Jeanne Kelly

Archive for the ‘Major Studio Narrative’ Category

Motion Graphics | Fixing the Roosevelt Island Animatic

In Major Studio Narrative, Motion Graphics 1, Spring 2010 on May 14, 2010 at 9:16 pm

The reworking of the video turned out okay.  I think the music really adds the right feeling.  I’m thinking of replacing some of the drawings with photographs.  It still needs a lot of work but it’s getting there.


Major Studio Narrative | Final Proposal | Public Narrative

In Major Studio Narrative, Spring 2010 on April 23, 2010 at 6:10 am

In choosing the yellow suite at Dubway Studios as my public space I decided to focus on sound as narrative, possibly for the first time.

I began with the concept of changing the acoustics of the space, the main narrative.  I did research on how this is already being accomplished in different ways in the yellow suite.

A variety of baffles are used, from wall traps to ceiling block.

I did some sketches of how I might be able to create other forms of baffles.

Which led to designs that might add sounds to the recordings. Using the sculpture as a form of ambient instrument. The use of beaded curtains was one which might have been interesting.  But untimely I felt it was over stated.  I felt the installation needed to be subtle in it’s effects on the acoustics because of the ability of the equipment to record even the slightest of changes.  Maybe even a baffle tower.

The shape of some of the commercial hanging baffles was inspiring.  They brought to mind a project I did in 1990.  I found a few of the original sketches from that project.  It was a floor to ceiling sheet of tar-paper with all of psalms hand stiched to both sides.  Each page from the bible was overlaped  and stitched from the top only.  The fluttering loose pages created a interesting rustling sound.  I am considering a similar approach with sheet music and voice over scripts.

After more research and sketches, including a sheer black fabric concept inspired by Christo.  Dubway completed the audio for a documentary on Christo.

The final construction will possibly be make from flagging tape …


•  I will temporally alter the acoustics of a acoustically optimized space.

•  I will use a large sculptural installations to achieve this change to the soundscape, to the narrative.

•  I will record sample audio both before the sculpture is installed and after.


•  Sculpture.  Three 32″x32″ foam core boards each containing 16 rows by 16 rows of white or multi colored flag tape.

•  Audio Recordings: Instrumental (possibly piano) Christopher reading “The Room” by John Asbury.  Identical recordings both before and after the installation.

•  Stills and video of the creation and installation process as well as both audio performances

•  Sound wave images mapping the space both before and after the sculpture (the visual record of the    auditory evidence of a physical encounter)

There are may stories happen in Dubway.  At any one time in the yellow suite the story of a singer, a songwriter, a producer, an engineer can all be unfolding.  I want to create another story in that space, but changing the ability of the space to tell the stories it always tells.

A Narrative is Like a Room

In Major Studio Narrative, Narrative & Dynamic Systems, Spring 2010 on April 22, 2010 at 11:26 pm

“A narrative is like a room on whose walls a number of false doors have been painted; while within the narrative, we have many apparent choices of exit, but when the author leads us to one particular door, we know it is the right one because it opens.” – John Updike





Major Studio | Mini Thesis | Public Narratives

In Major Studio Narrative, Spring 2010 on April 19, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Altering the Narrative of a Public Space

Since first hearing about the assignment,   I have been looking at the spaces and environments around me in a different light; breaking down the narratives of the hallways and elevators, the subway cars and sidewalks.  However; in considering an interesting public space to examine and alter for the final, I found thoughts returning over and over again to one particular location.  I visit this place often, and it is an important public space, although the general public seldom sees it.  The public space I have chosen to be the subject of my mini thesis is the yellow suite at Dubway Studio.

Located on the second floor of 135 West 26th Street, New York New York, Dubway Studio is full service audio recording studio.  In their own words Dubway’s …

“High ceilings, sleek architectural design, and contemporary original art on display give an airy, open feel to the facilities. It is a bright and engaging place to work. Easily accessible, the studio is located in Chelsea, New York’s multimedia center, and has been newly renovated to reflect Dubway’s continued expansion into audio for visual media”

Dubway actually houses four separate studios of varying sizes and complexities to accommodate a variety of client and engineers needs.  These studios are identified and mapped by color; there is the red suite, the blue suite, the green suite, and the yellow suite.  In all of studios the space is divided in to two or more areas.  Additionally, every studio has a double paned glass wall, window or door between the control room and the live room.

