Thursday, May 28, 2015

Music Videos Rock!

P1T2 Irresistible from Kapaa Middle School MEDIA on Vimeo.

So, music videos. It's time for the final cut to be due, and my team and I have done pretty well. Leila and I contributed by making lists and plans of when and where and what to film. Keegan brought props. We each did our fair share of filming and being filmed. Don't forget lip syncing, and falling. There was a surprising amount of falling. And dancing! Don't forget dancing. I'm not going to say any more, I don't want to give it away.

I think our music video will be funny and entertaining, but I think the part that our audience will enjoy the most is in the bloopers. There's a part where we nail a dance move perfectly synchronized, and we try to do a three way high five. Unfortunately, instead of slapping Keegan's hand, Leila hits her in the face. So of course we had to put it in slow motion. That clip will be a favorite because it's a fail and fails are always funny, and also it's black and white and in slow motion with the words "Thug Life" (the words were a reference to the official music video).

Being the last project of the year, it should be one that kinda showcases all that we learned this year. Our music video does this by exercising all that we learned in movie and film making with the Hiki No news story project, the visual poem project, and the movie trailer. I also made an album cover in Photoshop, using the techniques I gleaned from the movie trailer poster, the HDR photography project, the double exposed portraits, and the typography images. I'm extremely proud of this music video, I think that it's an awesome end to an awesome year. And now I'm feeling nostalgic.

Behind the scenes!

Leila and I posing (taken by Keegan)

Selfie after a productive day of filing (featuring Wailana in the background)


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Lyrical Livelihood

And now, without further ado, the last project I will ever do for Gifted and Talented at Kapaa Middle School. Music Videos. I really love music. I listen to my iPod for more than 2 hours a day. Choosing a favorite song is extremely personal in my opinion, the lyrics define who you believe yourself to be. I can't choose just one song, but if I had to it would be "Kids In The Dark" by All Time Low. This song's verses are kinda sad ("Here we are at the end of the road, a road that's quietly caving in...") but when the chorus comes around it's only full of hope ("We come together, state of the art, we'll never surrender, the kids in the dark, so let the world sing"). These lyrics make me not want to give up and to keep fighting. (Writing this is very personal...)

The music video project is by far the favorite. My team is me, Leila, and Keegan. We picked Irresistible by Fall Out Boy. We chose this because it is an EPIC song. It's pretty easy to find a story in the lyrics, and it's fast and energetic. It makes me want to go fight someone, it gets me really pumped up. Irresistible is a song that you can kinda adapt your own meaning to. In the official music video, the band are portrayed as "losers", and challenge a really good team to basketball. It's kinda weird, but basically the good team is beating them really badly, and Fall Out Boy keeps on failing again and again. They are pretty excited about it though, and seem to think that they are pros. The audience cheers for the band even though they are losing by 70 points. However, as soon as one of them actually scores, the audience stops cheering. I think this means that people love Fall Out Boy the way they are, as losers, and as soon as they "sell out" (scoring) people don't want to cheer for them anymore. For me personally, it's just a song that's kinda about being awesome.

Every good music video has to have a story. Either the lyrics tell the story, or you adapt it and tell your own story. For us, the story is pretty complicated. Basically, we each have separate back stories where we fail somehow, and then we come together to make a band. When we try singing we are terrible and the manager kicks us out, so instead we have an awesome dance scene. My tragic back story is that I'm a spy, but I am surrounded at one point and I lose a fight (my failure). Leila's is that she's in love with food, but when she runs to the food she stubs her toe and falls (her failure). Keegan's is that she's a professional boxer, but she loses a lot (her failure). After we show the failure, Keegan and Leila meet on the street and become friends. Then they see me acting shady (haha get it I'm a spy so I'm wearing sunglasses) and decide to follow me to a recording studio, and somehow we decide to make a band. However, the manager of the record store thinks we're terrible so he kicks us out. After that failure we decide we don't really care anymore and we start a dance group. The end.

Our production plan:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Animation Story

P1T2 Hannah Switches Schools from Kapaa Middle School MEDIA on Vimeo.

Animation can be a time-consuming, tedious, frustrating process that in the end I end up really enjoying. For this project, the subject was "tell your story" and our focus statement was "Hannah Switches Schools". This tells my story because going to Kapaa Middle School was a life-changing decision, and that decision was hard to make. This animation tells the story, or at least part of it.

