March 18 – What I Did: I began brainstorming and mind mapping to understand what kind of things I might want to explore. I knew that I wanted to experiment with filming/video-making. However, I did not know where to start or what I should attempt to film considering my novice skill set.
Creative Process: This part of my creative process was mostly just a brain purge of asking myself questions like “Why do we film things?” and “What things are filmed?” I associated filming with movement and began to think of sporting events or activities that would be high intensity and fun to watch. I also thought about how we film to record things like memories or moments that we want to call upon later. I also began to realize that we film/watch videos in order to teach others, or show others something they wouldn’t normally see. This is when I decided on filming the process of making pasta.
March 20 – What I Did: For this session, I spent much of my time researching on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. I searched for short films that I thought displayed interesting camera usage and created a playlist of videos that had unique camera angles so I could refer to them later.
Creative Process: The creative process came in here when I attempted to change my perspective. I began by searching for videos of people making pasta, then I decided to change the way I thought about filming a process. I started searching instead for videos of children, sporting events, weddings, and more in an attempt to understand/create a philosophy on shooting video. Also, during my research, I discovered stop-motion videos. I decided this would be an interesting contrast to a usually fluid process where one might film a person physically making the pasta.
March 25 – What I Did: Began brainstorming for my stop-motion video. I thought about material usage, plot/story, setting and scene, etc.
Creative Process: In order to generate ideas for my stop-motion video, I employed the technique of free association. I started with the word “pasta” and let the words flow from there. The word “pasta” led me into the raw ingredients and process aspect of making the pasta (ex. noodle, raw, flour, egg, etc.), which is where I came up with the idea to make a somewhat instructional video that tells the story of an egg’s journey throughout the process of being made into pasta. I also debated between using a fork, a rolling pin, a noodle, my hand, and other random things as characters in the film. Instead of making these things out of paper, though, as is traditionally done in stop-motion, I decided to use real ingredients to make the video.
March 27 – What I Did: Today I drew up a storyboard and made some sketches/ideas after researching the process of making pasta.
Creative Process: Once I established that an egg would be my main character, I thought about how to bring it to life. One perhaps obvious solution was to draw a face on it, which is exactly what I did. I sketched out a few different storyboard ideas. Most of my creative thoughts came from simply writing out a step of the process and figuring out a way to represent that with an egg involved. I wrote out the steps in chronological order and then wrote down how I could represent that step in a clever way. I did this for all of the steps until I felt like I had a fluid story. Following that, I sketched out different scenes in the form of a storyboard that I would set up and shoot.
March 31 – What I Did: During this session I set up and shot some of the stop-motion video. I gathered/tested out supplies, drew on eggs, and played with lighting. Throughout the process, I also made pasta!
Creative Process: I drew up a lot of simple expressions that I could think of off of the top of my head and I also researched cartoon characters to find inspiration. I also used creative thinking when picking out the materials to be used in the actual photo shoot. I wanted to pick materials that had their own personality and were somewhat unrelated to the kitchen setting so as to be more interesting and unexpected. I took a few shots during this session to test out my knowledge.
April 3 – What I Did: Set up and shot the stop-motion video.
Creative Process: This part of the creative process was inspired by the research I did earlier on. I wanted to employ the same interesting camera angles and “zoom” features that a fluid video would have featured. I tried to utilize these tactics wherever possible to create a more exciting stop-motion film. The difficult part of this process was matching a facial expression to the scene/situation. Through trial and error and by setting up the scene I was able to decide which facial expressions would be best. I also tried to change my way of thinking and, when taking photos, I attempted to assume the role of a videographer and play with angles and zoom from that perspective to keep things interesting. My creativity definitely grew as I became more comfortable with the process/idea of a stop-motion film and as my plot developed.
April 8 – What I Did: Conducted an interview with head chef, Brian, at +39 Market and Cantina, where I observed and filmed him making pasta by hand. I decided to attempt to make a fluid video as well in order to contrast the stop-motion video and potentially test its effectiveness against that of the stop-motion film.
Creative Process: Much of my creativity was expressed through camera angles and focal lengths in this segment of the process. My motto going into this session was to avoid any shot that was “comfortable” for me to film, because if it was, that probably meant I was shooting at eye level while standing. I realized that nearly everyone looks on from about the same viewpoint, so I used the process of negating the objective in order to become more creative. I asked questions like, “How do we not observe?” and “Where do we not stand to watch a chef?” and attempted to use questions like this to influence my filming.
