Video Production here:
Locker Secrets explained here:
Group Mates OSS:
Video Production here:
Locker Secrets explained here:
Group Mates OSS:
In this project, not only did I play the role of Sarah in the video, I was also mostly in-charge of setting up the installation along with Azizah. We had two elements to our installation – the locker and the video.
She was hardworking, obedient and a very sentimental person. She would keep things significant to the events that happened to the relationship and we wanted to reflect that in the installation. For Sarah’s locker, we were looking for something plain, practical and organised. Since she led 2 different lives we divided the locker into 2 with a shelf/stand.
The top shelf is where she kept her academic belongings such as textbooks and assessment books or her calculator. The bottom shelf is where she hid her secret relationship. The top shelf being on eye level meant that visitors will see that first before venturing to the other sections of the locker; just like how Sarah kept her relationship secret.
Top shelf includes textbooks, umbrella, calculator and some paint, palettes and paint brushes.
The box is doodled to show Sarah’s artistic talent and her love for Denise. There are also subtle hints of their relationship on the box e.g. you can see 2 girls at 2 corners of the box.
Inside the movie memory box includes 2 bottles of empty coke, an empty popcorn carton and a Karaoke student membership card.
The jar of quotes dear to the couple that also links back to Sarah’s blog.
List of Quotes:
1) I don’t know how you are so familiar to me—or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are.
2) Every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before—in another time, a different place—some other existence. ”
3) I love you more than love allows.
4) “Here in time,
you are mine;
my heart has not
5) I do not know
why I love you so—
the clock knows not
6) I can’t get close enough.
7) Your smile sort of looks like it makes flowers grow
8) You are so special – how did the universe come up with you?
9) I try to think of a word that is closest to love, and the only thing that comes to mind is your name.
The calendar indicated the start, end and significant events in their relationship.
The Calendar starts with the current month – November because the locker the depiction of the present. The video in the past and the blog tells the full story.
Museum brochures. These are the outings that they’ve been on together. We made sure that brochures place within the duration of which they dated.
We also had a stalk of wilted red rose to show that their forlorn love is in the past. The flower was also carefully place beside the drawing of Denise in the sketchbook.
Originally we planned to display the video on the wall on the right. But the lockers were too high and because of the narrow space, the video was too small for the height.
We then thought to put our projection on the pillar to guide our audience towards the designated locker. This also solves the small projection problem as having it on a smaller surface area makes its size look just right. There is just too much empty space on the flat wall.
I really like having the projection at a low level because of its obscurity but we decided to have it on eye level for easy viewing.
We had trouble finding the right chairs for our set up. The first was too small and curvy to hold the projector upright. In the end we borrowed a chair and a stand from the drawing studio.
We really liked the idea of projecting the video on a collage of pictures as if it is a flashback of memories. The images used were screenshots from the video.
Sadly it didn’t work because the images that we printed were too colourful and it fought for attention.
We had the pictured around the projection instead.
You can see more about our set up at Azizah’s post -> https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/nura0069/interactive-storytelling-l1-201/
Our first proposal was rejected because our character personalities were too vague and there were too many elements that we wanted to address. We had the conservative parents, the lesbian relationship and cancer for extra dramatization. It was too complicated. Thus we narrowed the story down. Focusing on just Sarah, a star student holding on to a forbidden forlorn relationship.
What draws them together?
– Common love of art: for Sarah, it is an escape from the rigid structures of her life. Denise isn’t very good at drawing but she appreciates art for its beauty (which she thinks is very important in life)
– Opposites attract: Sarah drawn to Denise for her extroverted, charismatic personality, which is what she cannot be. Denise drawn to Sarah for her meticulous, detailed drawings and gentle personality.
– Denise draws Sarah out of her shell, teaches her how to live life on the edge.
Why did they break up?
– Sarah’s timid nature starts to get on Denise’s nerves. Denise thinks she’s not adventurous and not living life enough, starts to get bored of her and thinks Sarah is weighing her down
– Denise finds the fact that they have to hide their relationship too annoying.
