Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Shower Scene

Two girls decide to take a shower together in this hommage to Alfred Hitchcock and Saul Bass's film PSYCHO.

Release Year: 2002

* Actor: Courtney Jones
* Actor: Stelianie Tekmitchov
* Filmmaker: Mark Pederson
* Director: Mark Pederson
* Producer: Eric Robinson
* Producer: Don Estill

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Going Steady

Yahooooo... we have been trained in using a steadicam (short for steady-operatable movie camera).

It allows one to film people walking, climbing stairs, running and the like. More freedom to movement of the camera than is possible with a tripod (=fixed stand) or dolly (=stand on wheels).

A steadicam

More following...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Discovery in Photography

Today I handed-in my pictures for our elective (i.e. a week outside of the film department); Photography.

The theme is 'Confessions' and I have interpreted it as letting someone know something after he or she has discovered (the way to) this information.

For my pictures I made use of the human body as the canvas, whilst drawing with black marker on the skin.

Barcode - hidden numbers

Tie - hidden image

As you might have discovered, both a barcode and connect-the-dots are leading towards either a (barcoded) number or an image (e.g. a tie with flowers). Therefore revealing hidden information, confessing.

On Friday (today) is the judgement by the department of Photography in the Edinburgh College of Art, and I hope to win a prize. We will discover the outcome of their verdict soon ;o)

Stay tuned!

=== UPDATE - These pictures did indeed win this year's best pictures for the two week electives at the college. ===

NOTE: Don't try this at home, real laser light and lasting marks of black have been employed for these pictures.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Japanese script writing

Writing might be one of the most difficult, but also fun, parts of learning Japanese.

The Japanese don't use an alphabet.

There are three types of scripts in Japanese: hiragana, katakana and kanji.

HIRAGANA: expresses the grammatical relationship between blocks of meaning (endings of adjectives and verbs, particles) - existing of 46 characters.

KATAKANA: is used for foreign names, the names of foreign places and words of foreign origin - existing of 46 characters.

KANJI: represents blocks of meaning (nouns, stems of adjectives and verbs) - existing of over 2000 characters.

I will focus on the last and most difficult one, kanji.

Horizontal or vertical
In old days Japanese was only written vertically, top to bottom. Nowadays, writing horizontally has become popular (left to right). Since each kanji has its own meaning, they can be arranged either way without losing their meaning. I stick with vertical here.

Stroke count and stroke order
Both stroke count and stroke order help you to write a kanji character properly.

The stroke count is the number of strokes used to write the kanji character.

The stroke order follows below rules:
  • Horizontal strokes are written from left to right and are parallel.
  • Vertical strokes are written from top to bottom.
  • When strokes cross each other, horizontal strokes are usually written before vertical strokes.

Last but not least, all kanji should be uniform size.

Here we go...

meaning: BIG

meaning: SUNSHINE

Together they mean: SUN

The characters that make up Japan's name 日本(国) literally mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".

More practising on next blogs ;o)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Why tie...?

restrain = the trait of avoiding excesses, the quality of being inhibited
source: free (!) dictionary

A central theme in the upcoming movie 'Shinju' is restrain. Physical restrain - by means of tying the body with rope - is often the visual representation of the emotional wish to be limited of obligation.

Image courtesy of

As performers of bondage acclaim, once restrained who cares what the world thinks, you are free!

As it being a fascinating ritual, I have looked up one of the film directors who has portrait this phenomenon of restraining the body: the Japanese Shunji Iwai.

Side Note: How playful that Shunji is so much alike Shinju (breast bondage).

Filmed in 1994, his film 'Undo' concerns a pair of bohemian Tokyoites: he's a struggling writer, she is slowly going insane, aided in part by the negligence of her boyfriend. She becomes possessed with the idea of tying things with twine and rope, leading eventually to tragedy.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Maggie Cheung

Maggie Cheung Man-yuk (age 42) of Hong Kong origin is probably the most well-known and most liked movie actress in China and parts of Asia.

Maggie Cheung

Cheung spent part of her childhood and adolescence in the United Kingdom. Upon her return to Hong Kong, Cheung ran and won second place in the Miss Hong Kong beauty pageant contest in 1983 at the age of 19, and was a semi-finalist in the Miss World pageant the same year.

One of Cheung's many notable movie roles is that of "May", the girlfriend of police detective "Kevin" Chan Ka Kui in the Jackie Chan's Police Story movies. Audiences outside Asia have become increasingly familiar with her work, including her roles in Centre Stage (as Ruan Lingyu), In the Mood for Love, Irma Vep, 2046, Hero, and Clean.

Maggie Cheung in movie 'Hero' (2002)

Maggie Cheung in movie '2046' (2004)

I have the honour to be filming Maggie in an interview with my dear friends Sandy Wang (interviewer) and Vivian Hu (sound recordist).

Monday, March 05, 2007

Shinju the movie

At the College of Art, all students had to write and 'pitch' a film script in order to get selected and the film be produced. The competition has been fierce as most students showed excellent stories with impressive visuals. The jury consisted of three of our lecturers.

To cut a long story short, the script I have written is among the two winners and therefore it will be produced over the next three months.

SHINJU, meaning 'Pearls'

So what is it about?

Let me start by telling you that it tells a story about a young nurse fulfilling an old man's dream; to be reunited with his (passed away) Japanese wife. The nurse's name is aptly Valentine.

We meet Valentine on an island just off the coast, where people of high age are kept alive basically at the Shinju Life-Care Centre.

Without revealing the many intriguing story ups and downs, the introduction of bondage plays an important role in the ritual of dual love suicide.

With the support of a team of over 10 students and excellent actors this will be a eye-mazing visual experience that is not to be missed.

Date of delivery: 4th of June 2007

Stay tuned !