SCREEN THOUGHT: <SCREENS< SEQUELS< MEMES<MOCAP Volume 4, Number 1, 2020

Robert Lewis, Dominique Sweeney,  Andrew Hagan: Actor Training for the Zero Wall of Motion Capture

Keywords: Motion capture, MoCap, actor training, 

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Actor training incorporating digital technologies acts as a portal for actors to go beyond the physical world. Imagination for the contemporary actor is more important now than ever and virtual studios and motion capture systems are the perfect arenas to exercise actors’ imagination and allow them to play in a limitless world. Actors have come full circle: imagination (without digital technology) pragmatism (with limited technology), back to limitless possibilities. This paper discussed how Motion Capture (MoCap) assists the actor in creating a 360-degree awareness of their kinesphere through various techniques. The implementation of Laban's Shape Qualities and Space (kinesphere, spatial intention and geometric observations) allows the actor to have a full awareness of time, place and space. Consequently, Lecoq training exercises actor’s imaginations. The MoCap system defines a Volume, giving actors a set boundary to work with. This training challenges the actor/audience relationships of traditional static camera/stage perspectives. In MoCap, the actor is not working with a 4th wall, an audience, or one single camera. In fact, it is ‘zero wall’ (no wall) actor training. This increases the awareness of the actor. The rendered avatar is an obvious dimension that provides a portal. The relationship of movement to the base object structure actually transforms as a result of certain movement training techniques. In the framework of the virtual performance space with various physical attitudes, could the base object transform into other possible object structures? Could an actor through the particular adoption of attitudes and specific movements become living or inanimate objects if they adopted the appropriate attitude and physicalised with that attitude? The power of acting is in the ability to transform to other people, beings and objects. MoCap can make this happen and training for this medium is just as important as conventional stage and screen actor training.

 

Alex D'Aloia: On Fatigue

Keywords: 

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In an age of superheroes the hero’s journey represents a threshold of transformation within “thresholds of transformation, which demand a change in the patterns not only of conscious but also unconscious life” (Campbell p. 8). It has rendered “the deed of the hero” (Campbell, p. 202) superfluous, without responsibility, and unable to function as the framework for their own mythology. The deus ex machina now “struts and frets his hour upon the stage […] Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing”, whereupon the hero “com’st to use thy tongue” and tell thy story quickly.” (Shakespeare, p. 147). There is only absolution for thy story over and over, again and again, whenever the hero encounters a threshold. In being absolved, however, this threshold represents, in kind, a point of stress, in a series of stresses, which distort the transformation of the hero, into a hero, causing it to fatigue. This fatigue is the basis for what a number of critics and scholars refer to as “superhero fatigue […] given the dominate [sic] box office profile [this] sub-genre has held for the last several years [since 2018] and the proliferation of superheroes to come” (Doran, n. p.).

 

Alex D'Aloia: On -Pairing Canon-

Keywords: Analysis, Synthesis, canon-pairing

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This paper considers the relationship between originality and canon-pairing in relation to Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (dir. 2017) and Dave McCary’s Brigsby Bear (dir. 2017). It also considers how a new experience can emerge, or re-emerge, from -pairing canon- as a new and original form of analysis through synthesis, or anti-synthesis. With the advent of digital technology fan-edited material is already exploring the ways in which montage and the moving image can be utilised as a means of research. 
 

Shaun Wilson: The Good, the Bad, and the Grumpy: Online Cat Pictures as Design Enigma in Digital Media

Keywords: Internet cats, Metamodernism, digital media, design

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From feline celebrities to viral videos, online cat pictures as a twenty-first century populous digital genre have surmounted a vacantness from research interest insofar as to represent an undervalued digital phenomenon which this paper seeks to investigate from a digital philosophical perspective that defines the genre as to what Braden terms as ‘The Internet and cat videos by extension became this sort of de facto, virtual cat park.’ (Brooks, 2020) While there has been an evidential lack of interest into online cat pictures as a serious mode of investigation within an academic context,  the discussions throughout will congeal three central themes that define first, that online cat pictures are a significant internet genre; second, that online cat pictures are an embodiment of kitsch as a social idiom; and thirdly, that design facilitates the impact of this genre through an embeddedness of human fascination to the aesthetic proliferation of feline habitual observation and mischief.

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