|Orientation to the week! What do artists do and why? What are our experiences and interests as artists?
Time to make art!
|Trip to the Noguchi Museum to investigate “artist’s choices” through observations of finished art pieces and interaction with materials to make choices and create original art.
|Trip to Inshallah Clothing production studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn
|Trip to AOL Studios to meet with Ken Lin, graphic designer, illustrator, video producer, & rapper.
|Create presentation of the week’s learning
|Skype Interview with filmmaker and founder of Film Fatales, Leah Meyerhoff.
|Musicians’ panel: Samuel Cruz, dummer/producer and Kaui Williams, former TRCS student and songwriter/producer.
|Artists’ Panel: Photographer, Blair Hopkins, and…
|Presentation by film-maker, Sara Soudavar; learn about equipment, old and new styles.
|Present and view all presentations
Monday was the first day of Rensizzle week. In room 208, we started the day by discussing our interests in the art and the career paths that we would pursue in the future. We learned that many of us had many interests in common- since art isn’t only drawing or painting. Art is a way to express yourself in many forms. Filmmaking, graphic designing, abstract sculpting, photography, clothing designs and music are some examples of art forms. Furthermore, one of the activities that we did was painting. We painted with watercolors; we were able to paint freely. It was really relaxing for the most of us. We shared our art pieces to each other and we explained what it was portraying. It was really cool to see many different artistic abilities through each person’s artwork.
After lunch, Ariel scheduled us to Skype with a filmmaker: Leah Meyerhoff.We jotted down some questions to ask Leah about her life and career. We found out that she grew up in California and went to Brown University. She had a scholarship and attended a film school and graduated in NYU.
She is also a founder of a global organization called Film Fatales. Film Fatales is when women from all over the world get together every first monday of the month- have lunch together and discuss about their projects and ideas. This is because she felt that there weren’t many female protagonists in films and female directors in the filmmaking industry- there were mostly male and she wanted to change that. There is a lot of competition and a sense of tokenism in this industry, and it would be really difficult for a female or a person of color. She also wants people to empathize about each other through different perspectives.
One of her projects that she worked on (her first film) was Twitch. It was about a teenage girl who lives with her disabled mother. She feels like it’s unfair that she has to take her of her mother instead of her mother taking care of her. The character finds that her legs twitch when she is with her boyfriend and she is afraid that she may inherit her mother’s illness. Her actual mother had played the role of the disabled mother in the film. Leah tried to connect her life as a teenager to this film by making the film about a girl who struggled to take care of her mom and wanted to connect to other teenagers who had disabled parents because she wanted to let them know that they are not alone.
Film in particular, was appealing to her because she was able to combine all sorts of art in it: costume design, illustration, photography, etc. A bonus point was that with film, you could be creative and reach a huge audience. With film you are able to watch the world unfold in a different person’s perspective.
Another film that she produced was called I Believe in Unicorns. It was a continuation to her short film Twitch- but this time, the girl believed in happy ever-afters and the girl ran away with her boyfriend. However, what she comes to realize is that, it was not what she wanted. The film I Believe in Unicorns took 8 weeks to film, 3 months to do the animation, and took some years to raise money for it. It took more than 5 years to make the film complete.
Some advice that Leah wants to spread to young teenagers, that would like a similar career path down the line are: If you want to be an artist, you can’t wait for an opportunity- you have to create your own opportunity. Try to be as creative as possible- use both sides of the brain. You need a team and you need to be able to collaborate. Having communicative skills will take you far. Listen and learn to people.
On Tuesday, we went to the Noguchi Museum, we learned about the life of Isamu Noguchi and he built his sculptures. We have noticed that some of his sculptures are broken up into pieces and put in together. His sculpture have a date on them and what they are make of aka marbles. We also learned about abstract art and how it can be made. It can be made without thinking, basically whatever comes to mind.
When we left and came to school, we saw two men. Their names were Kaui Williams and Samuel Cruz. Kaui is a music producer who graduated in 2008 from TRCS. His dad was also a musician; a rapper. Kaui also sings and now he is a producer for many big things, he helped Rihanna, Beyonce, Kanye West, and also produced some of the music for a t.v show called Empire. His family completely supported him. Samuel is also in to music. in 2007 he became known in MTV in Spanish. He is a drummer and works with bands to make music as a career. He was not that wealthy growing up in Dominican Republic but he bought his very first own drum set when he was about 18 since he worked really hard to get one. His family was kind of confused of what he was doing but then supported him all the way.
On Thursday we went to the AOL Studios. The AOL Studios is a production company, which produces ads, talk shows, music and more. The AOL Studios is 3 stories high, and above that is Facebook. When we arrived at the building they gave all of us a visitor passes. Then we were greeted by our host, Ken. First, he brought us to a live show, The Build. Ken showed us how he controlled the angles of the camera turns. We saw a live audience waiting for the show to start. After that, Ken gave us all free treats, and then took us to a room called the Black Box. They used the Black Box for shows and mostly music videos. Its called the Black Box because the side walls are black, but the front side of the wall was painted white. Ken told us that you can change the white wall and put a backdrop from the computer. We took a picture in front of the Black Box to remember that amazing room. When we came out of the Black Box we saw pictures of famous people who performed at AOL. When we were finished looking at the famous people, our host took us to a control room. He explained to us that the control room, controlled different shows. Right now they were about to control a rap battle, Bars. We came out of the room and we were walking down the hallway, until we saw an art lounge. An art lounge is a place where performers sit and wait until they are called onto the stage. After we came out of the art lounge, we met two editors who showed us a short film they finished. The short film showed us how women can “fight” men that are being sexist. The editors told us that it didn’t cost a lot to make the short film. We talked to three animators, who were working on a financial facts project. They were using animations to make it more fun to those who are watching. We walked out of the cubicles and Ken brought us to conference room. We sat down on the chairs and Ken talked about his life as an artist. He said that he reused things from the trash, like cardboard and loose sheets of papers, and made art out of it. Ken said that as you draw it won’t be perfect the first time but as you go on you will have more skills. Our “meeting” ended and we exited the building and took the train. While we were in the train station, we saw these two dancers. One of the dancers, that was a man, had a mask on. The other dancer, was a lady, and painted all white. She acted like she was a statue, and kept really still. The dancers were dancing to “ All Of Me”, by John Legend. First the man with the mask break danced half of the song. Then, something magical happened. When the man dancer touched the women “statue”, she started dancing with him. It was like the statue turned into a real woman dancing. The statue dancer was dancing like a ballerina. Later, we got on the train and we saw a Mexican band playing the accordion and the guitar. After one stop they left the train. Slowly, we returned to Jackson Heights.