Tag Archives: video

Collaborative Alien Project: Who Are We?

Got my little butt into gear and finally plucked up the courage to ask Grant Herron (a fellow Jewellery student) about possibly collaborating as I heard he was into Film props. He was well up for it surprisingly so we went ahead and got started a couple of weeks later.

We decided to take our own interpretation on a Sci-Fi Film ‘Alien’ by Ridley Scott. Both of us thought we should create some kind of arm piece. Grant, being more experienced in electronics, designed the upper arm which consisted of small LEDs, a small rotating satellite dish and hinged parts. This is what I also wanted to learn from him. For me, well I went all out making a silicone corset forearm piece (as I’d never really played with the material before but was very keen to), a prosthetic glove with ribbed tubes and long hinged creepy fingers, all made from latex of course.

As we were both passionate about film, we discussed perhaps making a short film which would be able to present our piece on the body, moving and electronics in operation. For that we would need a storyboard:

My buddy filling in the storyboard

Here are photos from the making of our pieces:

Grant’s upper arm piece in the making. The circular piece with small tubes protruding from (right of picture) is the joint so I can allow movement like bending my elbow.

 

 

 

The satellite Grant made. Also some LED lights you were able to turn off and on.

This sequence of photographs is me attaching my prosthetic latex glove using Pros Aide glue. You can only really glue prosthetics in stages to make sure you have glued it on properly.

Still loose flapping bits of latex.

After repeatedly applying the glue all the latex should be attached to the skin with no loose parts.

Here is the whole of my lower arm piece put on. The fingers are divided into 3 and there are 2 hinged joints on each finger so they can move. The finger tips are square copper wire soldered together and I have created clear latex windows on each so light can pass through.

Below this you can see tubes extending down from the knuckles which are made from latex and copper wire and lastly the piece on the forearm is made from silicone.

The Silicone Piece

I had to create a mould in plaster to cast the silicone in. It is very weird and squishy to touch which I thought went well with the nature of this project.

The Facial Prosthetics

Just experimenting where it looks best. I thought it would look good to exaggerate the cheekbone.

Samples of prosthetics. They kind of look like slugs to me.

Attached only using the prosthetic glue. You can still see that the edges have not been blended with the skin but that comes next.

The beginning of the blending process… but you can see that later!

Here is me and Grant and a few other helpers on the set just setting and cleaning it up.

Day time

Night time

My 20th time trying to put in contacts

Final Make-up

Midnight on the set. So so cold! Kept my dressing gown on as long as possible!

Just altering a wee bit

Final arm in the dark

Movie making in process

One of the Stop Motion pictures

Final scene

Such a good experience. Think we’ll be collaborating again for our final year as I think it is good practice for the future. You can learn a lot from each other and take things a step further. For me, I want to go into Prosthetics as I see it diminishing due to Computer Aided Graphics (CGI). Yes it can be extremely useful for big things but with it, you lose that sense of actually holding and feeling the object as it is all done on computer. Some makers use it because they are just being lazy and it saves time, but some actually use it for good purpose. For instance, in The Matrix when Neo dodges the bullets, that is a good example of well-used CGI.

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Lynx Excite Angel Advert

Wow, Lynx has gone all out with this new Excite Angel Advert played out at Victoria Station, London, where people can actually interact with Lnyx Angels through a Digital Video Billboard.

Angels fall straight from heaven in the digital video board as soon as you set foot inside the ‘Look Up’ marker box on the floor. Next, they begin to virtually interact with whoever entered the box – causing some quite surprised reactions.

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29 Ways to Stay Creative

Watched this and thought it may inspire others.

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Talk to Your Jewellery

I have read recently that there is a new device which can actually imprint your voice into a piece of wire. I really like the idea that you can use your own voice to create a piece of jewellery and the way it becomes very personal. In addition, I beliebe it can be a very romantic present for your lover, slyly conveying your emotions to her/him in a piece of jewellery. But in my opinion, the end product does not impress. Just pieces of bent wire, perhaps develop the shapes created into more interesting pieces? Using the line? Increasing the scale?

