Tuesday, 31 January 2017

@Phil story *UPDATE* 3

 Hi, Phil, I took your ideas and advice on the rewrite,

The premise -  they Triumph of freedom and a new life

The longline - a gnome is sick and tired of his life in a small & narrow garden for a child. He is close to a garden airport on the other side of the garden wall, after much convincing, his best friend and a neighbour cat will do anything that can to help him over to the airport.

 The Step Outline:

In a small narrow garden made for a family to enjoy filled with the finest of the 1950's furniture and a wonderful see-saw for the children to enjoy, there were two ornaments in the garden living peacefully and enjoying their lives except one.

This one gnome stare depressingly at a map of the world wishing to leave his same old mundane life, he would always find himself staring at skies where he would see planes flying across the sky going to different countries and exploring the news things.

His shoulder was suddenly tapped on, it was his best friend looked worried and concerned for him, he looked away from him, his friend said depressed and disappointed that he should stay in the little narrow garden where it is safe and that this is his home and that he cannot replace that. suddenly a voice out of nowhere said to both of them that it is his choice on what he wants.

 The cats words lingered in the best friends heads like a horrible migraine, with a long sigh he agrees to help the gnome to the airport, he tells the cat to take the position on the wall and place his friend on one end of the see-saw and with one jump off the table, he hit the other end of the see-saw only to result in him slightly lifting from the see-saw with the gnome looking and annoyed and angry at his friend. 

He gets an idea, he climbs back into the table and pulls out his trusty fishing rod. he ties one end to a watering can and gently lands on the see-saw, with a strong tag the can smacks down onto the see-saw sending the other gnome into the air to be caught by the cat.

The cat runs down the hill to the airport, with determination on their face's the cat makes it to the airport,  they sneak through the airport to already scanned language the gnome zips open a bag and squeezes in with pure delight in his face.

with his final goodbyes from the cat, he is put onto the plane and flies off to a new country and a new beginning, whilst his friends watch from the garden the plane lifting off into the sky.




Saturday, 28 January 2017

@Phil story *UPDATE* 2

 Hi, Phil, I took your ideas and advice on the rewrite,

The premise -  they Triumph of freedom and a new life

The longline - a gnome is sick and tired of his life in a small & narrow garden for a child. He is close to a garden airport on the other side of the garden wall, after much convincing, his best friend and a neighbour cat will do anything that can to help him over to the airport.

 The Step Outline:

In a small narrow garden made for a family to enjoy filled with the finest of furniture and a wonderful see-saw for the children to enjoy, there were ornaments filled with garden gnomes living peacefully and enjoying their lives all except one.

This one gnome stare depressingly at a picture of Rome, the birthplace gnome and wishing that he would go there one day. he would always find himself staring at skies where he would see birds upon birds from the next garden flying across the sky with gnomes sitting on their backs, flying to different countries enjoying themselves.

His shoulder was suddenly tapped on, it was his best friend looked worried and concerned for him, he looked away from him knowing what he was going to say depressed and disappointed for they would always have the same argument that he should stay in the little narrow garden where it is safe and that this is his home and that he cannot replace that. suddenly a voice out of nowhere said to both of them that it is his choice on what he wants.

Happily, the gnome told them about Rome and that is where gnomes came, sighing thinking this will be the last time he would see him, he devised a plan for his best friend of how to get to the airport on the other side of the wall.

He tells the cat to take the position on the wall and place his friend on one end of the see-saw and with one jump off the table, he hit the other end of the see-saw only to result in him slightly lifting from the see-saw with the gnome looking and annoyed and angry at his friend. 

He gets an idea, he climbs back into the table and pulls out his trusty fishing rod. he ties one end to a watering can and gently lands on the see-saw, with a strong tag the can smacks down onto the see-saw sending the other gnome into the air to be caught by the cat.

With a wave goodbye, the gnome is taken to the airport garden and head straight inside to book the next flight to Rome, he boards the swan and watches it take off on the see-saw runway heading to Rome, happy at his triumph for a better life. 


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

CG Artist Toolkit: Life Drawing - 13




Character workshop



Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock 1960 - film review 15 cutting edge

 Figure 1

Alfred Hitchcock is a well-known film director who is best known for his thrilling and horrifying films, "Hitchcock is the most-daring avant-garde film-maker in America today." (Hoberman, 2016). In 1960 Hitchcock, would create one of the most influential and inspiring horror films, that continue to captivate viewers, a masterpiece, simply known as Psycho.

