Sketch 33 – Last One

  • This video is of a bulletin board in the LGBTIQ Archives that I visited the other day in South Yarra
  • different colours and combinations in different posters taking us through different years, so it is constantly changing
  • should have moved with the phone instead of taking it all from one spot
  • constant backgrounds
  • focus takes time
  • could have been a much better sketch

Sketch 17 – Uni Life

Sitting outside of class, debriefing after a long, long day, all I had on my mind was getting some sketches done. I had just downloaded an application to reverse videos on my phone, and I wanted to try it out. The reasons for this download were because I was a little intimidated with the kind of videos my classmates were making, while mine were quite plain. I am not a fan of effects but I did not want to write them off without even trying some. The reason for reverse were because I have been thinking of spontaneity in reflexes, which has been a topic of discussion in various previous sketches, and I was thinking that the best way to capture that spontaneity may be to make those reflexes look a little unnatural which bring attention to them.

This particular video was where I started. This is the video which is shot straight-forward, no effects. The video is boring and lacks foresight as well as direction. It is random, horrible even. I am using this as a sketch so I can compare it with my next sketch which is the same video in reverse.

The video just depicts what I would see randomly, everyday and not even notice while I am at university. It is very spontaneous as I am shooting and deciding where to take the video camera/phone next while I shoot, which contributes to my lack of direction. I think the good part was when I swivelled it around to the far right and catch a little bit of the basketball game. Now, thinking back, I wish I had concentrated on that more.

There is no concept of texture, aesthetics, depth, composition, etc. in my video and it is definitely not something I would want to use in my final project.

Sketch 31 – Texture Street

Another end to a horrible day full of work, scripts, teachers and intensives. I generally walk back home after such long days instead of taking the train, kind of like de-briefing. On this particular day as I was walking past Federation Square, I saw that there was a Hindi movie playing there. I got really excited even though I have seen that one before, so I sat down to watch a little bit of it. Unfortunately, having seen the movie before, I lost interest faster than a two year old watching Grey’s Anatomy. So, of course with Uni on the brain, I started making sketches.

The ground at Federation Square is really cool. I love the texture, it kind of reminds me of French streets and cafe’s with breads in their windows. Having already made a discovery of textures, I thought about getting another one of the ground. Only problem, I did not have a subject. So leaving only the top like 20% of the screen to capture movement and break the monotony, I did my shot.

What I caught is interesting because of the lighting. That was what was so spontaneous about my video because I was able to capture how the movie reflected on the ground. The lighting keeps changing throughout. It’s cool!

Sketch 30 – Class

I want a nice camera or at least a better phone!!! I hate that there are so many things I can’t seem to control with my phone. This video is a bag of issues! Bad lighting, shaky and completely out of focus. The million colours add to the out of focusness and makes sure you can’t make out any details in the video – especially when it comes to cameras, stands and other black coloured equipment. All these are drawbacks of shooting with a phone. Maybe having an IPhone will help…

The only close to decent part in the video is in lieu with my discovery, against the black wall. The colours stand out and the lighting looks just a little bit better. So, maybe shooting against a black background in case of bad lighting could give a more appropriate effect to my videos.

Lastly, in this video, I want to discuss something I haven’t before, i.e., Audio. There is a crazy amount of noise and gain that the phone is catching from the environment. The voices are not very clear either. You can even hear my hands moving along the phone, which just sounds like this horrible rustle which would make you turn off audio all together.

The spontaneity in this video – just that I happened to shoot it, capturing the act of filming. Kind of like behind the scenes footage. That’s pretty cool, eh?

Sketch 29 – Shane Again

Another failed sketch, but failed sketches teach you a lot too, fortunately. This particular sketch is shaky throughout, which would be my fault, I was cold. It is out of focus, the zoom ins and outs are too fast to be tasteful. They only serves to confuse the watcher. I realized there are some lightings and conditions and certain sequences that limits my video on the phone with a less than 5MP camera. I made a lot of sketches which I couldn’t use at all, specially of action sequences or ones I tried to shoot at night.

This video was not supposed to be my sketch but a sketch I made for my friend Shane, who is exploring the affordance of connectivity. I decided to use it due to the lighting conditions. Phones do not give us the option of white balance settings or colour correction till post production, which can be limiting or can be used positively if done smartly.

