Costa Rica Poster

DOCUMENTARY QUESTIONS: 1. What was your documentary about?

My documentary was about my family’s Christmas Break vacation to the republic of Costa Rica. Throughout the trip, I documented excursions and resort life from a predominantly “point of view” perspective with other angles blended in to create a well-rounded representation of what we were seeing down south. The documentary documented our activities in Costa Rica, including swimming above and under water, both in the pool and in the ocean, travelling to and from excursions, wandering around the hotel aimlessly, and all activities we did while we were there (including zip lining!).

2. What was the planning process of the film? (I.e. first stages, coming up with the topic, finding people to interview etc.)

The planning process of the film began with the conception of the idea. I came up with the idea when the trip was finalized at the end of November 2013. I couldn’t create a storyboard prior to the filming due to the fact that I have not been to Costa Rica before, and therefore did not know what to expect. I started a basic storyboard in my mind to get an idea of the types of camera angles I could use in certain situations. After that, I waited until the day of departure to begin filming. The documentary opens with an image of the alarm clock going off at 6:15 in the morning, the time we needed to wake in order to leave for the airport on time. I continued filming bits and pieces of the morning up until the point where we were sitting in the terminal. Once we were in the terminal, I began filming brief interviews with the two adults on the trip (my mum and step dad) and asked them what their expectations for the vacation were. Once this was done, the process was underway, and I continued filming in Costa Rica, the destination of our vacation.

3. What were some challenges during the making of the documentary? (I.e. your partner, time management, topic etc.)

Some challenges I experienced during the filming included camera difficulties and time management. I used three cameras to film; my new phone (which has a really high quality camera), my new waterproof camera, and my old Sony camera. The old Sony camera has the worst quality of the three cameras, but it had the best life span, as it doesn’t need to be charged often. The new underwater camera had better clarity, however it’s battery only lasted a half hour. The phone had top clarity and a good battery with a backup battery, but it’s format is slightly different from the digital cameras, which would make editing slightly difficult. Because of this, filming proved somewhat difficult and there were multiple camera difficulties. The other issue was with time management. I tried to film as much as I could, but there were times where I was unable to film and capture the moment, and because the filming takes place over the span of the week, shots seem far between. There are many shots, but it doesn’t seem as consecutive as something filmed on one specific topic all at once. There was simply too much to film to make a perfectly consecutive documentary. A third issue was the audio quality; because I was using three cameras, the audio quality would vary quite a bit. Some videos would be quiet while others extraordinarily loud by comparison. I tried to change this is the editing process, but nothing could be done in order to change the sound quality. The fourth and final issue with the documentary was my laptop; it decided to delete the assignment three days before it was due as well as the program I was using to edit the film. Then, it decided to shut down randomly every time I tried to turn it back on. Whenever I tried to re-download the program, the laptop would freeze and cease to work. I finally got it fixed, but it took up time that I didn’t have to spend.

4. What was your Flash logo and how did you and your partner come up with it? (colours, images, movement etc.)

My flash logo is the background from my blog. Since my last film (the two minute video) was labeled “DigiArt Archive” after the name of the blog, I decided to keep it the same for the documentary in order to create continuity. That is why the “production company” of the documentary is titled “DigiArt Archive”. The image used for the logo was a graphic I designed last year that I use for the background of the blog. The symbol is a sun with a wheel behind it. The symbolic purpose of the sun is to show life and livelihood. The green, however, is used to give the illusion of mystery, which agrees with the black background surrounding the symbol. The wheel represents unity, which is represented when the symbol is used both as the logo for the documentary and the background of the blog; it shows how they are both from the same source.

5. What do you think of the final product?

I think the final product turned out alright, but I think that it could have been substantially better. I feel that if I had the proper equipment, I could have done a much better job with the audio/visual qualities, and if I had less of a large time frame to cover, I could’ve been more detailed in my filming.