Hitchcock is well known for his storytelling through films, one of the best films he created was Psycho (1960). Psycho is about horrible murders committed by Norman Bates, in the Bates Motel. The narrative begins with a woman, named Marion Crane, who steals money from her workplace and plans a new life with her boyfriend. On the way to her boyfriend, in another county, Marion stops at the Bates Motel. Finding a place to stay for the night, she met a nice man named Norman. Marion engaged in a conversation with him about his mother, which made him mad and frustrated at her. However, he begins having sexual feelings towards Marion, which he feels his mother would not approve of, so Norman then feels the only way to get rid of Marion is to kill her. Norman being a good son cleans up his mother's mess. This results in more trouble and murder, as Marion’s sister, boyfriend and a private inspector begin to search and question Norman about Marion's whereabouts, raising questions and concerned whether she is dead or alive. It isn't until Marion's sister discovers that Mrs Bates is not only dead but that Norman has a split personality disorder, which provides a  big reveal, in that he is the killer and his mother’s personality has completely taken over his mind.


Hitchcock’s inspiration for this film was based on a biography inspired by the case of the Wisconsin cannibal-necrophiliac, Ed Gein. The biography, by Robert Bloch, goes into detail about the murderer and how anyone can turn into or may already be a killer, as quoted
 "Author Robert Bloch, on whose novel Joseph Stefano's screenplay was based, described Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho as embodying "the fear of the boy next door"." (Kermode, 2010).
 What Hitchcock was trying to show viewers is that not everything is what it seems, and what sometimes may seem harmless and good, could have a deeper darker secret. As shown in the film. Psycho, Norman is depicted as a nice guy, who the viewers feel sympathy for when hearing how his mother treats him. Then as the suspense builds, there is a sudden feeling of wariness of him, as his split personality disorder is revealed, with Norma killing anyone that he like's or is seen as a threat to him.

How this film portrays a split personality disorder is interesting, for it shows it as a son and mother relationship, where Norman is a nice, good little child listening to his mother, and going out of his way for her at the start. Whereas the mother is controlling, obsessive and watchful over Norman. The viewers get a sense that the owl, in the parlour, represents his mother as an overbearing, controlling and watching person making sure Norman is behaving, as shown in figure 2. He never steps out of line, to appease the mother side of his split personality. The best example of Norman and his mother's relationship is in this parlour scene, with an owl leaning towards him as he sits there. As one reviewer states:
 "Such divergent American institutions as motherhood and motels will never seem quite the same again, and only Hitchcock could give a soft-spoken State Trooper the visually sinister overtones of a dehumanised machine patrolling a conformist society." (Hoberman, 2016).
 Although it is revealed that Norman's mother is a horrible personality, rearing her ugly face, for Hitchcock, it is a statement of how people in the 1960s were treated with disorders like this. Some people do not understand the complexity of the mind and how the smallest or biggest of experiences can change a person outlook on the world. This was Hitchcock's way of showing and telling viewers that although Norman is a good and nice guy, the mother he used to share his mind with is not.


 Figure 2


Hitchcock is not only known for his thrill-inducing tales, but also for his filming techniques and making the viewers see what's important, for example at the beginning of the film viewers are made to think that Marion is the main protagonist. Hitchcock does this by having extra close ups on Marion looking worried, or complaining about what to do with the money, demonstrated in figure 3. He then has camera shots of the money, in an envelope sitting on the bed, and on the seat of her car, tempting her, as shown figure 4. Hitchcock does this because he wants to mislead the viewers, as to who the main protagonist is, and he wants the viewers to get involved with Marion as a character. Which can make the viewers worry if she gets away with the money or gets caught, however, this is not to be, for she is killed by Norman and the money sinks with her in the swamp. The other times Hitchcock uses extra close ups are when the viewers are introduced to the police, seeing and meeting Marion on the side of the road, as in figure 5, and the inspector trying to find her, in figure 6. Hitchcock does this for these two characters to make them feel like a threat to Marion, and she loved ones, trying to stop them in what they are doing.


 Figure 3

 Figure 4

 Figure 5

 Figure 6


Unlike his other films, Psycho has interesting editing on the famous shower scene, where Norman's mother’s side takes over and kills Marion in the shower. As one reviewer states:
"That said, Marion Crane's now-famous end in the shower – made up of 70 camera set-ups and 78 pieces of film, with no actual shot of the knife piercing flesh" (Monahan, 2015).
The feeling the viewers get when watching this disturbing scene is fear and attack, for the cuts to Marion, feel real to the viewers as if the viewer is being stabbed by Norman's mother when the camera cuts to him stabbing at the camera. The technique used for this scene is called montage editing. Montage editing is a compilation of different clips of the same scene at different angles and is put together, Hitchcock would inspire many other directors to use this method in other films.

