My Friends

The lucky thing is that you have some great friends, what even luckier is that they are all living in your neighborhood. This is the place where I called the second home; me and my friends are so closed just like families. When I come back after work but don’t want to stay at home alone, I would come here and chat with my friends, share our daily stories, or do things like watching movie, playing video games together. One of my friends is good at cooking, so I have the luck to eat the nice food. We don’t fuss about personal gains and losses in our friendship, we help up and care about each others, feel what each others’ feel. I believe this is what true friendship should be like.

The time with friends is always valuable to me, and while I was being with them I would forget about all the pressures in work. I hope our friendship would last forever, regardless where we are and who we will become in the future.

Digital Story – If You Had One Wish

If you had one wish, what would you wish for?

Each person must have something that they really desire or want to achieve, if you haven’t worked out your one, let’s take a look the other people’s wishes in our digital story If You Had One Wish

 Isn’t it amazing? Listening to these beautiful people talking about their wishes, sharing their thoughts? It is like you can enter their inward worlds and then realize the beauty of them. Some wishes were simple as to live forever; some involved the remarkable depth of humanity. No matter how theirs wishes are different, but the smiles on their faces are same. I found myself was smiling along while I was editing the footages too, I was affected by their yearnings of their wishes, and then I realized the real thing that has driven us to live and going forward is – the hope.

For this short film, me and my group mate Darren collected and filmed the answers from 15 people who were with different background and from different countries, and integrated them into one story. Many skills that we have learnt in the first semester of Graduate Diploma of Media were used for making the film, such as the photo and sound editing, creative writing etc.        In the process of production, I also have realized the importance of collaboration in fimmaking; I have really enjoyed working with Darren who is with great skills and kind personality, we working together in a structured way, innovating together, and finally made it happen, it is the best price for us. It is important mentioning that the concept of If You Had One Wish was inspired by videos on fiftypeopleonequestion.com which are all compilations of fifty people’s answers and reactions to only one question. We also intended to present our story onto fiftypeopleonequestion.com and some mainstream social websites like Youtube, Vimeo so that it could be brought out to the world by them; we definitely want the world to see it. Also we submitted it to ACMI to have it screened, so hopefully it will get the result we are expecting.

Lastly, great thanks to all the people who helped us to finished our digital story, you guys are amazing! May all your wishes come true!

Fiction Project – Post 3 – Collaborative Filmmaking

Filmmaking can be extremely stressful and difficult if all the crew members involved in the filmmaking process aren’t pulling together in the same direction and collaborating in a way that makes the creation of the film fun and challenging. We hear plenty of stories about conflict and compromise on film sets that happened between writers-producers-directors for different reasons and had a detrimental effect on the final product.

For a better communication between the groups outside the class, we have set up the Facebook group. So that every updated material or new idea and thought from us would all go on the group page. I personally played the part of animator so once I came up with new drawings or clips; I presented them on Youtube or Dropbox, so the crews would see them and leave feedbacks to me. So we could keep in touch and updated about everything for the project by online communication.

It is integral to the filmmaking that everybody is pulling towards the common goal: To take the film from the page to the screen in the best possible way and give it the best chance of being a fantastic piece of work. That means that everyone – from the actors, the producers, the writer and the director – all have to be in agreement and have effective communicative channels in place so that they all know what they expect from each other and know what is required to make the best possible film.

We all brought the individual advantages into the filmmaking process of Early on Set, We made the most of our past skills and knowledge meanwhile also learning the new stuffs. Giving the prompt helps to each other In order to ensure the problem is solved as soon as possible.

Getting feedback and constructive criticism is part of the game too; going with the better ideas from the others definitely will make the very best result. These ideas could be from anyone, because they might see the better results from their professional vision or just where they are standing at. And that is the value of working as a team in filmmaking, because it is never a one man work.

I have really enjoyed working with my group members who are with different but complementary skills, we working together in a structured way, innovating together, to make the film Early on Set, we have been very happy with the result. And that is the biggest price for every one of us!

