Sunday, May 10, 2015

Transmedia

*What pieces do you think are particularly remarkable in how they create content or a shared experience between creators and audience/creators?

Through my personal experience, I would think Harry Potter transmedia example with RPG forums would stand as a great example. Also, Lizzy Diaries. These Transmedian experiences let the people to experience the stories in another dimension and let feel closer to fictional characters

*What examples do you see as being particularly creative or innovative in their use of technology within the art? Lizzy Diaries for sure. The fact on how many different platforms it has been produced is fascinating and it opened a completely new genre for people to explore.

*What questions seem to arise, either from the articles or from your own thoughts? What other transmedia examples have you come across or can find?
I would ask the extent of the transmedia and is it going to growth? There is a solid amount of examples, however, transmedia is still not a super known thing to begin with. What impact is it going/is having on our lives? Will it expand and become a part of virtual reality? The other examples I could say is The Hollow - a project mashing documentary, digital storytelling, photography, audio and interactive mapping.

*What are examples of marketing pieces that aren't really transmedia storytelling and how do you tell them apart? I think Hunger Games or True Blood. These franchises definitely used transmedia storytelling idea in purpose of marketing. Bringing stuff into the web through different platforms let these project reach way bigger audiences and in a long run encouraged people to get to these stories and become a part of their fan communities

*Did transmedia storytelling exist before the internet - and if you think so, how? I think yes but I probably wouldn't call it transmedia. The example would be a book, and people recreating/rewriting or doing their own interpretations of something in a different form. Could be a story and someone recreating it in a "pretend" game or a fan's written addition to an existing book. All of this wasn't put online, but people collaboratively added pieces to a story and expanded it in a way transmedia does today.
My project will be a version of Anthony Bourdain travel show episode Traverse City, where I with a help of my friends will try out different dining/touristy experience and try to promote it online.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

"How has the relationship between artist and audience evolved due to technology?"

Being 90's kid and experiencing the change of the relation between the artists and the ones on the other side of the screen indeed has been amazing. Social networks became the easiest and the most affordable tool for marketing and promotion. A rare "star" doesn't have a twitter, or other internet account where they would be socializing with their followers.

I remember back in 2009, when the whole social networking was just growing, the best way for me to get to know what's going in the media world was through the fan-sites, where people would post candid photos, photo shoots and etc. posts about their favorite shows, films, actors and actresses. When facebook and twitter became popular, the same celebrities created their own accounts and started to share their daily lives with the public. Producers and those behind them saw this as a great tool for promotion purposes and at the end whole #twitter network came to our screens.

It's a nice trend that "#" became especially popular among the public competitions like "Dancing with the stars", "The Voice", "American Idol" and etc where the "real" drama takes place. Taking into account how popular these shows became thanks to the social media, no wonder why these programs have been renewed multiple times.

However, twittermania is not limited just to it and has expanded also into narrative, long-run tv series. From shows like Revenge, The Vampire Diaries, The Games of Thrones and etc. The main actors get involved with the discussions that the fan base fires up. According to one of the articles, one the actresses admitted that she hates to stare at herself on the screen, so she spends the whole running time talking to the fans on twitter. This sounds so nice, but it reveals the controversy how can you enjoy the whole show experience, when at the same time you're trying to put as many "#" on your device as possible? Another thing that was brought up about the bad side of social media was spoilers. When you are a fan, and maybe a little bit off on what's happening, It is really easy to find out what did happen on your fav show as people are constantly talking about some cool thing, discussing, and it is not that easy not to see what is really happening.

It seems that this whole media thing is going to grow and expand. Now the same shows are even bringing twitter screen into the tv screen. It is also an international thing. Similar reality shows in Europe are using # for a really long time now, but yesterday, I was watching an Australian cooking show with a small twitter screen where peoples' tweets I could read myself.

And it is not the end. The competitions like the shorty awards promoting "The Game of throes" or other show, live tweeting and etc. will continue to shrink the gap between the artist and the viewer. I don't mind any of the social networks, but I don't also think it has a huge impact on the stuff I choose to watch. Knowing that in today's world, if you want to be famous, you have to live on the internet, I think it is crucial for celebrities to be online with their viewers, but I can only imagine how much effort and time all of this takes.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mash-up

This is 30-minute music mix for a brief workout session. It contains a mash-up of 10 EDM songs and between the excerpts of the songs, there are special musical parts composed by the independent artists. It is a fair use because it is a non profit seeking project made specially for a wellness purpose. It is not my material and I admit I don't have any legal claim that it is mine.