A possible lesson you could learn from our animation is to try new things, even though you might be worried or afraid of possible outcomes or people judging you. I think that this could be a real problem for anyone, which is why we did our animation on it. We show the plot by personifying my anxiety as an evil figure that follows my character and tells me things like "Why do you even try? They're not going to like you anyway." During the climax, I face my anxiety head on, arguing with it. Then, someone calls me over to sit with them at lunch, and I "push" the anxiety over. As the day ends and I go home, I confront the anxiety again, telling it "I don't need you." It then fades away.

Our team worked really well together in my opinion, and we all worked together on our scenes and even some extra ones that we needed. Our main problem was meeting the time requirement, that was extremely stressful. We had to keep adding scenes and we were animating up to the last few minutes. However, in the end, we all pulled through. At some points, it might have seemed like I was getting mad at Maya and Maya was getting mad at me, but really that was just our way of communicating under stress. I promise, we weren't really just about to punch the computer or each other...

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Animation Outtakes

The school year is almost over, I'm getting a bit nostalgic. It seems like just yesterday I started this blog and it seems like last week I first walked into Kapaa Middle School for my first day of 6th grade. Speaking of the first day of sixth grade, that is what my team and I are doing the new G.T project on! The second to last project I will have... let's move on before I tear up. The new project is an animation one, the requirement is to tell someone on our team's story. My teammates are Cherish, who knows some Japanese and likes to stay home a lot, Maya, who is punk rock and likes watching Netflix, and Justice, who likes to surf and draw.

There are many different types of animation, but for this project the class is mainly using claymation, Photoshop, flip book, whiteboard, stykz (a simple animation program), and stop motion. Stop motion is an animation technique to make an object or person appear to move on its own by moving it in small increments and taking a picture each time. A .GIF (also known as Graphics Interchange Format) is a looping animation using pictures smushed together to create the illusion of movement. We did two as practice in class using Photoshop:

Also I found time to make a stop motion using photo booth and Photoshop:

The theme of this animation story is "tell your story". My team decided to tell my story, or how I transitioned from St. Catherine's school to Kapaa Middle School. "Hannah Switches Schools". The purpose of our story is to show that a transition can be hard, but going to a new school isn’t as bad as people make of it. Change can be good, and can introduce you to new things, experiences, and make you generally happier. While animation is tedious and can be extremely frustrating at times, overall I enjoy it and even animate drawing in photoshop at home.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Typography Images

Typography- the style and appearance of printed matter.

They say an image is worth 1,000 words, and in the case of typography portraits, it's literally true. Have you guessed the newest project in G.T yet? We're moving on from double exposure and starting on this new kind of portrait, the typography variety. In case you were wondering, typography is the art of arranging type to make written language beautiful. As I mentioned, typography combined with images has the potential to make an outstanding impact on the person viewing the artwork. Imagine a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. with words of peace and his "I Have A Dream Speech" making up his face. I know, right?! For our project, we had to do 3 images, one of an innovator (chosen of a certain website), one of a teacher, and one of yourself. For the innovator I chose Eesha Khare, who invented a phone charger which could charge a phone in 20 seconds. For the teacher I chose my art teacher, Ms. Aki.

While this does have potential to be amazing, the potential would not mean anything unless you followed the directions exactly. Any one mistake could mean the whole thing is messed up. However, my main problem for the first image was not in Photoshop, which had the most room for error. My main problem with my practice was finding an image that was big enough. I finally managed to find one, and I started with the beginning tutorial. The end product was a success in my opinion. Then, we have to do the teacher picture. We had to take a portrait of a teacher on campus, and I chose Ms. Aki. We also had to interview them for at least 15 words, and mine were Art, fun, easy-going, too much, family, career, sweet, nice, always, learning, travel, language, teach, green, horses. The class first watched This Tutorial and then followed along. I finished early, but you couldn't read the words so I had to do it again. While doing it over, I was doing something wrong when I was doing the layer mask and inverting. After watching the tutorial again, I realized that I had to deselect the image before inverting it... my mistake was extremely easy to fix, I was lucky. My third and final image is now finished, my main problem was making the words readable and making my face recognizable, as well as some of the highlights. When I first started on it, I thought I had enough blank space, but when I continued I realized it wasn't recognizable. I managed to fix it, though.

The first of my three examples was the portrait of Eesha Khare, the innovator. I had copied and pasted the words I used from her wikipedia article. The second is Ms. Aki, my art teacher. I had interviewed her for the fifteen words I used. And the third was me, photo credit to my friend Leila.

Eesha Khare:                                                     Ms. Aki:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Double Exposed Portraits

HDR has come and gone and now we are doing something totally new in GT: Double Exposed Portraits.

To start the explanation to the questions you probably have, I'm going to first describe portrait photography. Portrait photography is capturing an artistic image of a person where the facial features are predominate. Portrait photography can relate to profile view, because a profile view is basically a type of portrait. Silhouetting is also similar to these in the sense that while you might not see color or much detail, you can still see the shape of the face and recognize the features. We used portraits for this project, a profile view to be exact.

