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More Photography

January 7, 2010

I wanted to add more photography to my portfolio and keep practicing at it t otry and get better. This resulted these pictures i took of my friend. The theme was once again revolved around music as it is something that is close to me and ideally along the lines of how i would like to see my career going in the future.

The idea behind these pictures is that they may be used either as part of an album cover or more likely on a sort of oadvertising component if he was to be a signed artist, such as a poster. All the pictures depict him in his environment of music, giving the audience an insite in to his creative process and how he may spend his time with music. I tried lots of different angles, shots and framing and think it all worked well together.

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Reading Festival Video

December 27, 2009

I created this video for my Interactive Media module in my second year of university. This video is just a quick piece that i made that was then inserted into my main artefact. The idea of the video was to show pictures from my experiences at Reading Festival over the last four years. It was simply made using IMovie, where i inserted the images and out effects in to make it like a slideshow. I also put in a live track from one of my favourite bands who played at Reading Festival, The Subways.

The main artefact that this video goes into was an interactive piece that had to be relevant to myself. The idea of my piece is to take the audience on a journey that i have experienced myself over the last four years, the journey of Reading Festival. The piece is done using Google Earth and allows the user to go from stage to stage and watch videos of bands that most enjoyed over my years of going to the festival.

For my information of my piece and the processes in which i went through throughout the module, here is the link to another of my blogs, detailing everything there is to know about my piece and the module itself:

http://jimmyalleninteractive.wordpress.com/

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Martyr Screenplay

December 3, 2009

This is the synopsis i also wrote for this module:

“America and the United Kingdom does not, and will not cooperate with terrorists”. These are the words that family man and television war correspondent, Chris Jenkins would live to despise. After stumbling across footage and information that could potentially bring down the terrorist organisation and cause threat to the United Kingdom, Jenkins is taken hostage by the group, led by Ahmed Kandaha, along with his film crew, Michael Brown and Jason Turner. This abduction brings a traumatic episode to what was meant to be a routine trip to Iraq, in order to report on the well-being of the British soldiers remaining there. But now, torn away from his family back home, Jenkins and his team find themselves in a life or death situation, of which they have no influence in. With this new found vulnerability, Jenkins must find a way to survive through harsh treatment and treacherous surroundings that he is left in, with torture a process that Kandaha practices with no mercy. Only one thought crosses Jenkins’ and his men’s heads; to survive with mind and body both in tact. As time passes by, Jenkins remains strong willed, but slowly, Brown starts to crack under pressure and starts to lose his sanity, resulting in him being put into solitary confinement as more torture, a place where none of the hostages know of. As well as this, Turner’s life is sacrificed in order for the terrorist organisation to put across their point of just how serious they are. Turner is shot on live television, being broadcasted across the globe. Jenkins is not rescued by the British government, and is not set free from the organisation despite being given the opportunity to be set free if he is to give Kanaha the tape on which the incriminating information is on. He is instead transported onto a coach, lined with explosives, with different members of the terrorist organisation and soon realises that the information he came across will die with him as he realises the coach he is in with the remaining terrorists is heading towards a patrol of British soldiers, with the intent to take them out, and sacrifice themselves.

The whole screenplay does exceed the word limit, so i chose to submit the piece as a whole, but mark out the sequence that i wished to be marked. The scene i chose to be marked was the scene of the execution.

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Bronson

December 3, 2009

I went to go and see the film Bronson, directed by Nicholas Windig Refn in the cinema. The reason that i wanted to go and see it was because it wasn’t a hugely publicised film, and seemed to be like an independant film, with no huge budget amd different techniques used than in usual films.

I also wanted to see it as it portrays the life of a fascinating man. Not for his intelligence or any contribution to make the world a better place, but due to the fascination of whether the man is clinically insane or this is just how he lives.

I had not heard much about the film at all before i went to see it, and this is one of the reasons why i did go to see it, as i wanted to branch out in my movie vieweing and go and see something that i wouldn’t normally go out to see, in order to gain a wider perspective of films.

I thought that this film was extremely gripping and fascinating. It explored the mind of Charles Bronson, a convicted prisoner living the majority of his life in prison, with 34 of those years being in solitary confinement. The film was brutal and hard hitting in order to properly portray the brutality of Bronson and the way he lived.

The film followed a unique narrative structure, where Charles Bronson himself tells you the story of his life, with it at times cutting to him infront of a live audience on a stage in a theatre, as if he is telling them the story. At these parts of the film it is simply him on an empty and dark stage, sometimes impersonating people such as a mime, a dark clown or the woman he once spoke to about leaving the mental institute where he had been appointed. This allows Charles Bronson to be the main character and have no one take any shine off him, resulting in a great performance by the actor, Tom Hardy.

This structure was unlike anything i had seen before, and as i was watching it i thought to myself that this is the kind of filmmaking i should be looking at. It is different and unique and if done well it is hugely effective in telling this a story, providing darkness mixed with pieces of humour and comedy. It has shown me yet another form of storytelling.

The film allows us to see Charles Bronson from the very beginning of his life and take us through the huge points in his life to this day, painting a precise picture of the man who has become famous for simply being a prisoner. As these flashbacks are all true, the film also introduces actual footage of Bronson, such as when he broke out of the mental institute and started a fire on the roof, creating a record amount of damage costs, which ironically led to his release.

This film effected me a lot, as it was tense, dark and even scary at points. But it also intrigued me, and this form of storytelling is one that i am now a fan of. It is an example of thinking outside of the box, and not settling for the status quo, which is something i like to believe that some day i can achieve.