6. What would you do differently next time?

Next time, I would try and organize my footage from the time I began filming, instead of waiting for the end to organize the footage. I think I would also try and get a better idea of what we would be doing exactly so that I could create a storyboard prior to the beginning of the filming process.

7. What do you want the audience to be thinking about after watching your documentary?

After watching the documentary, I would hope that the audience would be interested in learning more about Costa Rica. It really was a beautiful country, and I think people (if they can afford it) should definitely go visit it.


FINAL 1_edited-1 FINAL 2_edited-1 FINAL 3_edited-1 FINAL 4_edited-1 FINAL 5_edited-1


30 Second Video: Lemon

The Concept:

In 1959, an advertising campaign titled Think Small was created or the Volkswagen Beetle. The campaign was created by Helmut Krone and was written by Julian Koenig. The advertisement was ranked as the best advertising campaign of the twentieth century by Ad Age.

The point of the advertisement revolved around the idea of a car being good in every way but one, and therefore having one part that doesn’t function correctly. The term “Lemon” refers to something that is good in every way but is in one way dysfunctional, the same way as the car.  The campaign was hugely successful due to how simple it was (a white background with the car and the word “lemon”). It emphasized the advantages of owning a small car.

My initial thought of doing a 30 second video is that you couldn’t really make a particularly good video in the span of 30 seconds. I mean, you could be creative, but it wouldn’t have an outstanding story line. This is when I remembered the 1959 advertising campaign. I then realized that, because the video was only 30 seconds, no matter what I would do would be over with quickly. I wanted to make something that had meaning, but how much meaning could I put into 30 seconds? I decided then to use a lemon to represent the concept of “lemon”(the idea of something being good, but then having some flaw). The idea of making a video and editing it to perfection was good, but the flaw was the lack of length to tell a story in. Therefore, I used a lemon as a symbol of the lemon concept from the 1959 Volkswagen advertising campaign.


In the video 30 Second Video: Lemon, the story follows a person taking a lemon out of a fridge. There is eight different angles: the first angle is a medium shot of the lemon inside the fridge. The door closes and the screen goes black. The scene fades back in and is a medium low angle shot of the protagonist sitting in a chair. The video goes to see a side angle of the protagonist in order to show the width of the goggles. The shot returns back to the low angle medium shot. It changes to a close up of the protagonist’s face, which is to show the face paint and the goggles. The camera angle then changes to an aerial view, which is to show the movement of the protagonist standing up and reaching over to the fridge. The fridge is opened, and the camera angle is from inside the fridge at a super close up of the lemon. It’s so close that the screen is black until the hand reaches in and removes the lemon from the fridge. The light only lasts a few moments, as the fridge is promptly closed again. The last shot is of the lemon being slammed down onto the countertop and the word “Lemon” appearing to solidify it’s meaning.


There weren’t many difficulties in the project other than the star of the film’s younger brother who wanted to be in the shots too. Also, we had to refilm the project a few times because I was being difficult and every time it didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted it, we would refilm. This caused it to be a little time consuming. On top of this need to have a high quality video, I wasn’t able to make the music match the shots exactly no matter what I did, which was somewhat irritating. The only other problem I can think of is the fact that my laptop decided not to allow me into the program of Movie Maker, and therefore I had to use someone else’s laptop in order to get it done.

Vasemation: A Claymation Project


Vasemation is the story of a few balls of plasticine rolling to the centre of the stage and combining together to create a vase. The pieces started out as balls and slowly transformed into other shapes, which mounted on and merged into each other to create the final product of a vase. Out of the vase, a plasticine flower and a plasticine mushroom grew. The plants proceeded to grow legs (or, in the mushroom’s case, a single leg), and with that, they jumped out of the vase and hopped and/or waddled off screen. The vase, upset because the flowers left, sadly falls over and rolls away.


