Because of the terms we agreed on with Zack Goldstein and his company, we can’t have the video we made on Flavor be made public. We’ll bring it in to class however to show.
Our documentary subject is a flavorist. The problem is, we’ve found out that we won’t be allowed to get any footage of our flavorist working or the, surely, interesting place he works at. Without any visuals that can tie in directly to the intellectually interesting but visually dull interview, we’ve been left to scramble for some directions that the short film can go.
Last week’s project was my first experience in pure sound. I love music and I love podcasts, but never a time where I’ve picked up a mic and made something. So of course, the last two weeks were a learning experience. I learned the fundamentals of sound and sound equipment. I learned my way around a Zoom. I learned how to use sound editing software. And most importantly, I learned how important it is to take the time to get a good and proper space for recording sound as it’s really hard to make it nice in post production. If I were to do something differently with the project, I would have found a place for Laura and I to record the sounds we were after, because the background noise was difficult to get rid of in Audition.
Given the narrative arc and character development that our sound piece tries to capture, Lauren and I thought it best for the physical installation to unfold over time in a single direction. Our installation is a long underground room with our 3-minute recording played for groups that are sent in from one side with each audio-loop. The walls are decorated with the abstraction of T’Gatoi’s physical characteristics and character development over the course of the short story – towards the end of the tunnel, the blood red walls turn lighter as T’Gatoi becomes, in one interpretation, more “human” and truthful. The second interpretation, only visible after having walked the entire tunnel, shows itself on the opposite side of the corrugated wall and reveals a darker image conjured by T’Gatoi’s surreptitious behavior, her domination over another, and physical pain and risk she imposes for her own benefit.
Jonathan Lethem’s The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism
With Pharrell and Robin Thicke having lost a copyright suit with their hit song “Blurred Lines”, the question of “inspiration” and “copying” posed almost ten years ago by Jonathan Lethem is relevant and influential still. While I agree that artists copying artists should not carry the cutting stigma that it does in the public space, and, that established artists could be more lenient with upstarts and niche creators, the author never establishes a stance on larger artists stealing from smaller ones or, worse yet, corporations copying artists without consent or remuneration. Is Lethem protecting only the small “taking” from the big? He dismays at Disney Corp’s copyright protection of their character from artist Oppenheim’s work, but what of Disney’s pilfering of storylines (“Aladdin” from the “Thief and the Cobbler”), jokes (“Frozen” from a student film), or character designs (“Nemo” from “Pierrot Le Poisson Crown”)? Surely, Lethem wouldn’t stand for this. So, are we to make exceptions only for the small? Legally? Culturally?
The author’s essay feels sweeping and grand in tone and message, but is likely more limited in scope, and if so, not remarkably different from public opinion today. If not, it doesn’t offer much in the way of solutions.
Kirby Ferguson’s Embrace the Remix
“Our creativity comes from without, not from within. We are not self-made, we are dependent, on one another. And admitting this to ourselves is not an embrace of mediocrity or derivativeness. It’s a liberation from our misconceptions. It’s an incentive to not expect so much from ourselves, and to simply: begin.”
It IS liberating, and I’ll try it on for size. Looking forward to how it might change my creative process.
Though limited in some respects, radio and recorded spoken word have an intimacy, of mind and space, that can’t be captured by even the most skilled film directors. So when you take radio, put it in the context of living, breathing life and have them dialogue together, you get an intensely rich and colorful experience. Body, mind, and senses were consumed by the narrative. Turn left here – imagine famous poet there – in history, this building was that – that is where this happened – all the while real life swirled around.