(pictures of close ups of Miriam and cuts shots of the money, inspector and policemen)

The lighting in this film is quite strange at first, focusing heavy lighting on Norman before we get to know him, but when the big reveal and his split personality is recognised, it becomes a foreshadowing, that makes sense and clever for the choices Hitchcock made. The lighting plays a massive role in Norman’s character building, for most scenes with him there are heavy lighting on one side of his face as if to say this side is kind, good and sweet, whilst the other side is dark as if evil in some way as demonstrated in figure 7. Hitchcock did this to show viewers about his split personality and a little teaser of the truth behind the horrors that will unfold, this foreshadowing of this character makes him intriguing and helps wrap around the idea that he can not control himself.

 Figure 7


Hitchcock has explored many ways of a killer and split personality mind, through his camera shots to mislead as to who's the protagonist and the on coming the threat to face, props to symbolise the relationships and connections of characters and how lighting can change the thoughts of a character and the life they have a lead. Psycho is a horror masterpiece and is a great example of how to create a compelling and engaging story for all to enjoy.


Bibliography


  • Kermode, M. (2010) Psycho: The best horror film of all time. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/oct/22/psycho-horror-hitchcock (Accessed: 24 January 2017).
  • Hoberman, J. (2016) ‘Psycho’ is 50: Remembering its impact, and the Andrew Sarris review. Available at: http://www.villagevoice.com/news/psycho-is-50-remembering-its-impact-and-the-andrew-sarris-review-6659107 (Accessed: 24 January 2017).
  • Monahan, M. (2015) Psycho, review. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/filmreviews/11025424/Psycho-review.html (Accessed: 24 January 2017).

Illustration list


  • Admin (2012) Psycho (1960) – English classic DVD movie online and Download. Available at: http://imovies4you.com/psycho-1960-english-classic-dvd-movie-online-and-download/ (Accessed: 25 January 2017). Figure 1 
  • Psycho (1960) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock USA: Figure 2,3,4,5,6 and 7

Saturday, 21 January 2017

@Phil - story UPDATE

Okay, Phil, I have rewritten the story to the stalker idea, I find this much better than my original idea. Thank you for your help and hope this sounds amazing, please give me more advice if you think there should be something that needs to be added to it or if it needs just that little something else to make into a great story.

The Premise – motivations of love and the crazy things it makes people do to show their love for another.

The Logline – a woman is going on holiday when there is a man stalking and tracking her every movement throughout the airport, will he catch up to her or will he lose her for he wants her hand in marriage.

The Step Outline

a beautiful, curvaceous woman steps out of the house with her bag and luggage walking towards her car, unknowing that there is a man wearing a black hoody covering his face is watching closely in the shadows.

As she prepares the car had been grief already to go she speeds off straight to the airport with this mysterious man following closely behind her, as if stalking her every movement and every turn she makes to her destination.

When at the airport, she moves towards the ticket booth happily asking for a ticket to somewhere, he to ask for a ticket and points to the woman he is after whilst the ticket agent is happy to oblige in his command.

 He takes the chance to try and grab her when someone grabs by security guards asking absurd questions whilst losing the woman, he answers them abruptly and mad storming off trying to find the woman.

He spots her at the corner of his eye. he rips off his hat and pulls up the fishing rod, the casts are liable to the nearest car driving towards a destination, flying through the crowd he lets go of the rod and lands close to her.

The creeps ever so quietly to feeling triumphant being near her when a huge crowd of people from the landing sweep away as they try to go to the designated areas of checking in, when finally escaping through this rambunctious crowd he spots the woman is about to board the Swan.

He dashes for the terminal only to be there too late for boarding is closed and spots the Swan on the see-saw runway leaving, an idea pops into his head to use the seesaw to get to her.

He pushes every weight that holding the see-saw down and grabs another fishing rot, he swings it to a pile of bricks on a table in the garden and with all his might pulls down the tone of bricks onto the seesaw launching him into the air.

He just makes it onto the Swan landing as if about breaking a sweat and boldly walks over to the woman, looking dazed and confused at the man and his intentions he pulls back his hood revealing it was her boyfriend all along stalking her and tracking her every move.

He gets down on one knee and presents a ring to her asking where you marry me, with all her might and her body filling with overjoyed happiness she leaps into his arms and says yes ending on a happy and delightful note.