Sarah thinks Denise is too crazy and doesn’t think through her actions enough. Things that previously she found cool, like Denise skipping school, starts to bother her
– It gradually becomes increasingly apparent how little they have in common
Fight about each other’s lifestyles
– Denise gets a new girlfriend who is equally as crazy, but Sarah cannot move on and keeps their gifts in her locker
The story is told in a non-linear narrative through a blog, a video and the locker installation. The blog would tell the whole narrative in text posts. The video is a flashback of happy memories and the locker shows how Sarah is unable to move on from her broken relationship with Denise.
Bala was in charge of all the writing so you may read more at her post-> https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/bala0043/4d-interactive-narrative/
I played the role of Sarah for this project. The shooting went fine other than the bad weather and the awkwardness of acting. It was quite a struggle restraining our laughter and getting into character for the intimate scenes.
I was trying to seem infatuated but being a person who rarely show any expression it was difficult. Also because I cannot really control my face muscles for the desired effect I just look tired of Denise terrible guitar playing skills.
I also had to do recording for the narration of the video which took several tries because we had to match the length of the video. Also because I had to get into character and try to carry Sarah’s emotions across. I was going for a solemn tone. Something serious, sad and empty. Something melancholic. I try to start out happy and sweet as if I was talking about a dream and change my tone at the end as it turns into a nightmare.
The narration script:
I remember our highs in hues,
like the color of her eyes
as the sun was setting;
the pale of her hands in mine,
and the blue of her smile.
I remember our sorrows in shades,
like the gray of the shadows,
which loomed that day,
and the white in her lie
when she promised to stay.
Original pacing lasted only 30 seconds and our video was a little over a minute.
Final recording of one minute after Syadza helped guiding my tone and pacing. We counted about five seconds interval between each phrase.
Syadza was in charge of the video editing; you may head to her post for a more detailed explanation-> https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/syadza001/documentation-of-the-last-letter/
Higgs, S. (2017). Finding Nemo in the Three-act Structure. Screen Education, (85), 90-97.
The 3 act structure is basically a linear narrative with more elements to it.
I did not have time to watch 2 hour long movies to study the story-lines and I know that we watched “I’m Here” in class. But I wanted to study something that we did not go through in class as an exercise. so I went to look back at some short animated films that caught my interest. One of them was Patchwork which really surprised me with its plot twist.
In Act I (Set up), they introduced the characters, background and aim of the story. We know that the characters is this man and this lady; presumably his wife or girlfriend. We also know that he is a sculptor and he is trying to create a realistic sculpture of the lady; who seems to have left him. (I think she is dead.) He is a perfectionist as he made many sculptures and still was not happy with any one of them although they all look beautiful to the audience. His frustration and anger also revealed that he is of violent nature.(probably why the lady left him, but that’s not the point) He sits down and looks at a flyer about speed dating which tells us that he might move one from the previous relationship which leads us to Act II. So basically, the man’s aim is to find a new significant other.
Act II is the longest. It shows the man meeting women after women during his speed date, unable to find one the he likes. According to the three act structure, this would possibly be the ‘obstacles’ where he is unable to find the one. The rising action also starts here where we see him circle certain body parts of the many women he meets during the speed dating sessions in a montage. It raises curiosity within the audience as to what the man is up to.
At first I thought this is in act III but after some thought about it being a turning point ( a tragedy is about to happen) of the narrative, I decided it was the midpoint instead of the previous scene where he and the woman fell in love in the bar. A new aim is also established here.
The rising action continues as the man invites the woman into his home, they dance and had a great time. Until he kills her which meets his aim and is the climax of act II. The descending action starts from here.
Next we jump right into the climax of act III where we find out the one killed was the man and not the woman. (conflict unravels) The resolution was that she too was a serial killer and murdered him before he could murder her.
