Self Portrait #7 – The Hound Chronicles

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I’m guessing this is probably post #5 or so that is about the Mountain Goats, but they’re a pretty big part of my life so that makes sense I guess. They started as a one-man lo-fidelity act in 1991, releasing homemade cassette tapes that he would record straight into a boombox. The sound quality may be shit, but the songs contained in the cassettes (and later CD’s, and now in the full-band-in-a-studio era, vinyl) are golden.

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Rough draft treatment of “Eveline”

Eveline is a cat who lives with some humans and other cats. The other cats are her father and sibling. She is sitting in the window, as cats are known to do. As she does this, she has flashbacks of the past that build up to her present. These flashbacks are of playing in a yard as kittens, but having buildings being put there now so nobody can. Most of them are about the “explorer” dog (that is to say stray) that she had an affair with (I felt like a stray is the closest to the stereotypical “sailor” type for animals.) Her father wouldn’t let it happen, and always expected her to stay. Eventually, she has to choose between sneaking onto a train with her dog lover, or staying at the house with her family. The film leaves it ambiguous as to what she decides.

As she gets closer to having to make this decision and the tone shifts to a less happy one, the colors and lighting get a little darker.

Self Portrait #6 – Going to Georgia

 

For this self portrait I decided to post another audio recording. This time, it’s me doing a song by the Mountain Goats called “Going to Georgia.”

This is a song that the band doesn’t really play anymore and for good reason. I still dig it even though I know it’s got terrible things going on in it, but I’ll let the songwriter explain it better than I can:

“I wanna say to interrupt the narrator — the most extraordinary feeling in the whole world is to wake up in jail. That’s a really extraordinary feeling. So compared to this guy being wrapped up in his own ideas and feelings, to wake up, oh, I’m in jail… Wow, my feelings don’t count for shit. This is jail, right? And you knock on the bars and go, hey man, like I’m a singer-songwriter. You have to let me out of here. And then the guy who you went to high school with goes, ‘No I don’t.’ And you say, ‘But Lance,’ ’cause that’s his name ‘Well, Lance, you gotta let me out of here,’ and he says, ‘No, I don’t.’

If you should find yourself in this song, heaven forbid, don’t say ‘Oh! What’s the chance for epiphany here?’ Call the cops. There’s a fucking psychopath on my porch. I hate him, and I want him to go to jail. And if the police say ‘What if he’s having some deep feelings?’ Tell them ‘Take your patriarchal bullshit down to the garbage can where it belongs and haul this guy off to jail because he has a gun.'”

Project #2 Part B (Linear) – Locked Out

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This is the linear portion of the 2nd project. The six images for this part were supposed to be in sequential order to convey meaning. It tells the story of a student (portrayed by Matt) who drops his keys when he leaves the room. After finding out his keys are not with him, he goes back to get them only to realize that he is locked out of his room.

Project #2 Part A (Non-linear) – Insomnia

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This is for the non-linear portion of project #2. I wanted to portray what my late-nights/early mornings tend to look like. They seem to blend together all too often. I used grain in the images purposefully to portray the way my brain feels waking up early after not being able to sleep. I tried to portray not being able to get to sleep through the use of various lights from electronic devices (such as computers and phones) since those seem to be what keep people awake the most.

Self Portrait #5 – Weapon of Mass Destruction

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This is an older picture, but I came across it on my hard drive and wanted to use it. It’s a picture of my very first guitar (which I still own). I got it when I was 13. When I was 16, I started writing songs and my liberal politics shifted into the more radical ideologies of the far left. Now, at 19, I would consider myself an anarcho-marxist.

When I started writing songs and playing local shows, I put the words “Weapon of Mass Destruction” on it. It’s a little nod to the words on Woodie Guthrie’s guitar, which says “This Machine Kills Fascists”. The M is an upside-down W because someone thought it would be funny to make it say “Weapon of Ass Destruction” instead. I was kinda mad, but it was funny.

Film with the Sound Off

I decided to watch the first part of the pilot episode to Hannibal for this exercise. It took me quite a few minutes to get used to not being able to hear it and to focus more on the technical camera work happening rather than trying to interpret what was happening within the story. It forced me to really look at how each shot was framed. The cinematography in this show is absolutely astounding. They somehow manage to frame gorgeous shots composed of things like corpses mounted on deer antlers. The rule of thirds is sometimes very apparent, but mostly shots tend to be pretty center framed. One of my favorite aspects, though, is that even without the sound the camera work alone still manages to create a great deal of tension.

Self Portrait #4 – RTJ

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For this self-portrait, I decided to make a video instead of taking a picture. I’ve been collecting vinyl records since I was in middle school. When I started, it was all older stuff like The Beatles and other similar “boomer” music. I didn’t really have my own music taste until high school when I discovered the Mountain Goats. Even then, I hated hip-hop. Only in the last couple of years have I started to discover what I’d been missing. One of the most important genres to me in my entire life has always been punk rock. Now, I truly believe that hip-hop is starting to replace punk in terms of its social awareness. Maybe it’s always been that way.

Peer Self Portrait Critique

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For this post, I will be critiquing one of my classmates self-portraits.

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This is a photo of Matt Edmier. You can find his blog here. What I like about this photo is the use of lighting. With one hand, he looks to be playing with a string of lights that are lighting up half of his face. He is looking at something off screen. The viewer of the image has no idea what (though his blog says it’s a TV) he’s looking at and can make their own interpretations. Something else that can be left to interpretation is whatever he’s doing with his left arm. It seems to be extended, either resting on something or he’s holding something. Due to the low lighting, the photo is very grainy but that may be intentional.