Narrative and Script Development

In preparation for my upcoming script writing project which I have titled April 14th, I have been studying the scripts of notable writers and their works that I have taken influence from.

For the script I am writing, the biggest influence has come from Michel Gondry’s 2004 film, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. I have taken inspiration from the concept of changing things in reality from the subconscious. In my script thus far a character is featured writing his own script and comments upon the events with it. Much like the voice over in this example page.

Another influence from within this page that I have been inspired by is the somewhat ethereal and slightly unnerving descriptions of the characters, in the script below it lists a description of Clementine ‘Clementine doesn’t respond, she continues to eat robotically’. This description is interesting to me because it give a real impression of distance and absence from reality.

I would like to incorporate traits like this into one of the characters in my script, as I believe the absent and mysterious nature of character description like this would play well in a screenplay based upon a man’s self created psychological disillusion.

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1. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF A SPOTLESS MIND PDF (“Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind PDF”) “Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind PDF”. https://stephenfollows.com. N.p., 2003. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.

Artifact One – Logic Pro X

Link to artifact one

For my first artifact, I have chosen to make a piece of soundtrack music.

The piece was influenced by various artists and score composers, The first and most major influence was the Social Network score composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, taking from its slow burning industrial style to create a sense of heavy atmosphere. The other major inspiration came from Scottish musician and Under The Skin score composer, Mica Levi. I took an interest in how she used space between instruments in forefront of the composition and atmospheric synthizisers in the back.

In this post I will be detailing the editing process behind the creation of the piece of music that I composed in Logic Pro X.

To begin the composition, I selected a drum loop from the Logic X loops library, eventually deciding on a loop called Rivals Beat 01 with a Tempo of 69.

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After this I then stretched the drum loop so it would have a longer duration and began experimenting with various virtual instruments and their styles such as bass, keyboard and lead sounds with the on screen keyboard.

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After some experimentation I chose to use the Alchemy instrument set. I decided upon this because of its wide range of instruments and it’s inclusion of many more modern styles. The other plugin instruments in Logic did offer sounds and pre-sets that were interesting but these ultimately didn’t sound right for the type of music I was making and seemingly placed an emphasis on emulating older keyboards from the 1980s and 90s.

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Using Alchemy, I then recorded two audio tracks within the project. These keyboard pre-sets were named Burning Pad and Cosmic Waves respectively. Beyond this point all of the instruments were recorded in the key of C.

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After this I then re-recorded the audio track using the Cosmic Waves pre-set and added more variation to the track and ran it for a longer duration to act as a background atmosphere through the track. I also chose to push the volume of the Cosmic Waves track down in the mix by 4 Db. This was done to give the track a looming presence within the mix.

Also in this screenshot is an inclusion of an audio sample from the NASA website. This sample is in the public domain and can be used non-commercially.

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I then went on to add a Reverb effect to the sample, this screenshot shows the interface of the effect I chose. Various elements that make up the effect are shown on this interface but the ones that were changed majorly are the Pre-delay, Spread and Rev.

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After this I added a second effect on to the NASA audio sample. Phaser. I added this along with the reverb to make the voice in the sample sound distant, difficult to understand and otherworldly. To create the effect I changed the LFO rates one and two, the amount of sweeps in the stages and the level of the mix.

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After this I then manually copied the audio on the Burning Pad track and copied it into further sections of the track and began to add more lead instruments into the piece. Still using Alchemy, I added a pre-set called Bellatrix and recorded more lead with the on-screen keyboard.

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To layer the lead synths, I added another keyboard lead with Black Sun as the pre-set. Having this on the track helped to balance the lead synths and the atmosphere keys and blend them together.

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After this I added further atmospheric synths in the form of the Arctic Shimmer pre-set. I also placed a slight amount of reverb on this track, although it is very small it was done to help give the impression that the sound was coming from the back of the mix.

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I then went on to separate the first loop of the drums so as to add a fade in, because I felt the piece needed to be more dynamic in its introduction. Starting from all the tracks being at the peak of volume sounded to immediate. So by having the drums fade in and the background atmosphere track being pushed down in the mix by about 4 Dbs, it takes 10 – 15 seconds for the piece to reach its full volume.

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To finish the piece I then added a bass track. This was the last addition to the track because I wanted to create all of the subtler elements of the piece before adding what usually turns out to be the loudest.

I chose the pre-set Juicy Pump Bass from the Alchemy instrument set and recorded a baseline to accompany the atmospheric sections of the track. After recording I then once again made the decision to make the bass track quieter in the mix by pushing it down 5.2 Dbs. This was done to be fitting to the style that I wanted to create this score based piece in.

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After the completion of the track, I then exported the project so as to streamline all of the tracks into one audio file. In Logic Pro X this process is referred to as bouncing, to bounce to project.

