Category Archives: Thoughts And Ideas

inspireDNA

The first post I chose for Inspire was July Laszkovits’s audio assignment post: DNA: A Poetry Reading.

I was on July’s page looking for posts about her noir character because we plan on meeting this evening to work on our 10 collaborative character stars. One of our mutual friends who knew we were both in the class had previously given us each other’s phone numbers in case we wanted to work together and I thought this would be a great opportunity. I also thought it would be good to break away from my radio show group for a few assignments, just to mix things up a little. So, while reading a bunch of her posts, I came across this one and it seemed so different from all the other students’ posts I’ve read and/or commented on. It was like nothing I had done either. This post stood out to me and I really liked all the aspects she put into it. While I was sitting and thinking about this, my brain went “hey, this is perfect for one of the Inspire posts! I think it is a great example of something that inspires me because I wasn’t even trying to be inspired when I got to it! So then I went to the page and posted about it, describing what it was and why I chose it. This is what I said:

This post is a poetry reading that I found while looking through people’s blog sites. I listened to a few different (and some pretty bad) audio assignments, but I wasn’t even looking for my inpire pages yet, when I found this. I think that July did a great job on this assignment. I love how she made such simple changes to the poem that affected it a great deal. The few words that were added intensified the notion that the poem was to her character’s father and about her both longing for him and feeing bitter at the same time. In her post, she also put a picture of the actual poem beneath the reading that she did which helped you to both feel and know what she was saying. I also loved the picture she put in for it on soundcloud. It’s really cool and science-techy which is appropriate for the poem and her character who is a scientist!

What inspired me was the feeling she was able to create for her character within the poem and by adding the extra lines. All of the components in this post came together so well. I felt like I was listening to Isabella Franklin (July’s character) reading the poem herself as if in a reflection of past time with her father. The poem also talks about Fathers specifically in the transfer of DNA which ties in so well to her story! The post was simple, but well done, well thought out, and inspiring!

House of Noir We There Yet

House of Noir was the first radio show I listened to. While I liked the show, especially the creepy/crazy fangirl, I had a little trouble following. Most of my issues were with the volume. Some of the characters or commercials were so low that I put my volume up on high, then it switched to another person whose voice/recording was so loud I pulled the earbuds right out cause it hurt.

Some other parts I enjoyed aside from the fangirl, were the commercials. The airline one sounded so real and the one for getting a British accent was funny too! I also liked the sound effects. The beating heart had to be the best one because it actually affected my own heart rate! My second favorite sound effect was the background noise of people talking and coughing. I felt like I was in the room. The crying and footsteps were pretty good, too.

a couple tweets

I also stuck around for Noir We There Yet. 

The volume in this one was even throughout, and my ears are very thankful. The commercial about burning the dinners was so perfect. It was vintage and hilarious. All the commercials were good in fact! The show was also very well written and easy to follow.

This entire show just seemed to roll along very smoothly. The storyline and commercials just seemed to flow.

I liked the footsteps in here too, someone was running away fast.

Tweets for this:

 

Lebowski

The built environment the Big Lebowski consists of a lot of different styles of buildings. There’s dimly lit, but fancy and clean mansions on one end, and then old pawnshops and dirty rooms on another. It is not necessarily the dirty-ness of the built environment, but some parts aren’t necessarily sparkling clean.

I think the time affects the environment here which leads into the design of noir in these film styles. In LA in the 90s for example, some men still wore the brimmed hats seen in this movie. And the cars of the time are similar to the noir cars as well. Something it has that will forever be timeless however is the use of con-men and getting into trouble with groups for money. This theme can be seen so far back and in so many recent movies, such as the Hangover, the Town, etc.

On just the movie, this movie was funny and very entertaining. However, I did think it was a little weird at parts. It was great to watch and I can’t wait to see what other movies this class gives me the opportunity to see that I’ve never heard of!

Stop Copying Me

I think the copyright law is an important aspect in the world of writing, but the digital world makes it more and more difficult for copyrighting to stay safe. So many things are available on the internet against copyright, trademark, and other laws. I know if my work were used without my consent, I would feel used and angry for not receiving recognition for my own work.

