Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Avatar 3D Imax... Amazing

On Saturday night I went to see Avatar at Odeon on Imax 3D. I've never been to Imax before, and the only 3d stuff I've seen is at theme parks and Disney land. It did not disappoint. Even if the film had been rubbish I don't think you can fail to be blown away by a 20 foot screen and images that jump out at you, feels like you want to reach out and grab it. But the film was amazing too. It's just made to be seen in the cinema, I bet when it comes out on DVD it won't have the same impact.

The only words to describe a film like this is beautiful. You can tell that it took over ten years to make, the tiniest little details like I've never seen before on such a cgi-ied film, everything down to the individual blades of grass blowing. The imaginary planet Pandora, the 'future' flowers, plants and creatures are a work out of art in themselves, breathtaking. It's strange to think that the actors actually did such little acting as it is mostly special effects.

The story follows disabled Marine Jake Sully on the 5 year journey to Pandora on a mission to extract some rock worth 20million a kilo. They have invented a way to bring the human brain to life in a different body, so they can go out and explore the land and get to know the natives in bodies like theirs. Obviously, it is not as simple as all that. The story itself is not particularly ground breaking, the old themes of human greed, environmental issues and science getting in the way. I think you can tell the story was written so long ago, if it had been released ten years ago then it probably would have been ground breaking, but the film's not about that, it's about technology and in that respect this is probably the most advanced film ever made! You have to go and experience it in Imax 3d before it's taken out of the cinemas!

Post it

I've been thinking about my journal this summer and Libby's talk prompted me to write about my ideas.

I really related to what Libby said about enjoying the journal module and finding it easy if your interested in your subject. For me I see the journal, and the essay as quite a refreshing break from the practical work and although it's not worth as much as studio work, for me its still a nice way to boost the overall grade.

I wrote so much the last couple of years for the journal. I spent hours designing and putting it together. I didn't do badly by any stretch, but when I got my grades I just thought I could do better. Looking back I feel that my work was just a little bit dry - I tried to do everything by the book and I forgot to make it mean anything. Last year we had to do so many summaries of summaries of summaries I found myself just spouting out fancy words that were just a bit empty and didn't really come from the heart. I kind of despise writing stuff up weeks/months later just to get marks because that's what we're supposed to do.

The idea for my journal struck me when I was working at the degree show in June. I spent all week surrounded by creative stuff and got to look into every nook and cranny of the show and it really got my creative juices flowing. I came home at the end of the day with a big pile of postcards. As I was looking through them it suddenly came to me that postcards are designed to be used. I realised I was going to stick them in a folder somewhere along with all the postcards I buy from galleries I visit, then get them out next year, scan them in and regurgitate them for my CPT. So then I thought why don't I use them for their real purpose? It would make me write things straight away - what's more is that I would write things that really mattered to me and effected my work. I have a notebook full of comments/ scribbles/ thoughts and ideas which is where I record stuff as i'm thinking - this stuff is way more real and important - but I feel it loses that rawness when I transfer it to my cpt, even if its just a few weeks later. So I started writing on my favourite postcards as I went round the show, bought a book of stamps and posted them to myself on my way home. Then when I got them a few days later, I realised they were stamped with the date and place and this added another nice dimension to it. It also meant that I re-visited the work and my ideas again.

Then I went to London and carried on writing on the postcards everywhere I went. Slowly it started to become even more relevant. I started researching my essay and it's become a nice parallel to the digital/ social media in many ways. Hopefully that will become more apparent as time goes on. I found this article on the MMU website about a 3rd year student who did some research into postcards as the first form of 'quick' communication. At the time they were so much less formal than letters they were mainly used by young people, and because of the limited space they showed the earliest evidence of an abbreviated language. The article basically said that postcards were the earliest form of twittering - the concept of posting short, quick messages to your friends. The only thing that's really changed is technology.

So I started designing my own postcards after all the lectures I went to in London and the tuesday lectures at uni, and continuing to post bought postcards from galleries and places I visited, and last week I took them to my PDP to test out my idea and see if it was going anywhere. I don't think I explained my idea very well to start with, but then when I gave Liz my reasons behind it she seemed to like it. In order for this to work as or with my journal, she said it would be really important think about how to display them, and maybe how to get more out of the project. Instead of just writing my review, could I let other people write on them? comment on them? Could I send them to other people? How would I get them back? There's a lot to think about, but I'm quite excited about the possibilities of this as a project and i'm looking forward to seeing where it could go.

Personal Project Introduction...

This is the brief I've decided to work on as my personal project. Since I found out we were going to get to choose our own brief I already had in mind that I wanted to work on something to do with persuading young people to vote in the up coming elections. Then this came a long and bamb I'm away, don't even have to write the brief myself!

A bit about us
􀂃 Stonewall is the leading national charity campaigning for equality for lesbian, gay and
bisexual people across Britain. We were founded in 1989 and have offices in England,
Scotland and Wales.
􀂃 Our parliamentary and lobbying work is still important but our activities have grown
considerably in recent years. We run a high-profile campaign to tackle homophobia and
homophobic bullying in schools, Education for All, and run a successful youth volunteer
􀂃 Members of our major employment programme, Diversity Champions, include American
Express, the BBC, government departments, the British Film Institute, Coca-Cola and the
Army. We produce groundbreaking research into issues like women’s health, homophobic
hate crime and discrimination in sport.
􀂃 Visit www.stonewall.org.uk for more info.