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Year One Add+Vantage: Screenwriting

December 3, 2009

For my Add+Vantage module in my first term, i chose to take Introduction to Screewriting. I chose this because the idea of being taught on how to write a script appealed to me. I have always been fond of things such as creative writing throughout being at school and outside of it, and i thought that this would be a good opportunity to branch out further on this and be given the opportunity to develop on my skills further and write better stories, this time in a different format.

It also appealed to me as i thought it would develop me further in my media work, giving me more experience to which i could build from and say i have taken part in. As one of my ambitions is to ideally become a director, this screenwriting module will come in useful as it is one of the biggest parts of being a director in a lot of cases. I wanted to be taught whatever techniques there were and gain an basic understanding of screenwriting, allowing me to express me creative side in this format as much as possible.

The end result of this module would be to create my own synopsis and script of my screenplay, which could either be the whole script or a handed in as a sequence.

Activities:

  • Come up with a protagonist along with his history and features, painting a good picture of them.
  • Create a typical film villain.
  • Write a 250 word synopsis of your script.
  • Write a 1,000 – 1,250 word script, lasting about 10 minutes. This can be either the whole story or a sequence from this scene.

After completing this module, i had written a synopsis and a screenplay. The screenplay was much longer than i had anticipated as i believed that to get the best out of my story, i had to include everything that i did. Due to this i handed in the whole screenplay, but noted that the assessor should only mark a sequence, which i chose to be the execution scene.

I enjoyed this module as it was something different, and not only did i learn the basics of writing a screenplay, i was able to look more into things like what makes a film sells, and behind the scenes traits of the filmmaking world. My lecturer told me lots of different things that i never knew about film, which now means i will know more of what to expect if i ever choose to follow that path. I learnt things such as a script will never be red, no matter who it is by, if it’s not written in the right format or other things are not right with it.

This module showed me things i didn’t think it would, so i was pleasantly surprised when i did discover these things. i now know the fundementals of screenwriting and now that the module is over, i am able to write a screenplay whenever i wish, as i now have the bedrock knowledge on which to start from. As well as this, the course introduced me to the programme Celtx, a screenwriting programme, which pretty much does things like the layout etc for you, making it easier to set out, looking professional and allowing me to focus on my writing.

My creativity has been boosted by this module, as i now have an outlet in which i can put any stories or thoughts in my head onto paper. Whether it’s an idea i have thought extensively about or just a quick thought i have had, i can start planning and extending it with Celtx and use my experience from this module to help me. This has led me to want to write more, and i am currently in the middle of writing another screenplay.

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Photography

December 3, 2009

My friends are in a band called Flex Cabana, and they asked me if i would take some pictures of them so they could have images to upload to their Myspace and to gain more publicity for the band. The pictures would also be used for anything in the future that they may be neccassary for, such as advertisement of upcoming gigs or possibly even to be used for an EP front cover.

I had previously taken pictures of the band before, for my AS level Media coursework. This time i had a better camera and my plan was to branch out a bit more and focus on the band itself, rather than last time when i took a lot of live images. I wanted to take more picturs showing the band itself and explore different ways of showing them.

I arranged two meetings with them in which i would take pictures, one being just where they practiced and the other being a live gig they had where i would get only a small amount of live images, just incase the occassion called for them.

Reasons for doing it:

  • Being asked by the band to take promotional pictures.
  • Wanting to improve my picture taking skills and being more capable with a digital camera.
  • To explore more ways of portraying and showing a band.
  • My love of music means that i would love to be in a position like this on a daily basis for a job.
  • To gain more experience with photography as a whole.

Knowledge and Skills gained:

  • I am more familiar with directing people around to make my shot complete.
  • I learnt some new effects with the camera.

This activity provided my friends with a substantial amount of images they can use for promotion and anythign else they may want to and i also have some more experience with photography as a whole and what it might be like to an extent.

I have learnt from the activity and will know more of what to do and what not to do in order to make my next experience more effective.

As i had previously taken photos for the band before and the fact that i am a good friend of all of them meant that this was a smooth and comfortable experience for everyone and that we could relax and have fun during it.

I have gained some more experience from this activity and have learnt from mistakes that i made both before and after performing it. I should have planned more on what i was thinking of doing and my all round organisation should have been thought about more. I didn’t think about the lighting and how that would effect the images as we had no sun light, so with the flash everything seemed to bright, and without it the images seemed orange. It sounds like a basic error, but i also needed to think more about what i was going to do when i got there, such as where i wanted them to be positioned, or at least have a theme to the images, as all i did was have a couple of ideas and try and get as much out of them as possible.

I did get some good images, which the band were very pleased with, but i would have liked the session to have gone better and to have more of an idea of what i wanted out of it. These mistakes will be addressed by myself and by others who can help me, and along with some much needed tutorial with a camera, my next images will have improved substantially.

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Biffy Clyro Photography

December 3, 2009

I was looking through my CDs and came across the album Puzzles, by Biffy Clyro. When taking more of a look at the album cover i realised just how artistic the image was. The image itself looks obscene, almost like a cubist image, and when i looked through the booklet in the album i saw even more photography throughout it, all with the same feel and look to them. The pictures were taken by Alex H N Gilbert. The photographs actually seem to be pieces of art that have been captured by the camera and used for this album. I really like the images as there is a sense of question in them and also a sense of wonder and loneliness. From now on i am going to look closer at the artwork of Biffy Clyro material and of other bands to see if i can see more than just the image of the album cover. As well as this i am going to look at more of Gilbert’s work.