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“First Hand” did not end up the way that I expected it to. Let’s see, to start off, I had anticipated for the movie to be a 30min long documentary, but it ended up being a 51/2 min long commercial, or what have you. The topic is beauty; what is it? is it important to us?, how does it affect our lives? I interviewed several students at my college campus, Agnes Scott College. I was going to compare the thoughts and feelings of late-teen to early twenties aged women at an all women’s college to that of women that attend co-ed colleges, but I made it the decision of the viewer to factor in the environment of interviewees to the answers to my questions. I decided not to feature the faces of the interviewees/people talking because over time, as I worked on the film, I realized that this was seriously about my thoughts. The visual that you see of me doing my make-up was supposed to only be a snipette featured in the film, but I felt that it added another dimension to the film and the message. I tried to incorporate audio clips that corresponded to what was going on in the visual; for example, as I put on foundation, I played video clips of a woman talking about the face being a clean palette ready to be painted upon and another woman talking about fair skin being a goal of her mother’s. I also used audio clips from YouTube videos that I felt were relevent. I think that they also added some dimension to the continuous play of me making-up my face. One example is actually a man talking in  strange, high-pitched voice speaking about a woman showing “everything” when she shows her face; another is when the visual begins after the darkness in the very beginning. There is a man talking about what make-up is used for. I think that the variations in the audio clips keep the viewer attentive to the film even though they know what is already going on with the visuals. I also incorporation audio clips with varied volumes, speeds, and pitches to add some “excitement.” There were several clips that I purposefully slowed down to emphasize the words said in them. An example is when one interviewees speaks about the media, she says “nothing that represents me.” I slowed this down because with many of my interviews, women explained that they made changes to their selves to attain a look that they heard over the radio or seen on the tv, or in a magazine. It also connects to the fact that I am applying make-up; I was not born knowing how to apply make-up, I learned from something I heard or saw from the media.

My theme transformed from being just about the word “beauty” and women’s perceptions of it, but it has changed as I created my final product. The theme of my film is solely about physical beauty, particularly facial beauty, and how the media affects women’s thoughts about it. My goal was never to have a positive outlook on beauty–it was to show the negative reality of it. In my research of beauty, I saw lots of other films that talked about how bad the media was and that women should love their selves and what they were born with, no matter what they hear or see. But the harsh reality is that women to listen and see and give in many times and they try to attain unbelievably small waist sizes, bigger eyes, higher heels, and the list goes on forever.That’s why I used the audio clips and with the visuals of me fumbling around with my make up and at the end, ultimately giving up from the frustration of not achieving my goal of looking beautiful and the difficulty there is in trying to get there. I think that I was successful in portraying this theme. I also believe that whatever feeling the viewer gets from the film is also important. And as for the title, I decided to title the film “First Hand” because I was portraying me having a first hand experience of “making myself beautiful” and I share the first hand experiences of other women.

I think that my movie turned out really well. I think that using myself as the main focus, the main visual focus of the movie was important to me because I think that in actuality, the movie is about me. I wonder about beauty…I have somewhat of an obsession with beauty, it’s crazy to me. I think that a lot of it has to do with the way that I look. I’m told a lot that I have a pretty face–not nearly as much as I am told that I am a beautiful, wonderful, kind person. It’s like everyone else’s interests in my looks makes me even more obsessed, more paranoid about the way I look. When I get a pimple, I don’t even want to leave the house because I no longer have my pretty face to get me through the day. This sounds really shallow, I know but that is just how things have been for me, particularly since I have left high school. I don’t know what happened, I went from the overweight, shy girl that went easily unnoticed, to someone that got at least two compliments a day about how pretty I looked or how cute I was. This made my brain go insane….what do I do now? Should I no longer be shy because I am getting attention based pretty much completely on my looks; or should I remain the same person and allow people that really care about my inner beautiful person come and allow me to branch out–without straying too far and possibly getting hurt. This entry is pretty personal to me and usually I am not this open about my feelings, but I think that this experience with exploring myself on a more personal level was necessary.

Here is my movie, titled “First Hand.” I went through such a journey with this topic and the Mac Final Cut Express Software. Although challenging, I think I did a pretty good job with the finished piece, so I hope you all enjoy it.

“First Hand” Semi-Final

\”Beautiful\” Movie

I think I uploaded the audio wrong. There was supposed to be a jazz song there, but after the critique the other day, I think I’m going to put in more audio clips of people talking; maybe some stats about beauty or just another clip from my interviews. I have noticed that although my movie started out being about beauty generally and American beauty standards, it somehow shaped into just being about physical, facial beauty. I think this may have something to do with the fact that I’m obsessed with my face! People tell me pretty frequently that I have a pretty face or that I am beautiful, etc. I think this movie has become a reflection of that–and it makes it even better that I am the only person featured in the film and what am I doing?…messing with my face, analyzing it, trying to see what I can do to make it look better. I’m drawing attention away from the acne scars and the dark under-eye circles and bringing more attention to my eyes. Interesting.

“Beauty” movie update

Hello all, my movie is going pretty well, I have interviewed two more people. I have also made some adjustments from my original plans. Originally, I planned on having a 30min long documentary with messages about how women should forget about America’s strict beauty standards and just love theirselves the way that they are. But I feel like if I did that I would sound like a broken record, because we all know that we should love ourselves the way we are, but honestly the reality is that many women do not love their selves the way that they are. So I have decided to shorten my film to about 5min and show the “reality” of not fitting into America’s beauty standards. I also plan on photoshopping a picture of myself to make myself more “beautiful” based on America’s beauty standards. I think this would be interesting. Also my professor suggested that I photoshop myself in other ways…maybe based on other cultures’ ideas of beauty and put them next to eachother. I think that this should be interesting.

“Beauty” Movie Update

I have made some lead-way on my documentary/short film on women’s beauty perceptions. At first, I was really sure of the concept of the movie, but I never thought about the execution or the intention of the movie. After thinking about these things I now know that my intention is to show the eminence of women with low self-esteem and perceive themselves as not being beautiful, despite the fact that has been a slight increase in ads and general discussions about America’s twisted and almost impossible perception of what beauty is. I plan on using mostly all of my own footage, with the exception of a few pictures from the internet.

After getting through a few interviews, I have noticed that self-esteem is low in women that I thought were very confident. For example, 2 of the 3 people who I have interviewed already have stated that they do not think that they are beautiful or that they do not like the way that they look. This was very sad to me, especially since I felt that all of them gave off a great sense of confident and assurance. I also found that one of the women used the words “beautiful” and “pretty” interchangeably. I didn’t have a big problem with this, but I thought that it was very interesting because I usually associate pretty with just outward, physical appearance and I usually associate beauty with outward and/or inward qualities. This made me think that this particular woman thinks that beauty is only physical and I kind of have an issue with that.

I have also made some collages of women from magazine ads and spreads to see what ideal beauty is in American culture. I noticed that there was an overwhelming number of White, blond, thin women and if I did find women of different races, they were very fair-skinned and had hair textures similar to White women. Also with African-American women, I noticed that there was a mixture of women with different hair types, skin shades and body types, but for other races particularly White women, they all mostly had straight hair and were thin and fair-skinned. These were some very interesting observations, but I think that what I found was reflected by which magazines I was looking through, the target demographic, and what year the magazines came from. Just some interesting observations.

Here’s another ad that I thought was really cool, about the pressure to be beautiful takes effect to young girls. I love the use of the camera…maybe I’ll use some of that in my movie.