Product Designer Blog
Online Interim Review 15/12/09Evening Jolanta,Your blog makes it clear that you're picking up on all the various themes/relationships between the brief, the 'unhomely cinema' and your own creative project - and your dust-sheet concept is strong; in composition terms, you might want to consider your use of foreground more; having seen Halloween on Monday, you would have noticed how John Carpenter really used the interplay between foreground, midground and background to create a voyeuristic and suspenseful tension throughout. Your concept painting keeps all the furniture in the 'middle' of the space; I wonder how the feeling might change if you were to put your 'audience' more within the objects - a more immersive and subjective stance? That is not to say that mid-distance can't have its own effect of 'hush' and 'silence', but you might want to explore it.Another aspect of your environment to resolve is the time period of your scene; is it a post-war 'country house' as in The Others - or is more modern - or is it older than the 1940's? It's important to know this, because giving your digital set a time and place and prevent it from becoming to generic; from your drawing, it rather suggests that this is an old-fashioned room filled with old fashion things - I know you say you 'didn't want to use many references', but I'd argue that it is vital that you know do so to give your space the necessary crediblity; everything from the right width of floorboard to the right pattern on the wallpaper, to the proper proportions of the fireplace...Please see the next 2 posts for general advice re. the written assignment.
Written assignment Unit 3 Part 1Consider carefully the following learning outcomes for your essay and structure your assignment accordingly. You must demonstrate:1) Knowledge and understanding of ‘the Uncanny’.You should begin your essay by defining ‘the uncanny’ in theoretical terms (i.e. according to Sigmund Freud, Jentsch, and anyone else with a helpful or clear definition). You will be expected to include a quoted source by which to demonstrate your understanding; the essay, ‘The Uncanny’ by Freud is rich in useful observations – so use it; you’ll want to consider the concept of the ‘unheimlich’ and the sorts of motifs/artefacts that create the uncanny experience.2) A developed ability to engage in research.At this stage of your course, you are expected to research your subject area in order to enrich your discussion and corroborate your analysis. No essay at this stage should be written ‘off the top of your head’ or without a clear research agenda. Research might include a variety of film reviews, artist statements, images, books, critiques and articles. Research requires that you READ and take notes! For instance, if you are looking at Invasion of the Body-Snatchers in relation to the uncanny, first cross-reference lots of reviews/articles about the film. Make a note of any recurrent terms or ideas and when you come across a term you don’t understand or are unfamiliar with – investigate it! Try google searching associated terms together– for instance ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers & uncanny’ – as you may find research material that relates very specifically to your discussion.There are no short-cuts to an intelligently written assignment – focused research = successful essays; without research and a body of evidence, your essay is simply ‘chat’ and of no academic significance. Be significant!3) The ability to synthesise a range of research applied to arguments.Put more simply, this means that once you’ve completed your research and gathered together your key ideas, you are then able to use them to ‘unpack’ your chosen subject; think of your research as a precision tool-kit especially selected by you to ‘dismantle’ your case-study or studies (i.e. the film, image, programme, artwork you’ve chosen to discuss)4) The ability to clearly and academically communicate ideas.This is all about your writing style and your ‘voice’ – too many of you are writing as if you’re talking, and it’s a habit you need to lose asap in this context. So you must avoid slang and clichés; you’re not on the street or down the pub, you’re in a formal space with formal conventions. Avoid the first person; instead of writing ‘I think that Invasion Of The Body-Snatchers is about the fear of conformity’, consider instead ‘It is arguable that Invasion of the Body-Snatchers is about the fear of conformity’.
Written assignment Unit 3 Part 2Please don’t ‘narrate’ your own research – for instance ‘I looked on the internet and found this interesting article’ – No! No! No! Your reader doesn’t give a damn about ‘how’ you came by your research – just use it effectively and formally.Punctuation – please use it! Try proof-reading your paragraphs out loud – if you’re gasping for breath by the end of them, you’re in serious need of some full-stops, commas and semi-colons. If you’re uncertain how to use them properly please visit http://www.grammarbook.com/english_rules.asp - and that goes for apostrophes too!Capitalisation – all film titles, book titles, artist names etc – should be capitalized every time you include them; Invasion of the Body-Snatchers, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover etc… Likewise, when first referring to a film please include director and release date.Footnotes are NOT to be used to reference quotes within the body of the essay; use Harvard Method. Footnotes can be used to include additional information external to the main body, but useful for the reader’s broader understanding of the subject area.Italicize your quotations!Double-space your document!If you refer to something visual as part of your argument – you must include a supporting illustration as supporting evidence.Finally – PROOF-READ your assignments before submission; I am not an English teacher so don’t want to be forever correcting spelling mistakes, typos or ‘right’ words wrongly substituted by a spellchecker. Make time to polish your written work, as you would your creative project work.Good luck!
Also - if you haven't done so already, can you add the CG Arts central blog to your reading list - if you become an author, you can use it post problems and get answers from your classmates on all three years - just post your email as a comment, and Liam in the third year will set you up so you can post.Please join & follow http://ucarochester-cgartsandanimation.blogspot.com/