Monday, April 29, 2013

ranking projects

1. Long Take-The long take was definitely my favorite. I really enjoyed the run and gun style of it, and how we only had a little bit of time to plan, choreograph, shoot, develop and transfer our footage. It really made things interesting and we got our idea for the take at the last minute. The raw nature of it made it so much fun, even though we had to come in on a saturday, and shooting with the Bolex was a great time as well. We even shot ours from a DSLR angle as well, just so we'd be able to see it right away. But it really was a great time, and the post production process was cool to manipulate the look of the film, especially with the contrast and textures of objects in our frame.

2. Cameraless

3. Crowdsourcing

4. Animation

5. Rhythmic-The rhythmic was a fun project. It was cool to have somebody shoot footage of me for a change, even if he chose not to use it in the final edit ;). Again, shooting on the Bolex was a great time. I think the post production process was hard for me to get a handle on at first, just because I didn't have any structure and it was hard to make it flow visually. I would not say this was a bad project by any means, but between this and all the other projects, this was my least favorite, mainly because it took me a little while to really get into the editing aspect, which is the most significant part.

I really enjoyed all of the projects, so it was hard to rank them. I think that the Crowdsourcing and Cameraless are really interchangeable, and the animation was fun too, but the class was just sooooooo long! But again, I have nothing against any of the projects, I just know that I enjoyed the long take the most.

I remember seeing this class listed on the UNCW Film Studies catalog when I was a senior in high school looking at places to go to school. I saw 6x1-Variations on the 1 minute film, and knew this was definitely right up my alley. This semester has essentially been a long time coming and I am super thankful I was able to take this class and expand my filmmaking horizons. It's given me an incredibly new perspective on art and expression, and I know this only benefit me as a filmmaker in the future.

It's been fun my good friends.
Thanks for an awesome semester Andre!


Connor Haviland Buss

Monday, April 22, 2013

What is Rough Theater?

Man, if only I had recorded myself in class this day because I feel like I was spittin' some serious truth! So here shall be my attempt to recreate my various discourses. Wish me luck!

Rough theater is chaos. It is the sweat and agony and fighting and misdirection and madness and running around and disorganized nonsense that comes together in the end to create a final product that is truly art. Art cannot exist without the work that comes before it. That is what is truly beautiful about filmmaking and art to me, is that while the creative process may not be seen in the final product, as a filmmaker and a director, that process becomes the most rewarding part of seeing a final product. However, the final product DOES NOT EXIST without the work, chaos, sweat, tears and madness that occurs within the creative process to make art truly genuine.

Being in the production realm, I would like to think that Rough Theater comes into play quite often. Many times throughout the cosmic mess of a film production does the term Rough Theater apply. I think one of the most applicable for me was just a few weeks back. We were shooting a commercial for my COM 480 Digital Video II class, and rough was the without a doubt one of the best words to describe. A five hour shoot consisting of make up, costuming, set design, lighting, blocking, rehearsing, camera, sound and grip until we finally started rolling. What a hectic display of commotion and yelling took place. But in it and through it, I found art. And beautiful art at that. There is not a doubt in mind that the final product won't be sweeter having been through all of the craziness that was the shoot.

The bottom line is that to be a filmmaker, artist, storyteller etc. you must have a sincere passion for the creative process. Without that, you can never make true art.

Lovingly yours,

Connor Haviland Buss

Crowdsourcing as a whole...

…is just freaking gnarly. Seriously, after all the craziness we've watched related to crowd-sourcing, from the Johnny Cash music video to the Star Wars reimagining, this is a complete new side of filmmaking that I would've never known about. It is a damn fine display of artistic ability and creative expression, especially to take images and sound that would have no continuity or diegetic logic and blend them together in a pure form of "universal"cinema. I'm actually sweating just talking about it. Just think about the hundreds of films and videos that we see every week and how they could be redone and crowdsourced to create and entirely new film, both visually and emotionally.

Bringing into question the idea of my experience with crowdsourcing, it has been a truly universal way for me to create art. Not only have had I been able to create my own images, but I've been able to inspire others that may believe that they have no business in the art of filmmaking to create their own art because, conceptually, "crowdsourcing" doesn't care if you consider yourself an artist or a filmmaking or a sanitation engineer. Anybody can participate and in many ways, that is where the true art and beauty comes from. It comes from Joe Schmo submitting a random 5 second clip of video combined with a shot from Scorsesee's Raging Bull. It comes from a student filmmaker contributing what he believes to be one of his best shots blended with a tattoo artist drawing a simple animation.

The most important aspect I will take away is that crowdsourcing brings everybody together. Filmmakers of all skills and career levels, drawers, painters, animators, anybody and everybody can participate. As long as they have a passion for what they're creating, an internal vision of art will become an external expression of creativity.

I love you.



Monday, March 25, 2013

Reaction to the Saturday shoot

Ok so maybe not right when I woke up at 11:30 AM was I THAT excited to head to campus to shoot on a shitty Saturday. But man, I was freaking pumped when I left! Quick recap of how the shoot went for me.

So I hurriedly threw some things into a bag that I thought might be useful for the shoot, it was actually all food because I thought we were going to do this "shoot somebody eating and reverse it in post to make it look like they're throwing up whole pieces of food" thing. Then I decided to bring my DSLR to shoot on too just in case we needed it. We changed our minds right when we gor to campus to do a gnarly guitar smashing scene instead. Right when I got there, I had to set up the camera and the projector to do video transfers. The camera was easy enough, but the projector took a little longer. Couldn't find the lens, then couldn't focus it quite right. I finally got it, because I'm basically the man, and ran a few tests strips of film to confirm when the call was made that we were actually not going to do video transfers!!! AHHH ANDRE! Just kidding, I definitely needed the practice of setting everything up. 