Genres+workout by Gintare Zukauskaite on Mixcloud


Mix contains:
Naughty Boy Feat. Samrumans – Home (Fedde Le Grand Remix) Magic – Rude (Zedd Remix) Ed Sheeran Vs. Holl & Rush Feat. Richie Lee - S(T)ing (Hardwell Mashup) 90s by nature, Chocolate Puma & Firebeatz - I Can't Understand, D. Guetta lovers on the sun, Yellow Claw - Shotgun ft. Rochelle

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Film Genres: Borrowing&Stealing

Originality and plagiarism seem to be completely different, but actually  in some cases, it can be really hard to tell whether the work was plagiariased or it's just a coincidental resemblance. In today's world, the creators are making stuff including their own personal experiences and asking questions that a lot of people tend to ask or experience in their lives. Every artist is creating the art about something: specific genre, type, look because someone or something has inspired him. In the articles that I read, or the documentary I watched, every artist or person presented the story with the main thing that interested him. Then, they had to deal with other people who were also interested in the same thing. In the result, there was an issue because everyone wants to be the first, the best, the greatest, the true, the real, the acknowledged one. And though it might wouldn't seem so, that perfection everyone seeks also justifies the reason why the artists should be let to incorporate other peoples' work in to their art. Because other's art is also an experience, and in a lot of ways, that unoriginality is not intentional.

From my personal experience, I know that it's not fun when you have to face the "stealing" or the "borrowing" from your own work. When I was working on my project, and a good friend of mine didn't steal it, but presented some of the elements very similar to the ones in my work, I was upset. I was sure that the person didn't do it intentionally, and I knew that my idea was not the most original one, however, the fact that it was very similar in some ways started to rise the questions for me. Moreover, the same exact person decided to produce the project in the exact same place where I had decided to do it before hand. That rose into a bigger discontent of mine. It took a couple of weeks for me to let that go because I knew that it's going to be the reason when both of our works will be compared by the others and I will be put in the position where I will not voluntarily have to compete with my friend. After a long thinking, I came to conclusion that it's not worth it. Be who you are, follow what you believe in, and if someone borrows from you, be happy because you were that inspiration to someone. Maybe you won't get the credit, and maybe someone else will be awarded for your originality, but the value of art is not in the money, or recognition. Personally, I believe that true artist makes art for others to achieve the internal satisfaction. The admiration, the evaluation, and the fact that someone already adapted your idea for their own work, show that your work is good. Someone is admiring and wants to make the art like you do. My conclusion was based on that, and my other personal beliefs that I have about life, but whining and complain is definitely not the best thing to deal with that.

In terms of derivative borrowing, this is a short gap between a theft and originality according the authors of article. I would agree on that. If a person has an intentional wish to use someone's work as their own that would be the same as stealing. It's hard to proof it, but the difference would be obvious. In a plagiarized work there wouldn't be any new additions.

Our lives are full of borrowed ideas and it's not that "borrowing" and "stealing" happens in just visually or through sound. The fake Ray-Ban glasses sold of 15$ at the flea-market could be an awesome example of a transformative borrowing. Or a complete opposite one: a home cook, making a cake from some recipe found on the internet in some way is borrowing the idea.  Overall, it is even hard to gasp the extent of types of plagiarism among us.

Personally, I also get a lot  chance to incorporate someone else's work into mine. The music for the movies I make is a great example. I wouldn't be able to do it on my own, but the great websites on the internet gives an awesome solution. Another story would include the found footage I needed for Poetry video. The poem talked about a collapsing house, but there was not possible for me to capture it. I easily found the footage and used it for my own project that turned out well just because of it.

But taking everything into account, I could really ask a question about the authorship? It's hard to define, but actually if you didn't do a thing without anyone's help, you are already collaborating. Even if you borrowed the idea, or took the material from some project, you are already doing it with someone else I would agree with the idea that it's worth to be credited.