Fiction Project- Post 2- The Production Process

The filming process of Early on Set has given me great experiences on camera operations, sound recording; lighting set up, directing etc. I realised the importance of the preparations from pre-production stage that serves the filming. Communicating with actors is very important for them to understand the plot and correctly express the moods of characters. Another thing I have learnt was to film as many shots as possible with different lightings or camera angles for later revises or replacements, because it is hard to find the problems with a single shot in filming unless putting them together, which gave me the greatest understanding of how all the parts fit together to make a whole. Therefore, it is not only the film’s narrative structure but also the film’s look and overall style.

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“Film is a unique art precisely because it requires a collaborative creative process. A variety of professionals and craftspeople work together to make a film. Some have expert knowledge of light and technology. Others are experts in sound, music, design, and construction.” (Martin Scorsese, 2011) Working as team is more than important in the production process, for avoiding the ambiguities in the future process, enough communications with the members in the crew could save the plenty times and energy on producing the film.

I have learnt that the cinematographer is responsible for shooting the film, but this involves much more than operating the cameras on the set. Specific tasks include framing and designing the light for each shot. In addition, the camera affects when and how we see a character — close up or far away, from a low or high angle, in high-key or low-key lighting. The final performance seen on-screen is the result of editing. Many minutes of an actor’s performance may be cut from the final film. This is a critical difference between acting on the stage and acting for the screen.

For the animation on this stage, it is more about collecting the facial features from real actor to create animated character and recording the voiceover from him too. We recorded several sounds in different lengths so that we will be able to choose the appropriate one for the final one. We have thought about the tone of speaking lines for animation voiceover would be exciting and coherent compares to old man’s normal speech, in order to indicate old man’s current metal status and also guide the audience into the intense racing. “The way an actor interprets and then plays a character affect the audience understands of the story. Often, the actor’s interpretation comes from personal experiences and values.”(Martin Scorsese, 2011)

In summary, we can see the process of production is the execution of carefully crafted plans made in pre-production and designed in development. The more time and energy a moviemaker invests in pre-production, the higher quality the end product.

Reference:

Martin Scorsese, The filming making process, 2011 http://www.film-foundation.org/common/11041/pdfs/tg_chapter2.pdf

Fiction Project – Post 1- Inspirations and Good Examples

Room for Rent and Loose Tooth are both comedies story but I think the ways they revealing the jokes are quite different. There should be a lot of dialogues going on in Room for Rent’s story as the story is about housemate interview which requires less moving acting, so in order to fulfill the story and make it funny, the dialogue must be smart and entertaining. The jokes could also be enhanced by controlling the speed of speaking lines and right pauses. Loose Tooth on the other hand requires more body movements to deliver the jokes; it needs contagious acting to explain the emotion and personality of the protagonist and supporting role. Secondly, in filming and editing aspects, these stories could dig out the even better results by good using of camera and good cuts.

So by thought of these points, our Old Man Can’t Drive although is an emotional story other than the two above, but it shares same film making theories and skills with them: the dialogues might be opposite form with the Room for Rent which are terser but strongly emotional, the acting would be smooth and sensitive. Good cutting would definitely help enhancing the mood in film.

As I discussed with group members about how to make the story more believable and fill up the part of old man’s past life scenes. We decided to recreate the scenes by making an animation. Consider the time would be massive for making an animation, and I also have got the inspiration from film Kill Bill that inserted a comic book style animation for explaining the past life of character O-Ren Ishii. So I have chosen to make a comic book style animatic(still frames animation) to recreate the intense rally scene, it could be very experimental but I think it is still worth to try.

The Kill Bill animation starts with a still image of real character with voiceover, and then it slowly zoomed into a one-third screen, the other two animated version of characters appears next to the real figure screen, and then it directly cuts to the animation. This kind of method might be critical for making our transition between real life and animation because we don’t want it to be too stand out and stylish, so I will think a way to smooth the transitions as much as possible, such as using the distorted effects instead of direct cuts.

So I had some research about old style comic book and comic books style animatics, thus I got the ideas of my animation would be a overall yellowish visual style combines with hand drawing sketches which would represent a past and old feeling. The camera movements would be considered to use carefully to match with the entire theme. The sound effects such as car engines and cheering crowd will be added too. The animation will be presented along with the voiceover of old man memorizing the race in the past.

