Thursday, February 28, 2013

3D and 2D

From our meeting with Kevin it has become apparent that 3D creation will not be as important as 2D elements for this production. Duncan and Paul please meet to discuss the dispersal of elements that will be needed and who will be doing what. From our discussion we will definitely be needing now

Eagle Flying
invoking mermaid
After Effects effect for the Ship
Trains (exterior)
Trains (cattle Car interior)
Maps and Newsreel footage
Large Pano Of Jerusalem
Several different concentration Camps
Pano of Library West
Brewery and Distillery
Italy Scene
Large Door with lock interior
Mosque or Omar
Death Train Scene
Police Station

So please discuss this as now that 3D is NOT an essential component as we had previously discussed that this huge amount of work be assigned and dispersed across the teams



Here is an image of the "meat hooks" which Mr. Marshall mentioned today:

"A group of American Congressmen flew to Germany and visited the Buchenwald camp on April 24, 1945.  They were shown the club that was used to beat prisoners to death if they didn’t die fast enough on the meat hooks.  Note the dummy on the wall on the right hand side.  This was part of the display set up for visitors."


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tuning Forks

I didn't realize that there are different types of tuning forks. I have only seen the longer thin ones like on the left. When I was looking for images I saw that there are also the kind with the bulkier bodies, like the one on the right. I think that these thicker ones are probably more accurate to the era; the other looks like a modern design and is also the kind that I've seen used.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mermaid Beckons!

Here is a 30 second clip of mermaids beckoning Leah to follow them.

Music from the Holocaust

I have been searching for some transition music. I found this website:

And selected a few songs to use during the Merdinger part of the performance. Not sure if this is the kind of music to use or not during transitions or not. Thoughts?


A Child of Our Time


From Land to Land

At the End of the Forest
I have a Doctors Appointment Today so I will not be able to make it to class.

Here is what I have of the nazi camp. I plan on adding more layers, but if you'd like to see what it would look like on the projectors, the Image is here:

Thank you, and sorry I will not be present.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A video clip about immigration

This video tells several large immigrant activities on the history of United States, which mainly describe a tale of a family immigrated to Ellis Island that includes lots of scenes, which are related to the descriptions of our script such as the scene of plenty of homeless people boarding to America, the scene of Statue of liberty etc.

03:57-05:30 shows up some scenes about one family who immigrated to Ellis Island
09:58-10:12 shows up the scene Statue of Liberty

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Panoramic Painting Test

A simple sketch of the Nazi Camp layout,

I wanted to see what it looks like on the big projection screen. I'll have a more finished version by next week.

Rehearsal 2.20.13

I made contact with the stage manager, here is her email

Kiana Johnson

She said she would more than happy to take any artistic questions we may have.

On the note of headshots, Kevin said the cast won't have costumes until much closer to the show dates, so headshots should really be face only. It might be easier to wait until we can just have a full media day.

They were working on the scene where Mr. Merdinger discovers how to make yeast, which ends up saving his life.

Another important note, I'm not sure if it was already discussed, but the life of Mr. Merdinger portrayed in the play will only extend until he arrives in America. The rest will be left for the audience to read on the website if they so chose. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Story Like No Other - Dr. Merdinger

Dr. Merdinger story was a unique one for sure. He was one of the lucky ones who had lived through that time period. If it wasn't for his ability/usefulness to the germans and russians he might not have been able to continue his life past the war. Throughout the reading I began to wonder what was going on through his head at this time. Paranoia? Constantly knowing that the people you're working for are killing your race off would make many loose their minds. The thought of when will they turn on me would have ran throughout my head day in and day out. I'm sure the thought of poising the alcohol crossed through his mind but if he had done that it might have been the end of the road for him once the germans found out. He played it safe for the most part and did what he had to do to stay alive.

Soldiers Round Up

Working on a scene for when German soldiers are rounding up civilians. I still need the German voice in the loud speaker issuing order.

Round Up

Dr Merdinger

Dr. Merdinger story was very interesting and compelling to read. His tale of survival is unlike any other World War II story I have ever heard of. Needless to say he had it very hard and nothing came easy to him his entire life. And when he finally got things going his way he decided to come to America and start over again. I was very surprised to learn about how the Germans and Russians used him to make alcohol to use in the diesel fuel and of course for recreational use. Because of his specialties he was valuable to the war effort in various ways and was not treated as a normal prisoner. This prevented him from being gassed, shot, experimented on or tortured like so many unfortunate others. I was hoping that he would poison some of the alcohol when he gave it to the occupying forces, like some Jewish scientist sabotaged V2 rockets.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Blue Style

I totally agree with Kevin’s statement about adding blue elements for images after trying to redefine pictures’ style. The images below bring us the feelings of more magic, fantasy, dream, illusion, memory and old. It is real.

Music Objects in Merdinger's Story

The role of music in the story is very important. I think we have chosen the right musical objects (the violin and the tuning fork) because they are both quite significant.

In the scene where the boys are serenading girls in town, in doing so they improve their social status and become popular. The girls want to be serenaded, even if the boys are often out of tune. Once Merdinger finds the tuning fork and learns how to use it, they become much better singers and he starts to lead the group. This object allows him to become a leader among his friends.