The fair use doctrine is an important aspect of copyright laws. It makes sense for certain purposes to allow people to use copyrighted work. If they are citing the source, commenting on it, or using small portions of the work for educational purposes, those using the work are not taking it and claiming it as their own. And this is not bad considering those who pretend work is theirs when its not.

In relation to both the fair use doctrine and the creative commons movement, I think it is fair to release information to non-profits or even students, as long as the copyright owners consent to it. If the copyright owners have no problem sharing this information for free with certain people who are using it for the right reasons, and again not claiming it as their own, I don’t see a problem at all with this plan.

Vignelli sounds like a pasta

The first thing I noticed about this booklet was how many times it said “fellows” in the introduction. I haven’t heard that word in a while and it is a good word with a positive connotation to it, so I think we need to bring that back.

Intangibles

I found the writing on semantics very interesting. They describe it as finding the meaning of a subject or understanding that subject, and I think this is something I was trying to do this week during the photoblitz. Throughout the week, I have been trying to understand the concepts we have to choose from for the blitz– rhythm, balance, proportion, dominance, etc.– . Although, I do not yet have my subjects, I want to be able to fully grasp the ideas within these words so that I can find pictures or symbols that accurately express them.

While reading about syntactics, all I could picture was the movie “The Little Rascals,” where the character Uh-Huh says a new word and every gasps, then he follows with the line “Actually, I’ve always had a rather extensive vocabulary, not to mention a phenomenal grasp of grammar and a superlative command of syntax. I simply chose not to employ them.” Aside from remembering that, I also gained from this section that syntactics can be used in designs as the relationships between different aspects of it, such as grid-lines and fonts.

In pondering over pragmatics, I like the combination of clarity and complexity. Generally clarity is accompanied by the idea of simplicity, but here it is the opposite. I also liked to think about how pragmatics reflects to semantics. Semantics is the artist understanding the subject and I think that leads to the understanding of the subject by whoever is experiencing the art.

I never before thought of Discipline being an important aspect of art. It now makes sense that even art, without effort and determination, is wrong. This idea also ties in with all the previous ones, especially the semantics. Semantics requires the responsibility of putting in the effort to learn and understand the subject; therefore, semantics requires discipline.

The term “appropriateness” was one I had trouble understanding in the context under which is was explained. It says that it is supposed to be whatever is right in the situation but then goes on to be something that is transformed. I’m still not sure what is meant by that.

Ambiguity was a concept that i found fun to think about. I am definitely a person who likes to find alternate meanings to things, whether they are puns or very far off connections to something else. But Vignelli is correct in stating that it has to be used responsibly.

The  Design is one  reminded me of the concept of noir in that it is not a singular thing. Like noir is not a genre, design is not one particular style, it is all styles.

 

Some of the tangible aspects of Vignelli’s canon that I found interesting were texture, scale and white space.

The concept of texture is important in design because it plays a key role in someone’s experience of the piece. If something is polished or smooth, it creates a different feeling in your hands and therefore, your emotions than if it were rough and hard to handle.

Scale is another important aspect in tangibility because knowing how to manipulate scale shows a greater understanding of the object and its environment. In order to change the regular scale of something, you need to know what makes it right and change that to into what makes it different.

White space was perhaps the concept that stuck out to me most when reading through this because I thought about how often the white space on pages in overlooked. When you go through a textbook or magazine, you never imagine that spaces left blank have purpose, you assume that they were just left– that they were forgotten about. This description of white space gave a new meaning to all of what I thought were just empty places.

