Saturday, 31 January 2015

Friday, 30 January 2015

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Life Drawing

I don't think I had a momentary lapse of lack of skill to start with but I got on With it when we started with the pastel.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho

Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock

Fig 1 Movie Poster

Psycho is the right word to use for this film, even if it only applies to the mother of Norman Bates, owner of the motel, and Norman himself. The film is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch and is lightly based on the crimes of Wisconsin murderer and grave robber, Ed Gein. It tells the story of Marion Crane, a secretary, who steals money from her employer to try and run away to be with her lover. She stayed at Bate's motel where she meets Norman, who is revealed to be the psycho killer who is mentally disturbed. However the film starts to seem unclear as to its direction to begin with, as Carr says in his review, ''The brilliance begins with the story, which was adapted upon and improved over Robert Bloch's original novel. It's very simple story that still holds up today with some more twisted realities of people's psychoses.'' (Carr, S.D.).

It seems that Psycho is a manipulative film, Hitchcock made it so that each part is purposely pieced together rather marvelously.  Hitchcock cleverly creates a suspense that when in place creates a otherwise inviting and free of harm scenario. As Gibron mentions, ''the director laid the fear right at you own front door - in the most private and vulnerable of places within said home.'' (Gibron, 2010). When we first encounter Mr. Bates, he seems to be a kind, gentle and concerning man, but with a  seemingly innocent, 'mothered', look and feel about him. Instantly making him seem odd and out of place. Then later we discover this  to be true. When it is revealed that he suffers from the lose of his father, the death of his mother by his own hand and his psychological break and change. When Marion comes to stay he has a chance to revisit the depths of his insanity when he has a argument with 'mother' because he is physically attracted to Marion. Any sexual thought or desire seems to trigger the 'mother' and that then triggers a murder.

This concept is very interesting, and the first instance we see is when Marion takes a shower, the most iconic and recognized scene of this movie. Kermode mentions in his review that ''Dispute still rages as to the provenance and power of Psycho's notorious shower sequence, which has become perhaps the most iconic murder scene in the history of Cinema.'' (Kermode, 2010). This scene is mostly called this because of the modern way in which it was made, even today over 50 years in the future, it still feels very modern. Being murdered in the shower, (See fig 2)
Fig 2: Shower scene
 with not that much in the way of detail, seemed to have worked in Hitchcock's favor. The scene is comprised of a montage of shots that imply that Marion is being stabbed. However in a more realistic approach, a stab wound would produce much more blood than that, therefore a multitude of stab wounds would fill the bath with blood, and be even more visible in the water. So does this mean that it's not as modern? No, we have to consider that this film was created in a time that special effects were in their baby stages. So for what it is, this scene is iconic in the fact that it was effective - even without the gory detail.

This being said, having killed off Marion, the story changes, as the viewers are lead to believe that she is the main protagonist. But it seems now the attention is given to Norman. This put him in the spot light right when he needs to be. As Vasquez Jr mentions in his review, ''There are many Freudian themes present within Bates, who has a bit of an Oedipus complex and longing for his mother he aches to stay loyal to, but doesn't dare leave her side.'' (Vasquez Jr, 2013). As the character is shown, you can see as the film progresses, there are subtle hints of mothering that come from Norman that seem like he is being to over caring.
Fig 3 Norman's ''mothering'' side.
As shown in figure 3, Norman has brought Marion supper, showing a mother's care, only to later on show a more teenager/childish persona by spying on her as she removes her clothes. The caring he shows is a symbol of him being close to his mother, causing that effect to rub of on him. But then later we see that Norman is still holding onto the past when Marion's sister enters the house to find a room filled with old toys. This could symbolizes Bate's need to be attended too, like a child, wanting to remain loyal and with his mother.