Friday, 20 January 2017

@Phil - story

Hi, Phil, I need your advice with this story whether if it sounds good or not and if I need to add anything to it to make it better.

The Premise – motivations of love and the crazy things it makes people do to show their love for another.

The Logline – a garden gnome works at an airport happy with his relationship with an air hostess. when discovering she has left her prize position behind, he will go out of his way to get it back to her.

The Step Outline 

 a man walks out of his house letting the gnomes to move toward the airport and set up, get the birds ready and opening shops/coffee shops.

Security officer gnome and Air hostess gnome walk in together holding hands, go to the higher floor to grab some food, loving every minute of their time together.

Air hostess gnome kisses him goodbye to go on her swan for, whilst Security officer gnome looks sadden and dismayed of her departure.

When working, checking passengers through and scanning their bags, to his horror, she has left her engagement ring behind with only seconds left before her flight leaves.

He leaps out of his seat running towards the terminal, he pushes and barges past passengers getting closer to his goal until he falls over a small plank of wood and a barrel missing the flight to her.

All hope seems lost until he sees a sign for flying lessons, he speeds over with delight and begs the teacher to take him near the swan where his fiancée is.

 He boards a magpie and sky rockets to the air, full of hope and determination, he catches up to the swan and jumps get to her. He barely makes the jump and is lifted by the fiancée.

 She looks worried and confused at his actions, the only way he can show his reasoning for what he did he goes down on one knee and presents the ring.

Filled with happiness and relief and hugs him in delight, surrounded by awe’s from the other passengers and end on the 2 lovers going to the swan's destination.    

Maya toolkit - 17 premiere editing

I took my Maya pre-viz of the car crash tutorial and edit it in premiere, I enjoyed learning what to do in premiere and I think the video came out good.


car crash from Laura Boots on Vimeo.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

From Script to Screen - ideas

I have been going through many possibilities for my story, I have decided that it will be an airport garden AKA an airport in the garden run by gnomes and made from things that are in the garden, as well as it being a love story.





Maya homework - 15 Camera shake, drop and zoom

car shake from Laura Boots on Vimeo.

drop from Laura Boots on Vimeo.

zoom from Laura Boots on Vimeo.

Rope by Alfred Hitchcock 1948 - Film Review 14 cutting edge



 Figure 1


In 1948, film director and writer, Alfred Hitchcock embarked on the making of a film dedicated to the idea of murder. Asking the questions: ‘is there such a thing as a perfect crime?’ and ‘how can you create suspense?’. Hitchcock, with help from an old screenplay, developed for Broadway theatre and Howard Bristol (set designer), created one of the most thrilling films filled with suspense- Rope.

The narrative, of Rope, is about 2 young men, Brandon and Phillip, killing a friend, David,, out of boredom, to commit the perfect crime. In celebration of their kill, Brandon, the brains and the main protagonist of the film, sets up a party filled with David's, the victim’s, family members, his aunt, father, girlfriend, the girlfriend's ex/old best friend and their old teacher Rupert. Throughout the party Brandon indulges in small talk, making little jibes and about David, trying to be clever as the guests are unaware of David’s death. However, Rupert observes Brandon and Philip’s behaviour towards the guests and begins to suspect something has gone on. He discovers the horrifying truth about David, and, as a final act, to stop Philip and Brandon with getting away with a murder, he shoots a gun three times outside the apartment to alert everyone.

What inspired Hitchcock to take on a story like this was an old script play. As one critic pointed out "Hitchcock was interested in seeing whether he could find a cinematic equivalent to the play"(Canby, 2000). This means Hitchcock wants to push the boundaries of storytelling, for when looking at the film viewers will notice that the way it is filmed is as if you are watching a Broadway show. There are two reasons why he has done this, one of them is to make it look like a Broadway show to make it film more like the play, the other reason was to build suspense.

The film has its very own unique ideas about how the duo will be caught, but Hitchcock is famous for suspense, in his films, and as he describes the "bomb theory" he works it to its advantage in this film. The “bomb theory”, according to Hitchcock, is where the audience can see what is about to happen, although the characters are unaware, thereby building suspense. Acting, filming and lighting also help to build suspense in this film. As one reviewer quoted, about how he feels re-watching the film "I was consistently alarmed by the story’s key psychology and enlivened by the manner in which events unfold gradually and realistically until the inevitable climax demands us to confront the difficult truth." (Keyes, 2014). Hitchcock is not only inviting the viewer into the film but has also set the scene with a range of questions for the viewer, for example, who will find out that they murdered a person? how will they find out? and how will they resolve this problem?. This leads up to a very satisfying climax. Although, during the film, it feels amazing reflecting and guessing these questions, getting tiny answers to fit pieces of the puzzle together, and how the characters develop, which makes for an interesting watch.