 

 

designblitz-krieg

When I first read this assignment, I looked up and immediately saw what I wanted to use for the word “color.” Below is an Andy Warhol-style painting of Squidward that one of my roommates did last semester. One of his techniques that my roommate Anna incorporated here is his use of complimentary colors. None of them are primary, but the ones juxtaposed are opposite on the color wheel. These factors make the colors pop, or stand out from each other. It creates a bright, happy mood and focuses the eye in on the piece.

color

The next word I chose to use was “unity.” Unity is one of the themes for my team this year so I figured this would be a good opportunity to “unite” this class with this big part of my life.  Below is a picture of a sign that is hung in our locker room. It says, “No Excuses. No Regrets. All In. Whatever It Takes. Family.” The bringing together of these words and phrases into one concept creates a single idea for us to focus on in order to lead us to be closer, to work harder, and to unite. This sign bring the individual parts into the whole of its composition.

unity

In another example of my roommates art, this time Jayne’s, I found the concept of rhythm. The description of rhythm given mentioned the repetition or alternation of elements and also says that it can create movement. I think that both of these aspects are present in Jayne’s work. There are 3 points within it from which movement emerge, and from 2 of those alternation/repetition branch. The top right corner pushes out left and downward in and alternating and repeating pattern that continually gets smaller. Then, from the bottom middle comes a repeating pattern that increases in size as it moves up towards the right. Jayne explained to me that both of these pathways are meant to represent lasers. Which means that for her as an artist, she accomplished some of Vignelli’s intangibles: semantics and pragmatics. Both she and I understand her art. Since  both of these elements represent lasers, and lasers are waves of light, and waves are alternating and moving, this is a perfect example of rhythm. Also for movement, the big sideways square, from both the top and bottom points, a pattern emerges, that seems to be trying to push out of a containment. This creates a feeling of attempted movement or almost a vibration of the pieces trying to push out. And that too creates a rhythm.

rhythm

The last picture was a little serendipitous. I had been looking for something to represent my fourth concept and I either wanted to use balance or dominance, and I happened upon the stacking of these beautiful masterpiece which includes an empty wine bottle, a partially used syrup bottle, an empty starbucks cup and a bear chip clip. I decided this would represent balance. For the most part, it is symmetric balance because everything has a central balance, but then you get to the chip clip. This clip is sitting on the edge mouthpiece of the coffee cup, uncentralizing the structures core balance– its asymmetric balance.
This structure also tests our ideas of mass and gravity. The thick base of the syrup bottle is balanced on the thin neck of the wine bottle which gives the illusion of heavy on light, and that one will overcome the other when that is not the case. Another aspect testing these ideas is the chip clip on top of the coffee cup, the chip clip has a greater mass to surface area ratio, meaning that since its sitting on the edge of the coffee cup, it should tilt it and make it fall over, but instead it remains balanced on the structure.

balance

Listening to Mirrors

Audio plays a huge role in storytelling.  It is used in film and video to portray what is going on in scenes as well as the emotion that is occurring within them. In noir, audio depicts moments of hostility, intense moments between characters, gunshots, jazz music, screams, crying, footsteps, the vernacular of the period, and more. It sets the tone and creates a mood.

Sound can do many things of the story. For example It can drive it. In some shows movies etc., the only thing you might get to experience is audio. They might leave out the visual aspect. This could be because they want you to guess what happened, or because they want you to assume that one thing happened instead of what actually happened.

Audio can impact mood by creating feelings of sadness, joy, anger, passion, and more. It can be included to sway your opinion in a argument. The crying of a child can make you feel sad or as if you need to come for that child. Audio can also create an atmosphere. It can include music that sexualizes a character, music that mystifies a character, for music that makes you feel like the characters dangerous even to you in the audience.

Audio has the ability to greatly change the direction and the meaning of a movie, TV show, or radio show. It can change a character from bad to good or good to bad. It can change a scene from one of sadness to one of joy. Audio is just as important as the visual aspects of storytelling.

In “Phone Call from Stranger, audio plays an important role because without the audio track, you wouldn’t know he was using an alias to travel (2:30-2:40)

In the movie Chinatown, which is on Netflix, Gittes wouldn’t be able to tell the story that sets him up for an awkward meeting with Mrs. Mulwray if there was no audio. This story happens around 18:00. You also wouldn’t be able to hear the worried tone in his friend who is trying to convince him to shut up! Another Instance in this movie where audio is important is in the use of the side effects of the water that is being drained from the reservoir. If it weren’t for the sound effects it would be harder to tell what is going on in the dark and it would also not seem as dangerous for Gittes when he gets flooded by it. In this example the audio provokes a feeling of panic over him being swept away by the water.

