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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Evening with Allan

William, Allan and I went to the artist talks at Neutral Ground  this evening. Amber talked about her experiences at the Banff Centre where she developed the project in the gallery this month (Mountain Movers). She talked about how everyone who goes there creates some work based on the mountains. It reminded me of how everyone who goes to Phil Hoffman's film farm makes films involving grain, fence posts, barbed wire, and the goat. The exotic us so subjective.
We went to eat and played the dice story game but developed some fun variations on it by sharing the dice and the story.

Monday, November 20, 2017

William's version of "Inside Out"

Rooted in the idea of emotional islands, William created this poster for his grade 11 psychology class. He did well but had forgotten one acronym (O.C.E.A.N. - whatever that stands for) which dropped him from an A+ to an A-. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Theremin is back

After having lent it out for the past year, my not-quite-working-correctly Theremin is back in my hands. I need to put it into test mode to make it work. I still don't know if this is because some circuit is burned out or soldered incorrectly or if I just am not doing it right. Anyway, it makes noise again. Here is the alligator clips that override the volume to put it into test mode:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Home sick

Margaret went to work. William and I didn't feel too terrible but felt we needed a down day so stayed home but for a short drive to practice parking. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

SIFA awards

The SIFA awards were this weekend. I went alone as William was sick and Margaret had multiple commitments and I was up for best short film for "Eyes of Sorrow Moon", although I didn't expect to get it (and I didn't). The award went to one of the only two films featured that I'd not seen; Mattias Graham's "Gas Can", a rather foreboding drama about a first nations man (played by the ever-convincing Simon Moccasin who was overlooked on the nominations for best performer) who walks onto a farm to borrow gas. The tension seemed to lie in some unspoken past between these two men, a abuse or a grievance that neither say out loud. Added to that is the viewer's awareness of the Saskatchewan shooting that came out of just this sort of event (which the film does not reference as it had begun production before this real life event). I'd like to have had a relief from the tension in some way at the end, either through violence or humour, but he relentlessly leaves us hanging, gagging on the unspoken words.
The other film that premiered was Ian Campbell's "The Flats", another of his amazing abstract semi-narratives with peculiar performances taking place in a digital environment. This one was a bit more minimal as Ian located all the action in three rooms, each placed above the other, where three individuals (a punk rocker, a minimalist, and a cockroach - all played by Amber PB) live, perform, and respond to each other. The images is manipulated to take on the look of a line-drawn animation. The minimalist surges, as if she were part of the electrical system. The cockroach hoarder who lives with unstable stacks of boxes on the top floor is certainly references Kafka. With this in mind, I'd like to have seen a longer version of this character, struggling with balance, with an endless amount of time but with time never on its side. Having just finished reading "The Castle", I'm feeling very interested in the sensation of frustration. Perhaps a director's cut in the future?
I was also the presenter, on behalf of the Department of Film, of the best student film. This went to Layton Burton for his very strong memory/portrait of his parent's unorthodox marriage. Congratulations to Layton and to all of the other students who were nominated. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Story Cubes

On our driving practice today, we stopped for comics and to the toy store next door which carried, as William had hoped, "Story Cubes" which are basically a set of 9 dice with different images on each die face. You roll them and then tell a story based upon them. Fun. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Animation dynamics

I think we had a fairly good animation class today. We started with a demo of rotoscoping, tracing an incredible kick that Pete performed for us. We then moved on to re-photographing those drawings outside of the traditional animation context, holding the drawings with others standing in for missing body parts behind the image. While only a second long, it was pretty fun to make.