New Narratives: We Presented!

We presented! When our team presented it went really well, even though i’m not very good at them, but having such a great team as backup was really reassuring. Although we did have some technical difficulties, as we couldn’t get the audio from the video to work from the projector to work, so we had to just put it on though my laptop which isn’t very loud when trying to project it to the room. We also found out that our schematic was done incorrectly, which is heart breaking although Conánn was very positive about it and said that although it was wrong it was beautifully done and presented and gave us a 1st overall for the presentation which we are ecstatic about.

Karate Kid Presentation

Feedback for our teams presentation from Yuan and Conánn:

  • Loved the final outcome
  • Excited from the beginning
  • They thought the schematic wasn’t really a schematic, it was more so representational but they thought that it was a very beautiful and culturally accurate representation of it, wrong but beautiful.
  • Themes well identified
  • Interesting and ambitious
  • Great teamwork

“This year was by far the most consistent, you all did really well, there was no one below 50% on this one.”

We were given a solid 1st for our presentation, I’m so happy with this, all our hard work and planning paid off even though our schematic wasn’t exactly correct!

Conánn Fitzpatrick then gave us a presentation on planning based on Vogler’s the writers journey. A project is made up of a client, the client has a number of demands, in this case out tutors are our clients and we get paid in grades.The clients are the problem that need to be solved, equalling to the project. We were told that we need to give a status update at least once a day to show where we are with the task at hand, and meet up regularly so that we can see what jobs are done and what jobs still need to be done. Maximise the amount of time you have on the project so that you have time to have your own down time.

We were also recommended to use project management website Asana which works a bit like Facebook and also seems a lot easier to use, this might make it easier than using Trello because I have had no success on getting people to use it.

Here is a scrum chart that we should go by;

 

Conánn then talked about how we need to plan taking in consideration the ‘disruptive forces’ that may happen during the course of working on the project. Well how do we deal with this emotionally and intellectually, well you need to look at your variables, which include the money, time, people, scope, mission and project. You need to be prepared, have a good team, if one of them has a life occurrence then you can rely on the team to push harder to make up for the loss until they are back again.

This talk brings me back to A-Level when I was doing business studies, as well as a outside course where you create your own business with a team and go head to head with other teams businesses. Both the courses took us through this leadership and time management process, it was a nice reminder.

Different types of flowcharts

It is important to keep thinking about your show reel and portfolio throughout the course, you need to be able to show this when you go on placement, so we should research different show reel and look at the ones on this course show reels.

But its all not just work work work, it is important to look after yourself too, if you manage your time well, plan and have your team in order, you will be able to have time to look after yourself, to do your own thing and to work on your own projects at home.

It is very important to break the project down, this can be difficult! “Projects have projects and tasks and actions” tasks do not have projects, tasks with more than one action are projects. The tasks are not split up so everyone can work on the tasks if they are waiting for the main projects to be done. If you plan it right it will be less stressful, you will get a lot done, while getting the main project done.

Value add or non value add task, you want to keep your work updated, have it backed up in three different places which comes under the non value add task, you just do it, you don’t want to have to re-do all of your work because you lost it. While value add tasks are the tasks that you write down, things that need to be done.

How are you measuring performance, how do you know if you are doing well or not. You can measure this by the task completion rate, are you getting it done on time. The standard in which you are getting things done, is it good quality or not? Outcome is another way, this shows how you are learning this is demonstrated by the impact of research on outcomes, like the experimentation that you do, if you take risks with your work and if you are working well with in your team, are you able to agree within the time frame.

“People don’t fall into the potholes of their predecessors. More often they make original mistakes” – Donald Rumsfeld

After the presentation Conánn told us that we needed to start thinking about who we are going to be in teams with for the next project and that we have a week to do so. So then Michelle, Robert, Kristina and I all decided to be in a team together. I really like this team, I think we are a great group of workers that are always striving to do more than we can and will hopefully do well within the new project.

 

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New Narratives: Puppet madness

Today we had to get all the main projects done as Kristina was going to London for valentines weekend, which we were all happy enough with and since we are a 3 person team which work really well it will just leave us to tweak everything up for the date. So I drew up a storyboard idea for the puppet show, I didn’t know if it should be similar to The Karate Kid story or if my idea was too much based off of the movies but I knew that I wanted to incorporate the implicit meaning that was within the movie, as well as the historical elements to the movie.The implicit meaning in The Karate Kid was persistence and to keep practicing, this was evident throughout the movie but mainly in the scenes where Mr Miyagi gave Daniel what seemed to be unimportant tasks “Wax on, wax off” but it turned out that Daniel’s persistence with these tasks showed him how to do the karate moves.

For the puppet show we wanted to give each of the characters an animal, this is because this was not only significant in the movie but also in karate history, as seen here.

This is what each of the five animals represent:

  • Dragon: Exercises to cultivate spirit, flexibility, and graceful movements. The dragon is a mythical animal associated with courage and energy. Dragon exercises stress this animal’s flowing spirit.
  • Tiger: Exercises to strengthen the bones.
  • Crane: Exercises to strengthen the sinews and promote vitality. The crane style stresses balance and fast foot movements.
  • Leopard: Exercises for developing strength, power and speed.
  • Snake: Exercises to cultivate Chi, correct breathing to strengthen internal power and to strike an opponent’s vulnerable areas.

As you can see there are 5 animals within karate, since we wanted to use the four main characters from the Karate Kid movie within our puppet show we used the scenes which showed each of these animals to depict who represented each the most. We decided on the tiger to be a representation of Daniel as his character was represented with the tiger within the leader board in the championships, while Johnny was represented as the dragon. This made sense as the tiger is said to signify strengthening of the bones which is what Daniel is training to do, hes weak and needs to train to be better. Johnny is the Dragon which signifies flexibility, courage and energy which relates to Johnny as he is more educated in the art of karate than Daniel and has a lot of courage. Mr Miyagi is the Crane which signifies vitality, balance and fast foot movements which relates to Miyagi as he has a strong and active energy, giving continuance of life especially in Daniels. The snake represents the evil sensei, this is very accurate as it signifies strength, internal power and to strike an opponent’s vulnerable area, which happens within the movie, as the sensei is able to see Daniels vulnerable area and tell his pupil so hit that area.

The idea was that in the beginning of the story the tiger would be traveling minding his own business when the dragon showed up and taunted him to assert his dominance. The Crane then sees this and swoops in the scare the dragon away, thee crane then takes the tiger under its wing and trains the tiger the appropriate Karate techniques to be able to defend itself if even in danger again, but the dragon tells its sensei, the snake and they go over to observed the tiger and crane and feel threatened by their skills. They then train together and call for a final battle. In the end the tiger won the battle, the snake wanted to strike him in a heated rage, but the crane jumped in to protect the hero. The tiger then bows in appreciation.

When showing this to the team we wanted the crane and the snake to be present in the final fight but then we cut that scene out since it links back to the remake of the original film too much and we wanted to pull away from it as in the 2010 version had the two masters fight but decided to cut that scene out in the end:

Here is the quick rough storyboard to get a basic idea of what we are going for:

As we wanted to incorporate the historical factors into the artifact we started looking into Karate itself. Kristina found a lot of good information like how Karate itself comes from Ryukyu Islands where Chinese visitors influenced martial arts, it has deep roots associated with China but the art itself is recognised as a Japanese sport by the World Karate Federation. More information on this can be found here.

After showing the team the idea we all agreed and began to work on the Puppet show set up. I had brought in necessary resources I could find so that we could create the jointed puppets, such as the wooden bamboo skewers, brass fasteners and tape that wouldn’t rip the paper. When creating the puppets I need to decide what sort of look I should go for when creating them, so I tested different styles to see what works best for the puppet and showed the team. Both Kristina and Jonny seemed to like the left style more thinking that it would also suit the background style that we are going for.

