Friday, 2 November 2012

Unit 2: Environment_Project Concept

I have as my project core the 'Atomic Mesmerist'. There is a lot of potential with this mixture.

The fact that Atomic is used gives me an immediate leaning to the 1920's -1950's, one would imagine that any machine that could be built for the purposes of mind control would be powered in an atomic way. Or perhaps this conjures visions of a post-apocalyptic despot who rises to power in a world where the bomb has dropped.

Mesmerist conjures up some different images however. The very notion, whether it is achieved by hypnosis or charm is one that centers around control and therefore power. Given the turbulent political era of the atomic age, it is fair to suppose that anyone with this character's resources is part of either the Allied or Axis war machine. Given the nefarious nature of the 'science' it is not a huge leap of imagination to associate this type of technology with Nazi Germany.

In terms of the 'prop' I am leaning toward a device for mind manipulation. Whether the mesmerist has escaped the fall of the Reich, left to his own devices where he can plot and improve his dastardly machines to say, manipulate en-mass using television or mobile communication is unclear. Perhaps he is active in his period and trying to use more..far reaching methods. Scorching the sky to project upon as permanent night canvas or perhaps using kaleidoscopic means to place a mesmerizing projection on say, the Moon? I quite like this last idea actually. It seems just crazy enough to have once been thought plausible.

My concepts started in quite a crude fashion as the next images show...

From these very basic ideas of Aerials and 'Death Rays' I refined the core and applied a little common sense and faux engineering to end up with these ideas.

Combining these ideas led me to the following concept. A vehicle which has mobility, uses refraction to throw an image at a surface hundreds or perhaps thousands of miles away.


Friday, 5 October 2012

Life Drawing_Jane_1B_2012

We focussed on the relationship between positive and negative space. I struggled a little to be honest, despite Chris' comprehensive explanations. Better luck next time I think.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Unit 1 Film Review: Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (Dir: Robert Weine)

This is an interesting opportunity for me. To be able to re-review a film like 'Caligari' gives one the pressure of responsibility to do the review justice. I have, since last (and first) viewing this film watched other, more modern titles with opened and educated eyes.

 ‘Wiene's expressionistic masterpiece is required viewing for lovers of the gothic and the weird.’ Vaux R. (2005)

Watching Tim Burton's 'Coraline', is like looking at Weine's vision in colour. Burton's influence and popularity may be naught without Caligari, certainly he would have needed to raid someone else's nest in order to get his 'quintessential' look.

The story is one of power. The blind use of Caligari's science appals all, his selfish quest to further his knowledge leads to death, despondency and madness. However this is not a fable in the Hollywood tradition, but one with a far more sinister 'Grimm' feel. The titular Caligari, despite all his evil, never faces the justice he should. In fact it is his main inquisitor 'Francis' who takes the fall for all of his crimes. When Roger Ebert writes, ‘A case can be made that Caligari was the first true horror film.’  Ebert R., (2011) it is difficult to argue with his critique. Such is the pivotal effect of this film it radiates into every genre of horror, and indeed every production designer both of stage and screen must have marvelled at the expressive use of light and shade to create atmosphere on a shoestring budget.

‘Even if taken as social or Freudian statement, Caligari's real star attraction is in the visuals.Levit D.J (2009)

I have touched on the visual impact and expertise, but as a social statement I find this second critique of Caligari most interesting. During the film there is a reference to the crimes of Caligari being committed in several small towns in Italy..

..Weine (to my mind at least) is Nostradamus like in his pre-cognition of Germany's position as puppet master during WWII. Whether the signs were apparent in 1920 I cannot clearly say. But the fact that the content of this film deals with a power, taking and maintaining power over a helpless and clueless somnambulist (Cesare). Comparisons could be made with the way that Hitler duped the German people using fear and propaganda as Chancellor and Fuhrer. A similar comparison could be levelled at Italy and Germany's relationship in the conflict. Italy in this example are clearly the puppet to Hitlers Master.