 

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Abused to Beg

Just after watching a small documentary about beggar children in the African State of Senegal, I feel I need to show my opinions.

‘God’s Beggar Children’ was the name of the documentary showing how the poor children of Senegal live day to day life. They attend Qur’anic schools , which are free but very basic, and are forced to beg on the street by their own teachers everyday. It can be up to six hours a day they would be spending walking the streets for money, rice and sugar, and if the children did not bring back the amount of food the Maribu (teacher) wanted they would be severely beaten. Some children run away from their Islamic school, few run to friends or relatives but the majority end up on the streets.

In the documentary, there was one part where a young boy cried when showing his scars where he had been beaten, as it was too much for him. Very moving.

Authorities should stand up and take action, saying it is enough. Why don’t they?

I was shocked to hear that a teacher, who beat the children, said he ‘condemned the government for not funding schools like his’. Why should you beat children to learn? What is the money collected used for?

However, I was pleased to hear that the Government have started to look at regulations of Qur’anic schools but they need to make sure that not only does regulation include curriculum and the types of studies going on but that they have norms and standards that guarantee the protection of the children.

Yet, at the present, 50,000 children still beg on the streets just to avoid being beaten by their own teachers.

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Christmas Spirit

Today in our lecture we discussed how we buy christmas presents, what can attract us to buy and how children are becoming increasingsly picky and fashion conscious.

So how do girls shop?: Girls shop with consideration, we shop for a long time, pleasurable, relaxing and look for the new trends. I find shopping quite theraputic, even if it is just browsing through shops. Girls usually shop in small groups but personally I like to shop alone. You can spend longer looking at things and not feeling bad if the other is bored, and you can listen to music so you are in your own little world.

How do guys shop then?: Guys… well as quickly as possible and all in one go. They just go into a shop and come out five minutes later with their item as they don’t like spending time to try on garments as it will probably take hours of time. Even I agree with the guys way of shopping sometimes, I hate spending ages.

How do you get customers to buy more: How do you design a shop which will make customers stay longer? Put a restaurant in it? Music? Make it bigger? Well first of all I think you would have to plan your store layout, ambience and attractive visual merchandising displays. Never put things right at the door like clothes and baskets as it will cause the customer to turn around to pick it up and may just make them spot another store thus leave. Try position most attractive and popular items in the right of the store as customers (in UK and Australia) always tend to turn right when entering shops. Must be due to us sitting on the right in a car. For instance, the clothes shop Zara positions their products on the right and have their checkouts on the left as they are the last things we go to – to pay. NEVER situate the woman’s wear at the back of the store, behind men’s wear as more women shop compared to men. Men like to sit down whilst women are in the changing room. In front of the chair maybe place small gadgets or interesting books as the man may pick it up and have a look at it to pass the time. People who touch things are most likely to buy it, if the unfold it or open it, the chances are they will. Also simple common sense factors such as: don’t play loud, inappropriate or poor quality music as it may ruin a customer’s shopping experience; dirty bathrooms, they should always be lovely and clean whether for public use or not as it can be a huge turn off.

How many times have you forgotten the milk but instead come out with a bunch of other stuff? I have. This is the power of the layout of a shop. They specifically place the milk counter at the back of the store because they want you to look at the whole store, thus probably buy something else. Food shops place fruit, veg and flowers at the door to make the store look fresh to lure customers in. Also they are eye catching. They may bake bread and the smell will make its way out of the store, thus alert passer by’s taste buds.

Are you influenced by advertising?: We are being exposed to advertising like never before: on the television; on the internet; when you pass shops; in magazines. However the majority of adverts are aimed towards children. Products like cereal and toys have been advertised since before our grandparents were small. These ads may hook children and trap their parents into an endless loop into buying more and more products.

We watched a Panorama program called the ‘Tweens’. It is about children being lured in by designer brands through advertising and how important it is for them. Please click the link below for information about the Tweens.