2016-02-21 01.49.31

We ended up changing the Chinese Puppet Theatre into just the paper jointed puppets, based off of Brittney Lee’s paper art, as we thought that doing the puppet show solely like a Chinese Puppet theatre it would be too complicated to do with the limited resources that we have and as well as the time that we have.

We got a box which we thought would be good to use for the puppet show, we then worked together to make props for each scene breaking them down into, backdrop, forestry and plants, the animals and misc (which included things like the lighting templates, wind and fire made from tissue paper and extras that we though added more to the scene). As we had a lecture on cinematography and various camera angles we wanted to create something digitally and put our learning and knowledge into practice incorporating what we had learned. Jonny originally had the idea for different lighting as the Karate Kid movie had a lot of different lighting and effects in the different scenes, so we wanted to be able to show the emotion within each scene through the use of different lighting. So Jonny cut out a patterned sheet that we would then use to shine a light through to create texture within the scene, we also used tracing paper and inked it in different colours to create different lighting colours. Red would be used for the fighting scenes, while blues/greens would be used to calmer scenes. In one of the scenes where the two characters are staring at each other it shows red lighting on one side and blue/green on the other, this is to show good vs evil, yin and yang. Kristina created the fight scene backgrounds using warm colours to signify danger, while I created the calmer scene background using cooler colours. For this I researched into Kung Fu Pandas background scenes as it had the theme that we were going for, as well as it being beautifully done.

I mainly looked at the works of Tang Kheng Heng some of these can be seen below:

As we needed a key for the schematic i create some icons that would represent each character. Daniel being the bonsai tree as there is a scene within Karate Kid where Mr Miyagi allows Daniel to try and trim a bonsai tree which not only bring them closer but signifies Daniel shaping his own life becoming in control of his decisions. The mum was given a sun as she is a very cheerful character and is always wanting to look out for her son. Johnny was given a Dragon as this was how he was portrayed in the movies leader board, the dragon also signifies courage and energy. Mr Miyagi was given the Yin and Yang symbol as this can have the meaning of peace as it shows light and dark, which Miyagi is trying to teach peace to Daniel. Johnny’s squad was given Bamboo as bamboo grows together and is usually very compacted together which in the movie you always see johnny’s squad together and in the shadow oh johnny himself. Freddy was given the water symbol as Daniel met Freddy at the pool of his apartment building. Ali was given the Chinese symbol for love, this is because Ali is Daniels love interest within the movie. Ali’s Parent were then given the Chinese symbol for wealth as they are seen as upper class citizens, they look down upon Daniel when they here where hes from and see the run down car that his mum drives, instantly showing that the parents only care for wealth and status. The evil Sensei was given the icon of the Cobra as this was the animal we seen when he introduces us to the karate competition that is being held.

When looking up a style for these icons I looked into Vecteezy‘s style for icons as they are very simplistic. I wanted to take the simplistic but also incorporate the sort of style we were going for our artefact. Here is what I came up with below:

kk icons

Kristina then took the information that the team had formed together on Excel and created the schematic. We wanted to show the schematic as a bonsai tree, as mentioned before the bonsai tree is an important factor within the film

big schematic

closeup1


 

For the narrative I thought that it would be a great idea to get Yuan to say our narrative in her native tongue, Chinese, as I thought it would give the puppet show a better feel for theme. This idea came because of Conánn and Yuan’s recent lecture as they talked about how one of last years group asked Big Brothers narrator to narrate their 15 second film, if you don’t ask you will never know if it will happen.

When thinking of the narrative we looked at the Three Brothers video from Harry Potter which we felt had a great narrative to it and wanted to get this sort of feel for our own film. You can see this below;

This is the narrative that Kristina came up with which was beautifully written, she did a perfect job at portraying the story. Kristina then passed it on to me and I added a bit in the middle so that it would make the story make sense where it may seem a bit confusing in our video that we create. Kristina also came up with the name for the puppet show, The Tale of the Tiger and the Dragon, which I felt really suited the story.

