In Depth Post #4 How to Have a Beautiful Mind Chapters 6-7 and Progress Report

Progress Report

Because of some rescheduling that had to happen, there ended up only being a week’s difference between this blog post and the previous one, so I won’t have as much completed or as much to talk about. Here’s what I did get done, however.

Firstly, I was able to have another meeting with my mentor, although there wasn’t as much to talk about during it because of the smaller time between calls. During the call, we were mostly able to talk about how to improve on some of the animations I’d done.

I have also decided to pause working on my Wookie stop motion for a little while and start a new small project, which will be a contest entry for a brickfilming contest. The theme of the contest is medieval life without a blacksmith. So, since the last post, I have been developing a story, set, and characters for that stop motion animation. During our meeting, I was able to bring problems and questions to him that had arisen about my project right from the get-go, so that now I will be starting my blacksmith project with his advice fresh in my memory.

I also shot a few more scenes for my Wookie project before that, although sadly I will not be able to show any of this yet as it is not finished or posted publicly.

How to Have a Beautiful Mind

Due to safety and privacy reasons, all video evidence pieces will be in a different document that requires a password to view. When the paragraph below mentions a part of our call, there will be a number attached which you can then use on the media document to find the corresponding video.

One of the ways I have practiced being a good listener in my most recent meeting with my mentor was by probing and asking questions. This was helpful in a lot of ways. Most obviously, it helped me to learn more about the topic and get more out of my call. Secondary to this, it also showed the mentor that I was engaged and was taking in the things he was saying (which is what makes this a listening skill). It also made that topic more memorable. This is because by asking a question I was keeping us on that one topic for longer, which meant it stayed in my memory, rather than a bunch of topics that go by quickly but are easily forgotten. An example of this is when we were talking about panning shots and I was wondering if he used a technique I wasn’t sure was the best, and so after I asked the initial panning question, I dug deeper by following it up asking, “Do you ever just punch in and then move the video?”. Asking that question got me my answer and opened up a new thread of conversation. (1)

Something I tried to do to practice asking questions well was just to ask lots of questions, which I did throughout the call. By asking so many questions, I opened up new threads of conversation and sometimes found answers to the problems I was trying to solve.

Next Steps

Over the next two weeks, I will be working on this new blacksmith project, and submitting it to the contest. The things I will be trying to focus on will be having good effects, lighting, and other aspects that make my animations look professional, and I will also try to practice good plot-writing and planning for what it will look like, while not doing so much of that that it gets in the way of progressing and completing my animation.

Thanks once again for giving this a read, and I hope to share some amazing projects next time I post.

-Ben