MPSA Media Arts

Media Art Certificate Techniques

Conceptually Narrative Film

Project Proposal

Immersive Film, Why Not?
By Ben Roley

First thing’s first, I want to focus on traditional film rather than immersive filmmaking. There are several reasons, firstly – the position I’m in. This is my last year at Mid-Pac and my immediate goal is the Re-Frame festival, all my work right now is dedicated towards that. If I had a year or two left to experiment, then I would be more likely to but with less than 6 months it is imperative to get films I can show in reframe. Secondly, I don’t see much value in the technology from a film standpoint. Like 3D, it seems more often its used as a gimmick to cover up a film’s actual flaws (see: Avatar). The VR becomes the main attraction, not the film itself. Not to mention the massive technical drawbacks of making a film with VR, it’s impossible to light subjects in 360 degrees, and the amount of time that it requires to make a film simply make this medium unviable for me. Lastly, I simply am not even CLOSE to being proficient in traditional filmmaking enough to try to experiment, I want to learn normal filmmaking and focus on that. Now that that’s out of the way;

Mission Statement

I would like to use this class to make several smaller films and continue working on my big ones – For Dinner and Ralph (which I shared the script with you of). The smaller film projects will be all short 2 minute max pieces (experimental and not), as two weeks is not nearly enough time to make a longer film.

Advising Notes
Ms. Goya, 2/9/16

I’m glad Ben was able to express his thoughts on immersive film.  The assignment is experimental in nature and see the possibility of it being a worth while medium to experiment with in future projects for this class.  Ben’s interest in experimental film is worth exploring first and new uses of immersive storytelling can be explored later.  He shared with me a clip of an experimental film called “For Dinner,” he’s currently work on in Film Production.  There was a lot of dark undertones in this visual narrative and am interested in seeing how that film progresses.

Ben also shared with me that he’s “new to filmmaking” and is still learning the ropes and wants to focus on improving his foundation skills (camera work, lighting, editing, story, etc.)  All excellent priorities.  He is also interested in experimental film, which is a far reaching genre that enters the realm of both narrative and non-narrative filmmaking.

I would like to propose Ben’s first experimental film for this class be a structuralist film.

Structuralist Films

Structuralism looks at a film or any other “text” as a signifying system, a set of patterns or relationships within the work. The meaning of a work (or a body of work) comes not so much from inherent meanings of its individual elements, as from how they interrelate within a “formal system.”

Semiotics, a form of structuralism, uses the concept of codes to discuss conventional ways that things are done in texts. Codes are cultural phenomena because they are learned. Nevertheless, through familiarity codes come to seem natural rather than cultural: this process is called “naturalization.”

Source:  Film Theory in Hitchcock Studies

Wavelength by Michael Snow, 1967

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