Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mad Mapper Examples

Due 11/19

A. Revise current project.
B. Create a short blog post with links responding to video projection art highlighting two specific works from two different artists.
C. Bring a short statement of experiment and materials necessary to complete experiment. Must include surface and content to be projected.
D. Bring a box of materials to project upon for in class workshop.
E. Bring source footage to experiment with for the in class workshop.

Projection Masters

Welcome to the official BILL VIOLA website
Home / Tony Oursler
Gary Hill : exhibitions
Gary Hill Studio on Vimeo
MoMA | The Collection | Bruce Nauman (American, born 1941)
Bruce Nauman - Google Search

Projection Clips

Form and Substance: Projection Mapping in Contemporary Art. Spring 2013 on Vimeo
Permanent mapping installation at The Hive night club on Vimeo
MMOV╬× on Vimeo
HP | Hear There Everywhere on Vimeo
Lovelight Installation on Vimeo
Dave Greber, Video Artist
Psycho - Homage to Hitchcock on Vimeo
Pinboard on Vimeo
An Inquiring Age-SHORT on Vimeo
The Pomplamoose Website!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Audio Notes

The reality of the sound
Must appear to be coming from the picture (sound in a gym v. sound in a living room)
Live v. Dead (gym very live (bouncy)) living room dead (think of materials in a living room)
Sound that does not bounce is referred to as direct sound – often try to deaden a room

Is related to distance
Voice of person in distance should be different than one shown in close-up
Boom further away for a long shot than for a tight shot – easier with boom – more difficult with lavs
Mics hidden in scenery – any potential problems? What if camera follows the person?
Sometimes difficult to do – done later in ADR – record scratch track anyway

The relative volume of sounds.
Important sounds should be louder than unimportant sounds
Human ear can listen selectively, but mic cannot
Cardioids mics can act a little more like the selective ear than can an omni directional
Generally record everything flat and adjust relative volumes in post

Refers to the sameness from shot to shot
Script supervisor generally keeps track of visual elements should also keep track of the aural  elements
If water is dripping in during close-ups of a man should also hear if cu’s of a woman who is in the same shot
Should note how far the mic is from the person being recorded
The angle should also be noted
Use the same mic for the same person throughout the production


Zoom H4N
REC - Record Menu 
Rec Format 48/24

Input Menu
Mono Mix = On

System Menu
Date/Time -- make sure this is correct *** make sure to select OK when finished -- that will take you back -- if you select menu it will cancel what you have entered 

SD Card Menu
Format -- make sure you have transferred and backed up your files as this will erase all of you files

Folder Menu
Select the folder number that corresponds to the reel number you will be shooting:
for example -- if you are shooting reel 1, select folder_01 from the folder menu. if you are shooting reel 2, select folder_02 from the folder menu…. etc. etc. etc. 

**Make sure your settings are at  24-bit 48 kHz WAV files.
Recording at 24-bit 48 kHz gives you about an hour of recording per gigabyte.

Be aware of the angle and placement of the mic.
Double/Triple check that the mic is not in the shot. Do not forget to watch for mic shadows!

Adjust your Gain

You want to use the least amount of gain when recording as an increase in gain will add noise to your recording.

Use the + - record button to adjust the levels so the average falls between -12 to -6 dB

-12  to -18 for Normal Dialogue try not to ride below -24. 

-6 Peak for Yelling -- try not to peak over -6

Do not confuse the + - headphone volume (on the left side of the zoom) with the + - record setting (right side of the zoom).

Garbage in = Garbage out! You can not adjust levels that are extremely low or extremely high! 

Watch for extreme highs -- you do not want to hit 0 -- your sound will CLIP

Always Monitor your Audio
Actively listening to your audio on headphones is as fundamentally important as looking through the view finder of a camera. You can't properly frame a shot without using your eyes, and you can't assess your audio without using your ears. One of the biggest problems with shooting video on a DSLR is that most cameras don't have a headphone output. The good news is that you're shooting double system audio with a portable digital recorder. Your recorder has a headphone output, so you should use it as much as possible. Listen to your audio when you're setting up and when you're shooting. If there are any problems, you'll hear them and have a better idea of what needs adjustment.

You must make the set aware if the sound is not ideal. RE-Take the shot. Speak up if the sound quality is not optimal! 

