Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Games Research

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was playing with the idea of making my informative and interactive pieces like a game.
So the following clips below are games references I thought might be useful to me.

Amnesia is I believe one of the scariest games of our time at the moment. The viewer/gamer [if I'm correct] is a character that runs around a building, trying to regain their' memory by finding clues. But the further your characters delves into this dark world, they encounter more dangerous scenarios of the supernatural kind.
I figured this was way up my street.

Slender: Again, another current scary game as of now, Slender has similar traits to the Blair witch films. e.g. Nighttime, walking in the dark with only a torch, something supernatural chasing you/messing with your mind. This game literally gets the viewer/gamer screaming. It requires the gamer to collect 8 pieces of paper. As you do so, the atmosphere and sound effects build up, and all the while, the strange slender being in a suit follows you and tries to get you. Not a game for young children.

The Walking Dead:
The walking dead is another scary game, and it has various options the gamer can use. These options guide the storyline, resulting in the story panning out differently to what could otherwise be.
That's an aspect I want to utilise in my work, even if only a little.

Mario Bros:
I think I also want my clips to have some aspect from this Mario Bros gameplay clip, like journeying from A to B, with perhaps some obstacles in the way.

Knightmare Tower:
In terms of the style I want my 'gameplay' to look like, I guess I'm going in the flash direction like this game below. I can't use the programme flash, but I think I can pull of the 'look' of a flash piece with the help of photoshop and after effects.

NSFW. A hunter shoots a bear:
After explaining my idea to one of my tutors, she told me to watch this video.
It's brilliant! Exactly what I'm after in terms of interactivity for my pieces.
The viewer along with the hunter, is ambushed by a bear and you are given two options: Shoot or don't shoot.
After choosing an option, the hunter tells the viewer he doesn't want to shoot the bear, and decides to tipex the title. Then he says you can change the story by typing a word in the tipexed part of the title. Once you do this, the video links you to another and shows you what you typed in. Fantastic! :D

Questioning the Anonymous Public...

My idea for my project seems to keep manifesting into other ideas. I guess it's a good thing, helping my creativity grow or something, but it seems fleeting somehow, like I can't pin it down.

Anyway, I've been playing around with the idea that my work could be informative and interactive like a game. That way if the viewer chooses the wrong option in the clips I will create, they'll see what happens and be told 'you've lost' or something along the line.

But I wondered how I can do this. It's gonna be tricky, and I don't want to send out mixed signals. So I thought I'd ask the general public by going on Omegle. I accidentally found the website from watching 'PewDiePie' [youtube username] videos on youtube.

It's a social networking website, like msn chat in a way.
I find it ironic that my project is about raising awareness on strangers, and yet I've resorted to 'talk to strangers' to get some answers. How enlightening will this project be!

But the one brilliant feature this website has is the option to post questions and anonymous strangers can answer. You can't interject into the conversation, you just watch two strangers try to answer your question.

Pro's and Cons:
Once I asked my question, I got some decent feedback.
Unfortunately with anonymity, I also got some weird ones, and some responses I couldn't keep because they were too obscene. 
Also, when I posted my question, I kept getting a lot of people leaving the conversation. I guess they weren't keen on any serious queries.

I screenshoted some of my responses and put them on flicker, as evidence of expanding my research further:

Friday, 14 September 2012

Stranger Danger Research

Monster Research

Halfway through the summer holidays, I was given a brief called the 'self initiated project'.
It basically entailed the student to come up with an idea of something to research, in my case: myths, legends and monsters.

My reason for researching this? I love halloween and anything in relation to it. I love it's monsters and stories, I wanted to somehow incorporate them in my work. Also I wanted to see if I could shed any light on why I'm obsessed with such things. I like scaring myself silly, whether it be reading books or watching films/programmes. I like the thriller and suspense aspects in a film, but not gore. Can't stand gore films at all.

The research on my project has also shifted a little in the 'stranger danger' awareness. From my findings, I eventually came up with the proposed idea: personifying strangers as monsters.
I'm trying to go in the direction of the safety videos every child watched in their school years, whilst utilising strong visuals of 'good' and 'bad' people.
Much like Little Red Riding Hood and the cunning wolf, but set with today's times.
Saying this, my idea still feels slightly floaty and I have a feeling the outcome may manifest itself in a different way from what I'm currently imagining.

