mirrors presentations, day 4

The high school students presented their projects on Friday afternoon, a mix of art spanning film, comics, self portraits, and music.

Grace presented the last eight minutes of her compilation of clips of mirrors from films as varied as romantic comedies, horror movies, French art films, and dramas. The full film is forty minutes long! The clips show characters giving themselves pep talks or looking at their appearance or just about to be scared, a sort of contemplative look at the power of the reflection.

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Max and Evan talked about their filmmaking journey during the Mirrors arc and their trouble with finding the right script for the amount of time they had and the actors who were available. They started with a film idea about a character who gets lost inside an infinity mirror, but quickly realized the complications of filming such a movie. Their next idea came up short because of casting issues, but explored the impacts of living in a room with only the company of a mirror. They filmed one of a series of short films that was supposed to be a trilogy, called “Storm” about two people trying to find similarities about themselves. They also showed the documentary that they edited from footage that Max shot at the Salesforce fundraiser in Palm Springs, called “Towers”.

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Madison began the project phase inspired by the work of Frida Kahlo and the story and pain behind her self portraits, and branched out from there to look at the self portraiture of a half a dozen artists. She ended up choosing to closely study the work of Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh, and Andy Warhol, and used elements of their styles to create her own. In her series of self portraits, she borrowed the small strokes and colors of Van Gogh’s work, Andy Warhol’s way of sectioning his portraits in a single image, and the vivid shades of Kahlo’s paintings. She used chalk pastel, pencil, tempera paint, and acrylic paint to make her portraits.

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Isaac’s project was again about his passion of making experimental music. In his explorations of playing and mixing music, he said that he’s come to discover experimental music is easy to make, but difficult to make well. For this arc, he started crafting an album that he will continue to work on through the summer, but made two complex and complete songs during Expression. His goal was to make a wall of sound with varied instruments and textures, and ended up with songs that used as many as fifteen layers of instruments. He demonstrated using the melodica and the singing saw, and played “Public Access” – his first song with his own vocals – and Every Light In The House Was On When I Woke Up. At the end of his presentation, he told us that music is a time of reflection – we like music because it resonates with us, and we see ourselves in the music that we love.

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Tytus made a comic book during his arc at Brightworks, but informed us immediately that his presentation wouldn’t be about the comic itself, but more about storytelling – which, he said, is a kind of magic. Using post-it notes and the basic storytelling framework, he told the story of his experience during the arc in three acts. He set himself up as the character in the story: a visitor from Poland to a weird country with weird people, being asked to do a project in a short amount of time. During his story, he related the challenges and triumphs of making a comic, including the challenges of printing and the books he read to learn how a comic works, how to use ink and materials in drawing, how to draw, and theory about what makes things interesting, beautiful, or funny. His story was the story of projects – ups and downs – and a beautiful reflection on himself and the school.

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