Hurt Locker(2008) to see if there was a scene or some inspiration from here to base the Transform film off of. I remembered a scene in ‘The Hurt Locker’ in which tension is meticulously built for around a minute and a half of a bomb being defused only for the soldier to realise there is 6 more bombs right next to it that he also needs to defuse. Here is the scene:

(Unfortunately there is no clip on YouTube including the first bomb defuse)

I really liked the idea of tension being built only for the realisation that there is so much more to do. I thought about creating a scene with similar themes to this, but of a teenager doing an essay only to realise there is 6 more and still building tension in the same way. This was my original idea, but I wasn’t too sure I liked the idea about writing an essay and I couldn’t think of any other idea without trying to recreate a bomb defusal which would have been very difficult.

I decided to stray away from this idea, as it was my first one and look for other scenes in film where tension was built, as I liked this theme and wanted to keep it.  I first looked at the “Funny Guy” scene from Goodfellas(1990); as seen here:

But after watching this I stumbled across the scene in which Tommy shoots Spider in the film and realised that the set for that scene could be easily recreated in a coffee shop that my family owns. Here is the scene:

I figured that if I could recreate this iconic scene in which Tommy murders Spider out of the blue after Spider finally stands up for himself, but in a girly coffee shop in which the characters were drinking out of tea cups then this would be a suitable enough transformation for my project. I also decided to have a twist in the ending in which Spider dies via a gunshot to him dying from a small pot of jam hitting him and dying. As this fits with the location of the girly coffee shop.

Production

The filming went better than I expected. Due to cancellations I had to find new actors on the day of filming who didn’t know anything about the scene so trying to direct them was difficult, but they picked up what to do quite quickly. Therefore some of the lines were not exactly the same as they were in the original script, as it would have taken too much time to

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Here are some set photos from the day of filming. We had some problems as noted in my daily diary. One example is the Rode Videomic that we were using wouldn’t fit on top of my camera, as the screw was stuck and couldn’t be loosened. As i was short on crew members I ended up having to balance the mic on top of the camera or get an actor who wasn’t in shot to hold the microphone. It was doable and in the end the quality of the audio was good enough for the film after being cleaned up a little in audactiy.

Unfortunately on the day of filming there were no Zoom audio recorders available. If there were I would have attatched the mic to a boom and then synced the audio in post production, however as this wasn’t available I had to improvise on the day and make it work.

Post Production

The editing for this project went quite smoothly. I only had a few issues which were quite easily solveable. For instance in the last 5 seconds the actor i got to hold the microphone accidentally bumped his hand on it. This obviously came through on the track it sounds really unprofessional.

avid-shot-2

I managed to keyframe some of the audio out of that section to make it sound better, however there is a shot where george steps and there is no sound for it, as I wasn’t able to use a soundbite from a different step without it sounding wrong or out of sync and so that problem is still there.

This was the first project in which I used colour correction on my footage. I never fully understood before how much of a difference it can make to the overall look of the footage.

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Looking at the original footage now it looks really desaturated and low contrast, however with some small and quick tweaks the colours and levels look much better. I also made sure I kept the same continuity of colours shot to shot so that every shot still looked the same after colour correction.

These are the levels i used for that shot:

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I needed the sound of a pot of jam smashing into a persons chest, however that’s quite a difficult sound to recreate So i found some archived sounds of glass smashing and a blood splatter. The glass smashing sounded roughly like the small pot smashing, however the blood splatter wasn’t quite right. I put both sounds seperately into audacity and changed the pitch slightly of the blood splat which made it more like the sound I imagined.

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I added some reverb to both sounds so they sounded more natural in the environment of the scene compared to the original which sounded like it was stock audio.audactiy-reverb

I wasn’t too sure what all the settings would do and so I ended up spending about 15 minutes experimenting with all the settings before I found levels that made it sound the most organic to the scene and less artificial.

 

 

This is my finished product; unfortunately due to actors being unavailable on the day of filming I had to cut the number of people in the scene down from 5 to 3. As there were only 3 main parts and the other 2 in the original scene didn’t have any lines it didn’t effect the scene too much, however it would have made the scene more realistic and like the original.

Something I learned whilst doing this project is knowing who to trust and who is reliable to be actors and crew members for future projects. I had actors and crew members cancel on me the day before and even on the day of shooting meaning I had to delay my filming on multiple occasions. I now know for my next project not to rely on these people.

My target audience was people who had seen the film Goodfellas(1990), and the scene that I have created is very similar to the original and so people who have seen Goodfellas(1990) should understand the context behind my recreation of the scene.

Transformation project