MEDA301

Project Progress Week 10 [Critical Portfolio]

Four Perspectives – Research Task from Justine McKenna on Vimeo.

Our first group activity for future of cinema involved many discussions on what our first experiment should be. We didn’t immediately steer towards R and 360 video at this point as we were yet to acquire our own devices for such a task. Instead, we brainstormed our own ways we could ‘reinvent’ cinema.

One idea involved Multi-Screens, multiple, but simultaneous shots of the same scene in the one screen. It is a practice that has been used in films before, most notably Timecode (2000), but never for a film or short film in its entirety. It seemed like an easily executable idea and one we could work a narrative around by using each screen for one purpose, or them all together for another. We documented one trial of this above, setting up four cameras in one room, all out of sight from one another and shot a sequence. We were not concerned about the brevity of the clip, but more the practical aspect of how we would be able to achieve this.

Within our small room, the Multi-Screens worked perfectly. We had a variety of angles, and they flowed together nicely. However, we all came to the conclusion this idea will not work for what we want to achieve with future of cinema. The staging and setting up of cameras would be un-achievable on a larger scale, the larger the scope the harder it would be to hide every camera from one another. We also decided, that the general consensus and opinions on this form of shooting was not as engaging or immersive as the audience would latch onto. It was easy to follow, but was not entertaining or engaging.

Our group dynamic was struggling to find its footing. We could easily delegate tasks and communicate to one another, but brainstorming as one proved difficult. Each individual member became attached to their own personal interpretation of cinema, and we couldn’t combine or compromise. We all agreed to try a secondary format from Multi-Screens, and hoped the shift from format will inspire more ideas rather than an idea inspiring the format.

 

MEDA301

Project Pitch [Critical Portfolio]

Topic: Future of Cinema

Members: Justine, Mitch, Harry, Isabel

CfuhMyWUEAAVy3F

For all the technological advances in society, cinema had essentially remained unchanged in its format since its inception. It has been a tried and true method, the simplest design and seemingly un-needing of change. That is, until change occurs, and we can see how it can be better.

VR, and 360 are the two words that are sending the cinema world aflutter. Two new, rapidly developing technologies that have the capacity to take the concept of cinema, and reinvent it.


 

Our project began with the topic of the ‘Future of Cinema’, and we were tasked with exploring what this means. Cinema has long-danced around the ideas of expanding the cinematic experience from sitting in a chair and watching a 2D screen. 3D movies and screens expanded this, and in the early days was sensational and groundbreaking. Now, it has struggled to get off the ground as something more than a novelty. 4D, and incorporating senses like touch to continue this expansion, making your skin cold or water spraying to elicit more stimulus to the audience. It is popular in theme parks, but you’ll be hardpressed to find a practical way this could be engaged in a cinema setting. Outdoor cinemas, sought to break out of the locked in room of a theatre, but the flat screen persisted.

Many directors and film makers alike have speculated what the future holds for cinema. James Cameron sees the pivotal structure of cinema remaining, but ‘computer generated’, ‘hyper-realistic’ will change the movie-going experience (Muñoz 2010). Production companies are already investigating and experimenting with the latest and greatest, Dreamworks aiming for ‘Super Cinema’ of pre-rendered CGI, 360 3D footage. All the bells and whistles (Lang 2014).

The class discussion roundtable, when given the question what is the future of cinema, were more inclined on focusing on what the actual technology will be, and what it can do rather than what the future cinema will be. The technologies are in their infancy, and only just showing what they can be capable of, but connecting them to cinema has proven challenging.

And so, our pitch for the future of cinema is not dissimilar. In that it will be an exploration of the technology and its capacities, and can we include a narrative within a new technology, when previous storytelling elements are removed (Framing, Focusing, etc)

What many reportings and articles reached in their conclusion, that I will discuss along with the progress of our own exploration, was that no matter what technology changes, the core of storytelling must remain. Will the way the storytelling be told change with the technology, or will a new form of storytelling emerge from it?

References

Muñoz, L (2010) ‘James Cameron on the Future of Cinema'<http://www.smithsonianmag.com/40th-anniversary/james-cameron-on-the-future-of-cinema-983659/?no-ist&gt;

Lang  B (2014) ‘DreamWorks Reveals Glimpse of 360 Degree ‘Super Cinema’ Rendering for VR Films (video)'<http://www.roadtovr.com/dreamworks-reveals-video-360-degree-virtual-reality-super-cinema-format/&gt;

MEDA301

Sue Healey- Guest Lecture [Critical Portfolio]

Sue Healey originated from a practice of choreography and dance, before venturing into film making and installation art. In her guest lecture of Week 8, Healey discussed the interconnection of dance and film making in her works, and exploring social and economical undertones.

Sue Healey’s VIRTUOSI (trailer) from Performing Lines on Vimeo.

After the lecture, Healey directed the class in a collaborative practice activity, where we were given a bunch of rope, and instructed to make a 3D object in groups, then record our result. It seemed a simple enough task, using ourselves with the rope to create an object that was 3-Dimensional. Some groups were given different types of string, we were given a more traditional looking, thick and course rope. The boys in my group immediately began to comment on how it resembled a rope used for making a noose.

The activity was aimed to get us to engage, and think, about materials and how we utilise them. I had argued, the rope was already a 3D object in of itself, but was quickly vetoed from this conclusion in that we had to make an object. In the end, my group actually ended up making a noose as the ‘object’, in a slightly more macabre interpretation than what I think Healey intended for us. Another idea we tested before this, was a wave. We attempted to make the object of a wave using the rope, by one person holding each end of the rope and swaying it, to simulate a wave. It was another skewed interpretation of Healey’s instructions, the presentation which I preferred. This was an important lesson in practice and creation, but also teamwork in the creation process, which proved difficult to get everyone to behave and complete the task at hand. Observing some of the other groups in the exercise saw interesting collaborations and creations, and highlighted some of the really vital aspects of activities like this. The dynamic of individuals in a group is essential to productivity, if a group cannot work well together, their work will not be great.

Overall it was an enlightening exercise into our current practices in art installations. Healey’s words of advice and guidance were beneficial to my understandings of moving forward with generating our own major project.