For my explorations project I wanted to learn about the filming process, with a focus on editing and adding visual effects in Adobe After Effects. I worked on many different skills during this short project, some of which were costume design, sewing, set design, lighting, videography, time managment, and editing. I wanted to create a video without narration that had music accompanying it in order to enhance its emotional resonance and theme. The concept I was looking to visualize was bored teenage witch girls living in the suburbs. I think that female energy and beauty is very powerful, and almost magical (like a witch), so I wanted to show this nonchalantly through bored teenagers. I also notice a frenzied boredom in the suburbs, especially among women, as women have been somewhat trapped in the white-pickett fence setting in the past century, often discontent with growing up to be mothers and housewives while containing so much unwielded potential. The creepiness of neighborhoods with identical houses and very little commmunity/culture was a final feeling I wanted to communicate, and I attempted to do this through the music and certain creepier scenes.


The infographic was an assignment from Design in which we researched something related to our explorations project, and then displayed it through icons and brief descriptive text. I chose to research the steps that go into film production, and I created an infographic looking to visually display this process. I learned a lot more about the order of steps one should take when making a film, and found it valuable to see these steps laid out in a simple graphic.


The first step I took in creating my video was to draft and make patterns for the costumes. Then I took the measurments of my friends who were in the video, and began sewing the costumes.

When filming different scenes I wanted to try new tricks that I could mess with in After Effects. One of these was having my friend Sy duplicate herself, so I took videos of her pointing at different locations, then standing in each of the locations. Using this footage, I made masks of each of the duplicate Sy's and placed them over the layer containing the first Sy that appears. I made a few mistakes when filming which I had to correct in the editing process. One of these was that I had the first duplicate to show up stand too close to the original girl, so the overlapped, making it look unnatural. To remedy this I made a closer selection of the second girl and moved the mask to the left, fetahering it in order to have it blend better with the background. The other mistake I made was that I didn't have the original girl stand still for long enough, so you can see when it cuts to a different clip of her standing.

Another trick I wanted to try was to have my friend Urna extinguish many candles by snapping her fingers. I went about this all wrong when I was filming. What I should have done was to have her snap, lower her hand, and then get out of the bath with the candels still lit, and then film the background after blowing out the candles without Urna in the shot. Had I done this, I could have made a mask of Urrna, and blended it into the shot of the empty background, adjusting the saturation, exposure, and brightness on the mask to match the background. What I did instead was to have her stay in the bath, trying to hold still with her arm raised while I blew out the candles and then filmed her put her hand down after all the candles were blown out. The goal then was to cut out the part of the video where I blow out the candles so that it would appear they extinguish instantaneously. However, Urna moved slightly while I was blowing out the candles, and I had to warp, move, and distort her in order to match (almost) with the previous clip. Then I had to adjust the colors and brightness of the clip after blowing out the candles because light from the window above the bath made it very bright.


I really enjoyed this project, because I got to fully indulge in my creativity. I enjoyed making the costumes and controlling the appearance of the scenes/characters, and I got to really make it into what I wanted it to be (to an extent) because it was an individual project. Although I did most of the prep and behind-the-scenes on my own, I couldn't have made anything without the help of my friends, who are portrayed in the film. One valuable skill that I didn't get much of an opportunity to work on was teamwork, so my perspective of the film-making process was quite different from the real thing, where there are sometimes hundreds of people working together to make a film. During this project I really enjoyed the opprtunity to freely experiment with the massive library of equipment and software that Freestyle makes available to us students.