The control room is where the engineers, producers, musicians and others record, observe, critique and adjust what’s going on in the live room.  It’s the knobs, switches and hard drives of the recording and broadcast industry.  In most of the control rooms speaker inhabit a significant amount of space in the control room and there is usually 3 or more monitors.  These rooms are made for business and many hours of it.  They are made to document anything and everything going on in the live room.  The live rooms are all about the sound, whether it’s a single voice whispering the lines of a poems or a full band with accompanying piano.  The rooms where designed and built by “master studio builder Chris Bowman of CHBO, Inc. along with architect John Storyk.”

They are acoustically balanced and designed for optimal clarity in recoding.

I decided to focus on one studio within Dubway, the yellow suite.  It is not surprising that the yellow suite has fascinated me for some time now.  The tremendous control console is nothing if not impressive and the width and angle of the nearly floor to ceiling clear glass wall that separates the control room from the live room create an intriguing interface for not only the recorder, but for the performer and observers as well.  The use of antique theater seats for observers in the control room adds a sense of history and richness to the experience of the space.  Dubway describes the room on their website as …

“Dubway’s largest room, the Yellow Room, is one of NY’s most attractive & functional recording environments. Designed by legendary studio architect John Storyk, the Yellow Room boasts a large, highly ambient recording area with natural light & hardwood floors, and a beautiful Yamaha C5 grand piano. The large analog console & extensive outboard processing allows for tracking of large ensembles, as well as a variety of approaches to mixing.”

The all encompassing narrative of the yellow suite at Dubway Studio is this:  It is a place where the public can go to record and capture sonic information, sound in all it’s forms, with the help of professionals trained in audio engineering and sound design.

The goal of my project will be to alter the narrative within the space of the yellow rooms themselves.  By physically changing the acoustic space of the live room with the addition of an unknown element I hope to alter the auditory narrative of control room.  I want to expand on the narrative, leaving room for the original narrative of clearly recording sound, but changing it to alter the ability to visually communicate between the control room and the live room and creating a space in which sound can not be recorded without unwanted noise interfering with the fidelity of the original sound.  My goal is to change the narrative in the described way by introducing a sculptural element to the live room.

Click on this image of the final paper to download a copy.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Major Studio | Who ~ What ~ Where | Modern Ruins 4

In Major Studio Narrative, Spring 2010 on April 14, 2010 at 10:54 pm

The Final Iteration

or “As far as I can take it this time.”

So I’ve rewritten the narrative to incorporate the new limitations and to include the future of the structure and what it will be for those who will visit.  Not having access to the structure itself leaves me to drawing what I can to animate the narrative.

I decided to us a voiceover to guild us through the history and let the visuals be absorbed in suport of the narrative.  I wrote a simple script highlighting the key points in the history of the Smallpox Hospital and better half, Christopher Abell did the voice over and recording with me.  He has a much richer voice then I do and it fit perfectly with the subject of the piece.

I organized the transitions according to the narration, using text to create the flow in the animation between the different stages of the hospital.  In my research I found an old Smallpox Hospital opening announcement which I really liked the look of (the grid of this is really great).

I used this as a template to create a similar sign for the Renwick Smallpox Hospital.  It was interesting to disassemble this peice and realize that a lot of the look I that I appreciate in this “poster” is the spacing and clustering of the individual words.  In reproducing this I had to “set” each word (sometimes a group of words) in the line.  The uniform spacing of the computer destroys this feel and the rhythm it generates.(using the information from the Smallpox hospital.

I did some research and gave a lot of thought to the font styles and really wanted the different type fit the change in the history of the building.  These are the fonts I chose for the transitions:

Oldnewspaper Type – 1850’s

CrappyGothic – 1850’s

Chelsea – 1900’s

Yoxall – 1950’s

TRASHED – 1975

Helvetica Neue – 2009

Animation Stills

Final thoughts:

I had a lot of problems with importing the layers into After Effects. And I had to finally create the animation in Photoshop instead, which meant I presented without the audio.  The timing was also thrown off in the conversion to photoshop; what was once a smooth flowing animation turned into a very choppy studdering work.

It does have a kind of stop-motion feel to it, but not what I had intended.  What I presented was only a pale comparison to what my original final intent was.   This is what was presented:

Renwick Smallpox Hospital from Jeanne Kelly on Vimeo.

Major Studio | Who ~ What ~ Where | Modern Ruins 3

In Major Studio Narrative, Spring 2010 on April 5, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Primary Research and Peliminary Images

I decided to head out to Roosevelt Island and get some primary research done and to get the video and island stills done early. Good thing I did.