From what I understand, a non-linear narrative is told by going back and forth the story line; meaning the use of flashbacks. It is usually used to in detective/investigative genres to slowly reveal the case and have the audience piece the pieces together themselves.
Plot VS Story
“The plot goes beyond the story world by presenting non-digetic images and sounds which may affect our understanding of the story.”
“the story; the exterior; sum total of all the events in the narrative and events that are not presented (inferred events or character’s interior world”
Because a non-linear narrative does not necessarily starts from the start and jumps around the timeline of events the plot and story needs to be established clearly to create a proper narrative in the minds of the audience.
This short animation from Overwatch had a short flashback where the good robot now taps into the memory of a fallen comrade and learns his origins and purpose. Despite that short scene it actually feels like a linear narrative because the robot initiated the flashback??? Because usually, like memento, the flashbacks are skillfully cut and transited… This is non-linear.
“A multiple narrative describes a type of story that follows several protagonists rather than focusing on one main character. ” These multiple narratives came from traditional theater for example… (they happened to both be musicals)
This type of narrative is very interesting. Its quite similar to non-linear narrative as the audience has to piece multiple stories together on their own. However, there is a lot of planning involve in creating the characters for a more dynamic story with no stereotypes.
There are many topics that I am interested in – Placebo effect, Butterfly effect, Schizophrenia etc. But they weren’t giving me any inspiration. I thought of dyslexia which was also one of the things that I had wondered about. My cousin has dyslexia and he is actually really smart and has a great memory yet he does so poorly in school. Why does it happen? What does he see when he reads? This topic is much closer to home, I could ask him some questions and the results would be more realistic.
However, after discussing with the group the idea was dismissed as we favored the lockers as our location. The story that I proposed was not revolving around the locker so it was rejected; sadly.
Genre: Mystery, Horror
The story that we came up with, after combining all of our ideas, is of a shy introvert who who transferred into a new school. Little did she know it was quite a peculiar one.
In the story we were dealing with social anxiety – the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. Therefore there is a lot of literal running in my version.
We planned the intro to introduce the topic of social anxiety as well as the 2 main characters – the girl and the fox. I suggested to make use of a cutaway shot that I saw from the stop motion movie Paranorman (as seen below).
Cutaway shots seems to be a very common in horror films. It can show that something is there and after it cuts away and cut back it is gone and that disappearing act makes people freak out. I thought this could be used in the intro to set the mood of fear and tension.
The intro starts off with the girl traveling to her new school by bus. When she alights the bus, she feels uneasy and hesitates to enter (social anxiety). Sensing something was watching her, she turns around to find nothing there.
Paranorman also made use of the arc shot to reveal the ghosts that are invisible to everybody except for the main character. I thought that we could do the same and use it to reveal the ‘monster’ classmates.
It was more suitable for the arc shot to be use in this way than to introduce our ‘monster’ classmates. This sequence of the rabbit staring in your direction while you walk pass it makes one queasy which is exactly that creepy/horror effect that we were looking for.
Sadly the arc shot does not fit my version of the story as I wanted a slow build up for an unsettling mood. I used the shot with the head cut off (scene II, shot 4) instead of the arc shot to raised questions as to what the girl had scene that she ran off scared. Then the fox is revealed and it answers the question to why the girl ran. They were ‘monsters’.
The second scene takes place in the hallway of the school. It is where she avoids and runs from all social interactions.
The last scene is in the classroom. Before she enters the room she takes a deep breath preparing herself to face her fears. The ‘monsters’ stare at her when she enters and takes her seat. When she got the courage to face them, she sees the horrifying sight of them feasting on unusual food. Then she gets peer pressured into eating their food. I wanted to keep the ending unknown, we do not know whether she turned into one of them or everything was just in her head. It is up to the viewer’s interpretation.
It is because of this scene that I made the entire film black and white; only leaving the masks and food coloured for the creepy effect. Masking the elements made the meat more grotesque and disgusting.