What we’re looking for
The next General Election must be held no later than Thursday 3 June 2010. Stonewall wants
to produce an eye-catching design to be featured in postcards and viral messaging to
encourage people to register and use their vote.
We’re looking for an innovative and dynamic design. This competition offers
upcoming graphic design students a chance to showcase their skills and have their
work reach a large audience.
As a registered charity, Stonewall is politically neutral and works with the all the major political
parties and so the design must not be biased towards one party in particular.
The design will be seen by Stonewall’s thousands of supporters and key contacts and turned
into a viral campaign which will be used to reach the large numbers of people who are keen
to be kept updated on Stonewall’s work across the country.

What’s in it for you?
The winner of the competition will receive £250 worth of vouchers for Magma Books
(www.magmabooks.com) as well as seeing their design showcased to thousands of people
across Britain in association with a leading charity.
And credit where credit’s due… The winning designer’s name and college or university will
appear on the design.

The task
We’d like you to design a standard A6 postcard (105mm x 148mm) to encourage people to
vote in the upcoming elections. The postcard should appeal to a wide range of people,
including young people and professionals.
It is essential that the design is politically neutral. We will not consider any entries
that explicitly or impliedly favour one party over another.
Once created, we’ll incorporate the Stonewall logo (above) into your design. If you would like
to include the logo yourself, contact Camara Chambers (camara.chambers@stonewall.org.uk)
to request a high resolution version of the logo. Please note that apart from the colour the
logo should not be altered or modified in any way.

How To Enter
The competition is open to current students studying Graphic Design or a similar course in
England, Scotland and Wales.
Designs should be submitted as high-resolution, print ready artwork and in JPEG or PDF form.
One of the most important conditions of the competition is that the entries must be entirely
the work of each entrant. No stock images, clip art or any other ‘borrowed’ items may be
included, with the exception that commercially available fonts may be used.
Entries should be sent by email to camara.chambers@stonewall.org.uk with the subject line
“Stonewall Design Competition”. Please include details of your name, address, phone number
and the college or university you are currently studying at.
All entries must be received by 5pm on Monday 11 January 2010. Late entries will not
be accepted.
The designs will be considered by a panel of judges and the winner will be announced on
Friday 22 January 2010.
If you have any questions, please contact Camara Chambers by phone (0207 593 1861) or
email (camara.chambers@stonewall.org.uk).
We look forward to receiving your designs!

Christmas goodies!

This year I decided to make my own Christmas cards and a Christmas presents for my grandparents so I got in the letterpress workshop and the kitchen for lots of home made goodies!

I still can't believe there was snow on Christmas day!! picture perfect!

PDP done and dusted

Liz's tutor group had to wait until Tuesday for our PDP's, which in a way was good because we had more time to keep working and therefore more to show, but we had to wait to the last minute to get any feedback on our personal projects and competition briefs.

I had a specific list of questions to ask and points to discuss (haha) but I think this helped me get the most out of the session. Sometimes I think the PDP's are a waste of time if you are doing ok, there's not much to say and you don't get a lot out of the tutors unless your behind or not doing ok, but this time it was quite useful for me.

The first thing Liz said was that she thought this had been a good term for me, that my confidence in my ability seems to have changed completely since summer and I agreed totally with her. I have to say my work experience in London has totally changed the way I work, the way I think, what I want to do in the future and how I see myself. It's one of those things you don't notice until after it happens. Particularly I feel so much less stressed about leaving uni, I won't say I'm not still terrified but it's a good kind of exciting terrified rather than rigid with fear shit help me terrified. I suddenly realised that actually I can do this and I can get where I want to go if I work hard enough, and if I fail then I'll just try something else. I personally feel this has had a knock on effect on my work. Again, I can't say that I don't freak out from time to time, but I freak out at the right time when I know I haven't done enough, and then I deal with it pretty quickly. I have stopped giving myself such a hard time, I know I am my own harshest critic, but I also know that I have worked as hard as I possibly could this term and so whatever I get in the January assesments will be the best that I could have done. And now everyone will probably hate me, but accepting that in my mind has been a massive shift for me and is allowing me to be totally relaxed and enjoy my work and enjoy the pressure of getting everything done, which in turn is making me work better! Like dominoes in a good way =)

As far as critique on the projects goes, there wasn't much to say as Liz had seen most of the stuff in tutorials. Silence is in the making as we speak after many hours filming and editing it is finally coming together. There's still a high probability it will completely go to pot and I will be left with nothing but I guess I will have to deal with that if and when it comes. She advised me to get a second visual opinion form Mack about how to display my Alcohol awareness project (which I did and we concluded that I should work on the colours and then take it into flash) but it was a thumbs up for the concept and ideas. Then we agreed that working on the stonewall brief as my personal project would be a great brief for me if I can apply a strong concept to it, a chance to enter some work into a live brief and the room to develop it further than what's asked for my portfolio.

So I think all in all it went as well as it could and mainly reassured me that I everything is going A ok at this stage!