In conclusion, Pyscho is a predictable subtle horror. With barely any incline that it is actually so. With Norman having his mental condition and in her own way as does Marion with her obsession to be with Sam. There is not no doubt that this is one of those ''It does what it says on the tin'' type of films. A brilliant film indeed, and you got to love that creepy smile. (See figure 4).
Fig. 4 Norman Bate's Creepy Smile


Carr, K (S.D). (Accessed on 27/01/15)
Gibron, B (2010) (Accessed on 27/01/15)
Kermide, M (2010) (Accessed on 27/01/15)
Vasque Jr. F (2013) (Accessed on 27/01/15)

Illustration List:
Fig 1: Film Poster (1960) (Accessed on 27/01/15)
Fig 2: Shower Scene. (1960)
Fig 3: Norman's ''mothering'' side. (1960) (Accessed on 27/1/15)
Fig 4: Norman Bate's Creepy smile.(1960) (Accessed on 27/1/15).

Monday, 26 January 2015

Rope - Alfred Hitchcock 1948 Film Review


In 1948, Alfred Hitchcock released his audacious film ''Rope''.  It seems like the film was purposely filmed so that the camera acted as a gateway in order to allow the views to be immersed into the story as though they were sitting in a theater to see a play. It's like there are no cuts, the change the frames, the fluid motions, as if telling the tale of a sadistic murder was such a easy thing. Roger Ebert quotes, ''(All of this to prove their) innate superiority (over) a victim who is inferior to them''. (Roger Ebert, 1984). 

This concept is actually mentions within the film, that the people in their situation, of a richer community have the power of God, or the right to judge who lives and who dies. The viewers are never left out, as the film makes them feel like they were invited to the dinner themselves and held there in suspense as the main characters host their party whilst their kill lays dormant in the trunk. As Pamela Hutchinson says in he article, ''[It is] filmed excruciatingly close to real time.'' (The Gaurdian, 2012).  As it makes you feel not like they are watching a screen or a stage, but are in a suit/dress and standing behind the camera watching silently, just as the other character; Rupert, starts to catch on that something is happening. (see fig 2.)

However, it seems as the film progresses, there is little to none in terms of action. The viewer feels too much part of the environment and this is a result that because parts of the film seem a little out of place with the flow. It's as though the viewers find it a little difficult to actually figure out whats going on, how the scene is relevant and how the director wanted the scene to pan out. As stated in the New York Times, ''The punctured flow of the image becomes quite monotonous.''(New York Times, 1948). 

In conclusion ''Rope'' is a ''cluedo'' of  a film and really gets you on the edge of your seat in anticipation whether or not the body of David would be discovered. It has the viewer feeling a little sorry for Philip as he is young and not as sadistic as Brandon. So it doesn't come to a surprise that Philip would act on edge when Rupert begins to figure out something is wrong. This is a really good take on mystery. (see figure 3). 

Fig 3


Ebert R. (1984) Review: Rope, 1948, (Accessed on 26/01/15). 
Hutchinson P. (2012) My Favorite Hitchcock: Rope,, (Accessed on 26/01/15).
Crowther B. (1948) The Sceen in review: Rope,, (Accessed on 26/01/15). 

Le Jetee by Chris Marker film review.

Le Jetee

Fig. 1: Film Poster

Le Jetee by Chris Marker is a 1962 film comprised of a montage of photos with a formal and very informative narration overlaying them , accompanied by a sound track that illuminates the images with a form of life. The narrator tells the story of memory and time travel by reiterating past events that have been pieced together from real accounts of the events.  TV's Movie guide mentions the film in their article is this way, ''Described as a "photo-roman" about "a man marked by an image from his childhood," it manages to tell a gripping, haunting story and create an ominous and powerful atmosphere simply through the masterly manipulation of frozen images and a subtle soundtrack made up of heartbeats, whispers, jet engines and other sound effects, as well as Trevor Duncan's eerie music score. '' (TV Guide, Unknown). There is something about this short film that really grips the heart and makes you feel like you are seeing these memories as though they are our own.