The process of creating double exposures could potentially be confusing, but once Mr. Sanderl gave a demo it seemed really simple. To make a double exposure image in photoshop, first you must take a profile portrait (profile so that you can clearly see the silhouette). Then take some sort of textural photograph, or take a picture of something that describes you. For instance, for my final image, I took a picture of the things on my desk at home. Then, open photoshop and and load the pictures into a stack. Make sure the size is 8.5 x 11 and the resolutions is 300. Double tap your portrait layer and select a new blend mode. Experiment and take your time, this is the fun part. Then, do the same for the next picture, you don't have to do anything except size and move the last one. Crop, resize, and move around the two texture images until you get something you like. Add adjustment layers for more contrast or vibrance. I think these images are really fun to make and look amazing, everyone should definitely try to create one. There are so many possibilities.

Blend modes:

Adjustment layers:

For my practice image I lay down with my hair behind me for my portrait photo (picture idea credit goes to Justice). I took pictures of the flower trees at school for the two texture images. I really liked my practice image, even more so than my final. My final was a regular portrait. For the two texture images we had to take pictures of something that described us, so I took a picture of my desk and all the things on it, and my iPod and earbuds. I really liked my first image, but I think the final could definitely be improved. For instance the portrait itself was not as creative and original as the practice, and my texture images could have been planned out better, though to be fair I didn't know what my portrait was going to look like when I took them.

Monday, February 2, 2015

HDR Photography

HDR photography, or High Dynamic Range, is taking multiple photos with different exposure settings and then combining them in photoshop to create one outstanding image that highlights the parts you want to draw attention to. For example, say there is an amazing sunset, but you can't highlight the sky without totally blacking out the rocks. With HDR, you can have the sky AND the rocks be extremely detailed. I really love HDR photographs and I think making them is extremely enjoyable. However, you must be extremely careful while taking the photos, because if you move the camera before you finish taking the pictures, your final product might not turn out as well as it could have. Also, there are some situations where HDR isn't the best idea. Shots with movement, vivid color, or high contrast are some examples of this.
Good Example, Bad Example.

To make an HDR, first you must find a good setting. One without movement or vivid color is the best in my opinion. Then you must set up your camera, a tripod (natural or not) is necessary for a steady shot. Finally, you take pictures. Start around -3, and then -2, and so on. Include exposure 0, up to positive 3. After that, you import all these photos onto your computer equipped with Photoshop. Launch photoshop, go to "File" then "Automate" and "Merge to HDR". Select your photos, and then wait for the magic to happen! Well, not actual magic. Photoshop magic. Which is arguably more impressive. Anyway, soon the machine is finished, and you can personalize your final product.

The procedure I just described is completely different from automatic HDR functions, like the one on your smartphone. If you do it the way I described, you can easily personalize the photo to look the way you want. While it may be easier to just take a photo and let the phone do the rest for you, it's definitely more rewarding to take your own photos and merge them in Photoshop yourself. You can personalize and tweak your photos, and make them live up to their full potential.

For our project, we had to take two HDR images; a landscape and an experiment, and then combine them to create superimpose image. The landscape is self explanatory, but the experiment was basically a portrait. I photographed my brother, because I had good composition, decent lighting, and I think the shot was pretty interesting. The landscape was a view from my balcony of my yard and then mountains in the background. I chose this shot because of the beautiful mountains, the gray and interesting sky, and the palm trees in the foreground. I am proud of both my landscape and experiment. My Superimpose is also pretty good in my opinion, though I couldn't come up with a word to use.
Final Landscape
Final Experiment

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Movie Trailer Critique

Winter Break has ended (sadly) and it's time to go back to school. In GT, we already turned in, watched, and critiqued all the movie trailers last quarter. However, we haven't done a blog post about the critiques yet. So now we're doing it this quarter. Our (Me, Leila, Haley, and Keegan) project was called These Memorable Moments. A brief summary would be that a girl's father dies and about a year later she falls into a creek and wakes up in a parallel universe, where he's still alive. But she learns that her being in that universe could tear the world apart, and she has to make a heartbreaking choice.

Our Trailer Plan document helped us a lot while filming, editing, and planning. We planned out each scene and wrote the voiceovers there, as well as a synopsis of the story. It helped us plan the characters and figure out the overall meaning of the story. Basically without it, we wouldn't have been able to do anything. Each of us on our team contributed equally. I played a doctor in the first scene, we even got access to a real hospital for it. I also planned and directed a few other scenes. I checked out cameras and filmed outside of school with my team. I also edited a little bit, made a movie poster, and found music to match the video. All of my teammates shared the work load equally, and in my opinion and I think we were a really good team.

