Some of the aspects I appreciate most about my MFA program is the emphasis on global perspectives, along with the screenings of international films. In my film history and film analysis courses, I became increasingly familiar with Pre-Classical Cinema, Soviet Montage Theory, German Expressionism, French New Wave, British Cinema (among others). I enjoyed learning more about Italian Neorealism; which is often heralded as “the Golden Age of Cinema” and one of the most important movements in film history. Italian Neorealism provided viewers with a with a realistic depiction of life in post-war Italy. Some of the distinctive features of this movement include the use of non-professional actors and filming on-location. I admired the emphasis on bare-boned storytelling devoid of the fluff and grandeur popularized by its American cinematic counterparts. It gave a dreary scene of the everyday conditions experienced by normal citizens in the aftermath of a fascist regime.
Although highly regarded as one of the most influential film movements, there isn’t much discussion about the origins and stylistic influences of Italian Neorealism. Personally, this movement struck me as a documentary-hybrid of sorts. I pitched this topic and completed a research paper to explore the factors that contributed to the popularization of this cinematic language, while drawing parallel to documentary film.
The films were created to appeal to our sensibilities with harsh reality and an emphasis on humanity. There are undeniable similarities between documentary film and Neorealism. It can be argued that both are visual mediums which provide an accurate depiction of life. For my research paper, the works of Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica were screened for primary research, and various sources were utilized to demonstrate the correlation between Italian Neorealism to Documentary style film. Both can be deemed anti-Hollywood film styles derived from political and social circumstances.
Unity is the creator of the world’s most widely used real-time 3D development platform. Over the week, I looked into the various ways Unity3D has been used in the industry. The first version of Unity was created in Denmark and launched in 2005. The creators were determined to generate an affordable game engine for amateur game developers. Several major versions of Unity have been released since its launch, the engine can be used to create simulations, as well as 2D and 3D games. The platform gives developers around the world technology working with the likes of Facebook, Google, and Microsoft for the latest releases. It offers an easy workflow, simple asset pipeline, and drag-and-drop interface of Apple’s Final Cut Pro product.
One of the things I find most appealing and interesting about the possibilities and uses of this platform is mobile technology. Unity3D accounts for 50% of mobile games – Source: https://unity3d.com/public-relations. There are hundreds of games, and some of the ones I recognized include Angry Birds 2, Angry Birds Epic, Sonic Dash and Pokemon Go.
For my scratch project, I’d like to expand on the “About Me” exercise. I am thinking about creating a character on a city background on perhaps a basketball court. When I was in elementary school and junior high, I was on a basketball team. I started in Playworks based in Newark, NJ under Coach Wynn. I wasn’t that great of a player, and mostly enjoyed the teamwork and travel aspects. I may incorporate some humor, and perhaps some additional details about my food preferences and such.
Be sure to follow up on my progress to see how the project comes along.
For this week’s reading assignment, I read the supplied UXPin PDF entitled The Visual Storyteller’s Guide to Web UI Design. What I gathered from the first two chapters is that visuals provide an immediate and longer lasting impression than other modes of communication. For instance, when a person reads, it makes a moment to process and things are left to interpretation. However with visuals, you can improve retention, evoke instant emotions, and ensure the information is processed faster overall. A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. Likely, videos and animations are worth even more words.
An important message I learned from this reading is “knowing your audience” and the importance of user research. This relates to some other lessons I learned in other communications classes. You have to factor in the message, audience and channel in order to develop a story. I also learned about iconic images, which are images that are immediately recognizable and you’d know what it means whether or not it’s been explained to you. These vary from symbolic images where there is an abstract representation, but it isn’t a direct interpretation.