The film tells the story of a prisoner in a post apocalyptic scenario,  who is subject to experiments that send him back in time, within his own memory, to a time when he meet a woman at the end of the pier who he wanted to stay with. The narration and heart beat combination really give the film an eerie edge. Making it seem inhuman, an impossible ft, such a task is impractical. Time travel is not even in existence yet. So this has got to be hoax. A tale from a deranged prisoner who was still tortured, but a point that his accounts illustrated cannot be true and have been tampered with. But initially the story is very strong, especially the scene where the two people (the hero and the woman of his memories) go to a museum full of taxidermy animals, see figure 2.  Tory Bullock explains , ''These animals are stuck in a moment of time and can never change. It is also a metaphor for the extinction of humanity, where all that is left of is the bodies and the traces of what we once were.''(Bullock, 2011).
Fig 2: In the Musuem.
It may only be a thirty minute film, but as Andy Taylor comments, 'While on the surface La Jetée is a straightforward science fiction time travel story, there are so many more underlying themes.''  (Taylor, 2003). So in conclusion, Le Jetee is a weird, but charming film about a man who just wants to be with a woman then spend time in the apocalyptic era.  

TV Guide, Unknown.
T. Bullock. 2011.

A. Taylor, 2003

Figure 1: Film poster, 1962.
Figure 2: In the museum.

Storyboard and Commission: Soundscape - Image 1 Trial

Camera Part 10: Contra-Zoom

Here is the play blast of this tutorial that we have completed during the lesson.

Maya Tutorials - Camera Part 8: Coverages

In Simon's lesson today we covered the camera coverage tutorial. Here are the 5 camera shots we did.
                                                            Camera 1: Mounted Left

Camera 2: Mounted Center

Camera 3: Mounted Right

Camera 4: Street View 1

Camera 5: Street View 2.

After this we created a premier pro video that have them all together. I need a little editing practice, as I am more accustomed to using after effects rather than Premier. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

FSTS: Symmetry character.

I decided to start today with a quick symmetry, That way I could attempt hands and her face. She looks creepy.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

FSTS : Character ideas

''Playing around with childish things'' I thought I would draw a child but I can't seem to do the face or hands right now.

From Script to Screen: Character ideas and development.

I have been trying to think about what kind of character style to go for when designing my characters. As my story involves a skipping rope, and I am making a link to the idea that the story takes place in a child's dream land. The characters style will adopt a way that shows that the characters are not real, for instance the characters such as the zombies would have pin joints as though they were action figures. Or that their joints are ball joints like most of the actions figures have.

The Heroine. 
I have major issues with anatomy as I haven't really been practicing human anatomy. However I attempted this in sketchbook Pro and I am happy with the way it turned out. The heroine would be a grown up version of the child, so older and more heroic. 

The Zombies
As this is a child's fantasy the zombies are going to be less gory horror, but cute Plant's VS Zombies style so they are not too intimidating. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

More Sketchbook

Symmetry tool on sketchbook is very handy :). She's slightly out of proportion but not bad from my own mind :). No references what so ever. :)

Sketchbook Pro practice.

I am rather liking this new program that Simon introduced today. It's similar to Photoshop, but in a way it feels a little more free in terms of drawing.

So here's what I have produced (so far) and if I can I aim to get it on my laptop so I can use it for my character design as well as person drawing projects :). (And yes it's a wolf! Cause freedom! )

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Post OGR mind boom. @Phil

After reading the feedback on my OGR the cogs and gears in my head began turning a little faster. My story was lacking some what in terms of a beginning and a end. But now, after reading Phil's suggestions I think I might have something more.