Originally I also wanted to include collage sequences just like the ones from La Jatee because the use of collage sequence can show the intimate and developed relationship between the two people. It would be helpful to show the progress of friendship and familiarity between characters. But i scrapped the idea in the end because I wanted it to be mysterious.
Sound edits inspirations
I was looking for sounds that create suspense and intensity and remembered this video that I came across a while ago. It mentions the use of ticking in many of Hans Zimmer (Film score composer) and also his use of the shepherd tone in the recent film Dunkirk to create intensity. After going through some ‘suspense music’, I decided that the ticking fits best.
The anthropomorphism also reminded me of Rabbits by David Lynch, one of the many films my Polytechnic lecturer introduced to me. It is set like a sit com with applause and laughter but it was edited into something less comical and more frightening. Inspired by this, I wanted to create something using that awkward silences and the sounds that are unexplained to build a unsettling atmosphere.
The rejected is the one with the shepherd tone edit at the end.
I had been playing the violin for as long as I could remember; from the age of three to be exact. Going for lessons every week for 17 years has made the instrument become a part of me.
It really opened many opportunities for me. During my learning years, I got to travel to many countries such as Australia and Korea. Also by completing all 8 Grades meant that I could teach the skill to others in the future.
With a medium shot I was able to show the enjoyment I had from the oversea trips through facial expression. I also chose to take the horizon of the sky and ocean to represent the countless possibilities that I could do with my musical skills.
I started taking solo classes instead of group classes because everyone in my group class was advancing at lightning speed. I ended up lagging behind. Being not talented at all and I felt left out.
Taking a long shot from a high vantage point gives a sense of isolation. Translating the feeling of loneliness from being left in the dust by child prodigies. The waves and the beach creates a contrast in texture. Those kids were already sailing the seas while I still tread on oncoming waves.
Playing music was really fun but learning the Violin was not easy. It hurt my jaw, my hands cramp up, the Rosin made me sneeze, most likely the noise I made was unsatisfactory. I felt trapped by my extremely slow improvement.
I decided to make use of tonal difference with lighting to depict this emotion. A contrast is created between the background and the foreground. The background being bright and colorful while the foreground is much more dark and dull.
During my childhood my family often came to West Coast Park for picnics on weekends, sometimes with friends or relatives. Having not been there in a long time and thought to take the chance to visit the park. I wanted to capture the fun and energy of the place.
As the shot captures the players in the middle of motion, we tend to anticipate their movement.
The foreground, middle ground and background in this photo are very clear-cut. The people playing volleyball in the foreground. The trees in the middle ground and the sky in the background. These create some depth to the photo.
I took this as a framing shot through the hexagonal shape made by the ropes. Then I thought it was a perfect example of multiple viewpoints with the lines criss-crossing one another. It made the photo quite messy but the boy in blue attracts attention and guides your sight from right to left.
This is a one point perspective from taken from eye level. It also communicates movement with the swaying bicycles. There is also some depth to the image due to the converging lines.
This image does not communicate much energy but I thought it was interesting that people would leave their belongings scattered around the field. As if to say they were carefree and had so much fun that they dumped their things wherever they like. Also that the place is friendly and safe enough to do so.
When looking at a photo we ask these questions:
What techniques were used?
What visual elements make up the photo?
How do the elements work together?
How the image is composed?
Photo manipulation techniques – http://www.coursera.org/learn/exposure-photography/lecture/bGm8S/responding-to-photographs
In this project I try to experiment with the basic techniques of photo manipulation:
Framing and cropping is use to include or exclude details that may change the meaning of the photographs. By moving the frame of the camera or cropping an image, the creator controls and defines the content of what we see.
Subject Distance refers to the proximity of the camera lens to the subject. The closer the camera move in, the viewer becomes more involved with the details such as texture, expressions, while becoming less involved with the surrounding and environment of the subject.