Critic Bibliography:

Ebert R. Chicago Sun Times. In: 07.10.11 [online] At: (Accessed on 26.09.12)

Levit D.J. In: ReelTalk Movie Reviews 07.02.10 [online] At: (Accessed on 26.09.12)

Vaux R. In: Flipside Movie Emporium 02.02.05 [online] At: (Accessed on 26.09.12)

Monday, 1 October 2012

Life Drawing_Session 001_Jane_2012

Nice to be back in the studio. I think on the whole I made a decent fist of things. Proportionally I was just about there I think. Jane's head is a little too big on occasion, but limb length and other physical traits are there. As ever, let me know if i'm wrong :)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Unit 1 Film Review: A Trip to the Moon (Dir: Georges Melies)

‘The screen's first science fiction story - a 14 min. masterpiece, created by imaginative French director/master magician Georges Melies in his version of Jules Verne's story.’ Dirks T (2004). 
It is hard to imagine the impact this film had on the audience. While some of the more educated members may have been familiar with the Jules Verne story, it is likely that this piece of work was entirely new to the majority of the viewers. It's affect must have been mind-blowing. Within the space of fourteen short minutes the viewer is introduced to the concept and execution of space travel. They are then transported to another world, laughable by todays standards and rife with scientific inaccuracies but nevertheless immersive and plausible. 

‘The primitive silent landmark has more charm and originality than many modern CGI-cluttered epics.’ Hall P. (2004). 
Hall's comment is entirely pertinent. Being transported to an alien environment is a commonplace occurrence, now. So much so that it is more and more difficult for filmmakers to dupe their audiences. We expect too much from our entertainment nowadays, we used to enjoy being lied to, no longer it would seem. All the Avatar's and Alien's of today have achieved is abandoning simplicity for 'realism'. A realism that doesn't, and cannot truly exist. By dictating their vision so wholly, the charm and the opportunity for the audience to enhance the images on screen using their imaginations is compromised. One does not taste as well when spoon fed.

‘A treat for cineastes and sci-fi fans alike, with Melies borrowing from both Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.’ Brunson M. (2009)

There can be no denying the impact this film has had on it's successors. Without it would the Science Fiction so many love and take for granted have a different feel? Would it be less ambitious?

Review Bibliography:

Brunson M. (2009). Creative Loafing. In: 25.04.12 [online] At: (Accessed on 27.09.12)

Dirks T. (2004). Tim Dirks’ The Greatest Films. In: 16.03.12 [online]  At: (Accessed on 27.09.12)

Hall P. (2004). Film Threat. In: 08.03.04 [online] At: (Accessed on 27.09.12)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I have as my excerpt's H.P. Lovecraft's 'At the Mountains of Madness'.

At a first glance the imagery seems rather sparse, but on a second read, and after considerable thought
there are many layers of detail and complexity to explore.

The environment, whether internal or external will be largely comprised of large, stone carved,
geometric shapes that have been at the mercy of their wintry surroundings for an ice age. As such I
shall be concentrating on massive scale amidst a barren landscape with a suitably arctic palette.

Image 1

Here I am working with one of my external shots. The peaks in the rear were going to form part of the
surrounding mountain range that encloses the city. As the image evolved the peaks appear to give the
impression that they are in fact drifts of snow covering larger, unnatural structures. I am happy to let this
trompe l'oeil help shape the imagery in the mind of the viewer. To help me expand and work with an
image of this fashion I shall be looking at images of glacial formations, snowdrifts, arctic tundras to
replicate the 'feel' of the inhospitable frozen wastes.

Images 2, 3 & 4

Images 1 and 2 are essentially retouched versions of image 3. Image one is saturated with more blue
light, ice will be as dominant as the stone structures. It is fair to suppose that any light illuminating the
sub-ice structures will be filtered through the ice giving the environment it's chilly feel.

Image 2 was deliberately over exposed to highlight how sparse the environment would look with
hasher light. For a scale that will do the ancient city justice I shall be looking at Petra, ancient Egypt and
the greater South American ancient civilisations (Mayan, Aztec and Incan).

Monday, 24 September 2012

Brand New Start

Well, here I am again :)

Please use this missive to gauge the point where 

first year 1.0 ended and first year 2.0 begins.

I hope you enjoy my machinations throughout the 

year, as before any and all comments are most 




Thursday, 8 March 2012

Unit 4: Final Script.

I don't have time to make major changes as I need to get into production SOON, that said please let me know if you have any serious suggestions.

Unit 4 Script_Final

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Unit 5 Life Drawing: Jane

Some good work here I think considering the sessions I've missed. I kick myself when I consider how much further along I could be.

Unit 5 Character Research.

A little alteration to the position of knobs and switches should give me ample opportunity to allow the character to emote.