Overall, it's a tough thing to deal with, however, in today's world you have to understand that if your work is out there, it's a chance that someone will find it and will use of its own purpose. We won't be able to change that, and I think the industry and the sharing networking will continue to grow. There has been a huge progress in a solving the question of the sharing rights, but it's still a long way until the conclusion is drawn. I would say yes to the punishments for a voluntary plagiarism, but a strong no for the things that continue to spread the beauty of art into our world.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Setting of the Queen

In Stephen Fears' movie The Queen, Hellen Mirren portrays The Elizabeth II at the time of Princess Diana's death. The new Prime Minister Tony Blair  has to take his new responsibilities and direct the queen during the hard time for the Britain. The Queen does not want to make a public thing out of Diana's death, and that gets a lot of negative response from the people. The main idea that the movie explores how even the monarchs have to do not what they want, and how the traditions, etiquette, and manners shape their thinking about the world.

The setting of the movie helps to show the distinction between the monarchy and a common man. Queen has a number of palaces:  the Buckingham Palace, and the other huge mansion in Scotland where the main story is being developed. Both of these manors have hundreds of rooms, and each of those rooms is huge. We see Queen's room a couple of times in the palace with a nice king bed, about 10 pillows on it, and nice Victorian age bedding. The room is neat, though it reflects the older times (contributes to the idea of older Elizabeth's point of view toward modern things.) The fact that everything is so old there adds up to the fact that nothing is changing neither at the Buckingham, nor at that other palace. Neither does queen, and her perception of this world. She is always a formal monarch. We don't see her showing any deep emotional relationship with any of the main characters. Although she talks less formally with her husband and the mother, it is still not how we would talk to our relatives. We know the time depicted in the movie is hard for her,  but she is still always to the point, and nothing more. That vastness of the palace takes out the warmness and cosiness that once again point to the colder relationships in the families that used to be normal in older centuries.

The room where she meets with Tony Blair is huge. The walls are crowded with dozens of pictures, golden decorations, statues, couches, tables... When the prime minister Tony Blair enters the room for the first time, the look on his face shows that he has never seen such an extravagance. Later in the movie we see his home - not elaborate at all, his family, the relationships between the members. It's so different from what we see in the royal manor. Tony stands as a common man, represents the majority of the country and the modern way of living. His children have much more freedom than the two boys in the royal family. His wife is cooking the meal, not the 20 chefs that we see working in enormously huge queen's kitchen. As a result, this shows why the queen is one against all - she is different, her life is different, and shows the older regime, and older way of making decisions.  Tony Blair and the setting of the environment where he lives contributes to this distinction, and the explanation of why such difference exists.

Overall, the setting of the movie makes a good job conveying the queen's personality, reason, and the explanation of her actions. Also, it nicely juxtaposes the lives of those who are governed by her. Without a successful setting, the main conflict would lose a bunch of earned obstacles that are fundamental. Fears' Queen is unique, and does a wonderful job revealing the hard life of those who have responsibilities for their country just because they were born as the kings.





Friday, October 3, 2014

Extraordinary set of Lars von Trier's Dogville


      The first shot of the movie is from above, and it looks like a map, showing the setting of the world that at first can be quite hard to gasp. This is how we are introduced to The Dogville - a small town with a population of 15 people.

The story begins with the writer named Tom Edison, however, everything shifts when a runaway Grace Mulligan shows up at this desolate town. Tom decides to help Grace, who is running away from the gangster, and suggests her to stay at the Dogville. Grace agrees.  Through doing manual jobs for the people of Dogville, Grace gets the part in the small town's society. However, Grace differs from the rest of the characters, because the relationships that she made with the people of the town change through the movie and not to the better side. The extraordinary set helps to highlight the importance of that change to the story as the whole.


Dogville is not like other movies, and the director Lars von Trier creates the story, the conflict, escalation and other necessary fragments of the dramatic movie without using many props or extravagant sets.  The movie was shot in and confined to one space. We don't leave the sound stage where the movie was filmed. The set uses only 3 backgrounds: white for day, black for night, and red for the ending of the film. The small town is also "empty". We only see white lines that determine the boundaries of buildings or streets. Also, white words that indicate where we are in space (for example - Elm st. or Tom's house). The words can also specify the objects like "the dog", or "the bush". Overall, pretty much all the details are left for the audience's imagination: the look of the buildings, complete rooms, walls etc. We see only plain characters and their actions in the movie. This contributes to the director's goal for the audience to get to know the characters only through their personalities and actions.  No unnecessary interior details are added to help to convey the feelings or emotions.