One thing to notice about this film is its camera shots and movement throughout the film. The camera will sometimes make the viewer think that it's a person watching the event and how it unfolds. However, it will also change to focus on items and props to make the viewer feel important, "These breaks he usually accomplishes by having the camera appear to pan across someone's back, during which dark close-ups the film reel is changed."(Canby, 2000). Hitchcock is famous for his style and filming choice, the reason why he has adopted this style in this film is to build tension for the viewer. When Rupert is analysing how Brandon and Phillip murdered David shown is Figure 2., Hitchcock cleverly films areas of the New York apartment for the viewer, which can feel like a claustrophobic environment for the characters. They appear to be unable to escape the inevitability of what they will find out, which builds tension and suspense between each character, has a truly perfect crime been committed?.
 Figure 2


Hitchcock obviously wanted the viewers to pay close attention to the chest, in the living room of the apartment, holding the dead body and the rope. For audiences watching this is exciting, building up as a character goes near the object, for they will find themselves desperately wishing that the main characters, Brandon and Phillip, will be caught and someone will find out what they have done. For example in figure 3., showing housemaid and Rupert near the chest, so close to discovering the body and yet so far. Brandon and Philip would do anything to distract the guests and workers from the chest, building the suspense for the audience. In figure 4., which demonstrates the rope holding books, it can be perceived that Brandon is trying to say ‘I committed the crime, I have killed, and now you have the weapon I killed him with’, mocking David’s father with what he has done. Brandon is showing a clever side with a smart intelligence and a confidence that he can do anything that he wishes, however, it does not mean that he is invincible if anything that is also his weakness, making him very cleverly written the character.
 Figure 3

 Figure 4

The suspense of the film is thanks to the main characters Brandon and Phillip, for they set the whole premise of the film. Brandon appears to take pure pleasure in the murder of David. During the beginning, after they killed David, Brandon starts to feel this pleasure in what he has done, which is unforgivable. Brandon, in figure 5., appears in such rapture about the murder that this could be described as post-coital bliss. The reason why Hitchcock has decided to show Brandon in this way is explained very well in this quote "Hitchcock being Hitchcock, "gay" inherently and necessarily means "psychopathic", so when the two of them talk about the excitement and release of killing David, how his murder climaxed with his body going limp, it's about as close to one man telling another "thank you for the orgasm I just had" (Brayton, 2016). What this means for the viewer is that Hitchcock is trying to give somewhat of a reason why they killed David but not a pardon, as if they needed an adrenaline rush, which only ends in their formidable demise.
 Figure 5


This review, of Rope, demonstrates Hitchcock is the master of suspense, whether it be a prop, characters or the camera shots, he knows well enough how to grab the audience's attention and help them engage with the story. Is a shining example that with the right story and great motivation suspense builds on not just who dunn it, but also how will they be found out, and that is why Hitchcock's Rope (1948) is an amazing film to watch and will have audiences thrilled and in suspense.


Bibliography 

  • Brayton, T. (2016) Rope. Available at: http://www.alternateending.com/2016/06/the-perfect-murderers.html (Accessed: 17 January 2017).

  • Canby, V. (2000) ‘Rope’: A stunt to behold. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/library/film/060384hitch-rope-reflection.html (Accessed: 17 January 2017).

  • Keyes, D. (2014) Rope / **** (1948). Available at: http://www.thecinemaphileblog.com/2014/02/rope-1948.html (Accessed: 17 January 2017).

Illustration list  


  • DeArmond, S. (2011) Film review: Rope (1948) - HNN | Horrornews.Net - official news site. Available at: http://horrornews.net/36547/film-review-rope-1948/ (Accessed: 17 January 2017). Figure 1 

  • Gerard Marcos Truque (2015) ROPE (1948) last 18 minutes HD. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEuPy4doa3c (Accessed: 17 January 2017). Figure 2 

  • The Hitchcock Zone (no date) 1000 frames of rope (1948) - frame 672 - the Alfred Hitchcock Wiki. Available at: https://the.hitchcock.zone/wiki/1000_Frames_of_Rope_(1948)_-_frame_672 (Accessed: 17 January 2017). Figures 3 and 4

  • Rutger H. Cornets de Groot (2014) Hitchcock, ‘rope’ opening scene. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h23tjOu3pIA (Accessed: 17 January 2017). Figure 5