Vantage Point or angle determines the position where the camera is place before a shot. By varying the angle of shot from above, below or at eye level can result in interesting images that could distort, manipulate or offer visual pleasure and surprise.
By cropping this image I eliminate the people in the background making the photo much cleaner and the tone of the photo becomes lighter. Leading the viewer to think that the photo was taken at an empty beach.
The long shot taken from a normal/medium vantage point depicts the subject playing out to the sea and sky. From this view it is as if the subject is envious of the freedom the ocean and the skies provide.
A long shot with a low vantage point here resulted in an empowering effect the subject. There is also some effect of framing from the clouds behind that helps to focus on the subject.
If i were to cropped the image and turn it into a medium shot, the original effect would be lost.
I attempted this as a close up shot only to realize it is actually a normal shot because my camera can only zoom so far.
With this close up shot and angle, I was trying to capture the feeling of being trapped by my inferior skills of the instrument thus the darker tone. There is also a drastic contrast between the inside (dark and monotone) and the outside (bright and colorful).
From the front much more emotion is revealed than the side. The instrument can be seen being held drooping downward much obviously than from the side.
The back view shows the difficulty and tension that goes into gripping the instrument between one’s jaw and shoulders. Otherwise, there is not much to be seen from this view.
*TRIGGER WARNING* MAY CONTAIN EXPLICIT CONTENT
Catherine Opie is a social-documentary photographer. She was inspired to be one after encountering Lewis Hine’s images of child laborers from the early 20th century. Her interests lies in the relationship between the private and the public politics, the mainstream versus the infrequent. She was known for her works about the LGBT and BDSM community.
Catherine Opie decided to wear a hood in this piece because she wanted the focus to be her body and not the distortion on her face. It is about the existence of the word “Pervert” and what it meant. The politics lie in the fact that she dared inscribe it on her body, it does not lie in her eyes.
Why would she do this?
This piece were made in reaction to the gays and lesbians coming out of the closets during that time. All the sudden appearance of homosexuals segregated society and Catherine Opie wanted to push the viewer’s boundaries of normality; challenging our cultural code for relationships.
Catherine chose the background to reference seventeenth century paintings. The photo is took with intent of having a fruit bowl over her head, which queers the image with a little humor.
In her words “You’re looking at this juxtaposition of cutting of two stick figures, you know, women holding hands, with this comic fruit bowl over my head in the fabric.” https://transatlantica.revues.org/6430
According to the creator this piece was made after the break-up of her first domestic relationship and she was working our her ideas of longing. It is also a representation of what a queer child might make at school.
Not all her works that tackle homophobia are so intense. The above is a photo of her son in a tutu and tiara.
For the Domestic series, Catherine Opie rented an RV and spent three and a half months traveling the states. She wanted to complete the story of domesticity in a show that she attended.
“One of the things I always think about is who I want to have conversations with, what does it mean to create history related to a history that is already present, the need to add a conversation to a given situation, because something is not being represented, something is left out of the telling of the story. ” https://transatlantica.revues.org/6430
Catherine Opie also documents other events such as the Inauguration and High School Football.
Catherine Opie’s photography style is nothing special it is not especially aesthetic but rather mundane. Just normal day to day lives that most people can relate to, which really ties in with her concept of interconnection.
No Perspective: Everything in the image will be in focus. There will not be any depth in the image and it will appear to be flat.
1 Point Perspective: With only one viewpoint, it draws all the attention and focus to the point where the lines converge (viewpoint).
2 Points Perspective: It also attention and focus to the viewpoints. The addition of another plane adds more depth to the image than a 1 point perspective.
3 Points Perspective: Usually emphasizes on the scale of the subject and imposes its personality on the viewer. Again the addition of another plane adds more depth to the image than a 1 or 2 point perspective.
More than 3 point perspectives: As the number of viewpoints increase, the depth of the image also increases. However, it becomes more difficult to focus at a certain point in the image with multiple viewpoints. With no focus points, the viewer becomes disorientated and confused.