Your slate/clapper must be detailed to aide in the sync of audio in post. 
Clapper slates are used at the beginning (and sometimes at the end) of a take as a visual and audible reference point to identify the footage being shot. The slate board will usually have areas where you can write information about a take (scene number, take number, etc.) with dry erase markers . The person who operates the clapper slate (often the 2nd Assistant Camera person) will also audibly announce the take information before they clap the slate. 
However, before the 2nd AC announces the take info and claps the slate, you must first make sure that both the camera and the portable digital recorder are rolling. The reason that the clapper slate has bars that get whacked together to make a loud clapping sound is to mark a point visually on the camera's footage and audibly on the audio recording where the two can be synced. In the video-editing software you can find the exact frame where the bars on the clapper slate make contact with one another. If you line this frame up with the spike in the separately recorded audio files where the clap sound occurs, then your audio and video footage will be synced.
***When slating do not use the letters I, O or S as they can be confused with #'s****
1A, 1B, 1C,….. 1Z if you run out of letters continue with:
1AA, 1AB, 1AC,….
***MOS -- this is written on slate for clips with no audio -- stands for Motor only shot -- if you forget to write -- and the end of the clip slate with the clapper upside down to note to editor there is no sound ***

Standard Protocol:
  1. The sound operator begins recording, says "speed."

  2. The slate loader shows the clapperboard in front of the camera, says "this is scene 1, take 1."

  3. The camera operator begins rolling, says "speed."

  4. The slate loader readies the clapper, says "marker," and slaps the clapper.

  5. The slate loader moves out of the frame.

Do not forget to record at least 30sec of Presence.
Make Sure You Are Recording
It sounds rudimentary, but often times the most basic operations will throw you off the most. It's a good idea to always make sure you're recording before you start a take. Many of today's portable digital recorders will have flashing red lights to indicate that they're in RECORD/PAUSE mode, and a solid red light indicating that they're recording. In a fast-paced set, you can glance at your recorder and mistake the flashing red light for a solid one. It's always best to dedicate five seconds to really looking at your recorder to make sure you're recording. And after the take begins, it's important to keep glancing at the device to make sure it continues to record. The batteries could die, or a control could accidentally get bumped and stop it from recording. If you see this happen you'll be able to alert the other crew members and have a more productive shoot.

How Microphones Work
How to use Microphones
How to operate a boom mic

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Due 9/24

A. Revise your puppet project. Export and save to the server.
B. Complete reading. Mark up with highlighting and sticky notes.
C. Complete reading questions -- post to your blog or be prepared to show your notebook.
D. Post to your 2 new questions in response to the reading.
D. Brainstorm for the dealer's choice project. Create a blog post outlining your brainstorming. Include links out to any research/ref files.

Reading Questions:

1. Are you an artist?
2. What do artists do?
3. What do you do as an artist?
4. Describe two problem solving methodologies.
5. What is the difference between art and entertainment?
6. What is your role as an artist?
7. What are your skills as an artist?
8. What drives you as an artist?
9. What does it mean to build a sustainable life?
10. Answer the three questions below about your work:

  • What? What is it? What do you actually create?
  • Why? What is your passionate connection to the work?
  • So What? Why does it matter in the world? Why might other people connect to it?
Follow instructions on page 97 on how to make a plan. Make it. Your plan does not need to be posted to your blog.  Do not censor. You do not have to share details w/ me or the class. You will later on 10/1 bring in your 3 goals to share.


This self-critique is an important part of your project (and
grade) and reflects the learning process
you went through. Please spend serious time preparing it and make it
no longer than 1000 words. Post the self-critique to your blog.

On the self-critique, please include the following information:
1. Title of your project
2. Main idea that you started with
3. Source of the idea and its importance to you
4. Key emotion or experience that you wanted your audience to experience
5. Brief, clear synopsis of the story
6. Theme or premise of the piece that you discovered after finishing it
7. Strengths of the project. Look for these in all areas including process.
8. Problem areas. Include notes on your own and others suggestions for improvements. What can be done to resolve/improve problem areas.
9. Journal-type notes on your own learning process, discoveries and
frustrations. Frustrations should not be the focus of your self-critique -- aka this is not a rant or self-pity party.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Due 8/27

A. What is a shadow. Write a short response following your shadow gathering and brainstorming/freewriting response to your gather.

