Sunday, January 13, 2013

Introducing.....My Twenty Percent Project!

I apologise, but this may be a shorter post than usual. For my twenty-percent project this year in Rogate, I plan on constructing a project on animation and anime. If, for some odd reason, you do not know what animation is, you shall soon be brought into its depths. Animation is, in short, a drawing that moves. Walt Disney's famous classics such as 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' are animated, because they are a film that contains nothing but drawings. It is a bit more understandable for you not to know what anime is. (In English pronounced a-nih-may, in Japanese pronounced ah-nee-may) Anyways, anime is a Japanese drawing style, manga, taking the form of an animation. A commonly known anime in the States are the Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films, such as 'My Neighbor Totoro,' or 'Howl's Moving Castle,' or 'Grave of the Fireflies.' The style of the drawings in these films is the style that I shall use in my project. I'm sure you're dying to know exactly what i'm doing for my project on animation, so here it is in a wrap:

I will put together a somewhat-short animated film based off of the novel that I wrote entitled 'The Fallen Realm' using traditional animation in softwares such as Pencil or Flipbook.

Sounds challenging, huh? I guess it will be. I don't know how far I'm going to get with it, and I am not expecting to accomplish an entire film, maybe just twenty minutes of a film. However i will learn how the animation process works, and if I really do get the hang of it, I may even get quite a bit done. So, what will I need for this project? the main element of this project will be paper and an artist pen. I am going to need a LOT of paper. Like, a lot. Seriously, a lot. And I will also need an artist pen, found at most art or craft stores around the world. Oh, i'll also need a pencil, for the first draft of my drawings. Those are he key elements to this procedure. I will need my handy-dandy computer, of course! This will be used to color the pictures, to scan the pictures in, and to actually put them into an animation. I will also need what is called a 'light-box' which I can construct myself. All I need is a sheet of class and a light. When i am drawing, I will be able to see the drawing that i did beforehand underneath of it, so that the pictures are in the same place and only slightly altered to make them an animation. Lastly, I need the novel, 'The Fallen Realm' by yours truly, to base the script off of.

The steps I shall take in producing this animation are as follows:
-I will write a script. This is based off of my novel for NaNoWriMo 2012.
-I will record the script with actors from my family, and friends, and possibly from an open casting call that I can put on YouTube to find someone with the correct voice.
-I will create the characters. I am going to need to make a simple profile for each one, based on how they look in the book.
-I will create the scenery. I need to maker each scene in the book a background that may look a bit more detailed then the drawings. I also may find images for backgrounds that have a Creative Commons liscense
-Using the characters and scenery, I will animate. It is difficult to have an entire film in just a few months, so i'm going to aim at having a few scenes done by the end of the school year.

Of course, I will have some obstacles in my journey. These may be:\
-I cannot find/draw the correct backgrounds for the animations.
-I will need to draw thousands of frames. Literally.
-I will need to make each movement very precise. If it looks awkward or unrealistic, I shall not pass!
-There may not be enough time, and I may only have like twenty seconds of animation in the end.
-The right actors may not be out there that will fit the voice parts correctly.

To overcome these fears, I will need consultants.
It is not easy finding animators in this area. So my number one consultant shall be the Internet. I wil consult YouTube, in which I mean:
Mark Crilley, an excellent anime artist
Sheila Graber, a famous animator who gives tutorials on her channel.
I will consult drawing websites, in which I mean:
DragoArt, a collection of thousands of drawing tutorials, including manga! ( a bit like Wikipedia, where anyone can add their own tutorial)
MangaTutorials, a collection of specifically manga tutorials.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Teens and the Media: How Advertising Affects My Life

As we near the conclusion of our unit on advertising, we must answer one final quetion that shall decide what we learned from the unit, what we took away from the unit, and how we were affeected by this unit: Does advertising influence or reflect teen culture? Why yes, it does in fact. I strongly believe that the advertisements that a teenager sees every day significantly influences their attitude or thoughts for the rest of the day, whether it has a negative or positive impact on them. Even when we don't know it, advertisements are truly dominating the earth with their huge numbers. The average person sees about three-thousand ads per day, totaling to twenty-one thousand a week, eighty-four thousand a month, and one million, ninety-five thousand a year! The final total for the average life span is eighty-four million, three hundred and fifteen thousand ads. That's quite a bit. Basically just glancing at those numbers can tell us that we are influenced by ads. Although one may argue that you are influenced by people more than you are by ads, this is not true, for the amount of people you encounter every day is significantly less than three-thousand. 

This is some minor evidence, but how are these ads influencing our lives as kids and teenagers? When you pass by an advertisement of a supermodel wearing a gorgeous outfit, you may not stop thinking about that for the rest of your day, and soon you will want to buy something similar to it as well. You may do that, and you will be satisfied. And as you see that same supermodel, you may continue to buy their clothes over and over, and that will be the only thing that you spend your money on. AS this supermodel continues to pop into your life, you may be inspired to become a supermodel yourself or a fashion designer, all because you stumbled upon that advertisement one day in seventh grade. A second example may be at the theatre. As you view a poster for a Harry Potter film, you may be influenced to see the movie, which may influence you to become an actor yourself and try out for the school play, then later take on more challenges such as television and films. Or, you may be influenced to read the Harry Potter books, and later be influenced by JK Rowling to become a fantasy novelist like herself. These are some very positive impacts that advertising can have.

On to the negative side of things...... In this article on the negative impacts of advertising on teenagers, Paul Armaos states,

'This fills their [teenagers] heads with garbage and they are faced with pressure to obtain a specific body type and figure. The advertising industries use this type of body image and it has a huge affect on how teenagers think. It makes them feel highly insecure about their own bodies and gives them a false image of the “best” body type. It makes teenagers believe they must achieve this shape in order to be accepted by society. '

In this excerpt, he is speaking of the way that a model on a magazine makes teenage girls feel as if they are not good-looking enough because they are not as beautiful as the young women in the pictures, which are most likely photoshopped. Some girls may have suicidal thoughts because of this, but it is being stopped every day. A petition on change-org asks that all magazines must place a note on photoshopped images that  they are not a true picture of the model. This is really helping the world to ignore these types of photos and is making a more peaceful environment among teenage girls.

So ends our unit on advertising. This has been a very interesting unit and I believe it to be very interesting indeed. In the end, advertisements do have an affect on teenagers lifestyle, both positively and negatively. I believe that the negative elements of the matter can be prevented and the positive elements should be reinforced. No matter what, ads will continue to influence our lives through television, shopping, and more. They are truly an important aspect of all of our lives.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Horrors of 2012

     For me, the year of two thousand and twelve has been both a blessing and a curse. As I reflect on the events that have occurred over the past few months, I frown and smile at what comes to mind. I began the year as a sixth grader with wonders and worries about what was soon to come. The thought of middle school, the thoughts of what may soon happen, both lingered in my mind. They approached me at unknown moments, crawled over my thoughts like a spider. Now that thought stares me in the eye once more. Was last year only a passing fly in the vast universe of time? Was it truly worth it?

     What have we done in 2012? As stated before, this was truly both a blessing and a curse. I accomplished tasks that I never believed that I could do before, I overcame many of my fears, and I suffered a terrible tragedy that brought my family together as well as bringing sadness and grief to our path. So, did I learn anything from these experiences. I learned that I am a powerful person and that I can overcome most obstacles that stand in my path.

    Allow me to begin with stating the news. Hurricane Sandy was probably one of the largest news headlines since 9/11. The devastating storm struck the eastern coast of the United States of America for several days and several nights. I dwell on the edges of New Jersey, almost considered a Pennsylvanian. The storm did not hit us very harshly, but just a few miles away was a whole other world, literally. Destructed houses, trees falling atop vehicles, and the death of people, animals, and plants lingered beside the peaceful village of Springfield. Miles away was a place full of my largest fears, my worst enemies, and horrors larger than I could imagine. Now it is a thing of the past, however, dead like the many that passed because of th terrible storm.

      Funny how things occur like that. Do you recall when the only thing that anyone ever talked about was Rebecca Black's single, 'Friday?' Remember when people actually liked 'Twilight?' Hard to believe, huh? These things were what we call fads, or trends, some bigger than others, some only lasting a few days. (i.e., Gangnam Style) However, I do not think that some things will fade away. Compared to the devastating news stories of the past year, these viral music videos seem silly, even mocking the fact that there is terror in the world. How outrageous, even to me as a child, to see this type of media!

      Ugh, I'm going off-topic. Anyways, my second news headline will be the attacks in Connecticut. If you didn't hear, which you should have, more than twenty children and several adults were killed at an elementary school recently. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but these stories are truly what our year was focused on. I don't blame the people who cannot find a sense of joy because of the terrorists, but I must say that this is yet another example of the horrors of 2012.

     Positive, you ask? Not in my dictionary at the moment. In the midst of all this happening, my family lost a very important family member this past year. We really loved her, and I believe that that has effected my mood the past few months. Although I 'forgot about it' the thought still lingered in my mind. I tried to cover up my emotions by acting differently, but I soon realised that no matter what, I would never forget about my grandmother's death. This, my lords and ladies, is what I learned in 2012. That through all the troubles in the world, there will always be a light. When we suffered this tragedy, the light guided me, and the light led me to to extraordinary things as the year wrapped up.

     November. If you are a novelist I just typed a word which meant, 'Hooray....oh my goodness what am I going to do!?!?!' If you are a regular person you just thought, 'Hey, thats when we get all the pie!' Its NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month by the Office of Letters and Light. This is what I mean by extraordinary. In November I wrote a novel of fifty-thousand words, two hundred pages. It was difficult, but I persevered and felt that this was my breakthrough for 2012. The time when all began to look like it was sunshine and unicorns, and the only thing that could stop me was the world ending on December twenty-first. But it didn't.

      New Year's Resolutions? Bah! Below is what I think about New Year's Resolutions:

      Basically this means that plenty of people have resolutions and never stick with them. If they happen to remember by the end of the year, there is about two days left to lose forty pounds. What do you do then, mister? I will probably not have an official list of resolutions, because I think that what needs to be resolved is something that shouldn't come just because it is a new year. It should be resolved because you WANT it to be resolved. Only eight percent of Americans fulfill their New Year's resolution. The ninety-two percent left are now ashamed at themselves because they didn't make the cut. Twenty-five percent of those people fail in the first few weeks. Which leads me to believe that New Year's resolutions are pointless. A goal, perhaps, is a better idea than a resolution, for it will not haunt you like a resolution and it will not give you guilt. When you're standing in line at WaWa you won't be thinking, 'Aw, shoot, I didn't do my New Year's resolution!' A goal can be reset like a computer, but once a New Year's resolution is failed, there is no way out. You fall through the gates of guilt.

      I apologise for my negative perspective on the matter, but the truth must be told. Hopefully the new year will bring new things, such as happiness. But for now we are ensnared in the world of 2012, the world of the past.