Mr. Sanderl gave us two lists of requirments, one for the poster and one for the trailer. The list for the poster invloved things like certain text information that we needed, bevel and emboss, filters, strokes, and other Photoshop effects. The requirments for the trailer were things like a time minimum and maximum (1 minute and 30 seconds- 2 minutes and 30 seconds), at least 5 sequences (Our team had 6), text layovers, voice acting, effects, foley, and a movie poster somewhere in a finished project. While at first we struggled with the time requirment, I believe our team met or exceeded all of the rest in the end, and I am pretty proud of our finished product.

To finish up, the class watched all of the videos and did a critique on them. The critique for our trailer read mostly "Satisfactory" or "Above and Beyond" and I agree with these results. There was also a poll for the best video in the class, and we got third place out of 8 videos. I am happy with these results and I believe we earned them. Through this project, I learned a lot about video making and movie trailers. I really enjoyed this project, I always wanted to do something like it. I feel like I would want to do something similar to this in the future, maybe in my own time.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Movie Poster Promo

There's a new project in GT that's really cool, we're doing movie trailers! We have a bunch of things to do, like the actual trailer, the plan and script, costumes and acting, etc. And of course, we also had to do movie posters. For my poster I will have a picture which I took last Friday when my team and I got together to film. It's Sadie (Leila) leaning against a log and looking into the water. Later I might add a faint reflection of her dad in the creek as well, which could be interesting. This is the main photo I'm using for my poster:

In my poster I have the title and a subtitle, These Memorable Moments and If you had the chance to see a lost loved one, would you take it? I decided to have these two phrases because the first is the actual title, and the second one is the theme of the whole story. Kerning, or the process of manipulating the spacing between letters and characters in a font, was used when I wrote out my text. I used it because it made my text look interesting and fun to read. So far, this is what I have:

Layer effects and filters can can have a huge impact on a photoshop image, getting them from good to great. On mine, I used the effects "Drop Shadow", "Stroke", and "Bevel & Emboss" for my text. For my images, I used the quick selection tool a lot, some color balance, and a couple filters for the background. I think the effects I added helped draw attention to the things I wanted my audience to look at, and the colors I used created a sort of mysterious (I hope) mood. This is my final movie poster as of 12-12-14:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Proactive or Procrastination?

There are two kinds of people in this world. The proactive and the procrastinators. As for me, I would say that I'm a bit of both. I start our proactive (when I first get the assignment) and then undoubtedly end up putting it off until the last minute. This is a terrible habit and even though I get things done, I wish I was more proactive.

My level of productivity varies depending on what day it is, how much sleep I got, how much homework or things to do I have, what season or month it is, and the moon cycle. No, just kidding about the moon cycle, but the rest is true. Say if it was a monday, I got 6 hours of sleep the night before, I have a ton of homework and laundry to do, and it's summer, the chances of me doing anything is close to zero. I usually have a lot of free time up to a few days before something is due, then I usually do the work nonstop. I will not move. I will not eat. I will not sleep. And then I'm done! Yay Hannah!

If I could easily change my work habits, I would. I would make myself a very proactive person that does not put stuff off until the last minute. I would do this by writing reminders all over, including my body. I would set goals that needed to be completed by a certain time, also setting alarms so that I would get up and go do what ever needs to be done.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Visual Literacy

When my school introduced a new schedule, there was an extra period, 7th period. While my advisory was Mr. Sanderl, for 7th period I would switch into Mrs. Sanderl (along with the rest of my advisory). The project she assigned us was to make a word by folding the pages of a book, which sounds complicated but once you get the hang of it, it really isn't. This concept was developed by a man named Isaac Salazar, who was looking for a hobby when his wife suggested that he try folding a design in the pages of a book. He thought it could be a form of inspiration to some people, and he was right. Visual literacy is the ability to interpret the meaning of literacy and take meaning from information presented in the form of an image, extending. This assignment is an example of visual literacy quite literally, we're using a book to make a word which is art which is visual.

For my book I decided to fold the word "Luna". The font I used was Righteous, I'm not exactly sure why, I guess it just looked cool. The book I used was World Book, which had stuff about the moon in there and therefore was relevant. I folded this book because I liked the word I chose and I thought it would look cool folded. I believe I folded approximately 190-200 pages (I messed up counting in the beginning). 

