URBAN ITINERARY : CINEMATIC SPACE
Site Device + Site Mapping
Monday 12 July
Discussion of chapter one of Giuliana Bruno’s Public Intimacy
Urban Itinerary: Cinematic Space, Introduce teaching team and discuss design brief and paper structure. (SG)
Context talks: SITE SEEING, Historical overview of site (SG)
Cinematic devices and ways of looking at the site through a cinematic lens. Discuss first design workshop.(SG + CB)
Peer group: Discuss studio brief and required Giuliana Bruno text. Begin research for cinematic device workshop.
For our project design brief, we have been asked to explore and consider an urban space through a cinematic lens, as an intimate and exteriorised space. Tracing, analysing, remembering, recollecting urban and cinematic spaces will bring together thinking from the disciplines of interior design, urban design, film studies, museum and exhibition design that might ultimately provoke innovative contemporary ways of seeing, designing and inhabiting space.
We will consider the development of Auckland as a city through imaging and imagining. Cinema played an important role in entertaining early settlers and for establishing a sense of Auckland as an urban centre on an international stage. As transforming to an early settlement town to an urban centre there was a proliferation of cinemas in Auckland which provided social and shared fantasy space. The intersubjective relationships between Auckland ‘citizens’ and the site seeing
apparatus of cinemas, and more broadly filmmaking can be thought of as an archaeology of urban experience.
For our brief we will present a design intervention within our site Fort Lane, a service lane parallel to Queen St, connects Fort Street (original foreshore of
Commercial Bay) and Custom Street East (first street on top of reclaimed land built to support the export and import of goods into Auckland). Fort Lane spans the first extension of land out into the sea. Curiously, Fort Lane dips in the middle due to the reclaimed land sinking between the sea wall (Customs Street) and the reinforced sea shore (Fort Street). Fort Lane has been recently reconnected at this point through the Imperial Lane development.
“This semester we will consider cinematic space. Your design project will explore the Fort Lane site (including the existing buildings) in relation to a cinematic concept &/or process, such as frame, projection, sequence, movement and transition. Your proposed urban itinerary (sequence of spatial experiences) will result from contextual research into cinematic devices and processes, extensive site/situation research, re-scripting the site, generative concept drawings and surface designs, revealing cuts (sections), and speculative designs. You will analyse, reimagine and invent Fort Lane and the activity that takes place there (script), the material narratives of the site (surface), and splice it into the site (cut / montage / rearrange). How will your design proposal contribute to this new form of urban itinerary?”
Research pre-cinematic and cinematic devices
For our first deign workshop/class we were asked to research and design our own cinematic device, as a way of exploring and visualising the Fort Lane site. So I began to research into old cinematic devices and different qualities, of pre-cinematic mechanisms.
What is the difference between a film, a movie and a cinema?
Film: ” A film forces the audience to grow in some way, to leave the theater slightly better humans than when they came in.Film obviously derives from the fact that the images were/are impressed on a roll film (not for digital cameras of course).”
Movie: “Movies is slang for a motion picture.A movie is more concerned with plot and easy answers. A film attempts to convey or explore something larger than itself. A movie is about giving the audience exactly what they want. “Movie is short for moving picture (or motion picture), and can refer both to a single show and to the film industry (when in the plural form, the movies).”
Cinema: “Cinema is from the French cinématographe which comes in part from the greek kinema, meaning movement. So, cinema is really just another word meaning moving picture. It also has come to mean more generally the process of film-making and also the building where films are shown. Theater is similar to cinema, in that it can mean the building, or more generally the industry of live performance (i.e. plays, musicals, etc.).”
The History of Cinema
- 1891 Kinetoscope to 2021 3D Revival
Who invented Cinema ?
In 1891 the Edison Company successfully created a prototype of the Kinetoscope, which allowed one person at a time to view a moving picture and pictures. The first public Kinetoscope demonstration was held in 1893, by 1894 the Kinetoscope was a commercial success with public parlous established globally.