So finally, after waiting around for the other groups to finish, we got the coveted BOLEX in our hands! Yes! We ran through our scene a few times and made sure we'd have enough time to get everything in before we ran out of crank. Then, the moment arrived. Everybody was ready. Tension was so thick you could cut it with a steak knife. And…"ROLLING!" The scene took off and everybody was going nuts! I don't want to disclose too much about it, but it was nearly flawless and even better in some parts than I expected! After, I headed to the dark room to prep developing while Caleb and Eliza helped another group. We developed and got an awesome image, I think we had it in the developer for about 10 seconds total? When all was said and done, the image that came out on the film was one of the most rewarding ones I've ever experienced as a filmmaker. Way more satisfying than log & transferring footage in FCP! I loved every second of the saturday shoot. It was absolutely absolutely awesome!

Until next time, peeps.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Response to Roots and St. Louise

Man, the attention to complexity and detail on Roots really astounded me. The colors and shapes all came together to create a rhythmic, 3-D animation that manipulates color schemes in conjunction with the background to grant an aesthetically pleasing contrast. While I could not make out an apparent narrative, I did notice several of the film manipulation techniques such as coloring of the film in different layers, scratching, dying and bleaching, and creating several 3-D animation planes. The transformations in shapes and backgrounds was pretty incredible.

For St. Louise, I loved the accompanying score with Soul Coughing. Actually, I think it might've been a music video for the song? Regardless, definitely a lot of scratching being employed fairly often and quite obviously, but in conjunction with more bleaching of film and manipulation of words, shapes, and patterns. I really enjoyed the split frame insert of the boy shooting with the Super 8 camera and the parts of immulsion that were scratched out. It provided a relieving contrast to the constant motion and variety of the patterns. The intro was really cool in that the text slid from frame right to frame left across the screen while the film was actually being projected in a vertical manner. I'm sure that was a tough part to animate but it came out looking awesome!

While I may not have always thought it,

is actually super badass.

Until next time,


Monday, February 25, 2013

Theory of Animation

Jeeeeeez…Who would've thought there are so many different forms or animation? Technically, guess that's a pretty naive thing to say as a film studies major, as there are a ton of ways to make a film, and a ton of types of films. But I guess I was really blown away to read about them all at the same time. Lots of nostalgia tracing back to my childhood watching animated cartoons with some of the hottest cartoon stars of the era, including Daffy Duck and Yosemite Sam.

Reflecting back on the various forms, I found the section on Abstraction to be particularly interesting. Often times, animation and experimental film can be overlooked due to the abstraction of its form. It's hard for the average viewer to make sense of the moving images at first glance, contrary to traditional filmmaking which seeks to orient the audience as opposed to experimental, which has a tendency to disorient the people watching it. When it really comes down to it, though, these types of film require the most concentration, creativity and thought to produce. A random assortment of colors, shapes and movement does not bode as well for positive audience reception as a creative narrative which utilizes that various objects in the frame in synch with a score and pace. It almost makes me want to revisit some of the Brakhage films I watched in FST 200 and attempt to make sense of them again. HEY…I said almost ;)

All in all, reading an article like this is any discipline makes my mind race and jump all over the place. It gives you the drive to get started on your next project because you have literally so many ideas that you just want to tell everybody about them and ramble on for hours about this and that. That's a good feeling. Maybe one of the best feelings.

I was never as interested in animation as I was in working with a camera or a crew. I guess I just never realized all of the different avenues that animation can travel on.

Until next time, my noble compatriots.


Monday, February 18, 2013


I'm a little blown away by what I've just seen and read…ok I'm in awe.
Connected is officially on my cue of films I need to watch.

An entirely new era of filmmaking is ahead of us. As a firm believer in the power of the people over the individual, a trend NAY a movement such as this is a truly incredible innovation to the world of filmmaking. The Let It Ripple article stated, "What was so powerful for us was that we were no longer divided simply as filmmaker and audience, or creators and receivers. With Cloud Filmmaking, we were collaborating on the film as one." I read that and a little voice in my head screamed, "YES!" It seems as though somebody here is finally getting the point. Building off of Jimmy Wales' ideal when when he founded Wikipedia, "Empowering people everywhere to have the information they need…" this movement empowers the world to tell their story and contribute to a global connection of experiences and ideas. This brings up a film that I remember hearing about last year called Life in a Day, where Ridley Scott executed his own crowdsourcing efforts by asking people around the world to film themselves for one day, and took the submitted footage and turned it into a feature.

I was actually a part of a team at UNCW that tried to re-create this, not enough participation unfortunately. But it really opens your eyes doesn't it? The power of creating a film with no crew, no set, no equipment, no budget, just people. People and their stories. 

Now obviously, as the Problem with Crowdsourcing article suggests, "For tech companies and anybody involved in trying to mediate the crowd (for example, websites that solicit user submissions or reviews) the trick is figuring out a careful balance." Everything is moderation, the middle ground, is the key to any endeavor such as this. But that's a learning process that we as filmmakers and individuals must experience along the way. Wikipedia wasn't built in a day!!! But as we step forward into the future, innovations in these sorts of projects will continue to be made until a balance is found. LetItRipple seems to me to be leading a movement that will soon impact the filmmaking community in a huge way. I am all for the interdependence that they portray, and would find so much satisfaction in working on a project like that. 

Hmmmmmmm, maybe I will. Jimmy Wales said, "The real struggle is not between the right and the left. It’s between the party of the thoughtful and the party of the jerks, and no side of the political spectrum has a monopoly on either of those qualities.” That's damn right. 

Until next time, noble followers