________________________________________________________________

Watch

In the opening shot of touch of evil, the street music almost seems happy go lucky. It makes you think that nothing bad will be happening anytime soon and this movie could actually maybe turn into a romantic comedy aside from the bomb in the man’s car. In the No-restored version of the opening, the theme music makes the scene a million times better. The music in this version has lower tones and more ominous sounds, as if some trouble is going on behind something, and that danger and mystery will ensue. And, in fact, this is exactly what is happening with the bomb hidden in the back of the car, and I can only assume some danger and mystery will follow with finding out who did it.

In this opening shot, they also use the audio of a bomb instead of showing the beginning of an actual explosion. They’re using the audio in this manner to cover-up their inability to actually have a scene of a car blowing up with people in it. (If you want to rewatch what I mean, skip to this part of the video and check it out! it happens at about 3:25-3:30)

______________________________________________________________

Read

 In The Ambience of film noir- soundscapes, design, and mood, Hanson reiterates the idea that noir is a tone and a mood, not a genre. She states that the soundtrack of something is dependent upon the time period It is developed in. Each time period has its own set of new sounds and new music that are relevant to it. This is because as technology developed, new opportunities for the improvement of both visual and audio effects developed. Because these developed at the same time, a lot of similarities developed between the two processes. Just like iconography is an important aspect of filmography, sonography is just as important. These two aspects even parallel each other.In a moment of intensity for example, you might see quick changes of scene and fast movements of light, and as this is going on you will hear loud quick high-pitched music or sounds that accompany these visuals.

Hanson also includes a reflection on silent movies and the use of music & sounds that accompany them. She focuses on how music can be used to accompany drama.

I though the most Interesting part of this article was the idea of soundscapes. It is very interesting the way they describe the idea of soundscape and the different parts. The soundscape has a keynote, signal sounds and sound marks. The biggest part of the soundscape is the keynote which lays out a kind of background or foreground for the other sounds to be added on to in order to construct the soundscapes.

The nuances of a TV show or movie are determined both by image and sound, neither one of them is alone.  The telephone is a simple image that requires a lot of sound in order to make the scene work. A character can be on a telephone but unless you can hear the other side, you don’t know what’s going on in the conversation. Here, having that sound is a very important aspect.

Progress in the use of audio can be seen in the works that include layers, specific timing, and other organizational qualities not relate the sounds to the music and image that are screening in the project.

A large and frequent aspect of noir is the setting and mood of nightclubs and the singers within them. As Hanson states, the noir night club is a scene where glamour and crime often fuse. These clubs also include the possibility of intense moments, where one wrong move by one person could lead to arguments, brawls, and even someone getting shot. For all of these moods and opportunities, the sound engineer has to be able to create an appropriate soundscape. He has to be able to choose the right range of sounds to depict the tone that is meant to be portrayed in these scenes.

Another aspect I find particularly interesting about this article is how sound creates the idea of spacial arrangement in a movie, TV show, or radio show. You can you sound effects, music, or the voices of people in order to arrange the characters and the scene that is occurring. Hanson takes this idea further by explaining the inclusion of surround-sound in the film noir. She mentions how you can use it to hear sounds coming from different places while they are all occurring at the same time. It creates a more realistic feeling for the listener, and this more realistic feeling can increase the intensity of the mood and tone that is being set.

Listen

 in The Lux Radio Theater- Double Indemnity, audio is obviously important as it is the entire story. Because of this the writer had to be creative with the voices and the sound effects. A big aspect I noticed right in the beginning was the use of stressed voices; low, slow, ominous sort of background music that turns into intense quick sounds; as well as a key choice of words (murder, accident, mistake). All of these things came together to create the mood/tone of noir within this piece of work.

This radio show it reminded me a lot of “the post man always rings twice” because they photos include affairs as well as insurance as main points in their plots. They also both have the idea of two, a double indemnity and the post man ringing two times.