The World with Apps

When we were still amazed by how PC could make our lives such simple fifteen years ago,  we could never imagine using software on our phones anytime and anywhere. The technology is developing so fast, before we knew it, smartphones, tablets have become many people’s first choice for surfing the internet, shopping online, paying their bills, watching videos and more. And all these are rely on various apps.

We all knew app is short for application, in fact, we have started using them on PC years ago, such as a calculator, a voice recorder, etc. But they seem to were not used by people too frequently, because people need to use them with quicker access and easier operation.  And that’s why people need apps on their phones with touch screens, not only saving their time, but way more mobility and efficiency.

I am personally a big lover to technology, and I have to admit that using apps has become a big part of my life. I think apps can do things common like recording sound or calculation but also new things like analyzing the music info or navigation. A desire of making my own app is growing  along with using more apps. Since I always want to make a simple game with a unique concept like Doodle Jump.

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I have gained some professional skills in game design in my Bachelor degree, what I really don’t know is how to compress them in formats that can be ran on system like Android or iOS, So I searched through the internet and I found couple results for making a game app.

  • How to Create a Gaming App is a introduction of how to start making a game app from early stage preparation to the publishing and marketing.
  • How to Build An App: 36 Great Tutorials is thorough tutorials about making an app in professional methods, so professional skills like program coding and graphic design might be required.
  • Mag+ provides a platform for us to make a magazine app without coding skills, you can download tools from its website and additional software like Adobe Indesign might be required.

At the end, here is a video that released from Apple, which explained how

Each iOS app offers remarkable, and often delightful possibilities. But the most powerful iOS apps ever are ones that change people’s lives in ways they never imagined.

Enjoy!

 

Ebooks

I believe most of us are familiar with ebooks, it became a alternative choice to paper books nowadays. So, what is an ebook?

An ebook is an electronic book, one you read digitally on devices called ebook readers. However, almost any electronic device that features a controllable viewing screen, including computers, tablets, many mobile phones, and all smartphones can also be used to read ebooks.

So, why would you want an ebook? As you discover this new industry with your surfing over the Internet, you will discover ePublishers and ebook stores gradually growing in numbers. Also thousands upon thousands of authors write books yearly. Of those, only a small percentage has the good fortune of being accepted by a publisher. This is not because they don’t make the grade, but because of the vast numbers. So, many talented authors chose to take their books to open internet, market and sell books themselves. Some of the books have printed equivalent, but some of them not, of those, there are sure many outstanding books are well worth the read.

People hold different opinions about ebooks, some think ebooks are good because they save paper; eReaders are light weight and they are capable of containing multiple books, or simply, they are cheaper than paper books. But the others prefer paper books because they more feel like book in hands while reading. I personally love both as long as the content can be correctly delivered to me, to me what more important is the content.

Sometimes I get very frustrated when reading a long essay in PDF format, it is a good idea to convert it to an ebook and I could read it on my iPad. I found Jutoh(Download) is a good software that helps me do the job easily; it is not completely free that you have to pay for some of the advanced functions, but the free demo version works well enough for me.

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Jutoh could divide your work into chapters, and you could also create content for your work. Jutoh supports exporting in many popular formats such as Epub, Mobipocket, HTML, etc. And it is available for all of the computer operation systems.

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Ebooks definitely made reading easier and more portable, but keep in mind that long time reading on devices like iPad is harmful for eyes, so having some proper rests during reading is always a good habit.

RSS Feed: LSO Play

In today’s RSS feeds research, I found a innovative flash website LSO Play in Tim George Design‘s post. LSO(London Symphony Orchestra) is one of the world leading orchestras, and LSO Play is their new multimedia project allows users to watch & interact with HD footage of the orchestra performing Ravel’s Bolero.

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We can also roam around the orchestra by changing the camera position, each camera also has different angles for us to choose. It gives us an immersive experience of enjoying classic symphony both acoustically and visually, allowing us to observe different moments happening in the performing up to four streams.

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We also can explore a map of the orchestra, discover the musician bios, instruments, and masterclass videos.

In the future LSO will be uploading more videos of different performances, and maybe one day the experience will be translated to an iOS app or similar. In the meantime, I think this project really proves that Flash on the desktop is not dead!

I agree what Tim said, I think Flash has more potentials are waiting for us to develop, and giving new lives to other art forms like LSO Play did.