At the beginning, Grace is loved. Everyone seems happy that she's there, but the story continues. As there are no walls and no restrictions, people seem to know everything: they should see what's happening at each of their neighbor's house. Everything seems pretty normal until we go into the second part of the movie. That's when we start to get what emotional impact the movie with this type of setting is able to convey.  The dramatic scene when we see Grace lying on the floor, the man raping her, and the rest of the town - just feet away, in the same shot, brings an awful feeling. Though some of us would justify the town's actions because allegedly there were invisible walls; however, everything changes when we move forward...

When it's revealed that the town knows about Grace being constantly raped by the men who live in the Dogville, we notice that town's obliviousness is still there. They don't care about Grace at all, and we realize the change of how they were treating her at the beginning, and at the second part of the movie. This happened just because of setting, and just because we were focusing on the personalities, specifics of the acting performance and the emotions of the scenes. The importance of this would be diminished, or at least not as huge as now, if there were a lot of additional stuff added to the film.

Overall, the movie is one of its kind and it's mostly because of the set and its design. There is a lack of objects, but this does not interfere with what the movie conveys, or its main dramatic purpose. In some cases even otherwise: it stands out and shows the tone of the movie. Helps to see the progress of the story, and how it switches from being a sad, but not really terrific to a completely devastating and mind-blowing.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

M. Scorsese's Life Lessons


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Color. Emotion. Music. These are the three words that can easily describe Martin Scorsese's short film Life Lessons. In the movie, we meet a painter Lionel Dobie who (like a stereotypical middle aged artist) has his inspirational muse Paulette. The girl wants to leave him, however, he is able to pursue her to stay, as she is the only one that can make Lionel stay inspired  and  paint. Though everything changes when Paulette comes back, at the beginning we are still introduced to the fact that Lionel has an artistic crisis and is not able to paint. A story is centered around him trying to maintain the balance between his feelings for Paulette and the meaning of her stay for Lionel.


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What really strikes out in the movie is the camera movement.  When there is a scene with a dramatic scent,  camera moves. One example is when Dobie comes to pick Paulette in the airport. They reach the blue truck, and Lionel tries to pursue Paulette to stay with him. There is nice transitional swing around Dobie while he is talking. We stay motivated and the main driving element stays on Dobie.


The portraits of the characters determine the tone they bring to the movie as well. Firstly, Dobie is not a likeable character. The way he looks, dresses, talks, acts, does not really help to sympathize with him. We feel more for Paulette. Her wish to become a better artist and her trying to figure out if it's worth doing. Although Lionel is the main character of the of the piece, he is quite antagonistic and that is really reflected if we think about the tone of the movie: artsy, unprecedented.

The quick montages, added in the editing with Lionel painting, also contributes to the unity of the film. Through the specific color mixing, through the passion level Lionel gives to the work, we can easily identify whether he is sad, or anxious, or inspired. That earns the answer why we still stay with Lionel through the entire film, why it's his story, and asserts why the movie is about Lionel and what drives him in his art.

The soundtrack/musical background that is being used in the movie also reflects a lot of Dobie's emotions. Music genre switches from popular pop to classical/opera songs that is a parallel between Lionel being powered up and inspired to paint, or emotionally devastated and sad (like in the shot him in the armchair just looking at one point). Usually,  the music is in parallel with the montage of him painting, so these two cinematic tools fulfill and empower each other pretty well.


Another tool that I believe is worth to mention: the space and set's supplements chosen to use in the specific scenes. Lionel's apartment is pale. Colorless. It contradicts with the colorfulness that drives the movie forward. At the same time, it adds the better view to the characters and their relationships to the things they are doing in the movie in the first place. In addition to that, we also see how the space intensifies and takes out the pressure of the dramatic moments. Like the huge bathroom and Paulette and Dobie talking before the birthday party, and in the couple of moments at the party, also in the bathroom, but this time a couple of times smaller bathroom and the topic is much more dramatic.

The nice switch in the movie happens when we realize how Paulette starts to use an advantage she has. Paulette starts to manipulate Lionel. Shot design, color, camera movement, music and tone - everything switches up when in the story Paulette rebels against Lionel: she takes the guy home, she leaves Lionel with policemen... They become more Paulette revealing. More close-ups, more distinct color (like red); however, the story does not jump and does not become hers. It becomes a bigger motivator for Lionel's behavior.

Story is finished by Paulette leaving and Lionel finding a new muse. It holds the rhythm. Through showing us,  but not telling, Scorsese reveals the continuation of the story. Lionel hasn't changed as a character, but he has learned a valuable life lesson that everything sooner or later comes to the end. That it what happened to his obsession with Paulette.