I think my book turned out pretty well, you could make out the letters and see the word. If I were to do anything different I would probably be more precise with my folding and counting of the pages. If I were to do this project again, I would do a mint bunny. It's an adorable imaginary animal, a mint-colored bunny with wings that can talk. I'm not sure why, or what book I would use. Did I forget to mention, I did a second book! I did the name, "Phil" because my friend was doing "Dan". They're you tubers that are best friends, they're pretty awesome, and I had a lot of time on my hands.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Visual Poem

The newest project we have been working on lately is the Visual Poem. My poem is basically daydreaming about the future, hence the name, "Daydreaming". Besides the acual audio. or the A-roll, we also had to have B-roll. These accompanying visuals can make a big impact, setting a mood and adding to the audio.

I added a couple special effects to a few choice clips. These effects can create a mood of suspense, remembrance, they could just look cool, etc. By creating this feeling, special effects can add to the audience, mood, and meaning of your piece. However, too many effects could be potentially disastrous. 

I'm pretty satisfied with my finished visual poem. I think the poem itself was nicely written, and the visuals added to what I was saying. Anything could always get better however, and mine certainly wasn't perfect. Some things I could've done better, for example, was I could've spent more time choosing a song, the one I ended up with didn't match that well. Another thing I could've done better was more editing of my finished video, fine tuning the effects and exploring more of what Final Cut Pro has to offer. 

I am happy with my finished product, and I believe this was a fun, creative project that had the potential to end up really great.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Finished News Story

P1T1 Technology from Kapaa Middle School MEDIA on Vimeo.

In GT, we finally finished our News Story! My story was about Technology and how it affects today's youth. My team of 5 included me, Brandi, Sophia, Aedan, and Miles. Our team was pretty productive, and I worked well with each of them. We turned the project in on time, and I believe it met all of the criteria.

We interviewed my mother, Bridget Collins, our teacher, Mr. Sanderl, our fellow classmate, Cherish Kuloloia, and a sixth grader at our school, Joshua Keali'ho. The final video was pretty decent. I'd say that while it went from good (the rough cut) to great, there is always room for improvement. I am happy with our video, and the way it turned out in the end.

As for the critique results, I would say that I am happy with them. We got mostly 3s and a few 4s, which I think is what we deserved. For the "Best Overall Hiki No Story" poll, we came in third with 6 votes. First place goes to "Drake Fire Knife Tradition" and second place belongs to Hurricane season. There were 7 teams in all. I think our team did well, and that concludes the 1st quarter of eighth grade!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Real World Report

On Monday, September 22, in Hong Kong, thousands of students from more than 20 schools protested against a new law restricting people's rights to elect their leader. 

Protesting because of the decision that was made by China's legislative body last month to restrict their residents' rights to elect their next leader, the students skipped classes, and planned to keep doing so for the whole week. The new law was that a 1,200-member committee will nominate two or three candidates for the election (according to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress). In reaction to the protests, a federation general secretary, Alex Chow, said "How can a few people decide Hong Kong's future? Why not 7 million of Hong Kong's people?" 

I think that what the students are doing in Hong Kong is really inspiring. They accept the risk of arrest and just do what they think is right. I also think that what the government did is wrong, and that the people should be able to elect who they think should be the leader. I wholeheartedly support the protests and the students. 

We should care about this because it's about students, not much older than us, standing up against what they think is unjust. Their rights were taken away, so they protested against it, despite the possible risks. Perhaps the Hong Kong government will listen to its citizens, and make the change, but until then it's important that the students keep protesting to get their rights back. 

Read the full and original article here

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lessons Learned

So about that big project we've been doing in GT, we're about half way through and deadlines are approaching fast. Though we also have to crack down and work on the project, we also still have to make blog posts, about assigned topics. So here it is, a post for about halfway through this project!

I think that the most interesting part of our project so far was fitting together the interviews that we have gotten to make a story. It was fun (and challenging) to see the similarities between each interview and fit information together like puzzle pieces. It's also pretty cool when you see a story unfolding through the interviews that your team got, editted, and finalized.

However, our team also faced challenges. Some of these so-called roadblocks include struggling to finish transcriptions by the deadline (we were really cutting it really close because of how long two of the three interviews were). Transcribing can be really frustrating because sometimes the interviewee will talk faster than you can type, and you have to keep on pausing the interview and rewinding so that you wouldn't miss anything.

I believe the most valuable part of the filmaking process would probably be the planning. For example, before you even go out and get an interview, or launch Final Cut Pro, you have to have a plan. We've made countless documents specifically for planning in GT the past few years, and I dread to think about how our projects would have turned out without a plan. This class has taught me everything I know about the film making process, and that the most important part of filmaking is the plan.

Harry Potter - Delivery Owl