The Tale of the Tiger and the Dragon Narrative

Paragraph One:

Tiger, Dragon, Snake and Crane. This unusual mix will eventually disturb the harmony and these four extremes will want to be the best, the most feared, and the strongest.

Paragraph Two:

Tiger is wondering, minding his own troubles when a challenger appears in order to assert his dominance. The dragon taunts and teases, challenging the power of the tiger.

Resistance is futile. Tiger is defeated.

Paragraph Three:

‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers. A mighty Crane flies in and protects the Tiger, offering his knowledge and skill to defeat the evil.

The Crane decides to take the Tiger under its wing and train together in peace and tranquility.

However the Dragon told his mentor, the contentious Cobra, about what happened so they go out to spy on the Crane and Tiger. Feeling threatened they observed their synchronized dance, feeling as though they need to get stronger.

Paragraph Four:

Evil wastes no time, they crave to stay at the top of the chain even if their methods are flawed. They will request a duel to settle a winner once and for all but they will never mention the rules and exemptions as to what is ‘winning’.

Paragraph Five:

There’s a difference between a fight to kill and a fight to win. Killing is ruthless and cold, there’s no space to be a loser. Fighting to win will still have a consequence of losing, but it does not equal the same value as your death.

Paragraph Six:

A tiger will fight fairly obeying the Gods, evil does not hold such a thing so their only target is winning. There are times that some battles you take part in are not meant for you. Even if you are victorious, there are dangers lurking ahead. Be attentive trust your intuitions, let the Gods decide on who will bring harmony into the animal kingdom once more.

Here are the audio files via Dropbox


 

After filming all of the footage and Jonny was taking care or editing it all together we realised that this was going to be a way too long of a film and since Kristina was away at the time Jonny started to stress, so that’s when I suggested to turn it into a trailer which Jonny agreed to. When Kristina arrived she was a little skeptical about the trailer but we assured her that it will turn out okay. For the trailer we knew we wanted to rail people in with it, we wanted to show the some of the intro shots and some of the training shots to show some of the story and we added the first paragraph of the narrative that Yuan recorded for us so that not only does it explain the story in Chinese but it adds to the theme, giving the audience a feel for the what the film will be about and then at the end it show the title of the film “The Tale of the Tiger and the Dragon. Jonny then took this information looked through the clips that we had taken and chose the ones that suited best, sewing it all together.

I really love how it has turned out, I feel like our team did a really great job and I would work with them again in a heartbeat.

New Narratives: Artefact Ideas

When thinking of ideas Jonny had a good idea of making a game for our artefact because of the Karate that they do. This them made me think of vitualing fighting games that had similar fighting styles to karate, this includes; Street Fighter, Tekken and Mortal Kombat.

For our artifact we were thinking of doing Chinese puppet theatre, this is because in the second movie this was part of the kiss scene, this showed the Chinese culture within the move and it would be something really fun and an interesting idea that we could do.

Jonny also mentioned paper stencils and cut outs which brought us to Britteny Lee. Britteny Lee uses different coloured paper and layers them to create a scene and they are really beautiful. I would really love to include this in our teams artifact as I think is would give it a nice effect.

These videos show very good examples of traditional Chinese puppet theatres, you can see how they use very traditional art styles for their puppets as well as their use of traditional Chinese theatre music, this would also be a good thing to try and experiment with for our artifact.

I then looked into how we could make our own Chinese puppet theatre and this site really helped inform us on this topic.

Suggesting the Chinese shadow puppet idea also made me think back to the shadow puppets that one of my first semester teams did for the build a world project.

New Narratives: Essays, Movies

Yuan started the day by talking about essays, she found after marking everyone essays there was a lot of people not using block quotations. Block quotations are used for a quotation that is 2 lines or longer, NEVER USE WIKIPEDIA, if you need to use it go to the notes so you can find the actual source because Wikipedia is easily edited by the public, therefore not always correct.