B.  Create a short presentation on the tradition of shadow puppetry of the country of your choice. Post your findings and links out to examples on your blog.
India -- Aminah
France -- Sean
Thailand -- Will
China -- 

C. Create a shadow puppet with 4 emotions -- Design and Performance//The show

Sharp scissors, exacto knives, utility blades, hole punch, needles, etc. etc.

Card Stock or Bristol Board Recommend

Control movement with wooden rods, bamboo skewers, thick drinking straws?
Attach rods with masking tape or aligator clamps/roach clips

For your first puppet try using only 1 or 2 manipulation rods. Many movements can be achieved 1 or 2 rods.

Use paper fasteners to attach joints -- see Jill for small size fasteners

Think about cut and color.

Opaque vs. Translucent vs. Transparent

Play with texture -- Fabric -- Lace -- Hair -- Fur -- Yarn -- Pipe cleaners etc. etc. etc.

We are focusing first on the puppet and it's design. Things we must consider along the way and to build in the future:

Casting the shadow
Translucent fabric -- cotton, linen, gauze -- must allow enough light to pass through the material to cast shadows but thick enough to keep puppeteer from being seen.
Lightweight white paper can also work.
To experiment stretch your screen across a frame like a doorway or cardboard box. Wrinkles will distort your shadow.
Screen will help to shape the shadow. Distance between the puppet and the screen.
Closer = smaller
Longer = larger -- However, the blurrier the shadow will become.

Carefully laid out and angled -- for testing a single desk lamp can work
Light intensity will depend on the size of the room or screen, and/or the time of day you want to translate
Generally want high enough the pupeteer's head is not obvious but low enough that the manipulation rods do not show through

Setting the scene -- Set pieces and props -- Soundtrack

Indonesia -- Wayang Kulit

Java - Puppet making studio images

Malaysian -- Wayang Kulit
New Hope -- Contemporary Malaysian
great detail shots of puppet construction and screen set-up -- towards end details switch from paper to transparent plastic

The art of shadowgraphy -- How it's done -- published 1900

Simple How 2's

Oregon Shadow Theatre
Matthew Robins
Richard Bradshaw
Stephen Mushin
Stephen Mushin 2
Shadowlight Productions
Shadowlight Productions 2
Theatre des Ombres
Book Art / Installation
Silhouette vs. Shadow
Interesting in terms of scale conversation in class
Show on the go

Fall 2014 Syllabus

DM 475 Experimental Cinema
Mac Lab 3
Jill L. Wissmiller
DM475 Blog

Office Hours:

Course Description
This class is an advanced level production course designed to assist students in the development of alternative means of production and exhibition of media. Topics include camera experimentation, the position of the viewer, experimental animation techniques, the performative nature of exhibition and the forms and means of disseminating media. Additionally, students will analyze selected works to enlighten their understanding of the history of non-traditional forms in video and film.

Learning Outcomes
Departmental Outcomes:
·       Students will demonstrate the capability to organize and present concepts verbally.
·       Students will demonstrate the capability to organize and present concepts visually.
·       Students will produce evidence of an understanding of the methods of media production.
·       Students will be able to communicate content in their media productions.
·       Students will demonstrate the time management skills necessary to complete the post-production process.
·       Students will demonstrate the capability to effectively publish their media production.
·       Students will research and identify screening opportunities.
·       Students will research and identify career goals.
Professional Practice Outcomes:
·       Students will demonstrate the ability to write a resume.
·       Students will demonstrate the ability to write a professional cover letter.
·       Students will demonstrate the ability to write an artist statement.
·       Students will demonstrate the ability to document their work.
·       Students will demonstrate the ability to exhibit work beyond the classroom.

·       Students will demonstrate basic computer/software literacy applicable to their field.
·       Students will demonstrate the ability to research graduate education and job opportunities in their field.
·       Students will demonstrate the ability to give a public presentation about their work.
·       Students will demonstrate the ability to research to stay current in their field.
·       Students will demonstrate development of a professional web presence.
·       Students will demonstrate basic knowledge of communication etiquette in their field.
·       Students will demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively.

Course Outline
This course is broken up into evolving topical segments of approximately two weeks each. Online reading and film screenings outside of class will accompany these segments.

Assignments and Requirements
In Class Discussion, Critique, and Exercises
You will be expected to do original analyses of your work and that of others – your peers and recognized professionals and to complete in class exercises illustrating the techniques presented. Extra time outside of class will be needed to master the skills and complete the exercises presented in class.
You will be required to keep a blog for this course that includes thumbnails, storyboards, assignment write-ups and final documentation for each assignment. You should also use these spaces for idea development exercises and reading /screening responses.