When the project is exported you are given various options based on different audio codex. I chose to export my audio piece in Wave or .Wav format in 24bit resolution as this is the highest quality and least compressed audio file type, because I chose to render the file in the highest available quality, it takes up a large amount of hard drive space for a 3 minute track, with the audio file being around 60 megabytes. This is the opposing to the standard and more common audio files types also available on this software such as .MP3 and .AAC which produce files around 8 to 10 times smaller but compress the elements of the audio more heavily.

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Introductory Skills Analysis/Reflection

On the thirteenth of February I received my grades for the Introductory Skills unit that I had started in September.

Broken down into three sections. Developmental Workbook, Practical Outcomes and Critical Evaluation. I received the percentages 62, 59 and 65 respectively, with an average mark of 61%.

As an observation of my own work it would appear that my strengths still lie with the written and theory based side of film and photography, the evaluation, which was given the highest mark overall is described on the grading sheet as being discussed ‘thoroughly’ and ‘thoughtfully’. Although my practical mark isn’t far below these writing based sections it has often been my opinion that I am stronger in theory than practice.

My workbook which garnered the second highest mark averages was also a success in most   respects. Once again I believe the theory side of the book came up the best with areas such as Research, influence points and analysis of the film being well developed and more engaged. I think certain areas could have been improved upon more so such as the documentation of the image and film editing processes, these could of had more specific detail. The workbook would also have been improved by having more examples of skills that I had learned and put into practice.

The practicals which received the lowest marks overall were overall fairly strong. The film was my own take on several influences such as The Seventh Seal and Lynchian styles. Although the film was overall an interesting idea and sucsessed in many ways I wanted it too. e.g. style, use of symbolism. It was also too slow at times and dragged on a little too much.

The image based outcome was the most mediocre area of the Introductory Skills unit, although the photographs were fine and some presented some lovely landscapes and things of interest local to me, I feel that some lacked character because of the style and tone that I choose to shoot with, with similar techniques and settings used for all the images it simply didn’t work for all the chosen subjects.

In conclusion I believe this to have been a relatively successful unit for me and am happy with the score I received overall. If the unit is anything to go on it continues to assure of my strength in theory over practice.

Logic X Continued

In Echo’s session we have continued work using Apple Logic Pro X by editing a Podcast made by the group.

To this we have explored many new tools and editing techniques. The first of these being effects, to make the audio louder but sitll clear we used the normalise effect. To further edit the audio in the clip we tuned other effects including gain, levels and depth. Much of this was done through the use of Logics virtual amplifiers and equalizers. After this we experimented with creating our own introductory music to the Podcast. To do this we incorperated samples and loops from the Logic X library. We also touched upon the use of effects on the samples in a similar fashion to the Podcast clip.

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CV Creation

During today session with Sally we were asked to work on a CV related to work in the Media industry,  I wasn’t sure which job I would want specifically in the film industry but I tailored the document to be closer to vocations in this industry.

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Logic X

During Echo’s session this week we began experimenting with the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software Logic Pro X.

In the session we attempted to use virtual instruments, I chose to use a virtual keyboard. We looked into the different presets for the instruments for the styles of music that one may wish to create.

We also had a look at audio effects for recorded or live sound such as Reverb or Delay.

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Research into the late career films of David Lynch

For my Introductory Skills film project I took influence from the three movies in Lynch’s filmography. Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr and Inland Empire.

All of these films have interpretable narratives involving various areas of psychology, an example of this could be one interpretation of Mulholland Dr using dream analysis. This states that in the film the leading character Diane, sub-consciously invents herself as another person as if casting herself in her own idealistic version of a 1950s Hollywood film.

In my project I took inspirations from these films to add a interpretable psychological element into the plot through a characters dreams. Although I chose more personal theories such as wish fulfilment. Having these themes in the short film in my opinion adds another layer to what is already there visually but is there by the choice of the viewer, one could chose to ignore these aspects of the film and enjoy the film on its own.

Although I may not use these influences in my other projects or future films I believe this research will be useful in my upcoming film efforts because it has taught me more about complex narratives and adding multiple layers to a plot.

1. WYMAN, B., GARRONE, M. AND KLEIN, A.Everything you were afraid to ask about “Mulholland Drive”(Wyman, Garrone and Klein, 2001, Wyman, B., Garrone, M. and Klein, A. (2001). Everything you were afraid to ask about “Mulholland Drive”. [online] Salon. Available at: http://www.salon.com/2001/10/24/mulholland_drive_analysis/ [Accessed 4 Jan. 2017].

Cinema 4D Continued

Today in Echo’s session the group continued working with the Cinema4D software and have tried experimenting with new tools in the programs.

The first example is off a table made from cubes, this was done by using the cube tool that can be seen in the top middle of the screen shot and then manipulating the placed cube in various ways. This was primarily done by turning the cube into sections via the use of the polygon tool, after this the sections were then manipulated by changing there height and width.

The second example is the use of the spline tool to draw an outline around a copied two dimensional image to then turn into a three dimensional image in the program.

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