Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Unit 4 Words

Character:  Robot

Location: Museum

Prop: Skipping Rope
A bit of an odd combination, but I’m a bit of an odd person so maybe I can come up with something. I already have a vague idea for the general mood and setting of the animation. I was thinking along the lines of some kind of dark surrealist nightmare area (a David Lynch/ Terry Gilliam style physiological space). I was thinking of having a playground made to look like an exhibit in a museum and a robotic child playing with a skipping rope inside it. In terms of a narrative I have no ideas yet.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Final Sceen & Matt Painings

I unfortunately haven’t been keeping my blog up to date on what I have been doing the week. This is my final scene and matt paintings. I have to confess that I am a little disappointed with the outcome. It doesn’t have the same mood as my concept and I also had to cut back on a lot of detail.  

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Chest of Draws

I have now finally started to model my scene, starting with the chest of draws. I haven’t laid out the UV Map yet. I wanted to have clothing hanging out of the draws like in my digital painting. But I have no idea how to model it.

Maya Tutorials

Santa’s Hat

Pirates Cove

Monday, 10 January 2011

Final Concept

I have made a few adjustments to my final concept. I have added some more colours, mainly reds and browns, originally to try to capture the Japanese horror style.  But I was mainly inspired by some paintings I found, most noteabley Henry Fuseli's The Nightmare. 
This is Henry Fuseli's The Nightmare I have drawn stylistic inspiration from the creepy colours used in the painting. The greenish yellow has an alienating effect and the blood red could maybe suggest danger. It also relates thematically to my idea, although i can’t say the painting was a direct inspiration conceptually, because I discovered it after my idea was almost finalized. However I think adopting the visual style of The Nightmare has given my work a new dimension. I want to do some further research on this paining to try and find more ways of thematically linking it with my scene.

This painting, Goya Saturn's Son, was another inspiration for the colours that I have used.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Eraserhead (1976)

Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Staring: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart and Allen Joseph
Eraserhead (1976) is an extremely interesting movie that tends to divide critics and normal viewers alike. Some believe this movie is a dark surrealist masterpiece, critic Derik Melcome writes that the movie is “a minor masterpiece, mixing Gothic horror, surrealism and darkly expressionist mise-en-scène” [Derek Malcolm, 2008, This is London]. Overs believe it to be well shot nonsense like critic Chuck O’Leary who writes that it is “Nothing more than a pretentious, incoherent and boring exercise in self-indulgent weirdness” [Chuck O’Leary, 2006,]. The later of these two stances could be considered unfear and perhaps a tad ignorant, although it is understandable why a lot of people dislike this movie. It is not a mainstream film in any sense, in fact when it was released it was a total failure but has since gained a cult following. This is most likely because it is never going to please anyone looking for a satisfying narrative or even entertainment. The movie is not intended to be entertaining, which is what people traditionally want from a movie. The movie is extremely surreal, it is deeply psychological and resembles a horrible nightmare.
The plot of this movie is difficult to summarize but it does follow a vague narrative. The basic plot revolves around Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) who is trying to survive in the industrial nightmare he inhabits. His life becomes unbearable when he is forced to look after his newly born mutant child, who is constantly screaming. Officially Eraserhead is classified as a horror movie but its genre is difficult to define. It is also difficult to define what the movie is about in terms of its subtext. These things are open to interpretation and a huge amount of theories exist. Even David Lynch himself has said “No critic or viewer has ever given an interpretation that is my interpretation” [David Lynch, 2010]. Lynch has never publicly stated his own interpretation of Eraserhead because the movie is intended to be a subjective experience.
It could be said the main antagonist of this movie is the environment itself, It is extremely oppressive.  The soundtrack also adds to this overwhelming sense of dread and oppression. The soundtrack consists of vague industrial sounds that never stop. It seems to get more overwhelming as Henry descends into madness. The black and white seems to create a heightened sense of texture, light and shadow. Lynch also uses this style in his later more mainstream movie The Elephant Man (1980) where it is equally effective. These elements make the movie an incredibly immersive experience. The world henry inhabits could be considered a part of henrys psyche, It is the world as henry sees it, a twisted exaggeration of the real world.  
Fig, 1

Eraserhead has been interpreted as having a very sexual Freudian subtext by many critics.  Jose Cruz from has said in there analysis of the movie, “The first prominent theme in Eraserhead is sex. The film is filled with suggestive imagery of intercourse and sexual activity” [Jose Cruz, 2010, Classic Horror]. An example of the sexual imagery in the film is the opening sequence when a grotesque creature that can be compared to a sperm is dragged from Henry's mouth and cast into a pit, this could symbolise the conception of Henrys child. These sperm like creatures can be seen throughout the movie, notably in a sequence with the lady in the radiator. Henry had been fixated on this figure for some time; there is a sequence in which the lady is trampling the sperm creatures, perhaps this is some kind of symbolic birth control. It is also noticeable that when Henry unwraps the baby creature it resembles a phallic symbol (Fig, 2). When he stabs and destroys the baby it extremely disturbingly implies some kind of castration.