I enlisted some help to start.  I asked Christ to go with me as an additional set of eye’s and he had a camera on loan from Louis.  Chris got some great shots of the subway and around the island.  I took a ton of video (which I hope proves useful).

The first thing I learned was that the Tram is out of service until August.  No where in their offical site did they mention this!!

Needless to say I was disappointed, but I thought that at least it wasn’t a complete rewrite.  And once I got down into the station to Roosevelt Island I was really happy to see that the architecture of the subway station was pretty cool too.  There are several station around Manhattan with that same style and I alway apperciated it.  But the scale seems much larger at the Roosevelt stations.

Roosevelt Island was fantastic.  It’s a feels like a little oasis between Manhattan and Queens.  I live in Astoria, Queens and I pass by, in, and around this island almost every day.  I know now I’m going back more offten.

…. but then I got to the Southern tip and bam!  It’s all walled off.  It seems they’re beginning construction on the park this summer and got an early start by walling of the entire  southern tip.  I can think of several reasons they would do this, but again – no mention on any site for Roosevelt Island, the City or the Park itself!!  As a matter of fact most site specifically state that is open to the public.  Very frustration to say the least.

This is the only view through the sheet-metal fence.  The big building you see in the picture is  “The Strecker Laboratory, in the 1890s the premier facility for bacteriological research, was constructed in a Romanesque revival style by architects Frederick Withers and Walter Dickson. In 2000, the Laboratory was renovated and restored; in 2004 it still stands all alone in an empty lot south of the Smallpox Hospital, awaiting visitors.” The Smallpox hospital can barely be made out to the right and behind the Strecker Lab and the blue truck.

I wish now I had gotten a picture of the fence itself, but I think I was just overwhelmed with the thought of going back to the drawing board I didn’t consider it at the time.  I’ll have to remember to keep my cool a little better when things don’t work out way it’s first planed.

So now I am looking at a total rewrite.  I have some ideas of my own, but I’m hoping to get some good feedback and suggestions for the class on how I could proceed.

Clay Ewing's Grad Thesis

In Major Studio Narrative, Spring 2010 on April 4, 2010 at 1:15 am

So a fellow graduate student in the Design and Technology department here at Parsons, Clay Ewing asked me if I could do a few illustrations for his thesis.   I’ve heard about his game but haven’t had a chance to play.

He had someone working on it already but wanted a “backup” plan just in case.  I actually think it’s a really good idea and something to keep in mind when I get to my thesis.  If you’re collaborating in anyway, you should be prepared for the possibility that the other person will not pull through on their end.  Anything can happen, right.  Most people are reliable, but everyone gets let down sometimes, it’s life.  So having a backup may seem like extra work, and maybe not the ideal solution like original, but it’s better then having NO work to show and NO solution – especially  for thesis.  I guess in this way I’m a 3rd backup, because he does have a pretty decent mock for the user testing and the most recent prototype.

We met up and he gave me a run down of what he needed.  To produce one of the final illustrations, the one pictured above, I used the new Cintiq’s at the 10th floor lab.  I am so in love with it.  I’ve started saving to get one.  I might be a year or two before I can actually hold my own, but until then I’m using the one at school as much as I can.  I’ll bring my own pen so I can use the felt tip.

Anyway, I did what I could for Clay and I think he’s happy with what I came up with.  I wish now I could redo the insurance company buildings, but he had to send to print.  It was such short notice and I have so many projects going on, it was nice to just do some fun illustrations for a change and feel useful as well. Bonus.

I’ll have to go to his presentation and see how it goes, cheer him on.

Major Studio | Who ~ What ~ Where | Modern Ruins 2

In Major Studio Narrative, Spring 2010 on April 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Developing the Narrative

Building the Storyboards

I decided I needed a storyboard to clarify the narrative.  It should be pretty self explanatory, but just in case:

the first panel starts with a shot of the bust NY street, people talking on their cell phones, a long shot of the street with the tram a small speck overhead. then a pan closer to really see it.  Then a cut to the tram station signs showing Roosevelt Island. Next a view from the train – one showing the city skyline  then a pan to show Roosevelt Island on the other.  We’re then on the island I’ll show a few shots from the bus and just of the new shopping and buildings and views from the water, Manhattan across the way and views of the bridge, just to establish the modern island …

The last shot in the island sequence will end in a view of the new hospital, located just north of the Smallpox hospital ruins.  The images then move illustrate the walk down to the more deserted end of the island.  To reveal the Smallpox hospital.  We start with a wide angle shot of the front facade and then slowly pan zoom into one of the upper windows.  As the camera pans in, a figure starts to come into focus.  She is a shadowy image of a nurse from the late 1800’s moving across the opening.  She is holding a medical tray.  It then fades to a shadowy image of the old Smallpox Warning sign floating over the new chain link construction fence …