Merdinger's mother gives him all the money she has for the violin, and he believes it leaves her penniless. It is an influential moment, as he says "her gesture to give me almost all she had will always be unforgettable." This object is partly symbol of the sacrifices his mother made made in order to raise him.

Kevin had also mentioned potentially utilizing a projection for the serenade scene. I haven't finished yet but I believe music will continue to play an important role.

Translation of Materials

I used Google Translate to read through some of the photographs I took of the materials. I can share them in class, as I don't know how much of the material is personal, but interestingly enough, I found the address of the home in Ferrara, Italy. Here are some modern images of it from Google Maps (#39).

When I attended yesterday's rehearsal, the students go ready to practice the end scenes. For this rehearsal Kevin decided he wanted to start from the end of the script and work his way backwards. The theater students seem to be more involved in solo characters instead of each student playing different people in different scenes. I did not get the chance to ask Kevin if he has assigned the parts yet, but it seemed that way. Kevin seemed to be getting very excited about the piece, and really looked forward to seeing what the digital side had to offer.
When they did the end scene where they arrive at America he was enthusiastic about having the Statue of Liberty in the background, as well as the ships as they approach land.

Overall the students, Kevin, and myself are getting more comfortable with the flow of the script.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Dr. Merdinger Home

This isn't really relevant to the production, and I don't see it working for the 2D, but the image is interesting none the less. 

While looking through Dr. Merdinger's papers this past Thursday, I found an envelope with his Gainesville address. 

I'm pretty sure this is the house he lived in at some point will teaching at UF. 

Gainesville, FL 32605

          ***  Although the letter was only addressed to  Gainesville, FL 32605

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Narration and the game Bastion

     Bastion, a game that I feel has one of the most compelling narrators I have ever heard. I seriously played this game just to listen to him. The narration is so affecting, it comes in no small part from the man Logan Cunningham, the voice of Rucks. “It's the best compliment in the world when I hear people saying the reason they wanted to keep going is because they wanted to hear what Rucks would say next," says Cunningham. He has a dry wit but there's a great sadness and regret there too. I don't think there's a lot out there in the world that scares him anymore, and he's the type of person who, after accumulating a number of years, finds the humor in life rather easily. I love that odd mix going on, someone who is hard-hearted but also quick to laugh. I also think the reason it works so well is the pacing and implementation of the narration. It's in nice, small pieces that are carefully placed throughout the map; you won't hear the next line until you literally step over it. There is a right way to do narration and a wrong way, this guy does it right.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


While there can be notable exceptions, my initial response to the general concept of a narrator in television or films is negative. Much like the laugh track on a terrible sitcom, narration can often serve as a condescending set of training wheels for an audience. Sometimes, an overly narrated show indicates that the producers do either do not entirely trust the audience to figure out what is happening or that the writers could not figure out a clever way to show us the events and instead have to resort to telling us about them.

We do not have a script yet, so it is of course impossible to know if we are showing and not telling, but it really jumps out at me when shows have characters either talk to the audience through voice over that freezes the real-time action, sit or stand around and recap events that we never get to see with one another, or if they do the Shakesperean big-army-you-cannot-see-due-to-budgetary-constraints technique, which often manifests with statements such as: “ohh goodness! Look at that colossal army and the epic battle over there in the distance!

Poster design for A Handful of Leaves.

thursdays guest

Rebecca Jefferson

 is the head of the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica. Her responsibilities include collection development and the overall management of the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica: the largest and best Judaica research library in the southeastern United States.

Jefferson worked previously in the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library, England. She was responsible for the Research Unit’s Bibliography Project and edited its newsletter. She assisted with collection management and development, and she engaged in public outreach activities.

She received a PhD in Medieval Hebrew from King’s College, University of Cambridge. Her dissertation focused on the reading and dissemination of Hebrew poetry in the Middle Ages. Jefferson’s current research concentrates on collectors and collections of Judaica and Hebraica. She is editing a volume of letters and documents tentatively entitled ‘Collected Papers of the Scholars and Antiquarians who Discovered the Cairo Genizah’ to be published by Brill.

In her role as the Judaica curator, Jefferson is looking to expand and develop the Judaica Library’s key strengths, including its memorial books, scarce journals and items of ephemera. She would also like to expand its manuscript and archival collections and acquire more materials pertaining to the Jewish immigrant experience in America, particularly in Florida.  

Narrative in Films

Narrative is the art of storytelling, something we all do every day. It is an important part of our lives and something that we value highly, if you consider the amount of time we all spend in front of television and cinema screens receiving narratives.

People often talk about film and television as if they are the same thing, but in fact they are very different in a number of ways.

In the cinema we are generally in a state of intense and relatively sustained attention. Think about this for a moment. The average film is about two hours long- a very long time to concentrate and yet there is something about the cinema which gives a film in this setting the power to take us over for this amount of time. Again think about the situation at home in front of the TV when you probably have all kinds of things distracting you from what you are trying to watch.

While many sorts of films employ some storytelling strategies, when we speak of narrative film we are typically referring to fiction films.

The typical Hollywood film, according to Field can be separated into three separate dramatic sections or acts: the setup, the confrontation and finally resolution.

The Godfather series is been one of the most outstanding narrative films everywhere, showing the real story of something that happened many years ago.