Meet the Tweens

I find it hard to think if I was influenced by trends and the newest labels. I think I may have had it different to others as I lived in Brunei where designer brands were not really the ‘thing’. Nobody had them. But I do feel the pressure from other people now, how the sight of a designer label instantly makes you look expensive and rich. But I am not like that at all. I have no designer labels except for my glasses: FCUK. I just don’t see the point in looking like a spoilt brat rich kid. I like looking down to earth.

It is a shame that children are being captured by an identity. (skater, goth, etc). As they are so young and should be living in ease. However when children get the clothes they asked for their self esteem increases, this must be due to the fact of fitting in. As one of the children in the program, Adele, was telling the viewers that if she had a friend who did not wear designer brands she would still be her friend but not hang out with her often. This is because she will get bullied, and thus spread the bullying to Adele as she is her friend.

Now designer brands are getting so popular and trendy that there are now dolls who are fashion focussed and the new ‘thing’: BRATZ. Parents are getting concerned that they are too sexy and giving a bad message to their kids with their skimpy skirts and make-up. I agree in having dolls to play with, like when I was 7 I had good old Barbie dolls but not with slutty clothes on. However, dolls can give the impression that a small being thin is the ‘in thing’. If Barbie was a real person she would have 39 inch chest, 19 inch hip, and 33 inch hips, she would be a size 4 and her body fat would be so low that she would not be able to menstrate. The BRATZ dolls are just the same. Is this the message we want for our children?

Thus, in this lecture I learnt that the price of fashion can hit hard, it can cause parents to work constantly to keep the kids closets full of designer labels and avoid bankruptcy and how to design a shop to increase their sales.

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Summer of Love: The Psychedelic, Music and LSD

I love a good bit of colour, nature, music, festivals, a relaxed ambience and a quirky sense of mismatched style – this is why I am very keen on the Hippie Era.

The Hippie Era began in 1966 in San Francisco. It was a response to Lynsey Johnson’s presidency, between the years 1963 to 1968, where she brought domestic progress but also growth of the war in Vietnam. The bombing and violence caused the youth of America to flee to San Francisco to escape from the violence and political system. They did not move to rebuild or even change society they just wanted to escape from it all. Become part of a whole different world of love, peace, and flower power. And with a little help from drugs like LSD, the job became a lot easier.

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) is originated from an ergot fungus, discovered in 1968 by a Swiss chemist Dr Albert Hofman and his colleague Dr W. A. Kroll. Five years later, Hofman somehow accidently took some LSD and this was the first time anybody had had an acid trip.

LSD captured a number of scientists’ attention and began experimenting with the drug to help treat illnesses such as schizophrenia, sexual disorders and criminal rehabilitation.

LSD is colourless, tasteless and odourless. It usually comes soaked in blotters and squares or sheets of paper decorated with quirky designs (strawberries sunflowers, rockets). The drug effect is described as a ‘trip’ as it can last up to 8 to12 hours. It alters and expands consciousness and with a high dose it can completely wipe out the outside world with a new colourful one. You become more aware of things (visual, auditory, sensory and emotional) normally unnoticed in the real world. Intricate details on surfaces, richness of sounds, vibrancy of colour and the thoughts in your mind become distorted and exaggerated. Things can overlap and merge until you can actually see sounds and smell colours as if you have synaesthesia. However, it is not always all good. People can sometimes experience a ‘bad trip’ where the high can turn frightening and traumatic. It can be caused by the environment you are in, the mood you are in and the overwhelming feeling of the drug’s power. LSD is actually not at all addictive. It is not physically addictive and not a drug you want to do immediately again. However it can be psychologically addictive like if someone wants to escape reality.

To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.” – Humprey Osmond

LSD is a mind-altering drug which can cause ‘psychedelic’ effects. ‘Psychedelic’ usually means ‘generating hallucinations’ and relates to distortions of perception. The first time it was used was in a letter written to Aldous Huxley (1956) from the British Psychiatrist Humphrey Osmand, who was experimenting with the drug to find a cure for mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Osmand first spelt the word ‘psychodelic’ but later changed it to ‘psychedelic’ to get rid of the ‘psycho’ connotations it possessed. Two of the main artists who convey psychedelia and their influence of LSD are Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama.