This video was shot in uni but unlike my other videos shot in university, it does not clearly tell you what location I am in. That got me thinking about how if I ever had time issues or got permission to use only one location, playing with the composition of the shot, I can actually use it in a way  to make my movie seem like many different locations have been used, which is great for small budget films.

The spontaneity in this video lies in the lighting and colour scale of the video. While standing there and shooting the video, with my naked eye it was a normal evening, no blue tinge what so ever. But reviewing my video showed me that I had actually captured a blue scale dipped shot, which is interesting. Pretty confusing too. Playing with lighting, specially natural can be a very spontaneous activity with equally spontaneous outcomes.

Sketch 28 – Reverse Samosas

The video starts straight and then the reverse effect plays it again in continuation. I have done this solely so I can point out the differences. I actually think the video is really funny in a sick way because it looks like she is a food making machine and is literally vomiting up the food. In the straight bit, you don’t notice reflexes at all, whereas the minute the reverse effect sets in, reflexes like how the tongue moves while eating and such are apparently obvious. Also, in reverse the subject of the video changes. During the straight version, one is looking at my friend, Daphne and in the reverse, the subject changes to the samosas instead of her, as that is what we concentrate on as an audience. The spontaneity in this video lies in the reflexes. To study this and make it apparent is why I decided to use the reverse effect in the first place. I really like it because for once what I was trying actually came through.

The audio, OMG!!! I already sing horribly but once the reverse goes on I sound like a dying cat! It’s really funny, maybe we can make a new alien language using reverse. I am sure I am not the first to think of that though.

Sketch 27 – Pouring Tea

Here, in this video, my friend was pouring water out for tea. I like how the shot is not perfectly straight in it’s composition, which I think gives it something interesting. The video is taken in reverse as well to create spontaneity with reflexes and being able to see the natural spontaneous thing in not a natural way. But this hot doesn’t really scream reverse, because you can’t really make out that the water is going up and not down. In fact the only way you can even tell it’s a reverse shot is because of the audio which sounds really funny in reverse, but better than my other videos.

But, where my spontaneity really lies is in the sudden kind of appearance of water as it is the other way around and it doesn’t really catch your eye, but is still awkward and sudden. The weird part is that if you look carefully at the video, you can see multi coloured spots all around in it. The colour distortion is kind of cool and not very noticeable but definitely add to the overall abstractness of the image and I also like how there is so much colour but black and white still dominate. Interesting.

Sketch 26 – Cigarette

So, one morning I was sitting outside drinking my coffee and smoking a cigarette when I thought, why not make a reverse video of the cigarette. This is what I ended up with. What I can definitely tell you is that it was a hard video to take as I was moving both my hands, one holding the phone in sync and it did not always work as you can see. I kept missing my subject!

I really like how the effect worked. It wasn’t as unnatural as my other reverse videos just because how smoothly everything happens. What I like best is the smoke wisps and how they are pulled back. I love that effect and am definitely going to do something with smoke wisps in my final video.

The spontaneity in this video lies in the kind of building blocks that are the ashes and how that fly up and keep joining the cigarette. I love how they float back.

The only issue was I really wish I could have only gotten the cigarette and not my lips but like I mentioned it was really difficult to get this video. Next time I shall one of my friends do it, rather than shooting myself.

Sketch 25 – Magic

This is my shortest video yet. It is really different from my other stuff. I call it round two of reverse tricks. Now, what I was trying here was completely different than what you can see. The idea was to make the origami bird fly, but it is too fast for that, maybe an added slow motion effect would get the affect of what I was trying. I like the idea that we can use effects to create a different story all together. This just makes a dropping piece of paper look like a magical swan. The spontaneity  in this video lies in how it turned into something completely different from what I was trying. So even though the video was planned, the turn out was not!

I had two issues while making this video. One was that I had to try multiple times to capture even this, and it still falls short because I was unable to move as fast as my dropping/flying swan. Of ten tries, this is literally my best shot. Apart from that, the other issue was that due to lack of foresight I am not very happy with the video. I should have taken a top view, it would have looked cooler as well as put into effect my discovery of textures. I would have had a plain black carpet texture, which would have kept the subject as the main focal point.