The story symbolizes the growth of a person into parenthood, and then eventually, the parent letting go of their child once the child is grown up. As a person grows up, they have different influences which mold them into their personality.  This is shown when all the different plasticine “influence” balls come together to form the “adult” vase. Then, to represent the final stages of growth into adulthood, the vase grows tall. The vase then proceeds to grow two flowers, which symbolizes a parent raising its children. The flowers then leave the vase and walk off the screen, symbolizing how children eventually go on to make their own lives, “leaving the nest” so to speak (or in this case, leaving the vase). The vase is left on its own now, showing that its work is complete, and sadly rolls off the scene. This could represent how sometimes parents are forgotten by their children, which is a sad reality. It could also represent how the parent is sad that their job in parenting is complete and that they will miss it. In the first case, the vase leaving could symbolize death. In the second case, the vase leaving could symbolize the parent moving on to do something else once their most lengthy task (parenting) is complete.

Creation Process:

The creation process of Vasemation began when we were assigned the task of creating a short stop motion animation. In order to create it, we storyboarded the idea and then set to work on the creation. We intended to make a black and white background in order to let the colours of the plasticine stand out, but after printer difficulties, the background turned out pink. We then went to shoot the photographs, but we found that the lighting from the room caused reflections on the paper. To solve this problem, we set up a makeshift tarp: a yellow blanket. This caused the lighting in the film to be yellow and uneven, but it was the best we could do given the circumstances. Once the photographs were complete, we tried on multiple movie making platforms to create the final film, in the end using Sony Vegas to string the photographs together.

GIF Animation

DigiArt Archive Ad

(Click black rectangle [seen above] to view the GIF)

1. What company did you choose and why?
I chose do my blog because I thought it would be a useful way to attract more people to the site. It showcases the best art pieces on the site and promises more to come, which will keep the audience’s attention and have them check in every once in a while to see the updates.

2. Explain your choice of imagery text and colours- is this in line with the company’s theme colours, mandate, niche market?
The GIF goes from black and white to colour. It begins in black and white because black and white is more memorable to the brain so people will be able to remember the site title better. It ends in black and white as well so that people will remember the website link name better. The middle is all done in colour so that it is visually appealing to the audience so that they will watch the full GIF. The background when the art pieces are being shown is also the background of the site so that it keeps a theme with the site itself and fits in well.

3. What is the idea behind this ad? What ideas are you trying to convey?
The idea is to bring more people in to see my artwork. The words are shown for a longer period of time so that people have longer to register them while the images are shown at a quicker speed so that people won’t be able to see the pictures in full and will want to visit the website to see all the images fully and at the person’s own pace. This is the final idea that brings the piece together as a successful GIF advertisement.

Halloween Monster Mashup: The Steampunk Pickle

Steampunk Pickle

This is a steampunk pickle. The inspiration behind it is a minion from Despicable Me (hence the mouth), Mad Eye Moody from the Harry Potter series (the eye), a pair of furry monster slippers made for kids (the feet and hands), and the steampunk style (tophat and bow tie). Combine that on top of the original pickle, and you have a steampunk pickle. I also put a background that has lots of reflections and shadows so that I could include a shadow and reflection of my monster and it’s food jar containment unit. Overall, I was aiming for a terrifyingly un-terrifying creature that is both lovable and feared by humans and pickles alike.

World Press Photo 2013 Review

World Press Photo Image

What is World Press Photo?
World Press Photo is a non-profit independent organization which is based in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, specifically). It was founded in 1955, and it is known for having the world’s largest contest for press photography.

What stood out to you? (It can be anything from location, subject matter, to stories that were told)
What stood out to me was all of the photos of pain. It really shows how sheltered we are here in North America, and how outside of this continent, so many people are in pain from war, loss and hunger.

Which was your favourite series/ photo and why?
I didn’t have a favorite series as I found each of them gave the same strong impact. Each of them showed different sides to the rest of the world, and each was unique. It isn’t possible to pick a favorite.

Would you recommend others to attend World Press Photo?
I would recommend for others to go to the World Press Photo exhibit because I think others need to see the world’s dark sides turned to art. It not only shows us how lucky we are, but it also inspires us to do something to help those who need it.