With the horrible baby creature as the result of an implied sexual act, the twisted representations of sexual images and the liberating effect of implied birth control and even possibly castration.  It could be said that the movie is about the fear of sex and fear of the results of sex. Although this is just one of an infinite amount of interpretations, which is why this movie is so fascinating, it leaves it up to the audience to decide. 
Malcolm, D. (2008). This is London.
O’Leary, C.  (2006). Rotten Tomatoes.
Cruz, J. (2010). Classic-Horror.
Illustration List
Fig, 2. Eraserhead. (1976). [Movie Still].
In this movie still (Fig, 1) Henry is walking though the industrial wasteland. The oppressiveness of the environment is implied by the huge buildings and the way Henry is made to look very small.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Essay Research Post

The Birds DVD
All About The Birds
Documentary Notes
 “the image that came to me was Munch’s Scream, I saw that as the icon for the whole thing”
Hitchcock chose to set the movie in northern California because it reminded him of England. “it was something about the weather, which was very unpredictable”
“It was a moody strange area both forbidding and foreboding”
“I believe that’s what intrigued him it had a kind of mystical quality”  
Robert Boyle (production designer)
“It’s a movie about the dangers of complacency; we all take things for granted and birds for granted what if they suddenly turned.”  
“it’s a theme that runs through a lot of Hitchcock’s pictures, people take things for granted, they go through their lives unthinkingly and then something happens and they have to think.”
“I Think the scene were Lieder discovers the body its typical Hitchcock in the sense that he shows you from a distance what’s happening.  Then when it gets to the key moment he cuts it. He does it in an unusual way with a triple cut were it gets closer and closer each time.”  
“That’s the way you might see it, look look look, it’s an unusual subjective use of the camera.”
“It is a kind of judgment day film, it also basically says that it’s all going to go back to mother earth, she will prevail.”  
Peter Bogdanovich (film Maker)
“The Birds represent the eruption of chaos, of unpredictability, and which can be taken to be everything that we don’t understand, and can’t control about our world. Not only the physical world but also the world inside us, underneath all the protective coverings that we use to get through life, and which at the same time seal us off from other people. ” (the bird attacks bring characters together who otherwise might never have met)
Robin Wood (Author of Hitchcock’s Films Revisited)
“Hitchcock’s movies are always very suspenseful, and one of the ways that they are so successful is that Hitchcock lets the viewer in on more than the people in the scene.”
“As an example at the schoolhouse when Maloney comes to take Cathy out of school she sits down on the bench and you see the on bird land on the jungle gym, then it cuts back to Maloney sitting on the bench. We cut back to the jungle gym, and then you see a few more birds. Now the audience is aware that birds are coming into the school ground and the audience is also aware that we are getting closer to her. Then when we finally get to a big head close up it holds on it until the audience can’t stand in anymore.  Then you cut back again and it’s covered with birds.”
Jessica Tandy (Star)
“Hitch would say, do you think we should explain it? And we decided that it would be science fiction if we explained why the birds are attacking. It would have a greater meaning if we never knew, if it were this kind of unsettling thing that these creatures we see in the park every minute can suddenly come at our heads with no reason.”
Evan Hunter (Screen Writer)
“I toyed with the idea at one time, there in the car and they look and there’s the Golden Gate Bridge covered in birds.”
Alfred Hitchcock
"Hitchcock wanted to communicate the sense that the birds were thinking at the end of the movie when everyone is leaving the house. They created this tremendously unsettling effect that is very quiet but dose give these creatures much more of a personality, or a far more sinister quality.  Secondly he creates a kind of final note by increasing the sound of those birds in the final shot. It is very ambiguous as to whether they are on the verge of another major attack or if this is just a psychological effect.”
Stevn C. Smith (Bernarn Herrmann Biograther) 

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Final Concept

This is my final concept so far, it is not totally finished yet, because I want to work into it a bit more. After I finished painting it in basic black & white I started messing around with the colour balance.
 This, in my opinion, is the best version. I have used greenish colours to create a sense of creepiness. The colour reminds me of some Japanese style horror movies. I want to work into this with slightly washed out yellows and browns to try and replicate the Japanese horror movie effect.     

 Here I have tried using blue to make the enviroment seem could and unwelcoming.      

 This is the original black and white version and a high contrast version (above).