That will dissolve and then resolve again to show the sign for the Nurse’s Dorm and the maternity college.  The camera will then focus “through” the sign and past the fence onto a group of young nurses posed for a “school” picture.  Some will be giggleing, talking and looking around until their attention shifts to you as though you were the photographer and a flash clear the screen … slowly color begins to bleed into the image and resolves into the future Roosevelt Park, with the restored hospital looking beautiful in the sunlight and birds singing … 🙂

Some mock ups of the compositing …

This image is way too creepy for what I had in mind.  In the final image the ladies will all be smiling like the girl in the front row far left.  And the nun just doesn’t work, it was a public institution and I think that might be a bit too much.

I like the drawn composites better.  I have more control and it gives me a reason to draw; I can add an subtract whatever I can think of, not just what I can find.

Major Studio | Who ~ What ~ Where | Modern Ruins

In Major Studio Narrative, Spring 2010 on April 1, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Concept Presentation:

“Learn from the past, prepare for the future, live in the present.”  ~ Thomas S. Monson

Design Question:  How do we preserve the past while making room for the future?

Since the beginning of recorded history the ruins and artifacts of ancient civilizations have fascinated travelers and local inhabitants alike.  These time-posts of our existence point us to contemplate on our past as a species and as individuals.

They are one of the few ways modern man can come into contact with the wonders of ancient technology and art. And they beg us to ask ourselves how have we evolved and, at times, regressed.

Some of the  most popular travel designations in the world are remnants of cultures and peoples unknown to modern man.

Visiting the Past

Who~What~Where Concept Presentation from Jeanne Kelly on Vimeo.
But what where those structures before they where ancient?  Before they were ruins?  When they were first abandoned?  What thoughts did these spaces conjure before the people themselves began to see them as part of a distant past?  A past not easily recognizable in themselves.

The ruins of the Greeks inspired the Romans to build and expand their empire in it’s likeness. Striving to surpass the perfection they observed in  the ruins they lived among.  Later, the “Everyman” of the Dark Ages could gaze upward to the collapsing Roman aqueducts and know it was not long before him that those same magnificent structures once watered his fields.  Perhaps his father and certainly his grandfather remembered when and how the water flowed.  And even now travelers make special excursions to look at what remains of those same structures and wonder what life was like then. Questioning how these once vital constructions came to such a grim end.

New York City is recognized around the world as a modern metropolis.  It’s skyline is dominated by skyscrapers of steel and glass.  People visit this city for the new and the innovative; to shop and be entertained.  In New York City, the old must constantly give way to the new.  And yet, New York occasionally learns to be respectful of it’s past.  More and more often waves of preservation wash over the city that save many important spaces from decay.  But only after the regrettable and disgraceful loss of so many beautiful and significant structures throughout the city.  In Manhattan, the modern “Everyman” does not live with his distant past, which moves further and further away at an ever quickening pace as we replace the old with the new.

There is one building you  will not yet find in your traveler’s guide.  A derelict structure where the past still speaks with it’s own voice.

Renwick Smallpox Hospital

Built:  1854

Opened:  1856

Closed:  1950

Location Age:  156 years

Abandonment:  60 years

Current Status:  Abandoned / Designated National Historic Landmark

Location Genre:  Sanitarium / Isolation Hospital

Located In:  Manhattan, NY / Roosevelt Island

Designed by architect James Renwick Jr., whose more notable works include St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the 100 bed facility was part of a multitude of public institutions created care for New York City’s unfortunate and destitute.

Throughout it’s abandonment attempts where made to restore or preserve the structure. “ … however the building remains an uninhabitable ruin with all the romance which any great work of architecture retains as long as its general outlines can be discerned, evoking memories of its past.”

There is no roof, nor inner walls.  There are barely any floors.  Only the gray gneiss and brick foundation remain.  Wooden timbers support the balconies from a 1975 preservation effort.

What was the impact of these structures when life was still evident in them and nature and man had only just begun their deconstruct?

Major Studio Narrative | Diagramming the Narrative | Prototype Layers Version 2

In Major Studio Narrative, Spring 2010 on March 27, 2010 at 9:27 am

This was the final prototype I developed before the laser etching. I separated out the different layers below.  The color will be allpied with link embedded into the etching areas and the surface wiped clean.