The first projected moving pictures being presented by the Lumiere Brothers in December 1895 in Paris, France. To which they used a device of their own creation, the Cinematographe, which was a camera projecter and film printer all in one.
At the beginning films were very short, with only lasting a couple of minutes. They were presented at fairgrounds, music halls, or any location where a screen could be held in a dark space. The films being presented were about, local scenes and activities, views of foreign lands, short comedies and newsworthy events. A lot of the films were accompanied by lectures, music and audience participation.
Development of the Film Industry
1914, many national film industries were established, mainly in Europe, Russia and Scandinavia. With the films developing to hold more time, with a narrative. During this time more people paid to view movies, allowing the industry to grow, and invest more money in the production and distribution.
Development of Colour
Colour was first added to black and white movies through hand colouring, tinting, toning and stencilling. The early Technicolour process from 1915 onwards were cumbersome and expensive, and colour was not used widely until the introduction of it’s 3 colour process, 1932.
Frames of stencil colour film + Technicolour Cine Camera
The very first attempts to add sound to projected pictures used phonographic cylinders of discs. With the first movies only incorporating jazz music into the background of the film. This system didn’t last long with being seen as unreliable and was replaced by an optical variable density soundtrack, recorded photographically along side the edge of the film.
Cinema’s Golden Age
During the early 1930’s, mostly all feature-length movies were presented with synchronised sound and during the mid-1930’s were in full colour as well. This was the time when film was a popular form of entertainment, with people sending their time at the theatre multiple times a week.
Cinematic Device Exploration
From researching I began to explore different ideas and qualities for my own cinematic device.
- Modifying the lens- textures, colours, covering/sizes
- Camera angles
- I think it would be really cool to possibly create a device that had the ability to distort the current view and sight of Fort Lane, with the colouring of the lens, creating a new experience of the space.
Chronophotographic Gun Camera
These CPL and ND filters perform different tasks and functions, each have the ability to give the photographer more control over what appears in your final product. These lens are glass attachments, that can be used to change the colouring of the scene depicted, or lens witha slight tint can be used to reflect and reduce the glare, from a camera.
After researching into cinematic devices, I was still a little stuck into what specific effect and qualities, to play around and explore into my cinematic device, so I began to brainstorm some of my favourite movies and tvs. Understanding what I liked about these films; qualities, effects, storylines
What are my favourite movies?
- Parasite, Bong Joon Ho
- Parasite it one of my favourite movies of all time, with presenting an attention holding plot and storyline, through beautiful architecture of visual techniques and set. Creating a captivating film throughout. The film is set following the journey and struggles of a lower class family, the Kim’s in relation to an upper class family the Parks. The story shows how one family will do anything for the life they desire so badly.
So I began to look at the cinematic techniques in this film, and began to explore how I would be am to use this inspiration when designing my own cinematic device for the Fort Lane Site.
After looking at the historic cinematic devices and my favourite cinematic productions I began to brainstorm different device that I could create for tomorrows work shop.
From brainstorming I wanted to work with the techniques of Parasite’s use of portraying the different qualities of colour toning, height/angles, and blurring within the film.
Tonal Colouring of the Film
- The film uses the toning of yellow and green colouring when capturing the lower class family, with their environment being lighted up with artificial lighting, since they are a poor family.
- The director also uses an intense amount of bright natural light, when portraying the upper class family, to detail that since they are upper class, they are higher in society, closer to the sun, therefore having bright lighting within their environment.
Height and Angling of the Film
- The film uses a heavy amount of angling and heights to when capturing the characters of the film, to capture the contrasts between the height of the family’s within society, as well as their placement of location within the city, since they live at both extreme ends of a street, top and bottom.
Focus/ Capturing the Moment
- Also wanted to look at how the director captures intense moments within the film, with different variations of focus and blurring, to understand and visual key intimate moments of the film.
Tuesday 13 July
Designing and making a cinematic device to document the Fort Lane site.
Through using the examples of historic cinematic devices and my exploration of qualities of the film Parasite, I began to exploring different devices to create for Wednesdays site visit. I began to sketch out different ideas, that explore ideas of capturing the moment, tones, and heights.
These designs were inspired both historic and current cinematic devices, with working capturing key elements and perspectives of the Fort Lane site.
The models I created were little pouches that can be strapped to my shoulder and ankle, which my phone can be slotted into, and used to take images of the site. The two different devices will capture the two different perspectives of the site- the poor and upper class.
Images of my Cinematic Device:
I think for playing around with the toning and colouring of the two perspectives, that I will apply this technique post production, of taking the images. Apply these effects later.
Wednesday 14 July
Site visit: Fort Lane
Document site with your invented cinematic apparatus.
Produce a spatial sequence from your site documentation.
For example, this could be a montage, moving image work, audio work, installation.
Site Visit to Fort Lane
Images of Site
Images of Interior- Imperial Lane
Images of Carpark
I then began to use my cinematic device to capture the site of Fort Lane.
Images from the Lower Camera
Images of Carpark
Images of Interior
Images from the Upper Camera
Images of Carpark
Images of Fort Lane
Images of Interior
Friday 16 July
What is Spatial Sequence?
The effect of different spaces/ambiences experienced in chronological order while moving from one to the next (since walking is a linear activity).
What is an Image Sequence?
An image sequence is a series of sequential still images that represent frames of an animation. Commonly, the images are saved within one folder and are labeled with an incrementing file name in order to preserve the chronological order.
I began to explore and create layouts for my image sequences that would create a joinery/montage, comparing the perspectives and experiences of the two cameras, (lower + higher).
These are the elements and documentation that I want to portray in my image sequence:
- Comparison of heights
- The same journey- capturing the moments
So I began to look at how the direction Bong Joon-ho creates sequences with narrating the journey through his cinematic techniques, of heights and colour toning of the images.
In these image sequences the film depicts the very extreme lifestyles of the two families with depicting through their set scenary, as well as using the cinematic method of height and colouring to show where each of the characters stand within the movie and their set environment
- The Parks have bright natural lit images and the camera angle is always set at eye level or below, to show their ranking in society. In comparison to the KIms, where the lighting is set with yellow and green tones, to show that the are closer to the ground (dirty+grimy), as well as the height and angling of the image showing there placement of the enviornment.
- I think placing these two sequences together show the contrast lifestyles and movement of the families within the same environment, which is what I want to achieve with my two different camera perspectives.
Examples of sequence from Parasite, detailing the contrasting perspectives:
Saturday 17 July
Developing my spatial sequence from my site documentation.
From looking at my documentation of images from Wednesday and my research surrounding cinematic devices and my film Parasite I began to create my sequences, based on my brainstorming and ideas of contrasting heights and perspectives, with using techniques of toning and angle- to portray this idea.
- In this sequence I was showing the same journey through Fort Lane, from both the upper camera and the lower camera.- I think this sequence was really successful with showing the contrasting journeys, with the images portraying the understanding of how much harder it was for the lower camera to move through the space, with showing how there is many obstacles in the cameras way. I think the method of enhancing and altering the toning of the images, with making the lower images warmer and the upper images cooler, really show the contrast in journeys.
- In this sequence I was portraying key moments (capturing the moments) that stood out throughout the journey of moving through Fort Lane, through the lower camera. Whilst taking these images I played around with the focusing and blur to dictate the characteristics of the journey, similar to my research. I think that there is something really beautiful about these images, especially with the enhancement of the colouring and focus.
- In this sequence I tried to capture the key moments of the upper camera, since the upper camera is symbolising the upper class, (based on research) I chose to create the sequence from images in the carpark, with being closer to the sun. I think this sequence captures the lighting of the scene really well, creates a cool and modern environment similar to the upper class in the film.
- This sequence I was playing around with the different views of heights, and showing the same placement of the enviornment, but the results show different perspectives of the scenes. Showing the greater view from the upper camera, yet showing closer detail in the lower camera.
These Site Maps focus on ……
Monday 19 July
Review of Site Map
Context talk on scene transitions
For this weeks class time we are going to further develop our site devices and documentation, to inspire and create our transitional models. We are focusing this weeks learning was based around cinema scene transitions, which is a method used in the post production process of film, to create a story/ narrative, by combine the shots/images collectively into one motion. All of these shots together create a purpose and emotion/mood for the production, through cinematic techniques the narrative will be portrayed to the audience.
At the beginning of todays lesson we began with sharing our Site Mapping Image Sequences to our tables, with explaining each of our ideas and cinematic devices, as well as providing feedback for each other and our works. When sharing my work to my group, they were all really supportive of my idea and though that I had portrayed the concept of contrasting perspectives and journeys really well, through the comparing heights tonal colouring. I received feedback, that for my further possible intervention design, that I could incorporate the idea of my intervention/threshold in the Fort Lame site, to be only accommodated by two individuals at a time. Or possibly my intervention being open to people that sit on very extreme ends of a specific spectrum, similar to lower and upper camera perspectives.
After discussing our ideas collectively as a group we stood in front of the class and shared an image sequence from one of our group members, and talked about their cinematic device and sequence in relation to their site an d purpose of their design.
Notes from Context Talk
After our class discussion I began to research into film scene transitions and how they would work in relation to my cinematic image sequence. I began researching specific cinematic transitions and their effects in telling a story and narrative.
From this research I really want to incorporate the techniques of:
- Montage- selecting key moments, from the sequence to create a montage of movement. Or when taking images of my next transitional moments, capturing critical perspectives and moments, to tell a story or narrative of contrasting journey, or detailing specific qualities of an environment that relate to a story.
- Cross-cut-moving in between moments and perspectives- in the transitional model, viewing the structure from different heights and angles.
I think these techniques could be really successful in my transitional model, with creating my models with keep these qualities in mind, for later when creating my next sequence of images. Using these methods as inspiration and try to design work that would depict the methods, or have them set within the design.
With this new research I began to explore how my threshold models would portray the two perspectives of different heights, and movement of the Fort Lane site. As well as reflecting my models and sequence images back to my site documentation.
From the research I’m still not really sure of what designs to create and sketch out for my threshold transitional models, so I decided to refer back to my inspiration and research, surrounding parasite.
I looked at key scene transitions that the film uses, montage, rhythm, audio, pacing, intercut. The film uses a heavy amount of cross cuts with portraying the endeavour that Kim’s go through to achieve their desired life. The technique of cross cutting it also incorporated with the method of montages, with each frame being 5 seconds, to portray the calculated plan, of success. With the montage also cross cutting between the families through multiple montages to show the comparison of lives.
I think that from looking at my site sequences and documentation, that the site uses stairs and roads (levels) as an opportunity of comparison. I think that I want to play around with the design of levels, stairs, steps, movement pathways, roads, hills- as my threshold model. I think I also want these models to have to access point similar, to two pathways of movement.(comparison of camera heights when taking images).
These are some quick sketches of possible models, that portray the movement of the site, with playing around with the levels and perspectives, within my documentation, and cross-cuts+montages.
Tuesday 20 July
Model Making Workshop
Todays lesson plan was to create three quick fire models, that held qualities of scene transitions. In models I wanted to incorporate : moving between spaces, passage, cross over, against, through , and across, within my model as a transition and movement.
I started by labelling all of the key ideas and words from my site documentation and image sequence to further inspire my model designs. My choice of materiality was related to clean and simple materials used within the film of Parasite, because for when I further played around with lighting and tones I didn’t want the colouring of the images to become distorted and overwhelming, yet for there to be an obvious difference between the camera levels and heights.