Andy Warhol

Banana, 1966.

This piece by Andy Warhol was the cover for the 1967 Velvet Underground’s album. I think it is visually intriguing and ambiguous as it is simply an ordinary yellow banana. However at the top of the banana there are printed instructions for viewers ‘peel slowly and see’, which revealed a flesh coloured banana inside. I believe this immediately stirred art critiques as well as the general public due to it’s dirty sexual connotations. What a dirty genius.

Marilyn Monroe, 1962.

Warhol created many paintings of Marilyn Monroe after her suicide in 1962. He used a photograph from her film, Niagara. He wanted to mass produce this painting by using the technique called silk screen, involving enlarging and transferring a photo on to silk. Warhol admired Marilyn Monroe as a star and was fascinated by her beauty. He portrayed Monroe as not only gorgeous, but dark and mysterious.


Yayoi Kusama

Psychedelic art tries to imitate, introduce, inspire, and convey the effects of the psychedelic experience. It tries to portray a true reflection of the fantasy world whilst experiencing an acid trip. However it is never easy to capture the drug journey in either words or images.

“Like hallucination or dissociative phenomena… But don’t you see? – The visual stuff was just the décor with LSD… The whole thing was… the experience… this certain indescribable feeling” – Tom Wolfe

It was under the Hippie’s two concert venues in San Francisco, the Fillmore and the Avalon Ballroom, where the psychedelic poster art was born. The posters were designed by numerous major artists, the famous five nicknamed: Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse.

Between 1966 and 1971, they designed posters to advertise concert groups like the Grateful Dead, the Charlatans, the 13th Floor Elevators, the Doors, the Velvet Underground, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Pink Floyd, and many others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Left: Wes Wilson; Right: Victor Moscoso)

(Rick Griffin)

(Alton Kelley)

(Stanley Mouse)

Rain’ by The Beatles (1966) was the first psychedelic track as it captures the vibrant lucidity of an LSD experience. The heaviness and sonic presence of the track can appear to those under the drug’s influence. It explores LSD-influenced feelings of detatchment of the real world.

“Can you hear me, that when it rains and shines/ It’s just a state of mind?/Can you hear me? Can you hear me?”

John Lennon:When I’m in the middle of a dream/ Stay in bed, float upstream… Please don’t wake me… I’m only sleeping’. Written in a time when Lennon was tripping daily and his sense of self had virtually melted away.

A day in the Life’ by The Beatles was first banned from the BBC due to it’s drug references “I’d love to turn you on” which suggests the use of psychedelic drugs. “Found my way upstairs and had a smoke/ somebody spoke and I went into a dream” these lyrics also allegedy refer to drug use, smoking marijuana and going into a high.

 

 

 

 

To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.” – Humprey Osmond

 

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Extreme Beauty: Razor Sharp Teeth

There are various reasons for teeth chiselling in each culture. It could to do with religious beliefs or cultural standard of beauty. It normally takes place around puberty, when a boy’s voice deepens and a girl becomes fertile. The practice is celebrated through holding a feast, music and ceremonial dress.

The two canine teeth and incisors between them are scraped down to be the same length. The actual process takes a short five to ten minutes. The six teeth filed are believed to represent the ‘Sad Ripu’, undesirable qualities that can linger in one’s life. In addition, sharpened teeth keep the spirits happy and bring balance to a female’s life.

Tooth chiselling has in fact been banned by the Indonesian government; however the Mentawai tribe have refused to stop the practice, along with their ceremonial dress.

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NZ Book Council – Going West

This is a brilliant animation made from paper. The time it must have took! We were shown this video long ago in one of our first year lectures. It was to inspire us for our Paper project.

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Guillaume Nery Base Jumping at Dean’s Blue Hole

Atmospheric and powerful. Music goes with it so well. Awesome.

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