April 10 – What I Did: Sorted through footage from the session at +39 and adjusted/cropped/stabilized the interesting bits of footage.
Creative Process: I looked especially for angles that were unique and intriguing. I looked for (or made) perspectives that were unusual and therefore more creative and appealing. I selectively filtered out footage which I thought to be subpar. As I became more familiar with what a good shot “should” look like, I became more bold in my choice of footage and thus more a more creative product came about.
April 15 – What I Did: continued sorting through footage.
Creative Process: Again, I made an attempt to weed out any “expected” footage. I cropped and zoomed on footage that felt too comfortable and tested quite a few editing processes. My creative process consisted mostly of trial and error during this session until I became a little more confident and familiar with the editing software.
April 17 – What I Did: Roughly compiled chosen footage into a chronological video.
Creative Process: In this step, I though about what I would usually not do. I thought about running the entire video backwards because a chronological video is predictable, but I thought that if the purpose was to explain the process of making pasta, the chronological way would make most sense. I still may go back to this idea, though. Also, I found that compiling footage without background music was hard because timing and such were not issues I was dealing with yet.
April 22 – What I Did: Edit, edit, edit! Today I played with the concept of clip timing, appropriate length, the use of transitions, etc.
Creative Process: A lot of my ideas have come simply from trial and error. Much like the marshmallow tower example we had in class, I kept “prototyping” as I worked to see what I liked best. I would experiment and then redo and then experiment some more before tweaking and creating a final clip I was happy with. I’m still getting to know the capabilities of the software, which is exciting! My creativity definitely came in spurts, but it is coming more frequently as I learn more.
April 24 – What I Did: I added music, edited the timing of the music, and tweaked clip length/speed of motion.
Creative Process: Finding music was nearly impossible. It surely was a unique quest, though, to find the folky Italian music I had in mind that also fit the emotion and pace that the video portrayed. I had to, again, change the pace of some of the clips of the video in order to better fit the transitions between scenes with the riffs in the music. I also struggled to find a piece of music that fit the quickly changing mood of my stop-motion video. I made a million small editing changes on this work day which, unfortunately, somewhat stifled my creativity. However, I do think that my small editing changes were tiny stepping stones in the refining of a creative product.
What I Did
Throughout this process, I did quite a bit of research on the process behind making pasta and the process of making a stop-motion film. I observed the necessary steps to create noodles and simplified them before applying them to my film. I also made pasta myself (twice) and tried out different variations of techniques I had watched online.
The Creative Process
The inspiration from this project flowed over from my studio project where I am attempting to create a pasta machine. I wanted to create a comprehensive video displaying the steps one must go through to make homemade pasta, and I thought that attaching that process to a fun story would make it more meaningful and memorable. The process of making pasta underlies and sets the stage for the story of the egg that consumes the focus of the video.
When I decided that I wanted to create an informational video, I knew I had a few different ways I could take it. I made a list of different “genres” of process oriented movies, most of which fell under a blanket category of “serious” or “straightforward.” I also noticed that most of these films/videos have clips of high quality, dramatic footage. I knew that, in order to be creative, I had to make my video something different than the usual.
I plan to create a stop-motion video that tells the humorous story of an inventive egg who undergoes loss and defeat. Aside from entertainment, the video will serve as a visual, step-by-step recipe for making pasta by hand. I chose an egg as the lead role because a) I could easily give it expression and b) it brings a silly, lightheartedness to the process.
I have been looking into both pasta making techniques as well as cinematography. Some of my inspiration is listed below in hyperlink form.
Questioning process – Why do we film?
My initial storyboard exploration:
Exploring the expressions I will give my character:
Further exploration of storyboard:
Some shots from my first attempt at making a stop-motion film:
I am thinking that, in order to test the success of my stop-motion video, I will present the video to school children (not sure the age) and ask them, following the conclusion of the video, the steps/basic ingredients in making pasta. I will test the presence of the subliminal messages in my video. Maybe I will even have them write down how much they could guess about how one makes pasta, then ask them again to draw/describe the steps of making pasta.
For fun, I also thought about molding spaghetti sculptures and allowing them to dry as a fun experiment that adds character to simple pasta noodles.