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