Collaborative Group Projects
You will be required to design, produce, publicize and present a collaborative group project.

Internship Research
Research internship opportunities within the animation or film industry. Internship opportunities to consider: animation studios, feature films/television production, independent short-form films, exhibition, installation, and corporate media. You must identify at least three current internship opportunities that relate to your career goals.
Finding an Internship
MCA Internship Information
Demo Reel
Research on the web to determine an appropriate style and format for a demo reel. Each student will produce a one page outline/concept using clips from past and current assignments, explaining the area of expertise they are highlighting (3D computer animation, 2D traditional, character design, cinematography, editing, etc.) Think of this assignment as the demo reel you would provide with an internship application.
Demo Reel Guidelines.
Demo Reel Breakdown Sheet Guidelines.
Online portfolio
Generate a professional online portfolio and clean up your web presence -- remove unprofessional facebook posts etc.. You must maintain a professional blog and vimeo page.

Festival/Screening Research
Research festival and screening opportunities to submit your final project to a larger audience.

Visiting Artist Lectures
You are required to attend 50% of these lectures and post a short review to your blog. If you are in more than one of my classes you may cross post your response -- you only need to write one response and post to each of your class blogs.

Review Guidelines
Career Services Workshops
You must attend a minimum of 3 Career Services workshops and post a short review to your blog. If you are in more than one of my classes you may cross post your response -- you only need to write one response and post to each of your class blog.

Learning Accommodations
In compliance with MCA policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss appropriate academic accommodations that you may require as a student with a disability. Request for academic accommodations need to be made during the first week of the semester, except for unusual circumstances, so arrangements can be made.

Health and Safety Precautions
As more and more work, education and recreation involves computers, everyone needs to be aware of the hazard of Repetitive Strain Injury to the hands and arms resulting from the use of computer keyboards and mice. This can be a serious and very painful condition that is far easier to prevent than to cure once contracted, and can occur even in young physically fit individuals. Paul Marxhausen – visit his site below
All students are required to follow the standards detailed in the "EPA Material Handling Protocols
Evaluation and Grading
Grading will be based on:

Creativity, aesthetic and conceptual development
Technical execution

Participation in critique and class discussions
Assignment write-ups


Visiting Artists Lecture write-ups

Assignments are due at 9am on their scheduled dates. If you are to miss a scheduled due date, work must be handed in prior to absence. Points will be deducted for failure to participate in critique. Late assignments will not be accepted. Lost files are not an excuse for a late assignment. Loss of data, files, or other associated items needed for any assignment or project will require that you recreate your work, with no exceptions. You are solely responsible for the security of your files. Your files are not 100% secure on the server or computer desktop. You should have multiple copies on multiple sources at all times. No files are safe unless backed up to 3 locations.
Attendance Policy
Punctual, consistent attendance and serious participation in class is required for receiving credit. If there are three absences during the semester, credit will not be granted. If you have two absences, your grade will be lowered by one letter grade. Two late arrivals/early departures = 1 absence.

Readings and Resources
There are no required textbooks for this course. All readings will be made available online or handed out in class.

Materials and Supplies

1 external hardrive
Equipment Deposit
Production Costs – to include props, costumes, sets, etc.
vimeoplus account

Department and Lab Policies
Immediately submit a detailed report of any problems with a lab computer or printer by emailing
Check out policy – refer to dept. blog

No Food or Drinks in Lab. $50.00 fine if you are found in violation.
Keep the Lab Clean. Dispose of all trash -- Paper scraps, old media etc.
Leave your workstation in an orderly fashion. All materials left on the desktop will be deleted. Organize files within the documents folder on your account. Delete your trash from your desktop and trash bin.
Back up work to an external source. Remember files are only safe if they exist in 3 separate locations. MCA servers are not to be considered secure and used only for temporary storage.
Log Out of your workstation prior to your departure. Upon your departure, the chair should be pushed in. Your monitor, keyboard, tablet, pen and mouse should be placed in their proper positions.
You must receive copyright permission for all non-public domain media used in your film projects. Public domain material can be found at and Documentaries (but not fiction) may follow the “Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices.”(located on the class server as a pdf). Visit American University's Center for Social Media Website for detailed information regarding the difference between rights infringement and fair use.