[A naive little red and the meticulous wolf. I was imagining using silhouettes for my story/ies when I found this image, haha.]
I did a brainstorm on what it is we associate monsters with and the two most strongest points that stuck out for me was fear and the need for safety.
So I have my idea, which should hopefully enforce the message I'm trying to get across. A reminder if anything.

Video References:

I thought this was a clever piece. It's in my sort of direction for my research. In this video, children who have alcohol-dependent parents, are perceived as monsters or similar horror characters.
It's interesting because it's set in the modern era, and there are some recognizable elements from horror films, such as the strange figure who is only seen by the child in the park.
This video (top left), is called 'Of Monsters and Men' by 'Little Talks'. I found it by typing in monsters in youtube. I just put it on here because I thought the art and style of the animation looked lovely. Whether I use it as a reference yet for my work is still debatable.
The second video (top right), is a clip from the 1971's version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. When I watched this video as a child, I was always creeped out by the strange man that 'magically' stood behind Charlie (especially when he somehow didn't make any noise with his butcher tools when he approached him. Who couldn't make such noise?) Even more so when he recited a poem to him: 'Up the airy mountain, down the rushing glen, we dare not go a hunting, for fear of little men.' - A poem by Irish poet, William Allington (1824-1889). And then he finishes his visit with the words: 'No body ever goes in... and nobody ever comes out'.
It still creeps me out to this day, and I like it at the same time. Another thing to scare myself silly with as a child. It always sounds like a creepy ghost story to me.
'The Tale of Three Brothers' by J.K. Rolling, from the film and story: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'. I know I've put it on here before in a past blog entry, but I thought it was such a lovely piece; and it may yet become a reference to my work, I don't know yet. I was debating last night whether I go in a silhouette style to convey my story/ies, when I remembered this. Still deciding.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Disneyland Paris

On the 5th of September, I went to Disneyland Paris with my family for four days.
It was a holiday mainly for my younger sisters. I went before years ago, around the age of 13 with my old high school. The only difference other than which party I went with, was the travel. My first time traveling here was by the Eurostar train. This time I went by plane, although I hate flying. It was only under an hour the flight, but I'd rather take the train again in all fairness.

On the last day there, I went through the Walt Disney Studios Theme Park to see 'The Art of Disney Animation' building.

[Me stood in front of the 'Walt Disney Studios' Park entrance.]

[The 'Art of Disney Animation' building I was keen to go in.]

I wanted to see what was inside, in hopes to shed some more light on anything I don't know about Disney's animation processes and so on. We were in a bit of a rush too because we had to leave Disneyland around 3ish for the airport. Luckily the que wasn't bad when we arrived.

On the outside of the building, there were some beautiful rough sketches of recognizable characters from previous Disney productions over the years, mixed together. Up close, they seemed to be hand drawn which I found surprising. I've wondered if the designs were projected on the walls and then drawn or if they were just drawn from scratch. And who drew them? I want to find that out:

Once we were inside the building, it was like being in a musuem/gallery/cinema. The walls were decorated with works of Disney. There was some historical insight into how animation developed and an interesting video of Walt Disney and his nephew talking about the processes of most forms of animation.
It was great in terms of interaction too, you could play with the 'Zoetrope' and the 'Praxinoscope'.

After we watched the video of Walt, we were guided into a cinematic-looking room. When we settled down, we watched what looked like a reel of Disney's work, conveying various emotions and stories:

Once this finished, we were then whisked into another cinamatic-looking room, only it had a french speaker on a stage with the props of an animator's desk, etc.
We had to stick headphones in to understand what the speaker was saying, but it was fun to watch. 
There were two screens above him, and the character Mushu [from Mulan] 'interacted' with the speaker and whoever was on the next screen. Mushu was even voiced by Eddie Murphy for this. It was funny to watch, I didn't expect it at all and throughly enjoyed it.

Here's what we saw, I'm assuming this is the Disneyland Florida version:

[Post unfinished]
link to youtube video
projection on castle much like John Hind's work: