Intern’s Desk: a creative proposal

View the original post on the Stitely blog.
When a man proposes they want everything to be just right. They want it to be romantic, memorable, and special in every way so that hopefully the woman before their eyes will become their soon-to-be wife. There are many ways in which men plan for this, whether it be roses, candles, a romantic dinner, beaches, horse-and-carriage rides, or even Muppets. Yes! I said Muppets.

Now, I know what your thinking. Yes, everyone loves Jim Henson and his Muppet stories. And yes, these have become such icons in society that even the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has created an exhibit about them, but how is this a way to propose? Well leave it to Sid Ceaser, a New Hampshire photographer, to find a very romantic and original way to propose with custom designed Muppets.

Ceaser bought custom designed Muppets that resembled the couple, created a movie trailer, and convinced a movie theater to play this trailer before a film that he and his soon-to-be fiancée were attending. More details on how he created this video, along with the story of the proposal can be found on his blog:

Will this start a Muppet proposal trend across the country? Probably not, but I am sure it will keep people thinking about new and creative ways to propose. Here is the proposal trailer!



Student Writing: a study of semiotics

For one of my classes we had to create an ad utilizing semiotics. No text could be used to describe or sell the product. To fulfill this assignment, I chose to create a simple Diet Pepsi ad. The red background signifies a sense of urgency and excitement. The Diet Pepsi can is standing tall and in the center to focus the eye and show importance and around it are crushed Diet Coke cans to show its dominance over the competitor. The simple nature of the ad makes it seem more modern and fits with their newly updated simple packaging design.

Semiotics are often interpreted differently amongst individuals depending on culture or other factors, which is what makes it a tricky art. What does this ad mean to you?

Student Writing: YOMANGO

Yomango is a movement that started in Barcelona Spain in 2002.

In Spanish Slang Yomango means “I Steal” and therefore it is labeled as a “Shoplifting movement and an anti-consumer lifestyle”

The act that made this movement well-known is when individuals walked into a store, stole clothes, and then later put them on and walked back into the store presenting a sort of “fashion show”.

It has been said that these shoplifting tactics are ways in which they re-distribute wealth and comment on commercialism.

When they steal products they feel as if they are “liberating” the products and encourage a life style free of brands and commercialism.

There have been websites online that encourage and celebrate these acts and it has spread from Spain to Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Germany.

In the Yomango manifesto they state that their main objective is:

“is not the selling of things but the promoting of shoplifting as a form of disobedience and direct action against multinational corporations. Buying is an action based on obedience; (we are) taking to the extreme the free circulation of goods.”

Some countercultural commentors see this movement as “an embodied expression of the general spirit of open-source, file-sharing culture that could ultimately overwhelm systems of ownership in the increasingly digitized economy, it works.”

Here is a video that was posted on the Yomango website of an event that happened in Argentina.

Student Writing: truly independent

“One should not despair because one’s cultural makeup is not unique and the chosen artistic treatment only one set among a variety of available arrangements. Think of it: Inmar Bergman was certainly not the only little boy in his days to build a puppet playhouse. The difference between him and the rest of his generation is that he was able to turn that experience into memorable material while others were not. And today we respond emotionally to these scenes in his films not because he does them better than anyone else but because they feel genuine.” (Geuens, 29)

This line from Geuens’ article really signifies what I think a true Independent film should hold. So many times people try to create these worlds from which they have no relation to or what they do not know, but in do this they lose the genuine emotional aspect within it. I think that in an independent film, it should be able creating a film based on your feelings, thoughts and experiences that may not seem unique to other people but in small ways they are unique to you. The film below, which was a senior project created by this kid, is in a weird way a truly independent film because even though his life and his culture or background is not all that unique he is clearly filming and creating from what he knows and what he relates to. His everyday life is the basis and influence of his piece and that makes this film uniquely his and different from other films that are made by people who create films about their day-to-day lives.

Student Writing: Cinema – the state of the art

In his article Geunes states, “The joy of thinking creating, and assembling images and sounds that mean something is your entire reward. For when it is all over, you can look back at the project in amazement: ‘God! I made a film! I did it! My film!’ you can be proud.” By saying this, Geunes talks about the fact that if a filmmaker can create a film that means something and that represents who they are, how they feel and shows their love or dedication for what they created then that mere process of creating the film and the gratification and pleasure that is obtained from creating the film is the reward in its purest form. The fact that the filmmaker has created something that represents their original thoughts, ideas and feelings and can call it theirs is what makes the end result of making a film so great. I do think however that Geunes’ quote about gaining pride about creating your own film or project holds true for all films but is less directly referencing the Star Wars fan videos that have been created and placed on the internet in the past few years.  I think that gaining this full pride and respect has a lot to do with creating something that is the entire creation of the artist. That is genuine in showing and speaking the artist’s feelings, emotions and ideas, not someone else’s. By creating something new and original the artist is creating an art form and sharing a piece of themselves instead of creating a “stimuli” (pg 30) in which masses will watch but are not necessarily touched or given insight into the artist’s feelings or ideas. By creating a Star Wars mock video or something else along those lines, it’s almost like creating a product or something which is entertaining to watch but not necessarily memorable or special. If so many other people have access to creating a video using Star Wars clips, ideas and sounds then there is nothing that can truly set the videos apart and nothing for the artist to claim as their own and hold full pride in creating.
After reading “Cinema: ‘The State of the Art’”, it has made me feel more strongly about the fact that a filmmaker should strive to create something that shows their views and feelings in their work. Even if the work does not blatantly show exactly how they are feeling, it should have some genuine form that underneath everything sets the film apart from other films because of the original choices made by the filmmaker, one should be able to sense a feeling of dedication or pride that went in to making the film. It should not feel like a project but feel like a piece of the artist, in a way that clearly shows that the artist but a lot of themselves emotionally into the piece but also a lot of work and time into creating what they pieced together. A film should be as much from the filmmaker as a painting or any other art form is connected to the artist. Geunes’ article has made me want to try to create work that is original in content and expresses my experiences and thoughts as opposed to others experiences and thoughts. My experiences might be similar to others, but in some ways there will be clear differences. I don’t feel a desire to create something that uses others ideas or images, I feel compelled to take on the challenge of creating something that is solely mine. Although it might include an idea similar to someone else’s that will be for strictly reason of relation and the fact that I have been impacted by that idea or experienced that thought or idea for myself.

Student Writing: lets think about amateur films

“All of this publicity surrounding the Star Wars parodies serves as a reminder of what is one of the most distinctive qualities of these amateur films — the fact that they are so public. Mather, For example, reports, ‘Since I started keeping tack in February 1998, this site has been visited by over half-million people from all seven continents, including such faraway places as Antarctica, Iran, San Marino…and Canada.’ The idea that amateur filmmakers could develop such a global following runs counter to the historical marginalization of grassroots media production.”
As technology progresses the line between amateur film and professional film slowly deteriorates. Before, amateur filmmakers produced films that usually contained images of their friends and family without much of a plot or effects that were only to be viewed by their friends and a close circle of people. Now it is possible for anyone to come out with a film that has decent effects and editing with a story line that can pass for a good short film.  It does not take a lot of money any more to make a short film with the right materials. This still leaves one difference between amateur films and professional films and that is the fact that professional films are marketed and able to be viewed by many more people than an amateur film would be able to do. However this difference is also fading. The internet is now being used more and more by amateur filmmakers to show, advertise, and distribute their film and art to many other people. Internet films often do not get a lot of credit because they somehow seem to get lost in the jumble of “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” film clips on sites like YouTube and lose the credit they deserve.
When thinking about the fact that amateur films can now be presented worldwide and accumulate a global fan base of viewers, I couldn’t get past the fact that these films are being mixed in the jumble of little 30 second side projects and lose their respect. Therefore this respect that a professional film has over an amateur film is still much higher. I think though that even this barrier will start to fade. More and more serious filmmakers who are presenting their work on the Internet are starting to advertise and promote their film and are really starting to target the people they think might be interested in their work. Word of mouth has always been a great way to promote something, and with the e-mail word can spread much farther and much faster.
In this article about IKLIPZ it talks about this new site that has come about to set aside the YouTube thirty-second projects from the short films that are getting jumbled in the mess and losing the respect they deserve. This is just a beginning point to start to break down one more wall between professional and amateur films and slowly make the differences between them smaller.

Student Writing: as technology advances. . .

“Every technology is both a burden and a blessing; not either-or, but this-and-that.” This is a quote by Neil Postmen in his article “The Judgment of Thamus”. In many ways, I think that this quote holds true for every form of new technology that is created or modified. In so many ways technology improves life, it lengthens life, it makes things simpler; yet at the same time it limits abilities, it creates a false sense of reality and information, it creates more risks and it raises so many people to a level of sameness. A level where everyone is given the tools to create great forms of art or great projects, tools that can make up for a lack of natural talent or a natural gift. It masks over the individuals and in many peoples minds takes away the rightful credit to great art or a great project.
The Internet is constantly growing technology that follows the initial quote completely. There are both good things and terrible things that the Internet can be used for. On the one hand, there are many sites that are being produced like Flickr or Pure Volume that give credit to the individual, they highlight their talents as a filmmaker, a musician, a photographer, etc and showcases these talents to people who would not ordinarily be able to know about the artists. However, these websites are open to everyone. Because they are open to everyone, good people as well as the not so great people are welcome. Sometimes people use these sites for evil and to hurt others, but other times the bad thing about these sites being open to everyone is that there are more people competing for attention and competing for views of their work that eventually the true meaning and greatness of their work is lowered or discredited.
As mentioned before, Internet sites that can be useful to many people can also be used in a negative way as well.s. Wikipedia, a website set up to provide a free source of information to the world, is altered by people who want to make others believe their opinions and ideas, or false information about a topic, by inserting information that is portrayed as fact.
This good vs. evil idea that technology has created, and that Neil Postmen stated in his article reminds me of the novel “The Devil in the White City”. In the novel two brilliant men are living in the late 1800’s and are using new technology and their intelligence. The only difference is that one man is using his knowledge to better society and the world and to create the great World Fair, and the other is using new technology and intelligence to kill the innocent naive visitors to this new and emerging town. It just makes me think that no matter what happens and no matter how far technology evolves, there is never just a positive or just a negative side to the evolution. People can use these tools to help them accomplish what needs to be done, but it is the way people choose to use these tools which depends on the person. Each tool can be used in a positive way or a negative way and that is what needs to be remembered when talking about technology. The good things should be focused on and elaborated upon, but the negatives cannot be forgotten, or else the world will be living in a false sense of security and not know how to defend themselves or make themselves aware of the negative ways these great technological advances can be used.