Monthly Archives: October 2008

Creating Unity: Common Characteristics of the Portrait Projects:

Characteristics common to all projects:
60 seconds duration. Shoot at least 10-15 minutes of usable video. 3 takes for each shot. Choose the best take. Plus100 digital stills as a sequence or series (or a number of such).
Video starts in 5 seconds of black and ends in 5 seconds of black (inclusive)
In order to maintain graphic consistency between projects all transitions will be over black.
That is; no fades to white.
You will record a voiceover track. The voice does not need to be present throughout the whole portrait. There could possibly be 2 (or more simultaneous) speaking voices using different diction, possibly representing, the public formal self, the casual unguarded self, and the voices from the external world calling us to perform for it. There should be an original soundscape audio track. There will be no use of any copyrighted music.
The aspect ratio will be consistent throughout the projects, preferably 4:3 (camera setting).
The sound will be 16 bit (camera setting)

The project will consist of a series or sequence of still images with a only one video (moving) shot sequence. So use it wisely, perhaps to make a point in the video or to emphasize some aspect inherent to your narrative. One of the purposes of the exercise, with respect to the use of still images, is to get people thinking about how to create movement without actual video footage. The video tape that we will use then can be used as a counterpoint to the stills. It might be used as a stop, a punctuation, a rest, and/or a change of pace. I’m not sure how it would work if placed at the beginning of your project… show me how and explain it to me if you think you have a good idea how to employ this.

The projects will be layered using typography, text, and possibly drawing overlays, reflections, mirror images (whole and fractured), shadows and sounds to reinforce the narrative points being made. Green screen proposals will have to pass review and be fully scripted.
Limit: 1 green screen scene per anthology.

Combined credit roll- 20-30 seconds for each anthology.
Question: How many edits in 60 seconds? Consider pacing and changes in pace.

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On Creating Structure in Media Works

Creating Structure:
You need to create a structure to organize your raw content; video, images and sounds. This can be imagined as a framework that holds your images together and presents them in a coherent and effective manner. There is no need to make it complicated. Understanding the value of spareness and economy when it comes to conveying emotion is so often overlooked as a possible route through a project.

Here are some other tips:
•Repetition of specific images or parts of images help to create a visual connection and therefore structure.
•Adding to that, varying the image, using it strategically throughout your narrative helps create structure.
•Using a detail from an image and enlarging it or making it smaller to create a new image or variation will help to create structure.
•Using found objects, shadows and textured backgrounds can help to create mood and structure.

•Deciding to use only specific colors or tones and using them consistently and throughout your portrait will help to create structure.
•Repeated use of the same font (semi-transparent layers in video if we can get to it!) with variations helps create structure.
Or create your own text using your imagination… and ketchup, or macaroni, or shoelaces, or bottle-caps, or sticks. See Napolean Dynamite‘s opening credits again for inspiration
• Let’s not forget about sound; melodious undercurrents, whispers,  and sound loops, for starters.
Or rings and ring-tones, voicemail, alarms, sirens, horns, machines (that talk) etc.
Maybe you want to create your own song in Garage Band… go for it.