Friday, 21 October 2011

CG Arts and Animation Crit

CG Arts and Animation Crit

Cg Arts and Animation Crit

Black Swan directed by Darren Aronofsky (2010)

Black Swan directed by Darren Aronofsky (2010) tells a story about a ballet dancer Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) in a pursuit for perfection to perform both the white and black swan in the production Swan Lake. The film is very claustrophobic and suffocating. Nina’s mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) is a very controlling over her daughter, seeing as she had Nina and sacrificed her career as a dancer Erica it seem to have throws Nina into the world of ballet. The camera angles also play a vital role in the film with lots of over the shoulder views behind Nina. Which creating claustrophobia and suggesting that Nina is only getting in the way of herself.

Nina is a pure innocent woman and fits the role of the white swan perfectly, but struggles to portray the black swan, the film looks on what ballet dancers need to reflect on to perform a specific role. Nina desperately strives to get the lead role of the Swan Queen, Lily (Mila Kunis) who is a new dancer impresses Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) the director, and performs the black swan very well. This is where Nina’s paranoia
sets in as she becomes convinced Lily is trying to steal her role.

Mirrors are very important through this film, it shows Nina’s darker side, it symbolises Nina’s other side that she doesn’t want to embrace she always has to be in control and is afraid of letting go. Throughout the film we see Nina slowly become more rebellious and start to embrace her other side.

This film also shows the dedication required to becoming a ballet dancer and what affects it has on the body. Nina is on the pursuit of perfection to become the best ballet dancer and to be able to perform both the black and white swan. There are various scenes where it shows the slow transformation of the black swan consuming Nina. These are painful and quite grotesque to watch and highlights what sacrifices must be made to become prefect.

The end scene before the final performance Nina is really fighting with herself. It shows her struggling with Lily and Nina over comes it by killing her. When she goes on stage to perform the black swan she just lets go and it consumes here, and by the end its clear she has only been fighting herself in the pursuit of perfection.

Splice directed by Vincenzo Natali (2009)

Splice (2009) directed by Vincenzo Natali, is a science fiction horror based around two scientists Clive (Adrien Broody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) who splice together various different animal DNA to create a unique organism that can benefit mankind. The film touches on multiply issues of religion and science.
Elsa gives off the impression that she doesn't want to have a child physically, but when the chance presents itself she uses her own DNA in the making of Dren. Not long after the creation of Dren Elsa falls emotionally attached to Dren giving her a name and treating it as a child. Clive however doesn't approve even though he wanted a child and Elsa didn't.

This film touches on the point of where the boundaries should lie for genetically creating organisms using human DNA. Elsa puts in her own DNA into Dren therefor making Dren her responsibility. At first Elsa only wants to create the protein that will benefit mankind medically, but subconsciously she knows Dren has her DNA and her motherly instincts kick in the protect and keep her safe.
Dren has very human characteristics and features which make the audience engage with her. Elsa also becomes much attached and doesn’t want to admit to herself she is still part animal. Even as Dren runs off being moved into the barn she is found eating an animal, Elsa still doesn't want to admit she has animal instincts. Dren displays human emotions throughout the film but carries none of the human moral feelings towards life.

This film goes places where the viewer is uncomfortable. This film displays both the Oedipus and Electra complex, which is where the subject would show sexual or romantic feelings towards their mother or father and anger and jealously towards the other. When Dren is female it’s all romantic she seduces Clive and has sex with him, also when Dren is male he rapes Elsa and kills Clive. This is basic differences between the Oedipus
and Electra complex, the females experience being more romantic.

Splice certainly takes you different places than the standard science fiction genre, the humans in this film could be argued to be the monsters as Dren is only following her primal animal instincts.

The Elephant Man directed by David Lynch (1980)

The Elephant Man (1980) directed by David Lynch tells a story of a man John Merrick (John Hurt) who was deformed at birth and has lead a life as freak in a road show. While a London surgeon Frederick Treves (Antony Hopkins) takes interest in Merrick and wants to rescue him, and finds that Merrick is a gentleman and intelligent.

The film was shot in black and white despite the fact it was made in 1980. The contrast and detail of the black and white image gives the film a great atmosphere and tension during scenes. This is particularly true when Treves is walking down the back alleys and streets looking for Bytes (Freddie Jones) the owner of Merrick.
Lynch creates tension and fear within the viewer throughout the beginning. Lynch shows Bytes showing Merrick to the public, people are walking away crying. We don’t see Merrick but Lynch has already managed to create an image of this creature. Merrick is also kept hidden to build the tension that he will be a hideous scary monster.

When we meet and start to learn about Merrick, Lynch keeps the pace slow and lets little bits of his past show through so we start to create a deeper emotional bond with Merrick and makes the final scene of Merrick all the more moving. As Lynch has let to viewer get to know Merrick personally.

The Company of Wolves directed by Neil Jordan (1984)

The company of wolves directed by Neil Jordan 1984 is a surreal film that goes into the dreams and subconscious of a young woman Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson). The film touches on lots of different symbolism and based loosely around little red riding hood, an obvious influence from Rosales’s childhood.
Rosaleen, in her dream lives in an old medieval town with her parents. Throughout the film she is always being warned to never stray from the path in the woods, this could symbolize that because she is on the verge of reaching the age of maturity and her family doesn't want to lose their little girl. 

Rosaleen remains curious to what will happen if she wanders off the forest path and what she may find. She isn’t frightened by what is out in the forest, when she strays away from the forest then climbs the tree she finds cherubs crying inside a birds nest. This could also be another metaphor for growing up, the cherubs meaning her younger self not wanting to grow up and leave the nest of her home.
This film has a very feminist view, there is message throughout the film about men and what women portray them as. There are quick flashes to various animals which represent what women think of men, snake and toad for example. The film shows frequently wolves as males and referencing that the beast within is wild and lustful.

It is set out as a very non linier plot, as we are frequently taken back and forth to different scenes and ideas much like dreams. When the Rolls Royce pulls up in the middle of the forest it seems to feel normal without out the audience felling disorientated or lost. This technique is used throughout the film and really engages the viewer.

Towards the end of the film Rosaleen wakes up the pack of wolves storm into her room, this could be interpreted as a metaphor for her realising she’s growing up as the wolves are showing trampling her room with all her childhood book and toys, this really shows the true meaning of the film a girl growing up and reaching adolescence. 

La Belle et la Bete directed by Jean Cocteau (1946)

La Belle et la Bete directed by Jean Cocteau in 1946 tells the a classic tale of beauty and the beast. The story is about a beast (a prince who has be turned into a monster) who has captured a young women Belle in his castle because the Belle’s father picked a white rose from the monsters castle the punishment was death for picking the rose and Belle’s father had the choice to send one of his three daughters to take his place. As Belle asked for the rose she felt guilty and went to the beast at his castle.

After the beast meets Belle he starts to fall in love with her. This is obviously stated by the way the beast treats her and how he only wants to please her. The beast gives Belle all the jewellery she would ever need, and treats her as Queen and respects her wishes. This shows that the Beast only wanted to show affection and kindness towards Belle and portrayed his felling towards her and that he still has very caring compassionate human emotions.

But at this point Belle is still upset that she cannot see her father. She shuns the beast away each time he tries to show affection, by bringing her gifts and admiring her. The beast sees her pain and although he doesn’t let her go see her father at the beginning but, as Belle starts to develop feelings for him he lets her go and saying that he would die of grief if she should not return. This seems rather evil emotional blackmail through the eyes of modern culture, but back in the 40’s this would have portrayed as romantic.
Although the beast acts very Chivalrous around Belle, he deeply tries to suppress his animal instincts. Throughout the film we seem him act kind and generous, more so than other human beings and displaying deep emotions. As they walk through the garden the beast sees a deer running through the trees and he wants to chase after it. Then we are reminded that the beast still has a firm grasp over him.

Although this film isn't shot in colour and doesn't have amazing special effects it still is a very engaging film. There is a great balance of tone in the film, with clothing and scenery which captures the viewer’s imagination.

Disk Artwork

Final Piece

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Life Drawing

using charcoal to block in dark areas then lighting up areas with an eraser, and looking at foreshortening and the human body to try and get accurate proportions.

Development of Inital Concepts

Using the head profile that stood out most for me (Number 2) i did a few development ideas for it


And also some more pose ideas based on number 6 from initial concepts 

Initial Poses

These are some initial poses I came up with to try and decide what kind of image i wanted to create for my final Photoshop piece. They are by no means a final design as they are out of proportion and sketched out. I wanted to create a piece that made the viewer feel sad for the creature. Making it lonely and sad, wandering alone or looking at his reflection at what had become of him.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Initial Concepts

These are a few initial ideas I was thinking of after reading some of Phil's feedback. I'm trying to make them less monstrous and giving them more human attributes.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Greenlight Crit - repost

Greenlight Crit

The Fly directed by David Cronenberg (1986)


This film is a remake of Kurt Neumann's The Fly (1958). This film directed by David Cronenberg has the same context and story as the original but the screenplay and continuity differ greatly. Cronenberg does a great job of modernizing the film with the body horror and the way the couple come together through a Science venue. Cronenberg has made the transformation a cancerous change which some people would call a metaphor for HIV which was present in the minds of the public at that point in time.

As Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) starts to form feelings for Seth, she wants him to succeed and try to get his teleportation device completely functional, and supports him through his trials and successes. After a hideous error involving a baboon in the device this upsets Seth but veronica still supports him and wants him to succeed. When Veronica receives a letter in the post form her boss and ex partner Stathis Borans (John Getz) she wants to go and finish it once and for all. Seth in his paranoid, delusional state thinks that veronica is getting back with her partner and recklessly gets in the teleporter and teleports himself.

After Seth is feeling reborn and alive as you see him doing acrobatic feats. After he has had sex with veronica when they both come to realise he got into the teleporter with a fly, and she finds out she's pregnant she wants an abortion. Now at the time this was a very new and challenging view. This film has really tested to the limits what and when it should be acceptable to have an abortion as it is likely the child be likely be a Human-Fly hybrid. 


As Seth now known as Brundle-Fly accepting his inevitable fate of turning into the monster. He is angry at first at the mistake he has made and tries to reverse his situation but to no avail. As the cancerous change develops and rather inevitably like HIV he slowly accepts the change, and he becomes more deformed and changing into a monster his comedic personality still shines through reflecting his humanity.

 When Seth fully transforms into the fly hybrid he becomes more insect than human and wants the three of them himself, Veronica and the unborn child to be spliced together in the teleporter. After Stathis rescues Veronica, Seth gets teleported with part of the device. He slowly crawls towards veronica holding the gun and holds it to his head, which shows very powerful human emotion. He has come to realise what a monster he has turned into. Both movies have the same general theme showing how powerful human emotions can be even after they have been degenerated into monsters.

Sunday, 2 October 2011


The first Photoshop lesson i wasn't expecting to achieve much as i had never used used a tablet before,  i did however know how to use Photoshop. I was really pleased with the outcomes and didn't expect them to turn out as well i thought they did.

The silhouette of the hand i liked as it portrays what i was going for, rather than a clean morph of the two species i was going for the gruesome, painful morph of the species being spliced together at a genetic level with bones not quite fitting and sticking out etc.

The platypus I'm very happy with, i found using the tablet  awkward and a bit strange to get used to.

More initial ideas and Thumbnail sketches