If you mention a film within your essay, even if its in the title you need to make it italic, but if its a TV programme of episode you do not need to italicize is, just put quotations around it. For a book you would also quotations them as well as for their chapters. If you want to emphasize something in your essay you can use bold, you should also make the titles and sub titles in your essay bold.

Images are also important for supporting your essay and it makes it easier for the reader to understand, these images that you use will need a caption on what the image is and how it supports your argument, however make the caption short and centered. In these images you do not need to caption the image with the reference, keep the reference at the end of your essay in the bibliography.

The year of the film is also important, if you mention the film name you need to have the year of the movie in beside it in brackets, but you only need to mention this once. When it comes to full stops she noticed people putting the full stops within the brackets, full stops go after the bracket or quotation marks. The number of subtitles was also brought up by Yuan, you do not need a lot of subtitles within your essay, keep them minimal and coherent within your essay.

Yuan also went over the 2nd year animations to show us what is expected of us for the next module. We also have to think why we watch movies, well we watch movies to escape from reality, to be entertained, to gain ideas for future projects and more. Films should emotionally effect the audience, if it emotionally effects you then it has been successful. Narrative is very important within a film, it gives the film structure and story. Camera angles, location, transitions, lighting and more are all factor that can be taken into consideration when trying to put across a certain feel, when you use these thing within a film its like a language that doesn’t need to be said, it just needs to be seen and give off a certain vibe of the film, if it effects you emotionally its doing the job.

Low and high angle shot can be used strategically, for example it can be used to show that a character is in power, because of the low angle shot, over the other character, how is shown in a high angle shot making him seem smaller and belittled.

Timing is also very important, especially if the film that is being made needs to be a certain length, like the 15 second film that we need to create in our next project, this is important because then you have to actually practice doing whatever was in that scene to see how long it will actually take to implement that into your film before animating it and finding its too short or too long.

Study cinematic language to analyse a film, you need to see why the directors made those choices on how the scenes look and use the cinematic language. When it comes to narrative it is important to show this as well in the beginning title sequence, take Juno for example, the intro is a stylised film/animation and the main protagonist is walking to somewhere, but you can see she knows where she is going with the relaxed style, the shots are also important in this as each shot is perfectly thought out to show where she is going without being messy.

If you cant rail the audience in the first 15 mins then you lose the audience.

CameraShotsAnglesMovement copy

Yuan also talked about implicit and explicit meaning, implicit meaning is below the surface, a deeper meaning to the film, while explicit is the meaning that you see. Its important that you think about how this can be applied to the film that you need to create. What is the surface of the story and what is the deeper meaning that you want to impress on the audience. When it comes to implicit meaning someone may find that they interpreted the movie differently that another person.

 

 

New Narratives: Starting the Schematic

Today we started work on the schematic, our first task was to figure out what was a schematic in the first place because it definitely was not like a blue print of a product but Conánn then gave us a pointer and said it looked like the London underground map system.

I then looked up the London underground schematic, which is designed by Harry Beck;

 

Here is a Schematic on “How Star Wars changed the world” this was really useful for us to see as it gave us a clear idea as to how to lay it out properly and to see how it looks. This also gave me a good layout design on how to make it visually appealing. We could make it karate or Chinese themed.

 

 

We started by planning out the schematics by writing out the acts and what the characters did in excel so that we could all access and work on the schematic plan altogether. We highlighted the main story in blue and then the white parts are for the parts that need filled in.

Karate kid excel.jpg

 

New narratives: Watching Karate Kid

Today our team came in and watched The Karate Kid 1984 and Karate Kid 2010 together in one of the quiet rooms. It was really fun being able to watch it together and take notes together because we were also able to discuss scenes as they were happening to evaluate further on them. Jonny, Kristina worked well as a team when it came to dissecting the movie as we had all done it in the past, Kristina having done it in her English class and Jonny and I had done it in Media Studies which was a bonus. After we had watched both movies we had pages of notes, following the path that character had lead which will definitely help us in the schematic, we also discussed any initial ideas that we had for the artifact.

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