Something that I noticed on a personal aspect with this radio show was that it was hard for me for me to focus. Because it was solely in audio aspect I found my eyes, and therefore my mind wandering frequently. In order to get myself to even listen to the whole thing I had to close my eyes and lay down. The next thing I had to do was take a couple breaks. This unit a lot harder to try to do the live tweeting, because I just couldn’t focus. So I stuck to listening post haste. I know this will come back to bite me in the butt since I didn’t end up tweeting but, it’s better than not having listened at all.

Radio Thoughts

Below are some rough ideas for the radio show project! Everything is subject to change.

1. A murder mystery. Could start off with gunshots, voices, running, screams. Could start off with a regular story, leading to moments that are intense and fraught. Moody and suspicious characters. Upbeat and perky characters. Mysterious characters.

2. A secret affair. Sketchy plans. Lying, cheating, stealing. Bar room brawl’s.

3. mafia quarrels. Gangs against gangs. People caught in between or around and get themselves in trouble. The random mysterious girl in the middle. Gambling, smoking.

4. A clash of characters: A story in which all of the noir characters of the people in the group interrelate and come together to create a new story. ** This is actually my favorite of my ideas. I think it would be very interesting to combine people from what could be a few very different stories/backgrounds, and possibly time periods.

Cinematography

The First movie I watched was The Hitch-Hiker. Below are the 3 still captures I chose to depict the noir in this film.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 2.51.21 PM

This photo captures noir because it is an example of a distinct shadow. The silhouette in this photo depicts a hitch-hiker which ends up being the the actual hitch-hiker killer in the movie. However, before we know this, the shadow represents the mystery of a traveling  stranger. It creates feelings of curiosity as well tentativeness, because you want to know more but you’re not sure how much.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 2.55.24 PM

This image depicts the accessories of noir. This gun as well as the dark leather coat the Hitch Hiker is wearing are classic noir accessories. In another aspect, still’s main effect is to train your focus to the imminent danger of the gun. It makes you look at the and think about what this situation really could mean. It also purposefully excludes the face of this man, making it a more uncomfortable sight through not allowing you to focus elsewhere.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 3.04.59 PM

Because of the darkness in this shot, it is difficult to make out the man and the setting, but it also creates an unsettling sense. In this image, the man stands alone on a boat dock. These aspects imply solitude, as well as, a dark, open, never ending space in front of you and only one way to go. What you can’t see is the hitch hiker and the other man coming up behind the camera. The hitch hiker following this man means that he can’t turn around; he can’t go back. Although with that knowledge, he is not alone, the camera reverting back to this angle physically shows you that the he is alone in the situation. Furthermore, the fact that he turned around to look back means that he is unsure of the actions he is being coerced to do.

Another aspect of noir in this movie is the time frame. This movie was released in 1953, which was the prime time for the noir tone.

_______________________________________________________

The second movie I chose for my reflection was Chinatown. I actually thought this movie was pretty good and I enjoyed it, unlike my movie buddy. Below are 3 pictures of this film that I chose to depict its noir.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 11.13.23 AM

This picture has multiple aspects of noir. Firstly, the Mrs. Mulwray-impersonator is a definitive noir character. She is dressed in in the black noir fashion, with fur and a hat with a veil. She is smoking a cigarette, and in this photo blowing the smoke across the man in the back’s face. Another aspect in this still capture is the venetian blinds, a classic noir affect, as well as, the grittiness of the build environment which peaks in on the filing cabinet.

In the next photo, the noir is simply the silhouette of Gittes. The fence creates a repeating geometric shape, like the ones we observed in the video about photography this week. And the sky lets us know that its late in the day, creating a sense of mysterious.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 11.56.08 AM

Finally, this last photo below, I chose to depict the characters captured in an intense fraught moment. The man on the left is perturbed because he doesn’t want Gittes walking around the building, but Gittes does so anyway while snooping for information. The man then finds him, as seen here, and suggests he leaves. Personally, I find this man a little creepy with the red chrysanthemum he is wearing.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 2.34.46 PM