So the story starts as I already have it, with the graveyard at night. (I am using graveyard as it's easier) This time the style adopts a more cartoon/child's story book idea but with that same eerie element. Mist descends and the crow fly's in and caws. A light moan causes the camera to pan quickly to a tombstone where a figure stands slump behind it. There is a caretaker raking leaves, he looks up and notices the figure and yells at him about the visiting hour ended. The slumped figure shifts his shoulders. The caretaker approaches the figure and says it again putting the rake against the tombstone, figure responds by pouncing on him, but doesn't get anytime to bite or eat the man when a glowing skipping rope whips him burning his body. It groans and glares in the direction the skipping rope came from, lets out a loud roar causing more of it's kind rise from their tombs. This is where the fight starts and the hero show's her self to be a woman in a Van Helsing/cow-girl get up. the fight continues, the heroine almost looses, as the zombies over throw her. She looses the skipping rope as a the zombie she injuries runs away with it. She gets overwhelmed with zombies where she has to fight them off with her bare hands. This large explosion of light and the heroine destroys the zombies, she retains the skipping rope and another females voice calls her name out and she looks up, then as she looks down at the skipping rope the scene collapses. The camera pans up to the heroines face and instead of seeing a full grown woman, its the face of a child who is in fancy dress. She smiles put the skipping rope on the bed with a zombie figurine and skips out of the door. The camera closes on the objects with the door blurring out in the back ground.  

New possible Premise:
A toy of dreams can make reality seem unreal.
A child's imagination is their best weapon.

I had this idea and want to pursue it as I was thinking about making the animation in a sort of puppet form. So the joints of the characters are held together with a pin. The setting will be childish, but the end scene will be a little more realistic. What's everyone's opinion of this one?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Life Drawing

So I actually attended a life drawing lesson this term and I think as I was drawing Tarzan yesterday and his anatomy is mainly shapes and is very handy for proportions I think I did reasonably well.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

From Script to Screen: Green light review 1.

Green Light Review 1

Like For Like

So for my like for like I chose one of my favorite Childhood films, Tarzan. I chose the scene where Sabor attacks Tarzan just after he is play fighting the Elephant (Tantor) and his Gorilla friend (Terk.) This is also one of my favorite disney ''fight scenes'' as the outcome is rather sad but at the same time shows Tarzan to be a true leader and protector. I ended the scene the moment Kercheck (The Silver Back Gorilla who is the lead of the tribe) falls for the first time.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Prep for first OGR - Opinions?

So I do not know if I got this right. So here is my premise, log-line and step outline of my story.

The premise :
Darkness will never prevail, as long as someone believes.

The Log-line:
The idea that darkness can be over come is represented by a female heroine with an ability to use a enchanted skipping rope to defeat evil. Using this power she fights back the legion of the damned from rising in the local graveyard/cemetery.

Step outline:
Scene 1: Superhero gets told by some travelers that there will be something really bad happening tonight in the cemetery.
Scene 2: Zombies start to rise from graves, visitors start to scream and run frantically away as superhero appears through the mist with a glowing skipping rope. 
Scene 3: Superhero fighting zombies, the skipping ropes power turning them to dust.
Scene 4: Superhero brushing dust from her coat and puts the rope on her belt and watches the sun set over the hill as ongoing watchers start to cheer her success. 

Story revisited: 

The basic idea for my story has slightly changed since my original. I wanted to go for a character vs supernatural approach as it seems the most logical of the items I was given. So the superhero, who I have decided to name Felecia, who's real name is Felicity, has the ability to control magic, this is aided with the help of an enchanted skipping rope she was given as a child. She was entrusted with this skipping rope and was tasked to rid the world of everything unholy and unearthly. So zombie's rising from their graves isn't new to her, but it hasn't happened since she was little. It could only mean that something even more evil is wanted to join the mortal coil. She fights these zombies, and the problem arises when she looses the skipping rope and one of the zombies runs off with it. So she has to fight with her bare hands using magic abilities that she can. She almost looses when a bird/crow swoops past distracting the zombie long enough for her to escape, get the skipping rope back and defeat the zombies. 

Camera Part 7: Distance Shot

Close Shot:

Mid shot:

Far Shot: