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  • February 2017
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Fresh Perspectives: A Teen Documentary Series

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main, Teen is screening four documentaries that focus on aspects of the teen experience, including independence, over-coming adversity, self confidence and establishing your personal identity.  All teens are welcome to come watch the films and connect with others on Wednesdays from 6-8pm in the Teen Department (Oakland).
PROOF _1  GSA documentary series_facebookNEWSIZE


May 22:
  Film Series Kickoff & Screening
A glimpse into five Indiana teenagers’ senior year of high school.

May 29:  Now We Can Dance: The Story of the Hayward Gay Prom
The story of the Hayward Gay Prom which has been attracting hundreds of Bay Area youth since it began in 1995.  The creation of this film was a two-year project that trained teenagers to be filmmakers with the help of Hayward Public Library staff members and professional advisers.

June 5:  Girls Rock!
Four girls transform their lives at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls.

June 12:  This is What Love in Action Looks Like*
The story of a 16-year-old blogger whose parents sent him to an ex-gay rehabilitation program and the folks in the community who stood up for their friend.  His blog leads to one of the first examples of social media inspiring change and hope.

*We’ll wrap up this film series on June 12 with a popcorn bar featuring Pittsburgh Popcorn Company popcorn!  Stick around after the film to eat, mingle and talk about the films!

This awesome event was curated by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main’s Teen Gay Straight Alliance, which meets twice a month.

Don’t forget to check out The Labs @ CLP.  They have everything you need to get your thoughts on film, create and record your music and more!  In the meantime, here are some books & films to inspire you:

    Don't You Forget About Me

  offandrunning-poster     rock filmmaker  

Celebrating Black History Month: African Americans and Film

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February is Black History Month!  To mark the occasion, every Tuesday in February CLP Carrick’s Teen Thing (our weekly teen activity/chill out time) is going to focus on some remarkable contributions made in the areas of film and technology by African Americans.   Each week we’re going to explore a new pioneer, talk about why they’re important, and create with an art project related to that person!

February 5th @ 4:30 PM

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Duane Jones as Ben in ‘Night of the Living Dead’

On the first Tuesday of the month we’re going to spotlight Duane Jones.  If you’ve ever seen the 1968 local horror classic Night of the Living Dead, then you probably recognize Mr. Jones as Ben – the film’s hero.  What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that his portrayal of Ben was an important milestone in film history, as it marked the first time that an African-American was cast as the lead star in a horror movie.

In homage to Mr. Jones and his classic role, we’re going to be making mini stop-motion zombie movies on our iPads!  Once again, Ben will try and save the day from hordes of undead flesh eaters!  Will he live to tell the tale this time???

 

February 12th @ 4:30 PM

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Frank Braxton is our subject in the second week of February!  Mr. Braxton is largely regarded as the first African-American animator to be offered a position with a major Hollywood studio, Warner Bros. Cartoons.  He drew for a number of classic animated movies and TV shows.  Some of his most enduring works include:  You’re in Love, Charlie Brown; A Boy Named Charlie Brown; and the Mister Magoo, Bullwinkle, and George of the Jungle TV shows of the 1960s.

Since love will be in the air this week, we’re going to watch some of Mr. Braxton’s work and flex our imaginations with some basic animation/flip book techniques!

 

February 19th @ 4:30 PM

Valerie Thomas' Illusion Transmitter

Valerie Thomas’ Illusion Transmitter

On February 19th, we’re going to focus on Valerie Thomas and 3D technology.  Ms. Thomas, a scientist and inventor who worked for NASA, is widely known for her Illusion Transmitter, a device she developed and patented in 1980.  The basic idea behind the Illusion Transmitter was to take the flat image from, say, a TV screen and have it projected into your room in 3D – almost like a hologram in a Sci-Fi movie!  Needless to say, the invention provided some serious upgrades for the existing 3D technology of the day, and is still currently used by NASA.

Look for some red and cyan action going down this week!

 

February  26th @ 4:30 PM

BrooklynLG

To close out our month-long celebration, we’re going to have a special screening of an awesome documentary focusing on the vibrant cultural scene of Brooklyn in the 1980s and early 1990s, which launched a number of notable directors, musicians, artists, poets, and comedians.  Popcorn, anyone?

 

All of these events are free and open to anyone in grades 6-12.  Teen Thing is held every Tuesday from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM at CLP Carrick (1811 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh PA 15210).  Hope to see you there!

stuffs and stuffs:

              

Jon : Carrick

End of Summer- BOO! End of Summer Party- YAY!

When I was a teenager, I couldn’t stand those back-to-school advertising campaigns that seem to kick in while summer is still in full swing.  And how about the stores that start selling fall jackets when it is still 90 degrees outside?  For me personally, the count down to the new school year was such a drag that even a full scale-gratuitous-shopping-binge didn’t prove therapeutic.  So now that the Teen Department at CLP Main is hosting an End of the Summer Celebration on Friday 8/24 from 2 pm to 5 pm, I feel like such a traitor.

But really- we’re on YOUR side.  We’re not trying to pour salt in the wound, we simply want to reward you all for your participation in this year’s Teen Summer Reading program (which, by the way, it’s not too late to sign up for….).  And the truth is, we’ll use any excuse to throw a party here in the Main Teen Department.  So, come- despite yourself- and just try to enjoy the last sliver of summer….

Friday, August 24

2pm to 5pm

CLP Main- Teens

4400 Forbes Ave.

Pittsburgh, PA

All teens in middle or high school welcome.  For more information, contact teensmain @ carnegielibrary.org or 412.622.3121.

Will the movie version of The Great Gatsby even be The Great Gatsby?

Hi! My name is Noori, and I am going to be a senior at The Ellis School.  I live near the middle of nowhere, my taste in music is a tad on the eccentric side, I love photography, I’m absolutely obsessed with the 1920’s, I love to read poetry and also really wish that I had the talent actually write some, I love shopping, and I do not have any pets, though I would love to have a cat! I have always loved to read, & I read as many different types of books as possible, although my favorites are mostly classics.  One of my favorite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald, once said, ““That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”, and I could not agree more.  Reading is more than a hobby for me – it is a passion.  It’s endless entertainment, and it is always engaging. 

As I’m sure many of you have heard, a new film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novella, The Great Gatsby, is due to be released this coming Christmas. Although the hype surrounding the movie has only continued to grow larger and larger, I have to admit that I’m not very excited.  The Great Gatsby is most definitely one of my favorites, if not my favorite book, and with what I have seen and heard so far of the movie, I do not think that the movie will even begin to capture the depth and passion of Fitzgerald’s book.   The Great Gatsby, for those of you who have not read it, is told from the point of view of a man by the name of Nick Carraway.  Nick has recently moved to the east coast, where he finds himself falling into a world that he could never have even imagined before, the world of Jay Gatsby.  The novella focuses on Gatsby, a complex character, who in many ways represents the corruption of the American Dream. Nick finds himself sympathetic towards the tragedy that is Gatsby- the tragedy that Gatsby finds himself in due to his inability to let go of the past. It is through this book that Fitzgerald shows how the frivolity and carefree mantra of the 1920’s affected people’s morality.

I find that often when film adaptations are made of books that I have read, the movies leave me dissatisfied.  I think the first issue with turning a book into a movie is that it takes away what the book is meant to do in the first place.  Books are meant to involve the reader’s imagination.  When reading a novel, a person uses the words and descriptions as guidelines to formulate their own ideas of what the story really looks like.  By turning books into movies, the viewers obviously cannot do this.  As viewers of a movie, we can only see what the director wants us to see.  We are given one way to see a story, and a lot of the novel is usually lost in the translation from literature to film. Directors also often take “artistic liberties” on the original stories. To which one must ask, “why did you even base it off the book to begin with?”.  There is no reason to make a work that is simply another person’s spin on an original work.  My response to this is always “why not just make your own story?”.  It makes no sense to simply take another work’s name and then change absolutely anything that the director and screenwriter want to change of it.  In terms of The Great Gatsby, director Baz Luhrmann has had a number of successful movies that have proved that he is good at what he does (one of his works being Moulin Rouge).  Regardless, as was seen through the trailer, he has already made many changes to Fitzgerald’s story.  I do not deny that the Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby will probably be a good movie, but will it be an adequate representation of Fitzgerald’s work? That I’m not too sure of.

If you haven’t read the book before, I highly recommend reading it before the movie comes out! This way, you can read the novella with an unbiased view on the book itself, and then have the ability to judge Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of the story in terms of its reflection of the original story.  Feel free to compare your own opinions and views of the book to the trailer for the upcoming movie which is posted below.

Noori – CLP East Liberty

A Night in Panem: Hunger Games Movie Anticipation Party @ CLP Main

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard of the ultra popular “Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins and upcoming film release.  If you haven’t read the books yet, then get thee to the library this very instant and pick up a copy!  Everyone and their mother and their mother’s mother seems to be riding the wave of “Hunger Games” super fandom these days.  And for good reason too!  The books are action packed and full of heart, with characters that are completely fleshed out- including a strong female lead, and the dystopian setting seems eerily too close to full realization.  The highly anticipated film version of the first novel in the series will be opening Friday, March 23rd.  In anticipation of the film’s release, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Main Library will be hosting “A Night in Panem”, an after-hours event for hard-core fans of all ages on Thursday, March 22.  Test your Hunger Games knowledge in trivia, train like a tribute for the battle in the arena, enjoy baked goods and cookie decorating in honor of Peeta, make a bow and arrow like Katniss’ and Gale’s, experience a Reaping with prizes instead of imminent death, and so much more!

A Night in Panem: Movie Anticipation Party
May the Odds be every in your favor

Thursday, March 22
8:30 pm to 10:30 pm
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main
4400 Forbes Ave.
412.622.3114
teensmain@carnegielibrary.org

Hunger for more?  Check these books out:

The Girl who was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy

edited by Leah Wilson

The Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Kate Egan

The Hunger Games Companion: The Unauthorized Guide to the Series

by Lois H. Gresh

The Hunger Games Tribute Guide by Emily Seife

Jennifer Lawrence: Star of the Hunger Games by Katherine E. Krohn



Picture Book: Kodak, Instagram, and the Future of Photography

Photo by Wikipedia user camerafiend.

Earlier this month, Eastman Kodak — the film giant that once accounted for 90% of the film sold worldwide — filed for bankruptcy. Kodak was the big cheese in photography back when everyone still used film in their cameras, but they’ve been outpaced in the digital age; ironic because Kodak pioneered digital photography. (Pioneered the technology, but was unable to capitalize on their creation.)

The whole Kodak thing got me thinking of my first trip to Europe. I was sixteen, and I’d raised money for my travels by going door-to-door in my town, asking for donations and grovelling in front of the school board. Between my stumping (and my saintly parents somehow coming up with the balance) I was soon off to another continent. Continue reading

Have an animated Thanksgiving!

If you’re anything like me, you might crave some alone time away from the family this Thanksgiving holiday (or you may just want to skip out on helping with the dishes).  Here are some fun ways to occupy your time, allowing you to create your own animations, on your computer or smart phone.

Scratch

Scratch is a programming language developed by MIT “that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.”  It’s free to join and share things.  Once you create a Scratch project, people can interact with it or download and remix it.  For example, someone has made a calculator using Scratch!  You can also make games to play – there’s a gallery here.  And if you get stuck, there’s a Support page and Forums.

Flipnote

Unfortunately, this is only available as a Nintendo DSi program, but you can also browse and watch the Flipnotes that others have created using their DSi.  Since the program is available worldwide, there are many international Flipnotes, and it could be a fun way to practice your Japanese!

Still from a stopmotion animation creation by flickr user Regev Tovim

For those of you who took our Quick Flix workshops, taught by awesome people from Pittsburgh Filmmakers, I have some free Stopmotion and other animation programs!  These require some downloads and tutorials, but could take your filmmaking to the next level.

Animate Clay

This has how-to videos, a newsletter, video interviews with animators and free motion capture software for download. It was created by animator Mark Spess, who taught himself to do stop-motion and thought there should be a place online for fellow animators to learn and share their craft.

Clay Animator

This software is based on the Anasazi software from the Animate Clay website, and can work with a built in PC camera or digital camera connected to your PC.

Synfig

This is free 2-D animation software, “designed as powerful industrial-strength solution for creating film-quality animation using a vector and bitmap artwork. It eliminates the need to create animation frame-by frame, allowing you to produce 2D animation of a higher quality with fewer people and resources.”

Pencil

Unlike many of these programs, Pencil works with Macs as well as PCs, and can be used for traditional hand-drawn animation.  Here’s an example of something made with Pencil:

Blender

Blender can do 3-D rendering and is free and open source for all operating systems.  The effects in this movie were made using Blender:

Before you start out on your journey, you can always use your local library to do some basic research on making animation!

– Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

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