Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Idea Development...

So i've started doing some sketches and thumbnails for my ideas, but being the idiot i am, i'm using an A3 sketchbook which makes it kind of hard to scan the images in. Therefore, i'll have to wait for my new camera for christmas to get good quality photos of them to post on my blog. In the meantime, i'm just gonna continue to draw and develop my ideas. I'll possibly bring my sketchbook in on Friday, if Phil's in, just to see what he thinks and if he feels that i'm going in the right direction.

I found this image earlier today and it has made me wonder if i actually need any animals in the forest, or whether the presence of something like fog would give a better effect. I really like this image because i keep expecting something to come from within the fog, possibly some Ringwraiths on horses :P I can't decide whether i like the black at the top and bottom of the image because it seems to be a lot of negative space, but it does centre the attention on the fog which seems to be grouping in the middle of the image. I also feel the three trees in the front make up the foreground, the tertiary trees behind make up the middleground and the fog seems to be in the background. But i can't decide what the focal point of this image is, i can't help but feel it should be the fog, but my eyes are definitely drawn to the trees first, starting from right (the closest tree) to left. I also feel that although it's only fog, there's something very like Close Enconters of the Third Kind in this image, perhaps this was what Phil was talking about when he said to pare my ideas. Really it's only fog and it's a normal image in the woods at night, but there is an unusual sense of eerieness to it, from something that is ordinary.


  1. Online Interim Review 15/12/09

    Evening Ethan,

    I think you're on to something with this image; yes, it's just trees and some fog and an indeterminate light source, and yet it arrests our attention because we're trying to compartmentalise the story here - is it sci-fi, is it gothic horror? We certainly experience a heightened 'filmic' reaction to it; the audience (and not the image) is doing much of the work - we're filling it with meaning, and with significance and with dread. In this sense, you could generate an image which invites multiple interpretations BECAUSE it is pared down. I'd like you to read the 3 Raymond Carver short stories available through the Unit 3 resources on myUCA; Carver's stories are similarly pared down, without exposition and without back-story, leaving the reader to 'rush into the gaps' and try and make sense of it.

    As I said in my previous post, it's time you had a stab at drawing some of your ideas out - or, doing some other students are doing, and using a camera to quickly generate a variety of shots; try it with a chair next to a window - move the camera through a series of positions and distances - and you'll soon find your attributing 'meaning' to them various snaps; you'll soon find how, without huge complication, you're beginning to generate narrative and ambience. Go on Ethan - it's time to get out there and develop through doing.

    Please see following 2 posts for useful info re. approaching your written assignment.

  2. Written assignment Unit 3 Part 1

    Consider carefully the following learning outcomes for your essay and structure your assignment accordingly. You must demonstrate:

    1) Knowledge and understanding of ‘the Uncanny’.

    You should begin your essay by defining ‘the uncanny’ in theoretical terms (i.e. according to Sigmund Freud, Jentsch, and anyone else with a helpful or clear definition). You will be expected to include a quoted source by which to demonstrate your understanding; the essay, ‘The Uncanny’ by Freud is rich in useful observations – so use it; you’ll want to consider the concept of the ‘unheimlich’ and the sorts of motifs/artefacts that create the uncanny experience.

    2) A developed ability to engage in research.

    At this stage of your course, you are expected to research your subject area in order to enrich your discussion and corroborate your analysis. No essay at this stage should be written ‘off the top of your head’ or without a clear research agenda. Research might include a variety of film reviews, artist statements, images, books, critiques and articles. Research requires that you READ and take notes! For instance, if you are looking at Invasion of the Body-Snatchers in relation to the uncanny, first cross-reference lots of reviews/articles about the film. Make a note of any recurrent terms or ideas and when you come across a term you don’t understand or are unfamiliar with – investigate it! Try google searching associated terms together– for instance ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers & uncanny’ – as you may find research material that relates very specifically to your discussion.

    There are no short-cuts to an intelligently written assignment – focused research = successful essays; without research and a body of evidence, your essay is simply ‘chat’ and of no academic significance. Be significant!

    3) The ability to synthesise a range of research applied to arguments.

    Put more simply, this means that once you’ve completed your research and gathered together your key ideas, you are then able to use them to ‘unpack’ your chosen subject; think of your research as a precision tool-kit especially selected by you to ‘dismantle’ your case-study or studies (i.e. the film, image, programme, artwork you’ve chosen to discuss)

    4) The ability to clearly and academically communicate ideas.

    This is all about your writing style and your ‘voice’ – too many of you are writing as if you’re talking, and it’s a habit you need to lose asap in this context. So you must avoid slang and clichés; you’re not on the street or down the pub, you’re in a formal space with formal conventions.

    Avoid the first person; instead of writing ‘I think that Invasion Of The Body-Snatchers is about the fear of conformity’, consider instead ‘It is arguable that Invasion of the Body-Snatchers is about the fear of conformity’.

  3. Written assignment Unit 3 Part 2

    Please don’t ‘narrate’ your own research – for instance ‘I looked on the internet and found this interesting article’ – No! No! No! Your reader doesn’t give a damn about ‘how’ you came by your research – just use it effectively and formally.

    Punctuation – please use it! Try proof-reading your paragraphs out loud – if you’re gasping for breath by the end of them, you’re in serious need of some full-stops, commas and semi-colons. If you’re uncertain how to use them properly please visit http://www.grammarbook.com/english_rules.asp - and that goes for apostrophes too!

    Capitalisation – all film titles, book titles, artist names etc – should be capitalized every time you include them; Invasion of the Body-Snatchers, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover etc… Likewise, when first referring to a film please include director and release date.

    Footnotes are NOT to be used to reference quotes within the body of the essay; use Harvard Method. Footnotes can be used to include additional information external to the main body, but useful for the reader’s broader understanding of the subject area.

    Italicize your quotations!

    Double-space your document!

    If you refer to something visual as part of your argument – you must include a supporting illustration as supporting evidence.

    Finally – PROOF-READ your assignments before submission; I am not an English teacher so don’t want to be forever correcting spelling mistakes, typos or ‘right’ words wrongly substituted by a spellchecker. Make time to polish your written work, as you would your creative project work.

    Good luck!

  4. Also - if you haven't done so already, can you add the CG Arts central blog to your reading list - if you become an author, you can use it post problems and get answers from your classmates on all three years - just post your email as a comment, and Liam in the third year will set you up so you can post.

    Please join & follow http://ucarochester-cgartsandanimation.blogspot.com/

  5. Hi All,

    Go onto MyUCA and check out the class files that would have been for today – Its Merry Christmas fun with Fur!!! Watch the videos and see what you can come up with. I’ll give you a full explanation in the New Year.

    Merry Christmas everybody.