agenda :: 4/16

writing warm-up: write about a person that has inspired you or challenged you to see something in a new way.

voting warm-up: here’s your chance to vote about the due dates for module 3. remember, we can stick with the days as they stand (april 30 and may 5), or vote to make reading day our last official class and give everyone extra time (may 5 and 7). vote only once based one what you prefer. majority will rule in this democracy, and we will all abide by what is decided in the poll. much like those kids in china and their choice for class monitor!

short screening: the pervert’s guide to ideology (excerpt) :: slavoj zizek is one of my favorite pop-philosophers, not only because he discusses his ideas in terms of movies and popular culture, but also makes movies of his own. i hope you’ll note how the filmmakers make his difficult subject matter more understandable by inserting relevant footage at the right times, and keep the viewer engaged by composing the interview sequences in clever ways to match the aesthetics of the movie in question. lively and compelling composition and editing can go a long way to help your piece. here, he explains his thoughts on ideology by illustrating them through scenes from the john carpenter sci-fi movie they live. everything is an argument, even bad movies, remember?

ideology: the study of systems of ideas, how they are formed, and their implications.

the point zizek makes is that our natural, default state is to live within ideologies, taking for granted the way certain things are crafted to convince us of something, manipulate our actions, or tell us how to view ourselves, even – in this case, putting on the sunglasses symbolizes the conscience choice we have to make to see things in a new way, outside of our natural positions. this is often painful and confrontational, as we step outside of our comfort zones – as depicted in the ridiculously long fight scene. but then again, that’s just his ideology regarding ideology.

deconstruction exercise :: (30 min)

  1. Think about three purchases you’ve made recently.  These should range from larger ticket items like electronics, to trivial daily purchases like gum, coffee etc.
  2. Go online and look for advertisements for the items, or the product website.
  3. For each item write a response to the following questions:
    – Why did you choose to buy this specific product?
    – Does the advertisement resonate with your own personal aesthetic or “brand”?  How?
    – Does the way the product is marketed appeal to your personal beliefs or identity?

storyboards:  basic information on storyboarding –  a common and effective method in time-based media. pre-visualizing ideas is always helpful (and can save time), and it really doesn’t matter if the author can’t draw –this process is more  about getting ideas onto paper (or some other sketching medium). steve stockman tells us to think in shots, and storyboarding is a great way to exercise thinking this way. here are some helpful links that have more information:

  1. storyboard wikipedia page
  2. basic storyboard template
  3. about pixar’s storyboarding process in toy story
  4. the empire strikes back storyboard comparison
  5. screencrush has lots of examples from movies you may know
  6. some interesting examples from family plot and the birds (2) by hitchcock, notorious for his attention to detail and adherence to storyboard composition
  7. storyboards from no country for old men  by j. todd anderson

workshop time: the clock is ticking on these projects – stick around to meet with me if you’re stuck for ideas, grab a camera and get some footage, do whatever the next item on this project’s agenda is! 

homework:

  • complete the production segment of the production journal template fully, and post to your blog by monday at 11:59pm.
  • continue making progress on your project on your own, working through rough drafts, and editing all your raw material together into a coherent 6-8 minute piece. you know better than i what you need to do at this stage, so keep yourself on task and remember your due date.
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